REVIEW: Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Rebel Spring
Series: Falling Kingdoms #2
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 3, 2014
Pages: 416
Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:
Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined.

What I Liked

  • Rebel Spring speaks to my inner fantasy lover. I love the backdrop of a conquered kingdom and blood thirsty ruler. I love the presence of magic and the threat of The Watchers who wield it. I love how every character has their own agenda and treachery is as natural as breathing. All of these things and more is what makes me love this book. And the multiple POVs makes sure there is never a dull moment. I was never bored. I was always invested, always anticipating what would happen next. 

  • I understand how these characters can be unlikable to some, but I wouldn't want any others. I love their flaws. I love how there is so much more to each of them than the eye can see. Cleo appears weak and submissive but is a snake waiting to strike. Magnus appears to be his father's son but is, in fact, much more kind. Jonas seems hot-headed and selfish, and well... maybe he is, but he is blinded by the loss of his brother and his guilt over his role in the fall of Auranos. Lucia is well-intentioned, but is losing control of herself in the face of the magic she now possesses. And these are just the main characters. I think all of the characters, primary and secondary, are fascinating and they keep things interesting. 

  • The character development in this sequel was stronger than in the first, but slightly at a cost to the plot. But I loved getting to know these characters better and their stories are becoming more closely woven together, their fates intertwined.

  • I wouldn't exactly say that I welcome death and despair, but when it comes to fantasy, I think it makes for a stronger book. In worlds like these, it is not realistic that good always prevails. It is only natural that bad things will happen to good people, just as often as they may happen to bad people. And Morgan Rhodes understands this. This book wasn't as shocking as Falling Kingdoms was, but Morgan Rhodes is still not afraid to kill off characters, or have good characters suffer. She keeps it real. And I admire her guts.

What I Didn't

  • As I mentioned, Rebel Spring is more character-driven than plot-driven I think. But believe me when I say, I was never bored with this book. There is so much going on in this world that plenty of things are still happening. And I think Rebel Spring sets up for a third book nicely. 

Bottom Line

Falling Kingdoms is one of my new favorite fantasy series. It doesn't exactly have the charm like some of my other favorites but it is gutsy, compelling, and unpredictable. The plot and world are simply awesome. The characters aren't perfect, but they are perfect for this book. I can't get enough. 

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