Title: Rebel Spring
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Format/Length: Paperback/401 pages
Publisher/Date Published: Penguin Teen/December 3rd 2013
Category/Genre: Young Adult/High Fantasy
Description: 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.
MAY CONTAIN MILD SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST NOVEL FALLING KINGDOMS. NOTHING EARTH-SHATTERING, I PROMISE YOU.
3/5 stars —
Rebel Spring was a solid second book in the Falling Kingdoms series. By no means have I found that these books are amazing, but as I’m currently going through A Game of Thrones withdrawals, these books are doing quite nicely. Writing under the pen-name Morgan Rhodes, the author has also published other novels — for example the Nightwatchers series, and also Countdown. She’s a busy author, to say the least!
As with the methods of my last couple of reviews, I will highlight the positives, and then also move onto the negatives of what I didn’t like about the novel. But my overall thoughts of the novel: I enjoyed it!
1) The magical feeling of the story.
2) The alternating point of views.
It’s no secret that high fantasy is one of my favourite genres, both in reading and writing. I love the diversity of the genre, and how no two high fantasy stories are the same. Each author develops their worlds in a different way, and I love reading about them. Without giving away too much of the storyline, and for fear of accidentally giving people spoilers — but the magical element of the story revolves around elementia, or magic from the elements, and also the Kindred and the Watchers. I love the fact that there isn’t anything like it out there I have read.
I really enjoy stories that have more than one point of view. Why? We get to see the world from other people’s perspective! What looks like something to one person may look completely different for another. Emotions and motives can be deeply explored and further understood this way. It also allows the reader to explore different parts of the world that the author has created.
While I did enjoy this novel, there were certain things that I didn’t like about it.
1) The characters.
2) The character deaths (explained later — don’t worry, no spoilers if you’ve yet to read this book).
3) The pacing.
All the way through the first and second book, I’ve found the characters to not be very likeable or relatable. Especially in fantasy books where the characters are in constant danger, where they may not even live until the end of the chapter… I want to be on the edge of my seat, eager to see what will happen next. I find most of them to either be naive (Cleo), arrogant (Magnus), hot-headed and careless (Jonas), or just an asshole in general (the King). Yes, I suppose that there was a dynamic amount of character types there, but the problem was I couldn’t connect with any of them.
Hence, because of my lack of connection with any of the characters in the novel (and there are quite a few of them), when some of them were killed, I didn’t really care. Sometimes I even felt like their deaths were for a shock factor, rather than furthering the plot. In a novel where a character dies — you’re supposed to care. You’re supposed to be upset or angry over their deaths. In this, well, I was kind of emotionless. I didn’t get any of the characters, so therefore when some of them died, I didn’t care.
The most of this novel was pretty slow. A lot of it was dialogue and political intrigue and whatnot, and I was kind of hoping for something… more. By the end of the novel I wanted to turn the page and be disappointed that there was nothing there. I wasn’t. Most of the time during the novel I was hoping that something shocking or truly plot-twisting would happen, and there were a few times where I found myself skimming forward through paragraphs, searching for something interesting.
In conclusion? Enjoyable, not amazing, and could have been better. But most likely I will pick up a copy of the next book.
Also: THERE ARE NO DRAGONS. DISAPPOINTING.