I said I would do it last week, so here it is. My first book review for a book that I absolutely couldn’t stand. Oh Falling Kingdoms, I had such high hopes for you. While I applaud any book that can manage to hold multiple storylines, I have a hard time applauding this book. Not only are each of the characters insufferable, but Morgan Rhodes (which is a Pen Name for Michelle Rowen) treats the female characters horribly and gives in to too many female stereotypes. As a studying sociologist, I find it horrifying that people take her writing seriously.
There are four main characters – Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus. The two male characters, while strong and resilient, are basically mirror images of each other in terms of personality. The only difference is that one is incestuous, while the other falls in love with a woman he hardly knows and still wants to kill. The perfect beginning to a love story, right? *rolls eyes* Now for the traumatic part – reading about the female characters. Both are insufferable in their own ways. Cleo is a helpless sadsack, whose incompetence can be blamed for the death of many characters throughout the book, and her only admirable quality, according to the other characters, is her beauty. Oh feminism, you knew nothing of pain until you met Michelle Rowen/ Morgan Rhodes. The next character to stir my ire would be Lucia, another pampered princess who barely manages to hold her own storyline.
It is also offensive that the marketing campaign is calling it the next Game of Thrones. In so many ways. George R.R. Martin has created such a wonderful, expansive world full of political intrigue, fantasy, and STRONG, fascinating characters in a medieval world. It’s a feat unto itself that he has manages to juggle well over a hundred characters, and all of the female characters are strong, and have a mind of their own. I find it so offensive that the marketing campaign would call these books the next Game of Thrones because not only does Martin have great, compelling, strong female characters, but his books are original. Falling Kingdoms, with it’s MASSIVE plot jumps, irritating characters, and unoriginal plot, has really nothing to compare it to Game of Thrones.
Overall, if you’re in the mood for a book about a bunch of helpless women, men that cant get their anger issues under control, and massive plot leaps, then you would love this book. If you’re like me and can’t stand books that treat their female characters like crap, have unoriginal characters, and tangled messes of plots, then you should give this book a hard pass.