Monday, February 18, 2013

The Battle For Your Birthright

"You must draw from that strength. 
You must increase it. 
And you must hold on to it 
because sometimes that small glimmer of inner strength 
is all that we have to help us press forward 
through the darkness.” 
--Morgan Rhodes, Falling Kingdoms


Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill, 412 pages
Publication Date: December 11th, 2012

Goodreads Description

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

My Thoughts

This book....you guys, this book! THIS book is what fantasy is all about. Oh my goodness. I just don't even know where to start. So, like I said with my City of a Thousand Dolls reveiw, I LOVE when books open up with a list of characters or a map or some sort of history of the culture. This book listed both the characters and had a map...yeeeeeees. I will say off the bat this book does have a lot of characters to keep track of. It does not seem like so many once you start reading because Rhodes does such a good job of describing each character and giving them their own voice. I did have to reference back once a new name came up just to double clarify who they were but I stopped having to do that about 35ish pages in because it just wasn't necessary. The characters introduced stuck with me.

With that said, the character development of our four main characters was amazing. I felt like they all started out as a stereotype of what other characters may have seen them as, but very quickly you see that they have so much strength and depth. For example, other people might see Cleo as only a spoiled, rich princess but she is SO much more than that. They all are. Even the supporting characters stole the show at one point or another. I feel like this was done on purpose to help us see how much more people in general have to them than only what we see on the surface. So beautiful and the writing was just great. 

What I also loved about the writing was the perspective we got from each character. These players are all from different kingdoms within the same large piece of land, so as the title will lead you to believe, all is not well within the 3 kingdoms. As circumstances will have it, some of these characters hate each other! But what I LOVED is that depending on what character's view you were reading from, you were rooting for them and agreed with them. But then when you read about the person they hate, you agree with them! The emotions were there. Again, the writing helps us to see that not everybody is innocent, not everything is black and white, everybody has their perspective and opinion. I just found this so brilliant. I just wanted all these characters to hug it out and be friends because I love them all!

The idea of love and loyalty to one's family is explored in several different ways. We have two families who would lose life and limb to help one another because they want to. They love each other and they care. And another family does the same...but out of obligation and duty rather than love. I found this SO interesting that the same results and actions could occur but for such vastly different reasons. The dynamics between the different families and characters is just crazy awesome. So many different emotions, so many FEELINGS! The writing and emotions just tear at your heart and I was just aching for all the characters. The longing, the love, the loneliness, the agony. Ah, it was just so amazing! I have not cried in a book for a while and it felt good in a weird way...you know what I mean :) I just loved that I felt so in tune with each character's feelings and emotions. 

This book had all the elements of a fantastic fantasy novel. Magic, intrigue, mystery, love, loyalty, honor. It was just lovely. I couldn't put it down. I think there will be 4 books in total which I am SO excited for! I can only begin to imagine how much the plot will change and twist and turn because SO much happened in the first book! The writing is beautiful and I MUST highlight some of my favorite quotes from it and there were SO many!! I NEED this next book! Can't wait for it! 

Favorite Quotes


“You must continue to believe with all your heart. Sometimes belief is all if takes to make something real.” 


“You're the same as you were yesterday and the day before. Nothing has changed. Not really. Forget what troubles you. Regret nothing, but learn from any mistakes you make. Tomorrow will be a brighter day, I promise.”


“Magic will find those with pure hearts, even when all seems lost. And love is the greatest magic of all” 


“Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is darkness. The question is, will one give in to the dark or the light? It's something we decide with every choice we make, every day that we exist. What might not be evil to you could be evil to someone else. Knowing this makes us powerful even without magic.” 


4 comments:

  1. This book sounds awesome! I can't TELL you how much I love feeling torn between characters because they are all so great! :) Sounds very interesting hearing from all their POVs. I usually don't go running for fantasy (which is silly bc i love paranormal so much), but I think I'll check this one out!!

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    1. LOVE fantasy! And I usually don't go running towards paranormal as easily as I do fantasy even though like you said, paranormal is similar. I should be getting recs from you for paranormal cuz I don't read enough of it...:)

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  2. Oh wow. I'm so glad to see this positive review because around the time this book started circulating, I got SUPER SUPER excited for it because HELLO LOOK AT THAT COVER. Gosh, it is breathtaking. PLUS I just love fantasy so much when it is done well. So I was excited - but then I read a few reviews that said this book wasn't good, then I got really sad. So then I decided that I should wait until more of the series was released before I picked it up. So I haven't read it yet but I've kept high hopes. And I love that you liked it so much.

    I especially like that you said this: "But what I LOVED is that depending on what character's view you were reading from, you were rooting for them and agreed with them. But then when you read about the person they hate, you agree with them!" --> I tend to kind of take on the emotions and feelings of characters if they're really great characters, so this makes me feel more excited about this book too.

    Great review! This kind of pumps me back up about this book. That makes me happy!

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    1. Yes I loved it! The characters were so well developed that you really were rooting for each and every one! I just love how much interweaving of the plot there is and how the story can go in so many directions and have side stories with all the details and characters. Fantasy has really been hitting the spot lately! PS-We still need to discuss Delirium!!! :)

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