Falling Kingdoms: Crystal Storm

Rebels and Sorceresses Alike, Welcome Back to Mytica!


Sophia K. Dalberg, Reporter

The long-awaited book Crystal Storm, the fifth book in the Falling Kingdoms series written by Morgan Rhodes, has finally been released. The series follows the adventures of Princess Cleonia, Jonas Agallon, Magnus Damora, and a large cast of colorful and violent characters. Assassins and sorcerers alike, as they travel through the magical and murderous world of Mytica. This is a series set in a medieval-esque realm, filled with a character-driven narrative, dripping with blood, backstabbing, violence, magic, and romantic entanglements, with plot twists that will leave readers on the edge of their seats. If you were the kid who read series like The Ranger’s Apprentice, then these books will appeal to you.

The land of Mytica is divided into three kingdoms: Prosperous Auranos, struggling Paelsia, and  frigid Limeros. Against these settings, characters travel in search of revenge, domination, and the power of the kindred stones that can restore the magic back into the kingdom and give its wielder almost unlimited power.

Crystal Storm is the fifth edition in the ever popular series, and it does not disappoint. Unlike some series, these books do not slow down; even after the fifth story, the plot still digs its claws into the reader and refuses to let go.

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This story starts right where it left off, with Jonas on the docks of Kraeshia and an unlikely friend returning. It follows the adventures of the last novel, setting up a new storyline for Amara and following the current story of Cleo and Magnus after their accident with King Gaius. All the cliffhangers from the last book are brought fully forward in just the first few chapters of this new novel. Even Lucia’s storyline is quickly brought in as the reader find her in a new location she has only seen in her dreams. Throughout the novel, the blooming relationship between Cleo and Magnus is further explored and tested, Jonas is brought to a crossroads as a prophecy begins to start, Lucia starts to pay for her sins, and Amara’s reign begins in flames. The story has twists and turns that punch you in the gut and make you laugh all at once. Enemies become friends and unlikely alliances are made to save Mytica from the impending threat looming over them. Men rise from the dead, some characters are taken away forever and rip your heart out as they go, and friendships are forged and tested beyond any normal limits.

Out of all the progressions seen throughout this book, Cleo’s and Amara’s storylines are the most interesting. Of course, all of the story lines are riveting to follow, but in these books, these relationships stand out to me the most. I enjoy Amara’s simplicity, because it helps the reader further understand her character. She is relatively new to the series, so it is interesting to see how she progresses. It gives us a further depth into her psyche and gives the audience a deeper understanding of her character. Yes, she is still power hungry and out for power; but her chapters in this novel really help her character round out.

The other most intriguing storyline is the one that follows Cleo. She is one of the main characters throughout all five books, so already she has been through a lot of character development. However, in his book she manages to capture a whole new level of herself, making it almost impossible not to be enthralled in her story. The princess who has been through it all is brought to a whole new level of indecision and conflict. Her relationship with Magnus is thrown into a whole new light as we see how they develop through her eyes, and how they must fight not only with each other, but also through a whole myriad of problems, lies, and guilt. A new struggle for power is created and she is even further conflicted when she learns a new fact about the kindred and is reunited with old friends and a familiar face.

I love this series, and this book just created a deeper infatuation. It followed all of the beautiful things I have come to expect from this series, but it also flipped the story on its side, drawing me in even further and deepening my obsession. It takes a thousand different roads that you would never expect, and does things that can make the reader irrationally angry at fictional characters. It is a book that does everything you would never expect and somehow Morgan Rhodes makes it work flawlessly.

Of course every story has its flaws but I would still recommend this book and series one hundred percent. No matter how much it flips the switch on you or makes you angry, you can’t help but devour the pages in front of you. It’s a PG-13 version of Game of Thrones, with deaths and plot twists that will leave you speechless. It is definitely worth the read for anyone who loves fantasy and adventure (and bonus the cover art is absolutely stunning and will look great on your shelves.)

-Until next time, all my rebels and sorceresses, stay nerdy!