Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms #5)
by Morgan Rhodes
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An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.
MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he's no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.
LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.
JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.
AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she'll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.
And what kind of darkness will descend--and who will be safe--after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?
I feel like its so far and few between that I get a chance to write a (well thought out) review for a book I love. For example, I’ve been sick off and on for five months, and my reading has been basically non-existent…but in the last couple months, I’ve managed to read some of my favorite books this year-and maybe 3 of them have gotten even close to the reviews I’m capable of and that they deserve. So, when I received the email telling me I got one of my most (ummm come on, basically THE book that I pined for most) anticipated reads of this year…I just knew I would give it the best review I could muster.
So, this is me taking the opportunity to talk about one of my top book boyfriends this year-Magnus. And doesn’t he deserve the whole review to himself, honestly?? I mean seriously…he’s Magnus, the prince of blood. Do I really need to say anything more?
Well, I think I do, for those who want to know about more than my darling boy. And let’s be honest-Everyone who reads this series is obsessed with him, and some might only be reading it because of him, so what more can I possibly push?
Basically, even after all the trials and tribulations surrounding all the books before…this one broke my heart the most. It was absolutely the most brutal. I’ll admit that it isn’t near as brutal in the way of battle and death and destruction, but more brutal in matters of the heart. My soul was ripped to shreds in more ways than one, and more times than one. I might be a bit of a drama queen, but my heart has always ripped in two when a couple like Cleo and Magnus, so in love, have to keep themselves a secret with literally everyone around them.
This was definitely a tremulous chapter for the new couple, bringing heartaches and new issues bubbling to the surface. But not once did my confidence in them waver. Not once did I think one or the other would cheat (even with easy access) or give up on their new love. And not once did I think they wouldn’t believe in the best of each other, in the end, keeping their relationship stronger than ever. But I did foresee some bumps in the road…and that prediction aimed true.
“And you listen to me, Princess.” Gaius’s voice followed her like a rancid odor. “This love you think you feel for my son? The day will come when you will have to choose between Magnus and power. And I know, without a doubt, that you will choose power.”
So many book series these days drag out unnecessarily for so many books you can’t help but roll your eyes at them-but there are some that shine brighter with each book, building into something so tangible that you can’t breathe when it’s left unfinished. You aren’t thinking, ‘Oh, come on, another book?!’, you’re rejoicing that there’s another and you have the opportunity to follow the paths these relationships and evil plots continue to pave. This is one of those series.
Even as I worried there were going to be too many books when I started this series, I remain surprised each and every time I open a Falling Kingdoms book. They grow dramatically richer and more complex with each additional storyline, and you can’t help but to love each character, good or bad, more with each new installment.
For example, had I only stayed on book one, I only would have lightly pined for Magnus. Sure, he was the reason I even considered continuing onward with the story, but I put this series down for a couple months after finishing, if only because there was so much more to read in my TBR pile and nothing had truly hooked me, aside from the not-so-sweet man candy. But, the minute I was urged to continue on, I was immediately hooked.
The deep love, the betrayals upon betrayals, the needless slaughters…they spoke to my evil self in a way I’ve not been accustomed to, in a while. This series (and especially these last three stories) touched on so many nerves that I couldn’t help but to be hooked. Now, months later, I’m a ravenous fangirl who can never have enough Magnus and Cleo.
I think it’s safe to say who my two favorite characters are, hmm? But even as the series has progressed, I find I have many favorites, especially in this one-Even the evil Amara. There’s just something about an extra feisty bitch added to the character pool that enriches the story and adds just the right amount of turmoil.
And, truthfully, this book wasn’t as action packed as the rest, the more I think about it. In all truth, I think that’s why I loved this book so much and it became my absolute favorite of the 5. We really got time to sit and see where everyone stood, who was loyal and who wasn’t, what relationships were real and which were smoke and mirrors. I even found the guard relationships to be enriching to the story. By our main cohorts all staying in the same place for an extended amount of time, we really had the opportunity to see the chaos as it slowly descended upon them.
When a story is just go-go-go, you lose a little something, I think. But as Mags and Cleo sat in one particular area for a prolonged amount of time, surrounded by both friend and foe, we got to see some relationship turmoil that ripped me apart, but filled me with ceaseless obsession for the two. I don’t know why this book spoke to me the most (maybe because I’m messed up in the head and love jealousy so much its sick), but it did, and I already am dying to re-read it and the whole series. I might just do it!! WATCH AND SEE!
With a cliffhanger that took my breath away (and made me gleeful, yes I’m THAT crazy and THAT sick) I am already eagerly anticipating how it will all turn out in the final book. Hearts will be broken. Not everyone will survive. Loyalties and friendships will be tried and tested…and I can’t help but long for the final book to be in my hands at this exact moment. It hurts…but I guess I’ll just have to remember all the hot Magneo moments to get me through the next year. And, hey, I can always re –read this series multiple times as I wait. 😉
*Many thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy!*
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Enter for a chance to win a set of the Falling Kingdom books by Morgan Rhodes, which includes paperback editions of Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring, Gathering Darkness and Frozen Tides and a hardcover edition of Crystal Storm (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $63.00). In addition, four (4) Runner-up Winners will each receive a paperback edition of Falling Kingdoms ($11.00 each).
About the Author:
Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess — the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, reality TV, and is an extremely picky, yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a national bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.
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