Andreea Pop's Reviews > Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
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I am truly sorry, I am. I wanted this book to be spectacular, to amaze me with its epicness. I was ready to love it heart and soul! Alas, sadly -- and very much obviously thanks to those two ugly stars -- that did not happen. I'm going to rant now, so please excuse my shouty capitals whenever they appear.

You see, my average rating is somewhere around 4.4/5 and seeing that I've read almost 500 titles that means I pretty much drop them 4 and 5 star ratings like they're hot. It doesn't bother me, because I don't like wasting my time with books I know will bug me, so naturally that I'm choosing ones that will most likely suit me. Sometimes I miss and it results in the few and far between lower ratings.

But you know what all those good ratings of mine have in common? The answer is simple, folks: characters. You know, the ones that actually have a character. I don't care if there are 100 characters in a single story, give me just one that's not flat and I'll happily overlook the other 99 insipid ones for the sake of enjoyment. But when that one single "good" character fails to make its appearance, all hope is lost for me. A perfect example of that is Falling Kingdoms.



If there is one word I could use to describe the literary cast of this novel, it would be weak. Everyone is freaking dull, without a backbone and seriously stupid.



There are 4 main POVs we have to endure and I honestly liked Jonas's the most, but the fact that he's practically the brightest in the bunch doesn't excuse his demeanor set on the mantra hate royals, kill royals, get what the royals have.

Now let me do you the honor of being acquainted with Princess Cleiona Bellos of Auranos, with a quote her highness herself offered.

"He was her hero. He saved her once. He would save her again."


She's the perfect damsel in distress and she's fucking okay with it. I hated her profoundly. If you thought Eadlyn from The Heir is a self-centered, selfish brat, you haven't met dear Cleo. Because even though she might not be exactly self-centered and selfish down to the core, she chooses to express her conflictual feelings internally, never doing anything to change facts, never taking a stand, happily obliging to choke down her worries. And that's somehow worse. She's also plain childish and immature. 16 years old? More like 8.



Let's get on to Magnus, who's apparently a dark and tormented prince. Truly, he's not. He's much more of an emo coward with the impression of being powerful. I'm not gonna lie, he's messed up in the head and even my boundless love for tall, dark, handsome princelings couldn't make him appealing in my eyes. Besides the fact that he's obsessed with his sister -- ew ew ew -- he doesn't have much of a personality. I'll say that he has the potential for a strange, mysterious hero, but it has never come to fruition in this first installment.

Lucia, Magnus's said-sister, is really adopted -- but still ew ew -- and also the possible sorceress the stars prophesied about that has immense power. She was such a pitiful puppet in this book and, for the love of God, try as I might I still couldn't connect with her. We know she's beautiful, that she loves her brother, that she has countless suitors and that she can do magic. And that's all. No development, no real insight into her personal traits. NOTHING.

The secondary characters were laughable. We have the basic clichés of elder and wise sibling, the best friend who's in love with the girl and the father who's spoiled his child to no end. Chief Basilius was an idiot. King Gaius reminded me of the King of Erilea but he was nowhere near his capacity of portraying a good villain. Don't get me started on Aron because that shit with eyes could've saved me the pain of this book if he hadn't wanted to get drunk on the best wine ever.



I won't even bother explaining the plotline, because from the get-go it had such a bad foundation I can't even tell you. Sure, there were a few fantasy elements that probably saved me from giving this one a 1 star rating (magic, prophecies and some watchers), but besides that? Only predictable and boring outcomes.

Seriously though:
WHAT KIND OF ROYALTY THINKS IT'S OKAY TO VENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN WITHOUT A GUARD?!

WHAT KIND OF LEADER DOESN'T CONCERN HIMSELF WITH THE FACT THAT HIS NEW-FOUND ALLY MIGHT ACTUALLY SCREW HIM OVER?!

WHAT KIND OF A SUPPOSEDLY TRAINED GUARD KILLS TWO SOLDIERS, MAKES GOOGLY EYES AT GIRL FOR ETERNITY AND THEN GETS HIMSELF KILLED BY FORGETTING ABOUT A THIRD DUDE?!

Arghhhh. Oh, and let's not forget about a certain someone not knowing something incredibly important is right in her grasp until of course it's too late.



