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3.0 out of 5 starsAn improvemrnt from the first book (3.5)
Reviewed in Canada on December 24, 2017
Despite that i still have difficulty with the autor style of writing, this second book had unexpectedly kept my interest going till the end. I just wish the autor would put more effort in giving greater depth to the characters than to their physical traits....
Fortunately, the Falling Kingdom series is one of those rare series that gets significantly better with each, and every installment. U_U In "Gathering Darkness," the plot continues to move forward as the characters work together--or against each other--to accomplish their respective goals. So many alliances are made, and broken with, or without your knowledge, leaving you delighted, heartbroken, or shocked. Or all three at once--which is especially pertinent at the end because of ALL OF THE PLOT TWISTS. WOWOWOWOW.
In addition to plot developments, the characters themselves continue to grow, and change through their attempts at overcoming their struggles, as well as their interactions with the one another. For example, the two princesses of the series, Cleo, and Lucia, both continue to change drastically from the people they were at the start of the series; what's interesting to see is how one's heart becomes much stronger, and kinder in the face of hardship, while the other's hardens. ALSO, a new character is introduced in this book: Felix, the ex-assassin, and new rebel! <3<3<3. The budding bromance between Jonas, and Felix is just A+++.
All in all, Gathering Darkness is incredible, and leaves you desperate to read the next book! ^^ I highly, highly recommend it~ :D
3.0 out of 5 starsGathering Darkness is a disappointment after the majesty that was Rebel Spring.
Reviewed in Canada on September 1, 2016
Gathering Darkness is a disappointment after the majesty that was Rebel Spring.
The characters are annoying for most of the book and lost their charm and swagger. Magnus is the biggest disappointment of the book. He's not as in control or smooth, as compared to the previous book making his character boring and uninteresting. As for Lucia, I never really enjoyed her perspective or her character. She feels naive and young. She continues to feel this way for the rest of this book, but I hope she matures in the next installment. The only character I enjoyed in this book was Jonas. Which surprised me because I didn't particularly enjoy him in the previous book. Jonas' perspective was intriguing and action packed, which was a nice change of pace.
The Kindred were slightly disappointing as well until the last chapter where game changing information is revealed.
The last thing I wanted to touch upon was Magnus and Cleo. I know a lot of people ship them, but I don't understand why. I found their relationship to be almost nonexistent and the little interactions they had were flat and dull.
Overall, I wish I would have enjoyed Gathering Darkness as much as I enjoyed Rebel Spring. I will continue with the story simply because the last chapter was intriguing.
The story gets even more intricate with each book. There are layers upon layers to this story and people and past events that are influencing and affecting the current story that the main characters aren't even aware of. I love how much detail and complexity Rhodes weaves into this story and I am always left in awe when I read this series because there is such good world building, relationship building, and threats that it makes it such a GOOD read. This is honestly such a good example of amazing fantasy in YA and I wish more people had read this series.
The plot thickens as we meet new characters and learn about ulterior motives of the characters who have already been introduced. I thought that the Kindred awakening scene went a little quickly and that there could have been a bit more time between awakening the Kindreds because it felt very fast. Especially considering a lot of what this story is building up to is finding (and using) the Kindreds. Don't get me wrong, I am sure there is still more to it than having them in possession, but I think it was just oddly paced considering the rest of the story. That ending always leaves me breathless and speechless because I am so nervous about where the story is going to go from here and what Lucia is going to do. I just love love love the dark direction that this is taking.
Cleo becomes a great leader in this -- if only she had people to lead (oh gosh I'm horrible). She knows how to take charge, be manipulative, and also be genuine when she needs to be. It is quite the read because she is playing everyone in this series to her advantage while also falling in love along the way. And I am so here for it. I don't think that she is going to have a super happy ending (because honestly, I don't think anyone is going to) but I do hope that she find some happiness at the current moment.
Magnus is bae. I do this weird wiggly shake every time he is on the page or in the story because I just love him. I was so skeptical of him in the beginning but he has really grown on me. I would assume that is the point, since he is also growing on Cleo. But I like that he is finally coming to terms with what his change of heart actually means. AND HE STOOD UP TO HIS FATHER! MULTIPLE TIMES! *happy dances*
Jonas is still Jonas. I feel like out of all the main characters, Jonas is the most stagnant. He does start to show he is trusting people but he is constantly making the same mistakes and not learning from them. I thought his brush with death in REBEL SPRING would give him a new outlook on life however he seems to be even more stupid if that's possible. I do like that he is admitting his feelings for both Lysandra and Cleo but I am kinda torn? On one hand, I love me some Magneo. But on the other hand, it feels like the typical "Princess ends up with Prince" and "Rebel ends up with Rebel" and I almost expected more. Like maybe Jonas and Cleo could be together. But then I remember Magnus and am like nope.
Lucia is perfection. I love that she is naive and easily manipulated for other people's gains but once she learns about this she takes no s*** or prisoners and literally kills them. I love that even with Cleo's ring, she is still feeling the darkness. And acting on it! I really admire that she realizes that there is darkness there but she is starting to care less and less. Whether this is a personal choice or the taint of magic, we have yet to see. But I do think she will start to give into the darkness more in the next novel after the events of this one.
Everything about this series is perfect and flawless. I'm so here for characters dying and for there to be more happening in the background than what the main characters are led to believe. I am just so in love with this series and if you haven't started it yet, do so now.
