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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Mystica is a country that used to be guided by the Watchers and the Kindred, four stones that could harness the magic of the elements. But throughout time, greed has taken over and the Kindred were lost. Only a powerful sorceress could locate them again. There hasn't been one in ages, but circumstances are about to erupt....
Auranos, the southernmost kingdom rich in all resources, is ruled by King Corvin. There is not queen but he does have two daughters, very different in nature. The oldest, Emilia, has the true qualities of a queen while her younger sister, Cleo, is much more adventurous and carefree. It's this attitude of adventure that leads Princess Cleo down a path of destruction...
Paelsia is the middle kingdom ruled by Chieftain Basilius. Dry and nearly barren, the only thing that comes from this land are excellent grapes to make the best wine in the country. Jonas Agallon knows this well since his father's reputation is based on his extraordinary skills as a winemaker. A chance meeting with outsiders will determine Jonas's course in life and the personal battles he must endure....
Limeros is the coldest of all kingdoms up in the north. King Gaius rules with an iron fist and is known as the Blood King. His son Magnus watches everything with cool detachment, learning and digesting. Magnus's topmost priority is keeping his sister Lucia safe. It's her 16th birthday and things are about to change....
The Watchers are only too aware of the turmoil and repercussions each kingdom will play in the war to rule Mystica. They also know that something much deeper is about to surface; one that will bring back their glory and power....or will humanity find them first?
This is the first in a series of books by Morgan Rhodes. While there may be a long list of characters, the author's writing takes the reader to the heart of each character, sometimes with forethought and at other through transparency. The kindgoms themselves create the characters with their backdrop and politics. While not high fantasy (sorry, no dragons), the novel does revolve heavily around the elements of magic and the unseen but powerful Watchers. This is a well-constructed book, but readers may notice that their predictions within the plot of future events will come to fruition. There is enough detail to ensure a strong storyline, with enough intrigue to surprise the reader. Those who revel in fantasy will want to put this on their to-read list only to eagerly await the next publication. My personal thought? I found this comparable to the series Game of Thrones, but written with a YA audience in mind. Recommended upper JH/HS