There were two ounces of romance in this one and none was a winner. Firstly, we have Cleo and Theon's forbidden "love" that had the quality of being also insta-love since although time passes between their interactions, we don't get to see anything of that. One sec we're meeting them both and then, after a few chapters with multiple POV swaps, we're supposed to believe they developed feelings? I don't believe it till I see it, so NOPE from me. Secondly, we have Magnus and Lucia and the girl has brains for pushing him away, I'll give her that, because I know they're not related but for 16 long years they were RAISED as they were so anything beyond a deep friendship and brotherly love (like in Lucia's part) shouldn't even exist. Again, ew ew ew.



Oh, I almost forgot the cherry on the top! The fantastical world-building! This continent, called Mytica, that has only three states (Limeros, Paelsia and Auranos) and that could probably be travelled from one corner to the other in less than a week. Oh, please. They're talking about world-domination and their land is the size of a small island!

I really really need to talk a bit about the ending because I was almost happy dancing the book was over and then it punched me again with Cleo's stupidity. As if I needed a reminder. With the price of being spoilery (no worries, you would have figured it out yourself nonetheless if you actually read the book), I am going to ask: Who the fuck doesn't flee his newly-conquered kingdom and sits in the fucking courtyard listening to a fucking speech when you're the goddamned wanted princess?!?



Oh, that's right. Cleiona fucking Bellos. Kill me now, please.

Also, the cover? With that badass looking killer and daggers and mysterious cloak? Totally not having anything to do with the book besides the mere appearance of that tiny hawk.

To sum up, I didn't downright hated Falling Kingdoms (IKR, it's hard to believe), because after all I did finish it and I might even entertain the incredulous idea of picking up its sequel -- if I'm very very bored or I lack a piece of good literature at the moment. But I sure as hell wouldn't recommend it, because, in the end, I don't care what happens to these characters now and that is always problematic if you want to read something memorable.

ENJOY! <3
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Reading Progress

August 1, 2012 – Shelved
July 17, 2015 – Started Reading
July 17, 2015 –
0.0% "My fantasy kick demands more."
July 17, 2015 –
13.0% "Okay, so there are 4 POVs... Until now, lol o.O"
July 17, 2015 –
38.0% "Okay, although this Lucia girl is obviously not his sister, Magnus's attraction to her is honestly disturbing."
July 17, 2015 –
65.0% "So this particular development is rather interesting. But it doesn't change the fact that Cleo is down-right stupid."
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: annoying-heroine
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: witches
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: never-again
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: read-in-2015
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: wth-god-no
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: high-fantasy
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: royalty
July 18, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)

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Vee83 So glad I'm not the only one who didn't like it. I don't understand how people can like these characters.


Andreea Pop Valeen wrote: "So glad I'm not the only one who didn't like it. I don't understand how people can like these characters."

Exactly! They're so weak. I'm gonna rant more in my review :)


message 3: by Rosaline (new) - added it

Rosaline Ugh, I couldn't finish this! So dull! I don't even remember what it was about anymore!


Andreea Pop Rosaline wrote: "Ugh, I couldn't finish this! So dull! I don't even remember what it was about anymore!"

Give me 3 months and it will be the same for me :/


message 5: by KP (new) - added it

KP I love your review.....I started this book about a year ago and still can't make myself finish it.


Andreea Pop KP wrote: "I love your review.....I started this book about a year ago and still can't make myself finish it."

Don't even bother lol


message 7: by Elise (new)

Elise Morris Pity. This caught my eye as well, but now I have no desire to read it whatsoever... Great review!


Andreea Pop Elise wrote: "Pity. This caught my eye as well, but now I have no desire to read it whatsoever... Great review!"

Thanks, Elise! However, I still hope you'll pick it up :/ I don't know, just to see for yourself how the story is. Maybe it's my problem and you'll end up liking it, who knows? :D


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I have always heard about this book, and was thinking about buying it until I saw your (super hilarious) review. It looks like something I would hate, better to use my money more wisely. Btw, his sister??? But, they were raised like siblings? ew, ewwww


Andreea Pop Mila wrote: "I have always heard about this book, and was thinking about buying it until I saw your (super hilarious) review. It looks like something I would hate, better to use my money more wisely. Btw, his s..."

