Title: Rebel Spring
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publish Date: December 3rd 2013
As this is the second book in a series, I highly suggest not reading this review if you haven’t read the first book: Falling Kingdoms, so avoid any minor spoilers.
Critical Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Entertainment Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rebel Spring, the second book in the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes was a step in the right direction for the series. While it received the same star rating as Falling Kingdoms, it was a better improvement from the first novel. What lacked in Falling Kingdoms was further developed in Rebel Spring – which was a thing I demanded specifically and hoped silently for when jumping into the book. It worked much better on character development and depth and really began to show all the different storylines of characters coming together as one. Tensions arose as character’s lives clashed. However I was sad to see there was not much more development on the magical aspect of the story, which for a fantasy, is quite disappointing. Among the good and the improvements, there were still some issues I was concerned with in Rebel Spring.
What I enjoyed very much in Rebel Spring was the increased development in the character’s lives. Individually, each character was developed and I was able to learn even more about each and every one of them, of their personalities and their motivations that led to their actions. I love how Rhodes weaved each of the character’s goals together, in a way. Everything sort of links together, and what one person does, in some way affects the other character’s experience in the world of Rebel Spring.
Magnus is by far my favourite character in the series – if talking only about male characters. I feel that Magnus’ character is the one going through the most development and growth. It is revealed in Rebel Spring that he is far more three-dimensional than we would’ve thought in Falling Kingdoms. In this second novel, we see his perspective begin to change, as he sees the world and learns to see his own personal values. We see him begin to question the actions of those around him, such as his father: King Gaius and it’s evident that he’s beginning to grow into his own person.
Cleo is possibly my favourite female character in the series so far. Fierce, brave, strong and determined, she quickly grew on me. In Rebel Spring, we see her strength develop as well as her determination to regain her kingdom from the conquerors who she despises. Her ability to keep up an act but still be heavily working against those around her in plain sight is awesome, and her sass is wonderful and makes her interactions with Jonas a joy to read.
ALSO. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO SHIPS MAGNUS AND CLEO TOGETHER?! Please, someone, join me.
I won’t discuss all the characters, because, my goodness that would be an entire review all in itself!
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Rebel Spring increased its cast of character POVs. I was pleasantly surprised by this writing style and the addition of more character perspectives. While I think it is great, I feel that it can make the story seem much less mysterious and can also serve to confuse many readers. While I was perfectly fine with following the huge cast of characters along the story, I feel that with the addition of so many POVs, the book loses some of the tension and the unknown. This is a series that involves many secrets and guessing what someone is thinking or going to do next, I feel is an integral part to the engagement of the story.
There is much more action going on in the plot now that Falling Kingdoms set the foundation for it all. Considering it is only the second book, there is still going to be a lot of development, however, I feel like Rebel Spring did a good job of adding more complication to the entire story. Seeing from multiple perspectives, you see the different situations each character is in, what they are planning to do, and overall how it fits in with what all the other characters are going and thinking. It makes for a pretty angst-y story line, that’s for sure!
With every book, comes issues. One big problem I had was the amount of deaths that occurred in the series. Where the deaths were meant to incite surprise or shock, it failed to deliver. The amount of character deaths started to become overkill – of course, to live up to the ‘King of Blood’ personality, there had to be some bloodshed, but I felt as though many deaths happened pointlessly. There wasn’t much emotion to them, or substance.
Another point of issue, was the romance. It was very confusing to follow, with all the different characters. Specifically Cleo – it’s hard to pinpoint where her heart is set. It seems as though there is romantic action between a number of the boys she deals with. However, I appreciate that nothing has turned into a love triangle or any other shape; it’s been very mild in the romance area. But I always enjoy a little bit of angst and competition between different ships, so BRING FORTH ALL THE POSSIBLE SHIPS, I SEE THEM.