Review: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 1st 2012
Source: ebook (bought)


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 realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword.... 

In the three kingdoms of Mytica things are changing... The hard-won peace that has lasted for centuries is at risk and something evil might be brewing in the sidelines.
As the rulers of each kingdom fight for power, there are four people whose life is turned upside down and people that wouldn't even cross paths in their lives end up meeting... There's a princess, a rebel, a sorceress and an heir... But it doesn't end with them, they are only the beginning, the changes in their lives are just a preamble to what's about to come.
In a changing world where magic is fading and love is fleeting people strive to keep their lives and their freedom when everything else might become out of reach...
I've heard talk about this book (more exactly this series) for years! While never gaining the courage (or having the time) to be able to dive into this amazing story of a world where magic may still exist my curiosity about it has never left me. I finally indulged myself and found the time to read it.
Even, after all, I heard about this book still managed to surprise me in more than one aspect. Its characters are original and not too predictable. Rhodes was able to write in multiple points of view while giving each character its individual voice and did not forget that all people are good and that not everyone is made of good intentions.
If you are really alert while reading this book you may (as I did) uncover some political and social dualities with the world we live in. The masks people put on, how perception about a person may be completely different from their true self, how the strive for power is addictive and how war leaves many victims in its wake. Oppression, slavery, conquer and others are themes that are really well developed in this book and that actually made it more complex and "real" as a whole.
While I did find it a little bit confusing and off the point at times this was still a very enjoyable read and I have great expectations for the following instalments. I recognize that this may not be a book at everyone's liking but it covers a variety of "themes", from magic to power struggles and ill-fated love, which leads me to believe that a great number of people will find that it as at least one aspect they love.

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