Yes, Mila, his goddamn sister! It was all kinds of disturbing. Anyway I'm glad I saved you the pain. There are far better high fantasy books if you want to try -- Throne of Glass (the whole series, not just the first book), The Winner's Trilogy, Red Queen, The Young Elites, The Kiss of Deception, The Orphan Queen and even Snow Like Ashes (from which I barely liked the 2nd book and I'm taking that under consideration).


message 11: by Nae (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nae Oh my god, thank you for writing this. I just finished it and although I gave it a 3/5 because it entertained me enough to the end, I really couldn't give a shit about any of the characters. They were literally the same people at the end of the story that they had started out as. Good books don't do that to characters.


Andreea Pop Nae wrote: "Oh my god, thank you for writing this. I just finished it and although I gave it a 3/5 because it entertained me enough to the end, I really couldn't give a shit about any of the characters. They w..."

Yep, I downright hated the characters. They were so unmemorable and so flat... Ah well, there's gotta be a miss in the sea of hits :D


Kirsten I agree, I didn't like this one at all either.


Andreea Pop Kirsten wrote: "I agree, I didn't like this one at all either."

Glad I'm not the only one!


Julia I thought this book was extremely underwhelming, but the following books have such high ratings that I made myself finish it! Not sure if I should even bother trying the second one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Andreea Pop Julia wrote: "I thought this book was extremely underwhelming, but the following books have such high ratings that I made myself finish it! Not sure if I should even bother trying the second one ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"

I think the original fan base of this installment drew the sequels to such high ratings. But if I didn't like this one, then it's highly improbable I'll like the next ones. So I'll just skip them :D


Andreea Pop Nox wrote: "This is at the very bottom of my TBR pile. I just know that it's one of those books that I won't like and this review was a very good confirmation of that!"

I wanted to give it a fair shot since it's been floating around from the beginning of my bookish phase and I'm a huge fan of YA fantasy... But it was SUCH a disappointment :(


Sarah Terry Glad to see that I am not alone, it makes me so angry that they have the guts to compare this to game of thrones


Andreea Pop Sarah wrote: "Glad to see that I am not alone, it makes me so angry that they have the guts to compare this to game of thrones"

Game of Thrones is from another galaxy compared to this one.


message 20: by Gal (new) - rated it 2 stars

Gal Rashuk I'm so glad I am not the only one who feels like this... aughh this book was so frustrating


Andreea Pop Gal wrote: "I'm so glad I am not the only one who feels like this... aughh this book was so frustrating"

I think by using the word 'frustrating' you seriously put it lightly lol


Tiffany I agree, I hate this series. I read a few books after this one and it only goes down hill from here. I don't plan on reading the new one that was just released.


Mariah of the Night Court The first is the worst in the series, but books 3 and 4 I LOOOOVVVEED.


Andreea Pop Mariah wrote: "The first is the worst in the series, but books 3 and 4 I LOOOOVVVEED."

I believe you, especially with all the hype. But this book just fell so flat for me when compared to other more complex, well-thought out fantasy series. I'm not sure I'll ever bother to pick up the sequels :( But who knows?


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Hah I felt similar in this one... I just wasn't hooked and I didn't like any of the characters. Honestly I didn't like the sequel that much either... but so many friends told me to keep going. I actually ended up liking the third book and loved the fourth- the characters finally end up going through some serious development. Idk if you'll end up liking them or not though.


message 26: by Andreea (last edited May 28, 2016 02:14AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andreea Pop Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things wrote: "Hah I felt similar in this one... I just wasn't hooked and I didn't like any of the characters. Honestly I didn't like the sequel that much either... but so many friends told me to keep going. I ac..."

Thanks for your insight, Brittney! xD But, you know, I find it a bit wasteful and underwhelming for a book series to only get good at the 4th installment, no matter how brilliant it truly is. It's a pity. And I seriously doubt I'll be able to endure 2 more books of the same fantasy wannabe for only one book that I might like in the end. And if there's no other character development until then -- bye, world.


Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink Andreea wrote: "Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things wrote: "Hah I felt similar in this one... I just wasn't hooked and I didn't like any of the characters. Honestly I didn't like the sequel that much either... but so ma..."

I more meant that the characters are developing but you really see that come to fruition in the third book. To me it was worth the wait but I totally hear you! It might just not be your thing with so many other good books out there.


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