In the realm of Mytica and the kingdoms of Paelsia, Limeros, and Auranos, four teens play a big part in the fate of their world. Cleo, princess of richly fertile Auranos, is engaged to the insufferable Lord Aron, who in a recent visit to the poor kingdom of Paelsia murders a wineseller’s son in cold blood. The wineseller’s other son, Jonas, vows revenge and takes his thirst for blood to Paelsia’s chief in hopes of retaliation. Meanwhile, in Limeros, Prince Magnus battles his forbidden love for his sister, not knowing she is not blood related, and the cruel, ruthless expectations of his father, the King of Blood. Princess Lucia does not know of her birthright as a great sorceress, but would do anything to protect her family. When Limeros and Paelsia join forces to take Auranos, they feel a great burden to follow their beliefs.
Brief summary of Rebel Spring (book 2)
The King of Blood, King Gaius rules over all of Mytica now with Cleo and Aron as his political prisoners. Jonas, outraged with the way things have gone with Paelsia, has formed his own band of rebels. Magnus divides his princely duties with his fierce protectiveness of his sister, still unconscious from her great use of magic in the last book. To pretend to show goodwill to the people of Mytica, King Gaius announces the absolution of Cleo’s engagement to Aron and adds Prince Magnus as her betrothed instead. To stop their reign of murder, Jonas vows he will rescue Cleo and put all to rights.
As I’ve said before, I have high expectations of fantasy. This series is marketed by Penguin as one of the Breathless Reads. In this instance, the pace and action recklessly drive the reader through the plot, and with the many narrators, may cause much confusion or a lack of attachment to the characters and the story itself. In my opinion, this may be great for a reader to be sucked into the book simply by the pacing, but as a well-built high fantasy? It just falls completely apart. Worldbuilding is greatly lacking as there are little descriptions of the landscape and setting. Characters just seem to jump from place to place without ever really feeling grounded into the scene. The characters themselves do not have many flaws – they just seem to be perfect at what they do and who they are, yet are caught in terrible situations. No one shows very much vulnerability and human-ness for very long. At least, not at a length to be believable. One of the assets to the book is how well the dialogue is constructed – since that’s about the only way anything ever happens in the books. There is much violence in the books, and the reason they have been compared to Game of Thrones is simply for how many people get killed off.
I think this series might be well-used to get a teen reading, but not to convince them that what they’re reading is actually awesome. I have to confess, I wanted to like Falling Kingdoms, but by halfway through, I was completely bored. I managed to finish it, but felt book 2 was only worth a half-hearted flip-through. I think even Eragon and Throne of Glass managed to be better than these, in my mind .