Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Genre: YA fantasy
Format read: audiobook and ebook
Rating: DNF

This book has been on my Overdrive wishlist…pretty much since I first signed up for Overdrive, so I was really disappointed once I actually got around to reading it.

This series follows the citizens of 3 countries as they prepare to go to war. The characters range from a princess to a peasant.

Other than that, I can’t tell you much about Falling Kingdoms. I made it to about the 10% mark before I gave up. Listening on audio, it was hard to follow due to constant head hopping. The prologue is from one character’s perspective–who then dies–and then the subsequent four chapters are all from a different POV, occasionally re-hashing events that happened in the previous chapter.

In addition, the narrator for the audiobook did a really obnoxious voice for most of the characters, a sort of pseudo-British accent that sounded extremely fake and didn’t mesh at all with the setting, which seemed to be more closely related to a fantastical version of Italy than England.

I was having such a hard time following the story that I checked out the ebook and tried reading it concurrently with the audiobook. While that did help clear up some things (for example, there were bits where it was hard to tell what was dialogue and what was the internal thoughts of the characters), but there were too many other problems with the book for me to want to continue. There was a huge amount of info-dumping in the first few chapters, including some that was redundant, and one of the POV characters had a chapter that did absolutely nothing to further the story–it was a combination of backstory on the world and rehashing what had happened in the previous chapter.

So, if you’re looking for a good fantasy novel full of political intrigue, skip this one. Instead I’d like to point you toward The Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lacky, The Lunar Chronicles by Marrissa Meyer (okay, that one’s technically scifi. So sue me), The Daughter of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce, or The Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner. Or you could just pick up Game of Thrones.