The events of this book are a complete game changer. Quite often fantasy series with an expansive world and an ever changing political landscape require a steady progression of events; we see this in Game of Thrones, for example, where more character driven moments slow down the progression of the plot to allow for key players to move into position for the next pivotal moment. Falling Kingdoms is a series with many pivotal moments and very few slow components to create that build; it feels like the players move at lightning speed, frequently changing which character fills the most powerful position. It's so clever, never boring and Gathering Darkness is possible the most significant yet.
The race to discover the location of the four elemental crystals is very much on between the King of Blood, the Kraeshains (a slippery new sibling duo), Jonas' rebels (accompanied somewhat by Princess Cleo) and the Watchers. As each family attempts to gain leverage, in the background Princess Lucia grows ever stronger and acts as a catalyst for key events which could enable the crystal's location to be revealed.
I really appreciate how much magic is woven within Gathering Darkness. It has been steadily drip-fed throughout the series, but Lucia's abilities have become a really interesting component to the story now and the addition of The Watchers as an ethereal presence added a completely new dimension to the magic already present in the series.
The friendships, both genuine and deliberately contrived, are the strongest component of this series, allowing genuine attachments to characters to form. I still maintain that this series has some of the most interesting and believable characters with superbly crafted development; I enjoy reading from each of the perspectives and feel genuinely invested in the outcome for each of them too. I'm not sure I'm necessarily taken by the romantic elements throughout, since none of the small romances are especially central features and develop and evaporate quite quickly, but the friendships are exceptional.
This series is so easy to absorb and I find myself lost in it for hours at a time. It's the perfect fantasy escapism and I'll be genuinely sad to see it end.
5.0 out of 5 starsMy best read of 2016 so far, I have found my favourite series. A must-read for Fantasy lovers.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 9, 2016
Gathering Darkness was without a doubt one of the best books I have read of 2016, yes I know its January but still. For those of you who have stumbled across my reviews on Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring, you will have noted that I really enjoyed the books but there was something missing, that initial spark or driving force being liking and loving a book. My feelings of Gathering Darkness- I love this freaking book. It's now one of my favourite series.
Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring are like the stepping stones in the series, slowly preparing you for what’s to come, drawing you into this fantasy world full of love, betrayal and vengeance, which makes Gathering Darkness the book that dominates them all, leaving you a little breathless, in a state of shock and with a little trickle of fear that things are only just getting started.
“Hatred is like fire. It burns the one who harnesses it. It’s also extremely hard to see more helpful truths through its flames.”
Gathering Darkness makes quick work of bringing you up to speed on the past events of the series and soon enough the plot is under way and your immersed once again in this ferocious magical world. Cleo, Jonas, Magnus and Lucia are locked and loaded in the this explosive sequel, better yet each is unrecognizable since book one, they continue to grow and change and not sometimes for the better but you can’t help but love them anyway, their journey is not one for the light hearted but their courage and commitment to their beliefs is contagious.
“Some sought revenge against their mortal enemies with the edge of a sword. Her plan for vengeance began with the edge of a smile.”
I must commend yet again the multiple POV’s and how wonderfully entangled the writing is, you move smoothly from character to character and kingdom to kingdom but you don’t feel jolted and confused, everything is effortless. We also get to know the trickster Kraeshian sibling’s Prince Ashur and Princess Amara. Seemly innocent in the beginning but I assure you they have their own schemes and prove to be one of the biggest players in this ruthless game searching for the Kindred.
“Fear and intimidation are tactics that work very well on those who allow themselves to be afraid and intimidated.”
Now I must talk about the romance, once more the romance never takes center stage but these mere snippets of moments are filled with such delicious tension, angst and smothering desire that I find myself developing the most unhealthy obsession with these characters and ships. I have fully jumped ship and I regret absolutely nothing, they are my life now, so sad and I will not be swayed.
“It was desperate, this kiss. Violent, even.”
As I’ve said above this book was explosive, I mean fast-paced, full of action, don’t-you-dare-put-me-down-or-you’ll-miss-something-good, all consuming plot that makes the pages fly by. There were so many plot twists, shocking betrayals and although it pain’s me to even think of them but heartbreaking loses. I didn’t think Rhodes could be more brutal but again I’m in awe of her dark and bewitching skill to completely change a character that makes you-the reader throw away all those past opinions and feel a sense of kindred to them.
“That is your greatest mistake. The love you felt for him wasn’t love at all—it was obsession. Real love means sacrifice, not selfishness.”
I may never recover from the cliffhanger, I’m actually telling people “don’t read this book unless you have Frozen Tides within arms reach.” And I stand by it. So many revelations come to light but it is not without sacrifice, I’m actually in complete denial about one aspect of the ending, I refuse to believe it, it’s cruel, devastating and just plain agony to think about. I currently have Frozen Tides within arms reach and it’s a battle every day to not tear my way through it like a possessed animal but the mere thought that Frozen Tides could end even half as badly as Gathering Darkness stills my too eager fingers because then I will be left waiting in agony for the next instalment and much-needed answers. I’ll eventually break down but I have some pretty epic books coming up on my TBR so I’ll stay strong, for now.
Gathering Darkness outshines its predecessors and shows a glimpse into just how giant and complex this world is and what exactly Rhodes has in store for her readers.
You think you know the Kindred? You think you know what everyone is fighting for? Think again!
5.0 out of 5 starsBeyond Words - Completely Fantastic!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2014
Followers of the Falling Kingdoms Series will absolutely LOVE this next instalment! Morgan Rhodes just gets better and better with each book, it really was fantastic. If you enjoy Game of Thrones, but would like a little less blood spilling, this is definitely the series for you. Prince, Princesses, Rebels, Magic and War it as it all and it is one of my very favourites.