Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes: Review


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.


"Once awakened, her magic will reveal the hidden treasure sought by both mortals and immortals alike."

Falling Kingdoms might've just been my new favorite series. Rebel Spring is masterfully written. It's filled with deceit and games. A lot of things have changed in the book. Cleo is one of them. Oh Cleo, how I love this cunning side of yours. After witnessing deaths of her beloved, she sworn to take back what's rightfully hers - the throne of Auranos. She has changed quite a bit. Once an innocent girl who loved to play and drink wine, now a practitioner of deceit and lies, trying to take back her throne. Magnus has changed too, from that kind-hearted boy to one that wears the mask of absolute coldness (and with a super-sassy edge). It's very easy to turn on him. Despite being a incredibly douchtastic and sarcastic prince, I still love his point of view in the book. Mostly because his actions and his thoughts are so different.

Jonas has also gone through some development. But compared to Cleo and Magnus, the change is trivial. I found myself a little annoyed. One of the reason is that Jonas can actually be a great character if he isn't so hot-headed. The fact that he rarely thinks things through before acting upon it is frustrating at the very least, as the decisions he makes often puts people in peril. Lucia is, perhaps, the only main character I'm truly disappointed with. She's barely present in the first half of the book, and in the second half she's gone through a change that I don't like at all. It's like a foreshadowing of her going power-crazy. As much as I can understand her struggle to reclaim her, uh, sanity, I don't approve of the cause of it. After all, she's the one who started it in the first place. But then, these two characters do add more fun in Rebel Spring, which is a plus, in a way.

Rebel Spring is focused on the aftermath of the fall of Auranos. King Gaius rules with a punishing hand and people from Paelsia are trying to free their own land. However, this book is also a foreplay of the third book, which is focused on The Kindred, magical beings/devices/whatever that can give the owner absolute power, should they ever possess the whole of it. There are a lot of bewildering moments in the book, when so many things are happening at once, and there are so many point of views in the book. But, I love the fact that the stakes are stacked so rapidly, several problems hitting all of them at once. This kind of situation has amplified in Gathering Darkness, which is totally fine by me. So many action sequence and constant shock in Rebel Spring. I don't know how this book is even better than Falling Kingdoms, and I have no problem with it whatsoever.

I also like the fact that romance is not a big part of the book. At least, not in the usual sense. There are a lot of pairings. Some of them are quite shocking, actually. Some of them even hate each other (like Magnus and Cleo, in this book at least). But you can't deny that there is chemistry brewing in some of the pairs. Anyway, if you are expecting to read about hot and explosive love, you probably can't find it. But there will be a lot of angst and emotion. Guess what? I find myself enjoying this way too much.

Rebel Spring is a surprisingly good sequel that has got even better in the upcoming book (yes, I've finished Gathering Darkness). I feel like this series hasn't been given enough attention from the public. The fact that it's filled with an unusual sense of suspense is enough to put the book on a high pedestal.

Rating: 8.5/10

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