Forgetting to Sleep in Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes




Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Published: 2012 (1st pub. Jan. 2012)
Publisher: Penguin Group (1st pub. by Razorbill)
Pages: 412 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads

If you would like to see the spoiler sections of my review click on the links to be redirected to the review on Goodreads where the spoiler will be ‘hidden’ at that point in the review.

Initial thoughts

Wowee. I could not put this book down. I began reading at dawn and finished at dusk with a crazed look on my face. Soo many deaths. So much awesome. BRING ON BOOK TWO.

Falling Kingdoms

GUYS, this book was incredible. I have not read a book so addictive for such a long time. I read this book in its entirety in ONE. WHOLE. DAY. I could not put it down. If you’re a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series then excuse me whilst I throw this book at your face because you will love it. You will.

Falling Kingdoms is set in the land of Mytica. This is a young adult, fantasy work of art that spans this wonderful and fantastical land as friends turn against each other and enemies clash with mighty swords. There’s action, there’s adventure, there’s kick-ass heroines, and not so kick-ass heroines (and also some women that aren’t heroines at all), there’s love, there’s betrayal, and there is a buffet of top notch men. The characters are to die for, and many of them do, and the setting will have you running to you costume drawer (that you totally have (in secret)) and whipping out your plastic sword and cape to swish (both of them) around in a childish but über excited manner. Brace yourself, ladles and jellyspoons, the ultimate YA fantasy has arrived.

The Fantasticality

There are three kingdoms here, none of which are particularly friendly with each other. Let me set things up for you . . .


Firstly, this is the most troublesome kingdom to pronounce. It is also the poorest kingdom which has been exploited by the others. They’re running out of resources, they’re running out of patience, and most of all they’re running out of time (okay maybe not, but that sounds dramatic so let’s go with it). Paelsia is forced to use its arable land to grow vineyards in order to produce wine for Auranos, one of the other kingdoms. This is makes them spiteful and resentful that this seemingly ‘pompous’ kingdom doesn’t care for their well-being and wants their relationship for all the wrong reasons. So they’ve very angry. Paelsians are a bunch of feisty bees all a-buzz. To make matters worse, a good-hearted Paelsian boy is murdered by a visiting royal from Auranos – as you probably could guess, that’s not a very good move for nurturing an already rocky relationship. So now, they’re angry bees whose hive has just been shattered by a bear.

Oh, the irony of this GIF!

Jonus is our main character from Paelsia and he’s the brother of the guy who is killed and sets the ball rolling for the events of the book. There are many POVs throughout the story so he’s the one who represents a lot of what Paelsia is doing – although in general it’s the kingdom we hear less of. Jonus is driven by revenge and dreams about killing the Auranos princess who was there at the scene of his brother’s murder – he’s quite an angry lad, but I think down in the depths of his heart he’s really a good guy.


This is the kingdom that I like to think of as the evil kingdom. Why? Because 90% of the characters who dwell here are MEAN and HORRIBLE specimens that deserve to be turned into toads. Limeros has a blood thirsty king who clearly wants domination over all. So, upon finding out about Paelsia wanting revenge (seeing as it was the other kingdom’s fault) he thinks that it’s a prime time to make a alliance and ATTACK!

Now, the character we’re most concerned with is Magnus, a spiteful princeling who’s madly in love with his sister . . . one, two, three, eeewwwwww. For the most part, I hated everything about this kingdom (in a good way) – but they are absolutely vital to the story. This is because they have a big secret and nefarious plot twists hidden up their billowing sleeves.

Their motto is: Strength. Faith. Wisdom. Which I find weirdly inappropriate and nonsensical, to be honest. I think it should be: Blood. Guts. Death. – because that sums up their motives much better.


Now, this is the wealthy kingdom and the one that caused the problems. Whilst I’m blaming the kingdom as a whole, I should really be blaming just one stupid character from this kingdom, as everyone else is pretty alright. They’re extremely ignorant to the poverty of Paelisa, however, and are the main cause of their exploitation. In this court there is a widowed king, his two daughters, and a drunken idiot (who I mentioned as the troublemaker) who ruins everything. But, there’s also Nic and Theon, a ward and a knight, and what can I say about them? *waggles eyebrows*.

Cleo is a main character in this POV (the youngest princess) and she stirs the pot a bit, too. Her sister, Emelia, is sick so she takes it upon herself to find a cure. Of course, that means there’s a whole lot of trouble in store. Aron (the drunk) has been promised that Cleo will be betrothed to him . . . except that she hates him and he’s a little too hands on for both Cleo and my liking. So there’s that, too.

As you can see there’s a lot going on in this book and it makes for an awesome adventure.


I should probably mention that magic is a key part of this book. The magic source and ability is not really explored much in this book as, for the most part, most magic is dormant within the kingdom. I’m not sure what the rekindling of this magic would do but I’m sure as hell eager to find out.

Since no magic has actually ‘existed’ in force for a while lots of people are doubting that it even exists and sort of laugh at the idea of their ‘gods’ who are basically ancient sorcerers who fought each other with magic and then disappeared. Aside from the non-believers, there are also those who frown on magic and burn people to the stake for it (very medieval) and others who would kill for it aggressively believing that they could be someone greatly magnificent by wielding the power of magic.

The Clinch

There’s one thing that quite a lot of the characters are looking for: the Kindred. The Kindred is supposedly an all powerful sorceress who’s been in hiding for a long time. But no-one knows where she is, or who she is . . . The whole overlying plot is that this girl was stolen from her birth mother as a child and she is going to be the one to help rekindle the magic status of the kingdom, or something like that.


The Characters



Cleo was a pretty awesome character who’s quite brave if a little naïve (very). She’s good willed and wants nothing more than for her sister to be well and to be able to marry who she wants. Of course, there’s a bit of a love triangle building between her, Theon, and Nic, and there are plenty of shocking developments long the way. I think we’re really going to see a lot of change with her in the next book thanks to the way thing ended in this one. If I’m being honest, I was totally #TeamNic from the start.



“I will find you.”

Theon is undoubtedly a huge heart-throb in this story. There’s almost an instant connection between him and Cleo. Since he is ordered to follow Cleo everywhere by the king (who’s desperately trying to control his daughter), he really stood no chance. He’s all muscle and great in a fight, but I was really crossing fingers that they didn’t end up together – Nic just seems like the better option.




Man, Magnus was a weird character. He strops around for a good portion of the book as he lurks about in the shadow of his older, bastard brother, Tobias. And I do not like him.


Magnus’ love of his sister utterly creeped my out. He’s such a cowardly and weird character and so desparate for the attention of his father, despite knowing how horrible he is. Anyway, I won’t discucss him more than that because you’ve either read the book and know it all, or have it all to enjoy.



This is Magnus’ sister and I was really hoping that she and Cleo would become friends. But unfortunately she just gets used and abused by her evil father/king instead (not in the sexual way, fear not). By the end of the book, however, she became one of my favourite characters and I just can’t wait to see what happens with her in the next book.

My favourite character group is definitely those from Auranos. Aside from Aron, they were pretty great. King Corvin was such a loving father who had some great things to say, such as:

“Love is stronger than anger. Love is stronger than hate – stronger than anything. Remember that.”


Emelia was a beautiful character as well and my favourite quote from her was:

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



So, if you can’t tell by my very long rant, I loved this book. I’m so excited to buy and read the next book to see how the plot thickens. We’re certainly left in an interesting position. I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of fantasy and interested in reading it! It’s so full of adventure and fun that you won’t regret it. There’s a reason this is so popular!

Have you read Falling Kingdoms?
What did you think of it?


Let me know in the comments below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

Follow @ozbooksnail

View all my reviews

3 thoughts on “Forgetting to Sleep in Falling Kingdoms

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