MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he’s no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.
LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.
JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.
AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she’ll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.
And what kind of darkness will descend–and who will be safe–after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?
My Rating: 5 Stars
If you haven’t read the first 4 books in the Falling Kingdoms Series, do not read my review yet! Go buy the other books, finish them, THEN read my review, and email me so we can talk about how much we love Magnus. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I’ve come to a conclusion today: Morgan Rhodes is trying to kill me. I know I’ve said before that books ran me through the emotional wringer, but there are not words to describe how this book made me feel. At multiple points, I swear I could feel my heart actually stopping. This book read like a beautifully written soap opera – and like grandma’s all over the world, who tune in for their daily dose of soap opera drama, I am utterly and irrevocably addicted.
I honestly don’t know where to start this review – so much happened in 432 pages. From the beginning of this series, I have been a huge fan of both Magnus and Cleo – so I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when they ended up not only married, but in love (I squealed like a fan girl, Kaz and Socks, my cats, were not amused). True to the blurb, their love is tested time and time again over the course of this book. I found myself screaming at my kindle when their relationship suffered for any reason.
In the first few books of the series, I felt that Cleo was a very naive character who could be great if she just stopped being so sheltered and spoiled. I have loved watching her develop into an amazing and admirable person – she is smart, determined and loyal. This honestly makes her the perfect match for Magnus – when he suffers doubts about their relationship, she is steadfast in her belief in them. While she seemed to jump from boy to boy at the start of the series, her relationship with Magnus in this book was real. I think that Rhodes did a phenomenal job showing the difficulties that come from real, loving, lasting relationships.
Cleo and Magnus may be my favorite characters, but I have really enjoyed Jonas as well. He is just such an honest character, not yet used to the politics that royals choose to immerse themselves in, he fights for what he believes is right no matter the cost. I think he is the only character whose intentions I have never doubted.
Although they seemed to be a small part of this book, both Nic and Ashur are always fantastic characters to read about. Honestly, I wish that Rhodes had a few chapters from Ashur’s perspective in this book. He seemed to be really struggling with a few things (duh, he did just come back from the dead after being murdered in cold blood by his own sister) and I would have liked to read more about him working through these difficulties.
One of the things that, in my opinion, really makes this series great is that you really never know who the villains are. Of course the Kindred seem to be the common enemy (Kyan in particular) but when she was introduced, for example, I never would have seen Amara as a corrupt empress, and I’m still not sure that she won’t redeem herself in some way. Lucia, who started the series as a very light, young character, spent the entirety of the last book as a complete evil badass. In Crystal Storm, however, she looks to redeem herself before her child is born. With alliances constantly switching, and characters constantly surprising me, I never knew what was going to happen next.
Now, onto the ending. I wish that Morgan Rhodes and I were besties so that I could call her up right now to talk about the ending of this book. I think I have re-read the last page of Crystal Storm a dozen times, expecting for the words on the page to change, or another chapter to magically appear. HOW COULD YOU END A BOOK LIKE THAT? I AM DYING HERE!!! I refuse to post any spoilers, but if you don’t like cliffhangers, wait for the final book in this series to be released before reading this one.
My Takeaway: In case you couldn’t tell by my abnormally long review, I loved this book. As in fall asleep holding it in my arms loved it. I only wish that I somehow had the final book in this series because the wait might literally kill me. My only caution for readers is this: if you don’t enjoy cliffhangers, wait until the final book in the series comes out.