Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes

4/5 Stars 
Published by Razorbill
Published December 3rd, 2013

Synopsis: After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms - Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia - are not 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' road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences. 

After reading Falling Kingdoms and having a tough time finding a reason to continue on with this series, Rebel Spring made it clear to me that I wanted to continue forward. Rebel Spring was a million times better than Falling Kingdoms, and that was obvious to me from the first chapter. I felt as though Morgan Rhodes had really discovered the voice of each of her characters and how she wanted to portray their stories. The story took off in a direction that was very unlike the first book - it was filled to the brim with action and incredibly fast paced. It's clear to me now that Morgan Rhodes used Falling Kingdoms as a way to introduce to us this new elaborate world with complex ideologies and characters. At first I thought the sequel would be just as snail paced and unenthusiastic as the first, but it was the complete opposite for me.

Morgan Rhodes did an excellent job in developing her characters and moving her story forward with twists and turns, and an overlaying dark theme that was interesting to explore. Her characters all stood out with individual contrasts and alluring thought processes. I found it fascinating to compare and contrast how these characters behaved in this book in comparison to the first. Each character, and my oh my there are tons, grew to be either vengeful and hopeful with a new sense of purpose, or dark and brooding with power as their only goal. I've grown fond of some of these characters, as well as built up an animosity towards other, but in all the cast is unique and compelling. Along with this, the world in which they reside has recently peaked my interest. We've gotten more glimpses into places that were just brushed over in Falling Kingdoms and we were introduced to new kingdoms and locations. This definitely added another layer to the complications and challenges the characters must endure, and I must say I am super excited.

If you read my review for Falling Kingdoms, you'll know I had a bit of a problem with it, but couldn't pin point the exact reasoning for my dislike of the book. All I can tell you now is that this series is going somewhere and it's bringing the world along for a ride. I now understand the hype and all the attention it's been receiving from booktubers and bloggers alike. It's clear that Gathering Darkness, book three in the series, will only bring more problems and secrets to the surface, as well as more blood thirsty kings, sword fights, firestorms, and spicy romance. If you read Falling Kingdoms and couldn't decide whether or not to keep moving forward, I'm telling you now to please give the rest of the series a chance - you may discover your new favorite series!