Emily May's Reviews > Rebel Spring

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
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it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2015

2 1/2 stars.

I'm honestly not sure if this rating is generous or harsh. I'll let you be the judge.

On the one hand, I couldn't stop myself from coming back to this series after reading Falling Kingdoms. Rhodes is an extremely compelling writer. Every scene is crafted in such a way that you're on the edge of your seat, hanging on the author's every word. It's a case of excellent dramatic timing - dragging the scene out with a perfect amount of tension before dropping a dramatic revelation or conclusion on the reader.

And the character dynamics are all exciting. Lots of passions and hatred flowing around, including forbidden relationships, dark secrets, etc. You would think all the aforementioned would add up to a great book, right?

Except I simply can't ignore the fact that this is one of the most derivative series I've ever read.

Literally every major plot point has been borrowed from other fantasy series. I know you can generally expect familiar elements from the genre - royal politics, competing for the throne/power, citizen rebellions - but this goes way beyond that. And the book gets most of its material from - no surprise - George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

I can ignore basic setting aspects like the North being all ice and the South being warmer and the general theme of competing for the throne. But King Gaius is like a mash-up of Tywin Lannister and Stannis Baratheon.

He takes over Auranos, kills their king, and captures Princess Sansa Cleo, intending to force her to marry his son and future king. However his son - Magnus - has something other than platonic feelings for his sister. Meanwhile, King Gaius is secretly advised by a strange, mystical woman called Lady Melisandre Melenia.

Separate from all of this, rebels are coming together to try and overthrow King Gaius and take back their country.

I feel like I already know what happens. There is a little part of me that enjoys reading Rhodes' fast-paced, drama-filled plagiarism, but there's a much bigger part that's telling me to go find something better and more original.

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Reading Progress

December 22, 2012 – Shelved
December 7, 2013 – Started Reading
August 8, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)

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message 1: by Miss Mila (new)

Miss Mila Odd Books Oh, no! I've just read your review on the first book, tought about reading it, sounded good and then I was so curious to know whether that wierd thing with Magnus and Lucia evolves (ewww) or not!! You have to tell me! hahaha ;)
´Cause I don't dig that stuff and surely would skip it!


Okpan HI EmilyI'm through with rebel springs. I can't wait to see your review cos I'm begining to wonder if im the only sane person!


Kaitlyn Nguyen The plot is unoriginal but the characters and writing are so fabulous you have to keep reading!!!!


message 4: by R.K. (new)

R.K. Syrus Notice this is a 'work for hire' copyright is 100% owned by Penguin. This legal structure is unique to USA and led to LJ Smith getting fired from Vampire Diaries, the series she created :O http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pweb...


Emily May Rk wrote: "Notice this is a 'work for hire' copyright is 100% owned by Penguin. This legal structure is unique to USA and led to LJ Smith getting fired from Vampire Diaries, the series she created :O http://c..."

Ah, I heard about the L.J. Smith thing, but didn't know that's what was happening here. It's a shame a good writer like Rhodes was wasted on this.


message 6: by Petronėlė (last edited Aug 09, 2015 01:51PM) (new)

Petronėlė Wow, now that you mention it, the Falling Kingdoms series does seem like an obvious rip off of Game of Thrones along with some other popular fantasies. I never realized this before. Thank god I only bought the first two books in the series. Great review by the way!


Gunjan (NerdyBirdie) OMG you are the ONLY person I know who didn't enjoy the second book as well! Haha, I'm glad not to be alone in the unpopular opinion area for this series . . .


Ingrid Totally agree with you on this one-- though I somewhat enjoy the series, it's definitely a guilty pleasure. :/


Constance I could get past the first 50 pages of this one. Way too derivative and I just realised I didn't care about any of the characters...


message 10: by Elaine (new)

Elaine It was the exact reason why I truly disliked the first book. Not too sure if the spinoff is any better though.


Lauren AKA randomreader I personally adore the Falling Kingdoms series. I find it very original but everyone has their different opinions.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I actually found the writing in Game of Thrones dry and boring, but find the content interesting, so if this is a better written version I might try it out.


Emily May Sami wrote: "I actually found the writing in Game of Thrones dry and boring, but find the content interesting, so if this is a better written version I might try it out."

Yeah, I couldn't get through GofT either, though I keep meaning to try again.


Tiffany-Reads I'm pretty sure reading your reviews on books are my guilty pleasure. As usual, well said and lovely review. I always count on you to dislike the books that I enjoy, and give a wonderful explanation as to why you didn't enjoy them.


Emily May Tiffany-Reads wrote: "I'm pretty sure reading your reviews on books are my guilty pleasure. As usual, well said and lovely review. I always count on you to dislike the books that I enjoy, and give a wonderful explanati..."

Thanks! Though the problem is that I do kind of enjoy this series :)


Shera (Book Whispers) You're right about the GOT, but I can't help myself.


message 17: by BR (new)

BR Kingsolver Books, like movies, tend to copycat success. It figures we'd see a dozen fanfic versions of GoT, since the first 23 Twilight copies did so well ...


Tessa Rebel Spring was "meh" for me, BUT I LOVED GATHERING DARKNESS #3 ^_^
I'm sorry that you feel that way, I hope it gets better for you.
well, I know IM OBSESSED! XD ;)


Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books) I haven't read Game of Thrones yet so I can't say I see similarities but I did struggle a bit through "Falling Kingdom." I'm hoping this book is slightly better despite not caring for the writing style at all.


message 20: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa J. Based on your review, I'd say your rating is on point. :) Game of Thrones, though? I tried reading that one, but I keep putting it on hold. Something about the writing doesn't hook me, but I will give it a try again soon (and by soon I mean when I am on vacations again >.<)


Tessa Yeah...I don't watch GoT so I didn't notice how it could seem similar..
I watched the first episode of GoT with my dad. It's okay, I guess it's not my "cup of tea"....but maybe I'll watch it all one day. I don't hate the show, but when I have more time on my hands, I'll definitely give it a try! (:


message 22: by Alyzza (new) - added it

Alyzza Mae Hi Emily Are you gonna continue with this series? I'm just curious


message 23: by Cat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cat Mittens I said the exact same thing in my review of FK #1. Wayyyy too similar to GOT.


Emily May Alyzza wrote: "Hi Emily Are you gonna continue with this series? I'm just curious "

Probably not. Though, I admit it's tempting.


Holly I obviously can see the similarities between this and GoT, but I think the whole elementia/Kindred plot line, which is pretty central to this series, doesn't really exist in GoT. Granted I haven't read GoT (tried, couldn't do it) and have only watched up to season 5, so I could be mistaken about that. But either way, derivative or not, I prefer this to the GoT books (though I will continue to watch the show!)


message 26: by Ali (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ali PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ THE NEXT TWO BOOKS!!!!! YOU WONT REGRET IT! PLEASE!!!!
btw, i love your reviews, thank you for being you XD


Gabrielle I understand what you mean when you say that the plot may not be entirely original but there isn't much out there that is. You can connect almost anything to another book, movie, TV series. I also thought of GOT when I read this series but I like that about it, because to me it is GOT for a younger audience. I work in a high school library so GOT would be very inappropriate for the students but it's a very intriguing series. FK gives them a similar experience but on a much toned down level.


message 28: by Eridiana (new)

Eridiana Okay, now I'm absolutely sure I'm not going to continue this series. Thanks for the reivew!


message 29: by Nicko (last edited May 22, 2016 01:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nicko Moknu Emily May wrote: But King Gaius is like a mash-up of Tywin Lannister and Stannis Baratheon.

