Rebel Spring Book Review

rebelspring

Title: Rebel Spring
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Book #2 in the Falling Kingdoms series
Publisher: Razor Bill
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy
Pages: 401
Format: Purchased Paperback

The second book in the Falling Kingdom series was full of more action, adventure, danger, blood, and romance as the story continued to follow our four main characters: Princess Cleiona Bellos, Prince Magnus Damora, Princess Lucia Damora, and Jonas Agallon. In this sequel we find our main four dealing with their own trials and tribulations (mostly trials) as King Gaius becomes more dangerous and things start to become strange in the land of Mytica with strange weather storms and natural disasters.

From Goodreads:

Cleo is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

As this is a sequel there may be spoilers! Read ahead if you’ve read the book!

This book definitely followed through on the story line as it continued into the book. We got to see what it was like for Cleo after her kingdom had been conquered, her father murdered, and her sister dead. (A lot of blows for Cleo.) We got to see Magnus and how he’s dealing with his father’s plans, as well as his own grief for Lucia and later on his mother. Lucia was asleep for a large portion of this book, and we also got to see how her elementia was starting to control her. And we got to see Jonas lead the rebels in one defeat after another.

It was a sequel with loss and heartbreak, with very little triumphs, but for the setting it was in I saw why everything happened the way it did.

There were a few pieces of light in the book, such as Cleo discovering the secret behind the ring her father gave her, or how we meet some side characters that are strong in their own regard, for sure, like Lysandra.

Let me talk about the characters:

Cleo is probably my favorite character in this book, where Lucia was my favorite in the last. She has endured so much heartbreak in such a short period of time (from Theon to her family to her friend, Mira) that I’m amazed she didn’t grieve and drown in her sorrows for more of the book. I thought she was very quick to let go of that grief, which made me think if she cared as much as she said, but I think it was to help forward the plot that we didn’t see as much grief as action. She had false hope several times in this book, which lead to heartbreak, but she tried to keep a strong face throughout it, which showed a strong character, in my opinion.

Magnus was still kind of cold and calculating in this book. I didn’t really feel a certain attachment to him until the last third of the book when he and Cleo went on their wedding tour. I thought the fact that he kept his mask up throughout the book was true to his character, but I wish he’d crack more, show more of himself to the world. I am glad to say that he isn’t like his father like he thought he was: where his father is cruel, he is merciful; where his father won’t listen before acting, he takes the time to gather as much information as possible before acting on a whim. I’m interested to see where he is in the third book.

Lucia was so different in this book compared to the last. She fell in love, she became hateful, and her magic is starting to take control. I thought she was kind of really bitchy in this one, to be honest. I didn’t understand where her sudden desire to kill came from, but once we dove further into the story I got that it was her elementia that was starting to control her. I feel bad in a way, but at the same time I wish she’d get a better grip on her actions. Maybe she’ll lose control in the next book? We’ll see.

Jonas was really reckless in this book. He didn’t really listen to reason when he was given damn good reason as to why they shouldn’t go through an attack, but he did it anything, thinking things could be done easily and smoothly. I thought he was very impulsive and I did wonder where his hatred for Cleo went… I don’t remember him suddenly sobering up to her in the first book, but maybe he did? Anyway, I thought he was trying to act brave, but really he was being reckless.

And then we had some side characters who had their own chapters, like Alexius, a Watcher; King Gaius; Nic; Lysandra. It was cool to see from their perspectives and where the story was going from their points of view.

As for the plot, I did see progression and further questions for the later books to come about. I’m intrigued to see just where these questions go and if they’re answered in ways that I hope: where is the Kindred? What’s going to happen between Nic and Prince Ashur? Will Prince Ashur find the answers he’s looking for to advance his kingdom? Will Melenia conquer? What happened to Alexius? And many more questions. Though I will say that there are still many variables that are unaccounted for and I think that they can go in many different directions. I am definitely interested in the story now than I was before and I think I’m becoming more invested in the series.

Overall I rate this book 4/5 stars and recommend it if you’ve read the first book.

Falling Kingdoms Book Review

fallingkingdoms

Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Book #1 in the Falling Kingdoms series
Publisher: Razorbill – an imprint of Penguin
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Genres: Young Adult – Fantasy
Pages: 412
Format: Purchased Paperback

“Falling Kingdoms” by Morgan Rhodes is a YA fantasy series that follows four main characters – Cleo, Magnus, Lucia, and Jonas – in three different countries – Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia – where all of their fates intertwine. In a world where magic has been lost and tense feelings abound, we follow each of the four main characters as they each go through their own trials.

As it says on Goodreads:

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 realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…”

Now, each of these characters had their own defining personality, whether it was formed around the events that happened to them or if it was instilled in them. Personally, I felt a connection to each of the four main characters and thought each was a defining voice for their parts in the book.

Mini-spoilers ahead!

Cleo was strong willed, stubborn, and a complete princess. She had the mindset of “I get what I want, when I want.” She was very promising as a young princess, but I think her “flaw” or the character trait that made her vulnerable and more human was her love and compassion for her elder sister, Emelia, who was slowly dying of a broken heart. Cleo’s compassion for others can be seen as a weakness to many, but I think it’ll be a great advantage for her later on as things begin to escalate more throughout the series.

Jonas wasn’t really known that well before he really jumped into the story itself. I imagine that before he was just as stubborn and idealistic as any seventeen year old would be, but once his brother was murdered in front of him by Aron, the guy who was with Cleo, he changed to being nothing but obsessed with killing Cleo and taking vengeance for his fallen brother. Though this could be annoying at times (yes, we get it, you want her dead even though she didn’t kill him and just stood by and did nothing while your brother died), I could see where it was his flaw, but also his strength. He has a mind for figuring things out, calculating out the details before making a decision – rash or otherwise. Though I found him to be the most annoying character in a way, I really grew to like him in the end.

