In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:
Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred – the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic…
• THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.
• THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia’s overpowering magic – all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.
• THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.
The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica… but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.
“In the shadow my father has cast over my entire life, you are the only light I can see anymore. And, whatever the cost, I refuse to let that light be extinguished.”
I really liked this installment in the Falling Kingdoms series. It was fast paced and constantly had my attention. I did not want to put this book down! There was plenty of action, intrigue, betrayals, backstabbing, and PLOT TWISTS! I am traditionally good at guessing plot twists and while some were predictable, there was a shocking amount in this book that surprised me.
I have complained in my last two reviews about the character development and I talked about how I haven’t really connected with any of the characters. That was certainly rectified in this installment. I started really emotionally connecting with the characters and I felt something more than shock when certain ones died. There were characters that I was really rooting for (such as Magnus and Cleo) and there were characters that I really hated (such as Amara or Melenia). Though, I am still on the fence about Lucia. I really don’t like where her character is going and I feel like she is going to cause a lot more harm than good by the end of this series. Jonas I don’t really care about. Sometimes, I like here his journey is going and I root for him. Other times, I just want to punch him for his naivete and rash decisions.
In my previous reviews, I also complained about the romance plots of this series. I felt like they were extremely underdeveloped and they felt forced to me. The romance aspect was much better in this book but not quite what I want. Morgan Rhodes is getting better at her character relationship development but I just need a tiny bit more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was really worried about not liking this series at the end of the last book but I have a lot more confidence and hope now. Is this series perfect and do I absolutely love it? No. But it does have a lot of potential and I have a lot more investment in it now than I did after the last installment. Maybe this will be the type of series that gets better with each installment and I will love the next three books. I hope that is the case. All of this being said, I will be reading the next installment, Frozen Tides.