I have to disagree with you on that. Because while Tywin and Stannis are opportunists, they deeply care about their own family (well ya Stannis was a dick to his daughter in the TV series, but he did recieve karmic punishment for it), are strategists and can show signs of genuine emotions.
King Gaius on the other hand was written as an Evil Overlord. And that's one of the aspects I dislike this book, but hell I wouldn't rate it that low. I'm simply entertained and that's what matters. I already ranted about the ASOIAF comparisons, no need to iterate myself. :P


message 30: by Hiba (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hiba I related to GOT a lot too.


Patrick Man, this book was really compelling, but there were a lot of cliches. A prophecized child who's supposed to become uber powerful AND has some sort of dark force lurking within her? Totally original


David Personally I feel like you're completely wrong on this one Emily May! Congrats!

Rebel Spring was hands down an amazing book. Just because you might have read another book that is similar to this one, doesn't mean the events and concepts have been directly taken from the opposing series. Come on now, how old are you? 6?

I've also seen you a lot around goodreads...giving bad reviews and rating to other books you feel that have directly copied other books and I'm pretty much done with you. Stop doing this and if you don't enjoy a book, put it down and stop reading it. It's as simple as that.

I also couldn't help comment on something you said up above as well. You said you probably wouldn't continue reading this series...well...it's your own loss


Emily May David wrote: "Personally I feel like you're completely wrong on this one Emily May! Congrats!

Rebel Spring was hands down an amazing book. Just because you might have read another book that is similar to this o..."


By your logic, if you don't like reading something then you should just "put it down and stop reading it" - maybe you should do the same with my reviews instead of leaving a comment about how little respect you have for others with different opinions. When you leave a long comment on someone's review, it does not give the impression that you're "pretty much done with" them.


message 34: by Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (last edited Apr 12, 2017 07:42AM) (new) - added it

Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Haha, your review is spot-on. I'm binge-reading them right now and they're so damn addictive, but I feel myself frowning and laughing at the similarities as well (and at some of the "romances" XD) - I won't even review them because what much could I say?! I love Cleo and Magnus though (I might be reading solely for them, lol), and in the third the plot starts to feel different from GoT (well not entirely, but it's less noticeable :)) I'll see where it goes in the 4th^^


Emily May Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE) wrote: "Haha, your review is spot-on. I'm binge-reading them right now and they're so damn addictive, but I feel myself frowning and laughing at the similarities as well (and at some of the "romances" XD) ..."

Oh god, you had to say that, didn't you? XD I've been eyeing up that third book and thinking "don't do it, don't do it" lol. I do find myself wanting to come back to this series.


message 36: by Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (last edited Apr 12, 2017 10:38AM) (new) - added it

Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Emily May wrote: "Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE) wrote: "Haha, your review is spot-on. I'm binge-reading them right now and they're so damn addictive, but I feel myself frowning and laughing at the..."

LMAO. Sorry? Truthfully there are still similarities, because come on *roll eyes* but there are some good additions (and there's no dragons.... so far XD). OH! And Magnus slowlyyyy stops being an incestuous creep! I was VERY glad she abandoned that road, lol.

Still not an extraordinary series by any means, for sure, but I think I can't stop *hides*


message 37: by Miles (new) - added it

Miles Lutz I'm almost done reading the second book but honestly if anyone is in for disappointment keep reading. Every bad character pretty much gets what they want. barely anything good comes of this book. By the time it's done there won't be any good characters or a rebellion to fight for innocence. and to be honest I think magnus's mother, who had good intentions deserved to die since she was willing to kill children for gain. And Aron though he deserved to die should have suffered much worse than a sword through the chest... the stupid prick deserved worse. why even bother getting to know any characters when they don't even make it through half the story!?!? and I honestly don't get why girls Swoon over Prince Magnus when he is nothing but a prick who needs to grow a pair or at least pull what he's got left out of his ass... if any girl found their self in a situation similar to Chloe I'm sure they would be doing anything but Swoon over such a selfish wounded dog that's been kicked into submission. So I agree with Emily this book dserves two stars if that.


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