Friday, March 20, 2015

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes Review

Love, vengeance, and greed spark a deadly quest for magic in the third book of the Falling Kingdoms series
Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred—the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic. . . .
THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.
THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia’s overpowering magic—all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.
THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.
The only certainty in these dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica. . . . but the four element gods of the Kindred have other plans.

Published: December 2014
Page count: 432
Series: Third book in the Falling Kingdoms series
Rating: 5 stars

Where to begin...somehow I didn't get around to reading this amazing book until about a week ago. It had been out for at least 2-3 months. But I wanted to reread the first two books to refresh my memory and that put me back I suppose. When I finally did pick up this book to read it I got through it in very nearly a single morning. It's that good. Also, for some reason I thought that this was going to be the last book in the series. I was very glad to find that it won't be and there are in fact three more books to be released for this series. The ending was both painful and crazy exciting. It left me turning to my mother and telling her how in pain I was. You know those books where you just have to have the next book? This is one of those. I'd almost advise you to wait until it's closer to the next book's release (December 2015). And it's not that book ends on an extreme cliffhanger, it doesn't (as far as I remember) but you just want more. Things are sort of tied up and it's building up to things that will probably start off the next book, and you just want it so badly. 

So how I'll wait the rest of the year until the next book is released, I don't know. But for now let me persuade you to read this book and this series. Gathering Darkness has all of the things that I look for in a good fantasy book, it has romance, adventure, magic, a unique and interesting world that the author has created and the occasional heated moment, whether that be in battle or in a dark hallway of the castle. If someone asked me about my favorite fantasy series or what the epitome of what I enjoyed in a fantasy book, this is what I would point them towards. This book, I think, has the most secracy between the characters and most use of magic so far in the series. And while so much happens in the first two books I feel like this is the best book and the most action packed book of the series. I could talk all day about how much I love it and how amazing it is. But let me tell you why...

The characters For each of the books the author provides a cast of characters for each country in the kingdom of Mytica, which I think is great. I mean, by now I'm already quite familiar with all the original characters (whose fates get tangled up together and make everything fun and amazing) but I can remember how I would flip back and check who was whom when I was reading the first book. It was and still is very helpful to have. But ahem...the characters aren't perfect, but I think that makes them realistic and adds character to the story. It's not a happy, fairy tale story it's thrilling and even a bit dark sometimes. And the characters are living in that world, they are desperate sometimes and they're fighting for a better world. I like them all generally well (other than the ones that are obviously evil) but there are three or four that I'm coming to love most. Sometimes I can't even decide who I want to end up together because situations change and so do the characters. I feel like my emotions are being toyed with! The three main characters are, in my opinion, Cleo from Auranos, Jonas from Paelsia, and Magnus from Limeros. The story has been centered on them and is most often written from their points of view. And they're all wonderful. Jonas has had very strong ideals that he's generally stuck to and he's the rebel. Cleo is the princess that has had to grow up to quickly, who has had her family and kingdom ripped away and become stronger through the fire that's burned her. Magnus is the prince who has weathered a lot and done what has needed to be done in order to survive...I think one of the things I love about Magnus is that he's smart. Yes, he's done things, but because it was the logical option. And now he's seeing things in a different light and he's letting Cleo in. He's letting his mask down which is lovely, because we as the reader get to see the good he's done and what he would like to do given the opportunity, but now someone else is. And maybe that will help him become even better. So in any case, I love the characters and they're written very well.

The plot The plot moves quickly and while it isn't exactly complex and hard to understand, I feel like it has a lot of layers because of how the characters fall in and around each other with their plans. There were some great twists in this book and they make you turn the pages. The plot didn't seem inconsistent or odd in any places for me and I feel like that's because it's been looked over and tweaked here and there so much that it's become so fluid and natural. I feel like the author has really worked so well on all aspects of this book and really shows in how well written and exciting this and the other books in the Falling Kingdoms series are.

The world-building I love it. I love it so so much!! We get to expand from Mytica in this book, we learn about another land that could pose a threat and even meet some characters from there. And then there's still the three kingdoms on Mytica which I still think are amazing. There's also the Watcher's home which we visit a few times. Basically, I think the world-building has been wonderfully done. Much like the plot, you can see that a lot of planning went into it's making and it has turned out beautifully. 

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book. I loved the characters and how entwined they've become in each others' stories. The plot will suck you in and if you enjoyed the first books, you will no doubt love this book. I feel like everything from the first books is added to and on top of that the plot begins to evolve into something that will probably bring on some pain by the end of the book. Basically, you need to read this series. Especially if you enjoy adventurous, thrilling, books full of mysteries and secrets and romance.

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