Published: December 11th 2012 By: Razorbill
Genres: Young-Adult, High-Fantasy, Magic, Romance
Format: Paperback Source: Purchased My Rating: 4 Stars
AURANOS – Privileged Princess Cleo is forced to confront violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse.
LIMEROS – The king’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.
PAELSIA – Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.
It has taken me forever to read this book, but I’m actually glad that I don’t have to wait for the next one, and the next. By the time I’m finished with Gathering Darkness , Frozen Tides will already be released. I was thinking that I may get tired of fantasy series, but it seems that I will be along for this ride. Packed with magic, politics, death, and romance – Falling Kingdoms is a great distraction from real life. I can’t wait to have the time to read the next book. Though, I may have to put it on hold at my library. Budget here!
As you know, world building in the fantasy genre is everything. I don’t care about too much of anything, if the world is not to my liking. I don’t like politics, but I do love how each Kingdom has their own agenda. Royalty, as you know, have it all. I wasn’t that interested in Auranos and Limeros. They have their servants, maids, guards, expansive land and what have you. There was nothing special about those Kingdoms, except the characters who come from there. Paelsia is the territory that most interested me. From the grapevines, wine, and the markets – to some of the residents homes. The impoverishment of the Paelsians is hard to get around. How can a country that makes it’s money by selling wine to the two richest kingdoms, be in poverty? Well, their land is dying. It’s hard to hunt for food when the game is scarce. I imagined Paelsia in my mind, and what I saw made my stomach turn. I imagined the sea that connects those lands, and as beautiful as it seems, I was still not that much impressed.
Princess Cleo: A tad naive, a lot spoiled, and a whole lot impulsive. I admire her for wanting to go into Paelsia and search for the Watcher, so she could save her sister. I really do. But…. my God, that girl acted as if her head wasn’t screwed on right. She really didn’t see how much Nic, her best friend, loved her. He joked about it, and she would laugh it off. She even thought it herself once. There really isn’t much to say about her relationship with Theon. He was her guard and they disagreed on a lot of things. Still, they fell in love. I like how she loathed Aron. You have no idea how happy about that part of the story I am. Of course, her father, King Corvin, thinks Aron a hero for the murder he committed. And so, the announcement of the engagement of Princess Cleo to Aron is made.
Aron: Alcoholic, jerk, pompous, rude, killer. I have nothing nice to say about him. I’ve hated him from the very first page. Oh, he’s a blackmailer as well.
Prince Magnus: In love with his sister, Princess Lucia . Oh now, don’t get too grossed out. There’s a story behind that. He’s also a doormat and loathes his father, King Gaius. Does what he’s told, like the good son he is. That ending shocked the hell out of me. I wonder how that little arrangement will go.
King Gaius: Tyrant. Wants to rule everything. He has a wife, Queen Althea, and a mistress, Sabina. Oh, how I hate his mistress. She set all of this bull crap in motion years ago. She’s nothing but a promiscuous witch. Seriously, she really is a witch.
Jonah: I’d like to say I love his character, but he’s got too much anger inside of him. I know he wants to avenge his brother, but he lets that vengeance rule him. He makes stupid decisions, and if it weren’t for his best friend, Brion, he’d already be dead.
There are lots of other players in this game. It’s full of power hungry, vengeful people who are going to destroy each other in the process. The key players all seek the Kindred – magic so powerful, whomever shall possess it will be just as powerful. The Watchers all play a role here, but we only get glimpses. I’m sure Alexius will make a move soon, so I can’t wait for that. You know what they say about observation – watch something long enough and you will soon find yourself captivated. Expect character death, so if that isn’t your thing, you may need to let this one slide. This isn’t the best fantasy ever, because there are many tropes that every other book in this genre has. But, it is refreshing to have a different world and characters to play with. I am not particularly fond of any of the male characters here, so there is no book boyfriend (yet). I definitely recommend this series to fantasy and magic lovers.