{Review} Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms

by Morgan Rhodes
Falling Kingdoms – Book 2
Published December 2013
Goodreads: See here
YA Fantasy

Plot at a Glance:

The second in the Falling Kingdoms series. Auranos is in chaos after having been conquered. Cleo is unmoored and alone in dangerous territory. King Gaius advances his plans and a rebel uprising threatens to divide the land again.

Series Reviews:
{Review} Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes


Incredible. It’s somehow even worse than the first one.

I’m a patient person but this series tests the limits of that patience in a big way. If I hadn’t been reading this as part of a Fantasy League group, I probably would have DNF’ed it. There’s simply not enough of value in this discount Game of Thrones to make the journey worth it, and it boggles my mind that it’s seen as much success in the YA community as the writing just isn’t very good.

The plotting in this book is so predictable. It follows a pretty standard formula that repeats itself every 5 chapters or so.

🗡️ Cleo reminds someone how terrible her life is – they both cry over the tragedy.

🗡️ A character reminds Jonas how perfect he is at everything he does – usually with a declaration of love.

🗡️ A character reveals themselves as evil, usually with a monologue about how evil they are.

🗡️ Someone related to one of the 3 leads (Cleo, Magnus/Lucia and Jonas,) dies. The person they were closest to cycles every 5 chapters.

🗡️ Repeat

Characterization really goes straight out the window here in favor of cheap surprises meant to shock the reader. Let me make it very clear though: there is a difference between true character growth, and completely altering a character’s personality between chapters. It happens multiple times here that a character who was previously defined by one generic set of traits suddenly reveals themselves to be the opposite of those traits and they get to deliver a robotic and cliche-ridden speech about how evil they really are, while I wondered why I was supposed to care.

The writing feels emotionally manipulative to me. It’s clear Rhodes hasn’t plotted this thing out from start to finish, so instead she relies on shock factor and excitement to keep readers invested. Every time things start to get stale, either a death or unexpected romance is thrown in, and then the story spins on in the same cyclical fashion from there.

There’s a great deal of pandering too. Such as involving an established straight character in a gay subplot 2 chapters from the end, which should tell you how much it factored into the story. Almost like someone informed Rhodes that it’s in now to have gay characters in YA books, so instead of crafting a new character she just up and makes a straight character gay in the 11th hour to claim diversity points.

Lastly, while no character here is particularly memorable or likable, Jonas remains one of the worst characters ever. I hate him. Hate him, hate him, hate him.

He’s clearly Morgan Rhodes’ favorite and as such he can do absolutely no wrong. Our Fantasy League took to hashtagging #JustJonasThings (Thanks Kaylin for coming up with the term!) every time Jonas did or said something totally ridiculous – which was all the time. If we had played a drinking game I think we all would have died of alcohol poisoning.

I just do not get the hype with this series. It has got to be the most overrated, poorly written, popular series I’ve read this year. I was alternating between 1 and 2 stars again, but I’m settling on 1 this time. Given that this is the second book in the series, I would have expected many of the issues from the first book to be fixed here – but they’re not. In fact they’re amplified, so I’m settling on 1 star. This series just is not worth the time.

That being said, the League is forging on and we’ll be continuing on with the third book in a few weeks, so keep your eye out for that.

🌟✩✩✩✩ = 1/5 “read anything else, really,” stars

Have you read this book?? Have you read the sequels? Do they get better? Have you ever disliked an extremely popular series? I can’t be alone! 



31 thoughts on “{Review} Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Add yours

    1. Omg Jonas is so bad! Like everything he did was always perfect, everyone was in love with him, etc. I totally understand that feeling of missing something. I just think it’s really poorly written to be honest, and that Morgan Rhodes was in the right place at the right time to capitalize on game of thrones popularity to get this published.


  1. I started to read the first book (because I think the covers are gorgeous) but the writing was so piss poor that I just couldn’t get ten pages into it. So glad that I didn’t bother sticking with it because sounds like this book would’ve been thrown across the room at some point, and that’s just a waste of perfectly good energy.

    I enjoyed your review! (LOVED the gifs!) Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jean! I agree, the writing really is atrocious. I think Morgan Rhodes had to have been in the right place at the right time to get this series published at all. It boggles my mind that it’s so beloved in the YA community, because it’s actually really badly written.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha Bentley your review made me laugh! Sorry to disappoint but I love this series. Now I’m not a Jonas fan as I think Magnus is more interesting. I did not realize it but your point about gay characters is indeed very valid! We had no clue before that he would be gay so..I get your point. Now i’m still reading it and enjoying it even if some characters made me want to hurt someone (Lucia was the worst). I guess I’m easy to please as a reader or I’m looking for something else than you do. I loved your review as it shows how we all have different opinions about books or series. really well done 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucia is so bad with the special snowflake syndrome thus far. I hope she gets a bit better in the next couple books. XD Thanks so much for the level-headed response. It’s very true that we all enjoy books for different reasons. I have plenty of friends who love this series and I love them for liking it and being their own person.


  3. Fantastic review with strong and solid opinions! Sometimes one can truly appreciate the mind power that a reader has out in to pick out the flaws that sometimes other readers may not notice (intentionally or unintentionally).
    I think I saw a review of one of those books not so long ago and I thought- oh, this sounds interesting… and with your input, it sounds even more interesting now because it’s a bit like a personal challenge.. how will I receive the books?! 🙂

    Anyway, well done and really enjoyed this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz! These books definitely intrigued me for a long while before I finally picked them up with the group I’m reading them with. I know a lot of people who like them though, so I hope if/when you try them out you get more enjoyment out of them than I am currently! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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