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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes

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.

Released: 27th 2013       Pages: 416
Publisher: Razorbill        Source: Library
I love the cover of this book.  It's more interesting than your standard fantasy-weapon cover, because Jonas there actually looks like he's about to attack someone, rather than just doing the Mulan thing with the sword.  Anyway, though, this was one of my most anticipated books this year.  Its predecessor, Falling Kingdomsleft me eager for more, and I was excited to see where this series would go.

I'm still not a fan of Cleo.  While she gained a little more respect from me during this book, I still am having trouble seeing her as anything other than selfish and superficial.  She experienced some growth, but I'm not as attached to her as I am other characters in this series.  It's also a bit obnoxious that she has five(?) guys interested in her.  Love triangles are one thing, but five guys infatuated with her?  Isn't that overkill?  I'm not sure what to think of her relationship with Jonas.  I wouldn't say that they are "together", by any means, but there's definitely something there, and it hasn't been around long enough for me to tell whether it works.  It feels sudden and random, and yet...I'm not as opposed to it as I thought I'd be.  

The romance, in general, in this book is all getting slightly out of hand.  I'm not sure of the number of love triangles in this book, but as soon as there's more than one, does the exact number really matter anymore?  None of the love triangles feel quite as superfluous as, say, Twilight.  I'm just hoping they don't turn overly angsty or annoying in the next books.

The other main characters, Lucia, Magnus, and Jonas, continued to be interesting characters.  Lucia's development is a bit frightening, but I actually like the direction she's headed.  I continue to admire Jonas' dedication to his cause, and let's face it, his bromance with Brion is adorable.  Magnus has maintained his spot as my favorite.  He's probably the one I would dislike most in real life, but in this book, he is the character with the most depth, and the character I care most about.  

While I cringe at calling anything "___ for the ___ crowd" (as in, Harry Potter for adults, A Game Of Thrones for girls, etc.)*, whoever called this "A Game Of Thrones for the YA crowd" certainly has a point.  This series would definitely appeal to fans of A Game Of Thrones.  If nothing else, the authors of both series are not afraid to kill off major characters left and right.  It's like Shakespeare or something.  Brace yourselves: death is coming.      

As a whole, Rebel Spring suffers a little from second-book syndrome.  While it's not as severe as the closely related middle-of-the-trilogy syndrome, it's still not as good as the first one.  That being said, it still maintained my interest.  Most characters became even more fleshed-out and developed, and the plot just keeps getting more complex.  I'm eager to read the next book and find out what happens next.    

*Because, as C.S. Lewis once wrote, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”  Also, I hate when anyone calls something "__ for girls".  What, girls can't like the same things as guys?  I found this awesome book; it's A Game Of Thrones for girls.  Want to know what it's called?  A Game Of Thrones.  OH WAIT.  When people say something is "for girls", they usually mean it has more romance, which not all girls like.  I can attest to that.

Similar Books: It has a high fantasy setting and features princesses like those of The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Bitterblue. It has some magic to it, like Grave Mercy or Shadow and Bone. It pits multiple point of view characters against each other like Fall of a Kingdom and A Game of Thrones. It actually has many things in common with aGoT. Namely, an author who isn't afraid to kill major characters.

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