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Falling Kingdoms Hardcover – December 11, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The story focuses on three kingdoms: Auranos, Paelsia and Simeros. The kingdoms managed to co-exist in peace for many years, but when a wine maker's son is killed by a lord from another kingdom, the established peace is threatening to crumble. There is a war brewing and four seemingly unrelated young people find themselves caught in the middle of it.
Impressive world building, thorough character development, intrigue, magic, action, romance... Falling Kingdoms has all that and more! At more than 400 pages, it's not what you'd call a short book, but Rhodes' sharp and concise prose makes it all-too easy to lose yourself in the story and forget the real world for a day or two. With her skilled storytelling, she created a world that is mystical, but believable nevertheless. A visually breathtaking, emotionally stimulating, intensely gripping page-turner of a book!
As I mentioned before, each chapter of the book concentrated on a third-person point of view of a different character. I thought the third-person narrative provided a good (objective) look at all sides of the conflict, though at times I wished the story was told in a more personal first-person narrative instead.Read more ›
I love fat, bloated fantasy that is grandiose and full of melodrama. Gimme secret children, incest, betrayal, political intrigue, loving descriptions of servant number five's uniform any day of the week.
Thus, I expected to love FALLING KINGDOMS. As you've probably discerned by now, I didn't. One of the big problems for me was the structure. The book cycles through several points of view - at least five - which isn't inherently bad, but I never really connected with any of the narrators. They're living in a crappy world that forces them to make tough decisions, but I wasn't feeling their anguish. These are teenagers who are instrumental in pushing their countries from peace to the brink of war! And yet, they all felt like small people. They were all sort of mopey in the same way, aside from Jonas, who was also righteously angry.
FALLING KINGDOMS also felt oh-so-predictable. Morgan Rhodes is obviously taking more after the model of Martin than Jordan, but part of what makes A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones so much fun is when it subverts genre expectations. Look, as I pointed out in my intro, I love the tropes and style of high fantasy. But FALLING KINGDOMS didn't seem like it was having fun with them. It just sort of lurched through unhappy set pieces. All the grimdarkness and angst beat me down.
I have high expectations for the titles Penguin Teen names as Breathless Reads. I've enjoyed almost all of them, even when I didn't expect too. FALLING KINGDOMS didn't even come close to leaving me breathless.Read more ›
Morgan Rhodes has created a world that seems real and fantastic, characters that are vibrant, and a plot that is relentless. The main characters (outside the evil King of Blood--a deserved nickname) are mid to late teens who are faced with decisions and responsibilities that would strain the wisest and strongest adult. While I can't identify with any of the characters on a personal level (well, perhaps, this one kid, Jonas, will develop into someone I could like), it doesn't follow that they are not real and believable. I am definitely hooked on the series.
I usually don't review books that have as many reviews as this one, but I think there is a strong caveat that should go with this book: middle school kids, for the most part, are not ready to deal with some of the issues raised in this book. I am very sure that almost all of the parents of my kids would agree. I am not a prude by any definition, but I do believe in age-appropriateness. Incest, sexual activity justified by mid-teen "love," filicide, and other aspects of the book combine to make this a work I will not place in my in-class library. I have to be very judicial in allowing kids to read, for example, Cassandra Clare's books (usually requiring parental consent), but I can usually describe other books' issues in one sentence. The warning that would go with this book/series would be exhaustive.
This is just a warning for parents and teachers. I am not advocating banning the book or any type of forced censorship. If my seventh graders buy the book and their parents are cool with them reading it, I would want them to talk to me about it. I simply want the adults involved with the younger side of the YA crowd to know this book is not in the same category as Percy Jackson, etc. You can decide for yourself if I am right.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I absolutely LOVED this book so much. I knew once I got to the last few chapters I would need the next in the series...like NOW so I went and bought it last night!! Read morePublished 10 days ago by BOOK FREAK
From a 12-year-old prospective: I read Falling Kingdoms for a school assignment and I thought that it was a very interesting book. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
The start of a tale with potential. Part of what is appealing about the book is the preparation for the story to come although the book works on it own. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Eric D. Albright
This was an amazing read ... I would recommend this to any one who likes young adult fantasy novels ... Was recommended to me from youtuber hails hearts nycPublished 15 days ago
It was a ridiculously slow start. I wanted to love it because it came highly recommended by people I trust but couldn't. Read morePublished 26 days ago by G. B. Drumm
I really, really wanted to like this book. I picked it up after being caught up in the hype surrounding Frozen Tides, the fourth book in the Falling Kingdoms series. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jacquie @ Rattle the Stars
Fast read. There were a handful of grammatical errors in several places but nothing that would throw you off track from the storyline.Published 1 month ago by JJ Smith
this book was good but defiantly not wonderful. I enjoyed reading it but never felt totally in closed into the story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer