Here is the summary of the book:
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 sometimes buy books based on their cover .... well 90% of the time and sometimes based on the hype. Many times without reading the synopsis too .... And the cover and presentation of Falling Kingdoms was enough to warrant me buying it ..... Young Adult version of Game of Thrones, well I haven't seen the show or read the books yet ...... so I decided 'why not it could be a great experience as a stepping stone before I actually began reading A Song of Ice & Fire series' ..,... but ..... It fell flat ...... and from what I gather Game of Thrones is light years ahead in terms of the plot and presentation.
With a full cast of characters, the story focused on one nation per chapter. Aurenos, Limeros & Paleasia. These are the nations that form the land of Mythica and while I applaud the author for detailing all these lands in her narrative to stark details, I would have loved to have seen the same done for the characters as well. Not one of them felt dynamic. Cleo felt like the indecisive princess, Aron the rich brat who threw a tantrum when things didn't go his way, Prince Magnus with his extreme case of daddy issues, Princess Lucia who is supposedly this powerful sorceress but we didn't exactly get to spend much time with her and Jonas, an impulsive character bent on extracting vengeance when it is not warranted.
Each and every character had their own agenda and none of them were honest-to-God good. The only one I remotedly liked was Cleo's bodyguard and secret paramour Theon but sadly he is taken away from us very soon. Magnus & Lucia, some may have problems with this apparent incest but I didn't really bat an eye to that, pretty early on we got to learn that they are not siblings by blood but apparently it was one sided on Magnus' part so again I didn't really feel bad, besides they felt dry. Jonas was bit too obsessed with Cleo .... Seriously just how many of them will actually fall for her .... Of course these latter two were the only ones who actually showed a bit of character throughout.
I appreciated Cleo learning from her mistakes she made and having courage enough to go to enemy territory in search for an impossible cure and try to do what's right after her initial blunder ,,,,, Of course all this would have been righted if the author used a bit more sophisticated narrative to bing out all the facets, a story of these epic proportions has to offer, instead she used everyday YA contemporary tone, which in my opinion was what brought down this too much .... I was actually going to DNF this but a few readers said it gets better towards the concluding part .... so in the spirit of good faith I soldiered on and .... they were right. The only part I actually liked was the concluding battle that gives the book its name.
I hate it when I read something with great expectations but it results in low returns. Although I have heard that succeeding this one the next books are way better so I will get to see something good soon. Also imagine my surprise when somebody pointed out that Morgan Rhodes is the pseudonym of author Michelle Rowen ..... well color me surprised I loved her Nightwatchers duology and Countdown very well, so in that regard I was disappointed by Falling Kingdoms .... Whenever I get the chance to read the next ones, hopefully they will fare much better that this one.
"Maybe a stepping stone but not upto what it says on the cover"