Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms 1) by Morgan Rhodes
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:
Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed? (Goodreads)
The story is about 3 kingdoms that were once united: Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia. There’s been peace between the countries for centuries but then a wine-maker’s son was killed by Auranian noble from the princess’s entourage. The victim’s brother vows revenge and sets in motion a war that’s been long brewing.
Cleo is Auranian princess, spoiled, stubborn and childish. She was probably my least favourite character. She does grow as a person towards the end but unfortunately it comes after so much has happened. She’s also carrying this secret and let me tell you, that was the lamest secret. Ever.
I liked Magnus before he turned this bloodthirsty idiot and turns into his father who he despises. And he’s in love with his (adoptive) sister.
Jonas is a pheasant who harbors hatred for all things royal and when his brother is killed in princess Cleo’s presence he basically wants to start a war. And he seemed to blame Cleo more for the murder than Aron who actually killed him, just because she was royal.
I haven’t read much YA fantasy and this wasn’t in no way bad but I thought it lacked that something. Maybe things pick up in the next book.
Published: Razorbill (2013)