Hello, everyone! Welcome to a non-spoiler-y review for the second installment in the Falling Kingdoms series, Rebel Spring. This book was an action-packed sequel that exceeded the first book significantly! Here’s the Goodreads synopsis (contains spoilers for book one):
The road to power…is 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.
This book was MUCH better than Falling Kingdoms, and was filled with so much character development, my (Sasha’s) opinions have changed significantly. This book stretched its perspective breadth quite a bit, so it wasn’t focused on just the four characters like Falling Kingdoms mostly did. Let’s go through character by character, shall we?
LUCIA: Definitely my least favourite of the four. She … changed quite a bit, is all I’ll say. Not that it’s necessarily her own fault. She’s the key to her father’s plans, and possibly the most important character in the series.
MAGNUS: I can’t even explain how much his character changed. I started by hating him, and ended with (kind of/sort of) loving him. I think he might be my favourite of the four, besides Cleo. Which is MUCH different than how I thought about him in the beginning of the novel (see: character development).
JONAS: My love for Jonas was a bit all over the place in this book. I think I might like him and Magnus equally, but in different ways. I didn’t feel Jonas was as prominent in this book as Magnus, or maybe I just forget what happened with him in the beginning because this book took me a week to read. (It was still awesome, though!) But even though I still really like Jonas, I (for some reason) seem to like Magnus’ fiery edge a little more, and the decisions he made at the end of the book really solidified my (better) feelings toward him. Also, my ships were also all over the place while reading this book, and I’m not sure who to ship Jonas with anymore.
CLEO: Cleo grew so much in this book. Again, I have no idea who to ship her with–my opinion kept changing! I can’t say too much about Cleo without spoiling the series, but she definitely grows a lot and we probably see through her perspective the most.
Again, this book was full of deceit, lies, betrayal, and death, but not as much death as the first book. Overall, this sequel really improved from Falling Kingdoms, and this world just keeps growing and growing. I’d say one of the most interesting characters (who actually wasn’t in the book much but will probably be in the next book A LOT) was Prince Ashur. He was so interesting and unique, and I can’t wait to see more from him in Gathering Darkness which I need to pick up ASAP!
I will end off this review with a quote from the novel that perfectly reflected my overall thoughts on one of my new favourite characters, Magnus:
“But even the coldest hate can shift into something warmer if given enough time, just as an ugly caterpillar can turn into a beautiful butterfly.” — pg 381