Title: Frozen Tides (Book #4 in the Falling Kingdoms series)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Synopsis: (since this book is the fourth in the series, this will contain spoilers to those who haven’t read the first three books yet). Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.
CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.
MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.
LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.
JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.
KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.
(synopsis from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: After reading this book back in February, I FINALLY HAVE THE REVIEW UP. I keep getting surprised with this series. How is it even possible that it keeps getting better? My expectations for this instalment have been exceeded to the max. I love the amount of character growth and development that we got to experience with some of the newer characters; it kept them from becoming flat, simple, one dimensional people. My favourite thing about this series is that the characters have so much substance. I found myself so hypnotised by the writing and the story. If I didn’t need things like sleep, food, and the need to relieve myself, I could’ve finished this book in one sitting. The words were addictive, and each of the chapters were such page turners that I needed to devour it all at once. I couldn’t put the book down.
I’m so in love with the world. By following multiple characters in their point of view, we got to branch out of Mytica and explore the lands of Kraeshia. The expanded universe creates a larger playing field for betrayal, trickery, and allegiances to form. I loved seeing the difference in cultures between Kraeshia and Mytica; there was more variety that resembled the real world. Although the appearance of Kraeshia had a great introduction, I believe that there is still room to grow.
Like I said before, the characters are the best part of the story for me. Our core four constantly surprises me with their character arcs. Cleo has proven time and time again that she is cunning, resourceful, and will not go down without a fight. I want nothing more than for her to reclaim her kingdom and end happily with Magnus. There are 2 books left in the series, and by the way that this book ended, I have a feeling that there will be more obstacles interfering with their endgame. I can’t help but feel bad for Jonas. Everything he does ends up going wrong, or blows up in his face; he can’t catch a break! I loved seeing how involved he was with the other characters and I’m excited to see how his situation will improve during the rest of the series. My feelings for Lucia are still conflicted. I appreciate how powerful she is and how her POV is the one with the deepest connection to the mythology of the world, the Watchers, and magic, but her actions and behaviour towards everyone she interacts with greatly irritated me throughout 60% of the book. I did not enjoy her travel companion Kyan, either; he felt more like a child than a fire god. I feel like Magnus is really coming into his own in this novel. He finally stops comparing himself to his father and learns to be his own person. I just wish that he encountered that revelation earlier in the book. Magnus has really developed throughout the series. You can really see how much he cares for the people in his kingdom. I also want to talk about Felix and Amara, but I will discuss them in the spoiler section because I don’t want to spoil anybody. Just know that I feel very strongly for the both of them, Amara has me incredibly conflicted (in a good way) and that Felix is one of my favourite characters.
The plot for Frozen Tides was a rollercoaster of emotion. The twists, turns, and betrayals had my mouth open for a good 30% throughout the book. After each chapter ended, I had to keep reading. Although the beginning of the novel was slower compared to the latter half, I felt like the seeds that were planted early on, sprouted into a thrilling ending that will leave readers wanting more; the second half really kicked the story into high gear.
I hate and love Amara with a passion. I loved that we were given insight through her point of view as to why she acts that way that she is; it really saved her from becoming a typical villain who is bad just for the sake of being bad. Her complexity of her character and the situation that she is in kind of makes me want to root for her. I admire how she taking down the misogynistic ways of Kraeshia by doing whatever it takes to rule, even if it meant killing her whole family. But I cannot forgive her for killing Ashur and betraying Felix. I felt extremely betrayed when it happened; I seriously thought Felix and Amara had a thing going on between them. I want redemption for her character, but there is no way in hell that she can end up with Felix after what she did to him. I love morally gray characters.
Ever since we were introduced to Felix in Gathering Darkness, I knew that he would become one of my favourite characters. His personality is like a mix of all of my favourite snarky, sarcastic, and cheeky characters. I thought it was great how we got to dive into his backstory about his assassin clan and how he wants to change his ways by distancing himself from them. Characters seeking redemption are also my favourite. I loved the back and forth banter he had with Amara and thought that they could possibly have a small thing on the side. That idea was quickly vanquished when Amara turned around and stabbed us all in the back. At least he didn’t waste away in his cell. I’m glad that he got help.
Speaking of help, the alliance of the heroes was so great. I loved how Jonas, Magnus, and the Kraeshian crew made an alliance and started working together. I thought it was a tiny bit strange how fast Jonas trusted Magnus though. Isn’t it Jonas’ goal to kill Magnus? What suddenly made him have that trust? I’m not complaining at all, because I love it when people work together, but I thought it was a little weird how fast it all came along.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I didn’t really care when Lysandra died. I mean, it sucks for her and for Jonas, but after that I moved along very quickly.
I am so aboard the Magneo ship it’s not even funny. I was getting irritated whenever Magnus and Cleo would get really close but then would break off because one of them would mention Theon, or when miscommunication ensued and then they would start yelling at each other. I just really wanted them to tell each other how they feel and trust one another. That scene when they’re in that room together gave me life. I can only wish them good luck from this point on. Judging by the trouble Nic is stirring up with Theon’s identical twin brother Taran, (which I thought was incredibly convenient) the next book willreally take a turn into making their relationship 10x harder.
I have so many questions. Whats going to happen to Lucia with her current situation? Is Ashur really dead, or….? What even happened to Gaius? Is he dead, or….? Will Jonas ever catch a break and be happy?
** SPOILER SECTION OVER**
I want nothing more than to have the 5th book in my hands right now. With the amount of twist and turns that this book has, who knows how its going to end. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll update you soon.