Magnus was very cold and distant throughout the novel, putting on a mask to hide his true feelings. I guess when you’re the son of the King of Blood that’s bound to happen. His real flaw was his love – romantic love – for his sister, Lucia. It was his ultimate downfall in this book because when he finds out the truth and acts on it, the results destroy him and he becomes truly cold and heartless toward the end. I thought he was the most troubled out of all of the characters, but he was still very likable. He was just trying to survive and trying to figure out his own mind and his own feelings throughout most of the book. And it’s true when they say, “like father, like son.”

Lucia was the most optimistic and happiest person in this book, I swear. She was blissfully unaware of her powers until a point where she was trying to hide them from her brother when she was found out. I found her the most likable and relatable character. She was strong in her own regard and had a mind and heart for adventure, for seeing and knowing more out in the world. When she comes into her power and her father finds out and wants to use it to his own advantage, of course she struggles internally with it. But she would do anything for her brother whom she loves more than anything (not in a romantic way) and if it means saving him, she’d do that for him.

The plot itself seemed kind of generic in some aspects of fantasy novels, but I still did enjoy the fact that the plot pushed the characters to make decisions rather than the characters leading the direction of the plot the whole way through. When Limeros and Paelsia team up to want to take over Auranos, it’s only a matter of time before the true corruption of power comes out. But not only that, there were other plots surrounding the main plot, such as the romantic aspects; the way we learn more about the Watchers and how they have a few of their own chapters; how we learn about the legends behind the goddesses and how they were true; and more. It was a great way to really explore and get to know the world, in my opinion.

The fact that magic doesn’t really exist in the world, but in witches or sorcerers is a good aspect because in many fantasy novels magic is an abundant source that anyone can use. When the book starts off with two witches finding the one girl who had been prophesied for a thousand years to come who would be the first sorceress in that amount of time, it was there that I felt that it was a good move to include it in just that one girl. Though I don’t know if I would have wanted that girl to be raised a peasant rather than royalty…

Even though I had a really hard time reading this back in January, I realize now that it was due to a reading slump; I just wasn’t in the mood to read it. Now that I’ve finished it I’m glad that I did read it. It wasn’t my favorite fantasy novel I’ve read, but it was still good and I’m excited to continue on reading.

I rated this 4/5 stars and recommend it if you’re looking for a fantasy series to get into.

January & February 2015 Collective Book Haul

I seemed to have acquired more books than intended over the last two months, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re a book lover, right? Well, here’s my haul from both January and February!

  • Rebel Spring” by Morgan Rhodes. This is the sequel to “Falling Kingdoms” and I figured I’d just get it so I have it to read when I’m ready.
  • The Selection” and “The Elite” by Kiera Cass. I don’t think I ever hauled the first book, so here are the first and second books of this series. It’s about a girl named America who is chosen to take part in the Selection where 32 girls try to win the heart of the prince, Maxon, but only one can win. It’s a YA romance type of novel series. I’ve already read and reviewed the first, so I’ll be moving onto the second soon.
  • Scarlet” and “Cress” by Marissa Meyer are the second and third books in the Lunar Chronicles series. They follow different characters than the first (Cinder), but they are still fairy tale retellings (one of Little Red Riding Hood and of Rapunzel). I’m very interested to see how the stories unfold in the next books.
  • Unravel Me” and “Ignite Me” by Tahereh Mafi. These are books two and three in the Shatter Me trilogy. I read and reviewed the first book last month, and so I want to continue on with the series because I felt that I wasn’t satisfied enough in the first book and I hear it gets better as it goes.
  • Alienated” by Melissa Landers. This is an alien book (if you couldn’t guess) that follows a human girl, Cara, and how her family was picked to share their house with an “exchange student” – an alien boy named Aelyx. Things start getting dangerous, though, when threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker and police escorts have to be used for her and Aelyx. I started reading this book to get a general idea of what it’s about and I love the voice of Cara: very snarky and funny. Can’t wait to read this.
  • Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson. This is the first in a new series(?) by Sanderson that tells the story about a boy, David, who’s father was killed and how everything was essentially taken away from him. He has to defeat Steelheart and needs help from the Reckoners, a group of rebels trying to keep justice. And the Reckoners might just need David’s help, too. It sounds thrilling and action packed, so I’m excited to read this (and hopefully my husband will read it, too).
  • Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I got my hands on it. There has been so much hype surrounding this book, I hope I enjoy it. It’s about a girl named Mare who lives in a world where you are divided by blood – literally. If you have silver blood you’re an elite, essentially, and if you have red blood you’re a common peasant like everyone else. And silvers have powers. And Mare, a red blood, isn’t supposed to have powers… DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Anyway, I’m excited to read this. I think it’ll be the first book I read in March.

I also have one more to haul, even though I’ve ordered it, it just hasn’t come in yet because of international standard shipping stuff. Anyway, that is:

  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson – UK edition – which consist of “The Final Empire,” “The Well of Ascension,” and “The Hero of Ages.” (It’s actually a seven part series, but it’s originally a trilogy?) I love the covers of these books so much more than the American covers, and so I had to get it. It’s an adult fantasy trilogy that follows a “troublemaker and his young apprentice,” and they’re trying to save their world through the use of Allomancy, a magic of metals. It sounds intriguing and there’s a big hype surrounding it right now, so I’m excited to read it.

I’m pretty sure that’s all of the books I’ve gotten in the last two months… 13 books, woo! I could be missing something, I’m not sure. I’m just excited to read them all eventually.

Accompanying video: January & February Collective Book Haul

Have you read any of these books? What do you recommend I read sooner rather than later? What did you think of what you read? Are you going to read any of these soon? Let me know!