Author: Morgan Rhodes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: December 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books
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.
WAIT! This review may contain minor spoilers for Falling Kingdoms. Don't continue if you haven't read it yet and want to avoid spoilers. Unless, of course, you don't mind spoilers. In that case, continue~
Admittedly, I had very mixed feelings about Falling Kingdoms. There were some parts that just dragged for me and most of the characters didn't exactly win my enthusiasm, but I still somehow wanted to read the rest in the series. Luckily, Rebel Spring turned out to be an improvement. While I still had a few issues with it, the second book in the series was a much more enjoyable read.
This summoned a grin once again. "Do you need such protection for a simple dress fitting?"
"I think so," she said, finally finding her own smile. "Don't forget, I will be forced to spend the entire day in the company of the queen."
Rebel Spring is a quick read, but a lot manages to happen in this one book. Cleo struggles to solve the mystery of the ring her father gave her to save her kingdom. Magnus still has some serious daddy issues to work out. Jonas looks for ways for his rebel group to do the most damage against King Gaius. And Lucia's powers continue to grow exponentially with a few side effects. Things happen fairly quickly one after another, but there were certain parts that I thought would be the climax only for the story to continue right along. We've all watched at least one movie where we thought the last scene was the end when it wasn't and in the context of this book, I'm not sure how I felt about that.
As for the characters, I felt most of them matured since the last book which made it easier for me to read about their perspectives. Cleo has been my favorite from the beginning and she's by far the strongest of the four main characters. She's not entirely savvy with politics or good with strategy, but I feel like she's done the most and had the most growth. Magnus is much more likable, but that's mostly because his whole arc isn't all about his obsession with his sister this time. I still don't think Jonas has really stepped into the role of rebel leader yet, but I definitely see potential in him if he'd just think with his head instead of his dick. The only one I'm not feeling is Lucia who still seems more like a plot device than an actual character.
Romance wise, the book has taken some unexpected turns. I wasn't sure about them at first, but I have a feeling I'll enjoy it when the characters have that moment of "Oh no, I think I'm falling for them!" It'll be interesting to see what the endgame pairings will be. I have a few suspicions, but considering how it ended with Cleo and Theon in Falling Kingdoms, I suppose anything can happen between now and the end. The only nitpick I have to make about the romance is that the dialogue can be very cheesy and longwinded sometimes. It doesn't seem necessary for everyone to notice how ~attractive~ or ~beautiful~ that person is, especially if it's someone they're supposed to hate.
We also get some progress in the plot and some answers to a few questions left open in the first book, and Rhodes has a way of setting things up where I still want to know what will happen at the end despite any flaws that might slow me down in the reading.
WHAT WORKED FOR ME:
- Character Growth.
I have more favorable impressions of Cleo and Magnus; Jonas has potential.
- Unexpected Romance Twists.
It's one of those "I didn't know I wanted this until it actually happened, and I'm okay with that."
If you get to end of the book, it's kind of hard not to want to read the next one. I really do want to know what happens next.
For the "key to saving the future/world", she leaves a lot to be desired.
- Cheesy dialogue.
There were definitely some parts where I wanted to roll my eyes.
- It's not the best young adult fantasy series I read, but I'll still continue with the series.
- Young adult fantasy readers
- Fans of The Seven Realms series