Book Review: Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes

Posted 12/09/2013 by alicemarvels in Fantasy
Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes




Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Page Count: 416


well-developed characters; skillful pacing and multiple POV use; thrilling political struggles; interesting use of magic


romantic angst

A thrilling sequel that outshines the first book and makes the series stronger.


Warning: this review contains spoilers for Falling Kingdoms

Morgan Rhodes’ fantastic Falling Kingdoms initiated us into a new fantasy world that reads like a junior, more digestible Game of Thrones, complete with divided kingdoms, bitter rivalries and ruthless royals. Its sequel, Rebel Spring, builds on that base story marvelously, developing the four central characters even further, and giving us much more emotion and action to sink our teeth into.

While the political machinations and magic are thrilling to read about, it the characters that make this series so addictive. I barreled right through the pages, hoping for luck and magical intervention to protect my favorite characters, and hoping a horrifying death would befall the characters I’ve developed a fiery, almost nuclear hatred for (King Gaius and Aron, I’m looking at you). Rhodes writes characters so well, I somehow don’t mind at all that the novel is divided into multiple POV’s. Normally that method of storytelling doesn’t work for me, but here it is done with such a balanced hand that I actually quite enjoyed it.

The Fab Four (why I’m addicted to the Falling Kingdoms series):



Oh, Magnus. My love for you is complicated and fierce and slightly icky feeling. You did, after all, commit an unforgivable act of cold-blooded backstabbing murder in Falling Kingdoms. But something about your slightly creepy devotion to your sister Lucia and your hostile brand of chivalry towards Cleo in Rebel Spring has me hanging on your every word, dreamily sighing. I know you don’t really want to be like your tyrant father—I can tell in the disapproving faces you make he squashes his subjects like pesky bugs beneath his boot. This could become full blown long term book boyfriend love if you would only stand up to your father, free Cleo, get over your sister and have a makeout sesh with someone (preferably one that isn’t brought on by a cheering crowd).



Cleo, I love how you’re a wolf in princess’s clothing. It’s just a matter of time before you figure out a way to manipulate what little power you have and wrest Auranos back from the grubby paws of King Gaius. But seriously, how are you functioning after the trauma of book one? You’d be well within your rights to curl up on the nearest mattress and check out for awhile, but instead you play King Gaius’ game like some kind of MI5/CIA double agent.



Speaking of curling up on a mattress and checking out for awhile…Lucia, you were sorely missed throughout much of this book. And when you did wake up and join the story, well, you were kind of scary. Not sure I’m going to be Team Lucia if it should come down to you vs. anyone, with that attitude, young lady.



Jonas, I love how strong your principles are—you’re dedicated to vengeance on all those who wronged you and your brother….unless they’re cute and might want to kiss you, then that plan’s shot to hell. Blood is thicker than water, but not hormones apparently. It seems like you’re not sure whether to cozy up to the princess or your newfound rebel friend Lysandra. Um hello, no brainer! Lysandra is rather Katniss like, so she’s a great partner for rebel living in the woods, plus she challenges you at every turn. Must I always play match maker? Anyway, you have bigger problems than romance, like the fact that you continually dart head first into danger and nearly lose your head in the process. You need to cool it with the impulsive rebel attacks if you want to live to see future books.



Rebel Spring is a stronger book than Falling Kingdoms, and it gives us deeper insight into characters, good, bad and in between. The only downside I can really find with this installment (aside from the fact that, as a middle book, it naturally leaves us hanging slightly plotwise, though I wouldn’t say it’s a cliffie) is that there is a lot of romantic angst. I’m not talking traditional love triangles either, just sort of throwing people up against each other in desperate circumstances in many different configurations. I have NO idea who is going to end up with who, mostly because I’m pretty sure some of them won’t live to see the end of this series, so I’m not actually bothered too much by it. It helps that I’m invested in multiple romances, and would be ok with many different outcomes. But if you are die-hard shipping one pairing, you might be anxious after reading Rebel Spring.


Read an excerpt here.
Watch the trailer:



    Ha, I loved this review! I love the cover on this one too, something beautiful but dark and sinister about it as well. Well done!


    I was NOT the biggest fan of the first book — too many characters and some TSTL actions on their parts. However, I WANT to love this series. The covers are gorgeous and I love the people you picked to represent each characters. Maybe I’ll wait until the series is done.


    I still need to read Falling Kingdoms!!! It came out last year when I was still convinced that the fantasy genre wasn’t for me (that has since been disproved) so I need to go back and check it out. These four sound like very interesting, complex, kinda scary characters and I love that about them. So excited to try this!


    I do love love fantasy ;D


    I had to skim, since I have had an epic fail and haven’t read book one. I love the covers on this series and despite the romantic angst I am dying to read these,


    I usually DO get attached to one romantic couple and I always feel very stronly about it, but I loved the first book, and since this one is even better, I’m pretty sure I’ll find many other things to like about it.
    To be honest, I forgot the finer details of Falling Kingdoms and your review helped me remember. Now I can safely start listening to my audiobook. I bet it’ll be fun.


    I admit I have wanted the first book since I saw that cover. Yep, I’m a cover whore for this one. :)

    I also get attached to one couple, but if it makes sense and entertains, then I can deal. Oh must have both!!


    Well this is certainly a different type of romantic angst… throwing people up against each other, sounds interesting. I really wanted to read the first book last year but didn’t get around to it. Must do it!


    The romantic angst might be too much but glad that the dual pov worked.


    I just popped over to check out your rating because I plan to read the first one soon. I’m so happy to see you loved it! I can’t wait to start this series!


    I’m not gonna read your review yet because I still haven’t read Falling Kingdoms! I’ve been planing on doing that, but life has other plans. So glad you enjoyed this one :)


    I’ve gone back-and-forth on whether I want to read the first book or not. It sounds good, but something is holding me back. I should just do it!


    Your con of romantic angst is something I usually love. lol I hope I love how it plays out in this one though. I can’t wait to read it!


    I haven’t read the first book but this seems like a series that I’d love to devour! But like you, I guess I would feel afraid to get emotionally attached as there is the anxiety that some favorite characters might not live to see the end. Wonderful review!


    I think that the people that you pikt dont make sens
    lusia should be so more deliket
    and magnus younger
    jonas should be younger to and cleo she should be more wild yet tenderd


    Actually, I am a huge Game of Thrones fan, so it was quite cool to see another series like that.


    Kyaaa! I love Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring. I can’t wait for the next book. Hopefully, this is just a trilogy. Anyway, I like Cleo and Jonas so much.

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