Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #5)
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Summary: The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.
In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.
Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.
The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.
My Thoughts: Rhodes delivers a character-driven continuation to her Falling Kingdoms Series!
It saddens me that this wasn’t a 5-star read, but it definitely sets up for an epic conclusion for the 6th and final book in the series!
This novel picks up right away following the events of Frozen Tides and Magnus + Cleo find themselves following King Gaius to unlock the Kindred’s magic!
As with the previous novels, Rhodes executes the multiple POV’s wonderfully and with each chapter I’m never left confused as to who’s POV I’m reading from.
Many of the main characters like Cleo, Magnus, Jonas, Nic and Ashur have now teamed up to find a way to take down Amara who has taken control of Palesia due to some convincing of Kyan.
Lucia is on a mission of her own to understand what her magic is destined to do her and what is to become of her and her child. She makes her way to the Sanctuary and meets Timotheus who tells her of her fate and what is happening to the magic of their world b/c of the Kindred.
Now Lucia wants to set things right and find her family.
Character development was a huge part of this novel. However there is significantly more depth given to Gaius, Amara, Jonas & Lucia!
With King Gaius and Prince Magnus, their father-son relationship is really given more development. Secrets are revealed and you come to learn more about the King Of Blood and his past. Overall it becomes quite a big element of this novel in terms of character motivations and plot direction!
We come to have a behind-the-scenes look at Amara’s plan as she takes over Palesia and what she’s willing to do to gain even more magic and power.
In terms of world-building, there is definitely more expansion on the Kindred and development on who is now, as I can gather, the main villain Kyan! As the story progressed, I felt there was more depth given to the magic system and world of Mytica as a whole.
There was obviously a lot of things that happened, but there were issues I had which makes me really unsure of how to rate this! (Though the pros do outweigh the cons).
I took off a star because, I personally felt that the stakes weren’t as high as with Frozen Tides for instance and I feel that has mostly to do with the pacing which was slow for me in parts.
There were events that occurred or POV’s we followed which really dragged the story in some parts (especially in the beginning), for example Lucia’s! Personally I’ve always found it difficult to enjoy/connect with her character, but as I neared the end I found myself enjoying her development at seeing her redeem herself in wanting to set things right.
However as I reached the end, the pacing was much faster which I loved! Secrets are revealed and I found myself turning the pages wanting to know what was going to happen. The characters come together nearing the conclusion and I loved their interactions/dynamics!
Regardless of those minor issues…
Rhodes continues to deliver an engaging, character-driven fantasy with secrets, schemes and Crystal Storm definitely hints at an epic conclusion I will absolutely be reading!
I’m definitely marking my calendar for book 6 to see how it wraps up!