Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: Rebel Spring By Morgan Rhodes

Rebel Spring

Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Series:Falling Kingdoms
Pages: Hardcover, 401 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: December 3rd 2013

The road to paved with blood and magic.

Cleo is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over....

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.


The first half reminded me why I had issues with Falling Kingdoms. Again I had high expectations and felt rather let down. Rebel Spring failed to capture my attention, I found it way to melodramatic, was blase about the plot, couldn't care about the characters and wondered why some of my friends rated it as high as they did... until it suddenly all changed.
Suddenly I was thinking about possible scenarios, felt devastated about certain twists of events and well couldn't put it down. In the second half of Rebel Spring Rhodes suddenly met all my expectations, in fact she even went beyond them.
Rhodes writing is wonderful, except for a tendency for melodramatics, which is the reason I expect loads from her novels. Rebel Spring, just like Falling Kingdoms, is written beautifully - which is why I kept going even when the characters and plot made me wanna DNF.

The plot was slow and uber-melodramatic in the first half. The second half suddenly things shift and so much is happening, the end leaving me reeling. I just want more now. Seriously, I do. Would you have asked me if I will read the next book at 40% of Rebel Spring, my response would have been: Nope. Not happening. Now? I will read it as soon as I can! (already went and got The Gathering Storm- whisper syncing that one!)
I think I need to clarify that there is plenty of action in the first half. Lots of fighting and romance stuff happening. But I felt like nothing significant to the actual matter happened. It was all very emotional, very well, melodramatic. There was a lot of mystery added to the world building, lots of romantic prospects and well tons of love triangles . And I had more and more questions- with no answers in sight.

The world building of the series is in many parts intriguing. But I would like a wee bit more. I have so many gaps when it comes to the world and I want Rhodes to give me more. I am very hopeful that Gathering Storm will fill those gaps.Since retrospectively I have to say that while for my taste there isn't quite enough world building done in the series so far, Rhodes does it slowly over the two books, and what I got was great.

Rebel Spring has a huge cast of characters, just like Falling Kingdoms. And just like Falling Kingdoms, it is written in multiple POV. And let me tell you, we talking LOADS. When I started reading Rebel Spring I was a bit lost at first- mainly due to my atrocious name memory, but soon I kept up easily. In fact I am beyond impressed by it. The POV are written in third person, but Rhodes manages to give the different characters a clear and recognisable voice. Which is awe inspiring. The character building is one of my favorite parts of the book- besides the intrigues and all that. It was a pleasure to watch all these characters evolve and change- especially the young ones. While I had problems connecting with most of them in the first half- I suddenly found I was really invested in the second half. And I actually am pondering over the solving of the multiple love triangles... I know,right?! I am miss I-hate-and-loath-love-triangles but well, what can I say? I kinda have ideas of how I want things to work out... and well I wanna know how Rhodes will work them out.
Note to the author: Please don't break my heart!

The best part was the mystery and intrigues in the second half. It is like Rhodes used 1.5 books to come to this! And darn, it is brilliant! Seeing that things aren't black and white- but a whole lot of grey. Rhodes made me feel like I am watching an intricate and brilliant game of chess with loads of players. Me trying to anticipate the next move of each play. I gotta say on a couple of occasions, I really didn't see the twists coming. Shocking, exciting and fascinating.

Which is exactly why I am going to read the next one, ASAP.

3.5Stars, because the first half would have only gotten 2 but the second half gets a whooping 4.5...


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