Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Published by Razorbill on December 11th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Kindle eBook
In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.
As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.
The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.
Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.
Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.
Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....
I feel like this review is going to be hard to write. This book isn’t amazing, and it has some issues with worldbuilding and characterisation, but I enjoyed it. Or, well, parts of it anyway.
Mytica is made up of three kingdoms, and they all sound the same. Sure, they’re described differently—the bountiful one, the poor one, the strict and religious one—but they all talk the same ways. There’s no slang, there aren’t many references to kingdom-specific things at all. Everyone knows about each kingdoms’ gods, everyone knows about the rumours of each kingdom’s leaders, none of them seem to have anything really unique to them. There is one character who says that she could figure out where two characters were from based on their accents and the way they spoke, but everyone spoke exactly the same way so it seemed pretty implausible to be honest.
Most of the characters are flat; the only one that seems to go through any development is Cleo, and potentially Jonas and Magnus. However, I found it difficult to care about a lot of the characters in this novel, which is pretty unfortunate since they all seem to be main ones. Surprisingly, I actually liked Cleo quite a bit even though she makes a bunch of bad decisions throughout the novel. And, despite his many flaws, I really liked Magnus as well and I’m curious to see how he changes throughout the next few books.
There are a couple of tropes I’m not fond of in this book, and I’m really hoping they don’t continue in the second one. We had insta-love, and love triangles, semi-incestuous crushes, and that one where the only other woman with magic is an evil seductress compared to the pure one with even more powerful magic. It’s easy to know how the characters are going to act and react to things; nothing seems surprising at all, and even Cleo’s big secret wasn’t really that huge of a secret.
On the other hand, it was an entertaining read. While there were points of view that I skimmed due to lack of interest, it was still a fun book to read. As much as I disliked the insta-love between two characters I liked their banter and trying to outmanoeuvre each other. I liked seeing events unfold particularly as the one thing to get things started was the murder of one person.
The events in the book are really obvious, the characters don’t have much to them, and there could have been more worldbuilding, but this book was fun. It had a lot of potential, and I’m curious enough to pick up the next book to see how it goes. I hope we get more development for the characters, and find out more things unique to each kingdom in the next one.