By Morgan Rhodes
ON THE COVER of half of the books in the Falling Kingdoms series is a really cool-looking assassin guy (or girl) who looks like they means business.
I’m still trying to figure out who the heck that would be in this lukewarm, extremely expository series.
In the land of Mythica, there are three poorly drawn kingdoms who grapple for power. Princess Cleona is from the kingdom that is all good and light in the world, there is a random desert kingdom that makes wine where rebel Jonas hails from, and there is a third gray, power-hungry kingdom where the Inquisition has gone wild that seeks to conquer the other two. Prince Magnus and his sister Lucia have the honor of being the children of said power-hungry king.
There are also random deities who hang out in random realms and shape-shift into animals to comment on the various battle proceedings and the prophesied sorceress. There are also two goddesses who hate each other and are responsible for the split in countries and magic.
The world-building just didn’t entice me, and the characters were everything I have seen before. Cleona was the typical hot-headed princess who thinks it’s smart to bring just a single guard into enemy territory, Jonas is a brash rebel who is so judgmental that he is entirely unsympathetic, Lucia has the personality of a sheet of paper and is manipulated by everyone around her, and Magnus is a pale imitation of Leigh Bardugo’s the Darkling.
However, my biggest gripe with this series is the writing style. There is just no sense of wonder or painting the picture of these various kingdoms; it is entirely too simple and flat for me, and makes the characters come off as simplistic and flat as well. I can’t picture anything unique about these kingdoms, so I fill it in with bits of other fantasy books who took the time to expertly capture the taste, smells, and feels of their world and gods. This series does have a lot of fantastic action and a swiftly-moving plot, but that’s lost on me if I’m not invested in the stakes.
Recommended for fans of: Sherry Thomas, Rae Carson, Colleen Houck
Upcoming Book Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead