Title: Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Date: 9th December 2014
As soon as I finished reading Rebel Spring I dove straight into Gathering Darkness and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. This series has me hooked with how unpredictable it is. Nobody is safe in this story and that is shown with multiple deaths, and characters dying who I thought would be around for a lot longer.
Magic features a lot more in this book and there is more mystery surrounding the kindred, the four magical stones that can restore magic to the Sanctuary, and give power to those that wield them. I can see a lot of the comparisons to Game of Thrones, although I have never read the books and I gave up watching the TV show. This is less bloody deaths, no graphic sex scenes (great for if you’re not into that) and characters who I enjoy reading about. Bear in mind that my review will contain spoilers.
The stakes are higher than ever for the characters in Gathering Darkness as they hurry to find the Kindred. After learning of Princess Lucia’s powers, Princess Cleo and the rebel Jonas team together to use her magic to their advantage and search for the Kindred before Lucia’s father has a chance to take them. But they aren’t the only ones looking for it. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from Kraeshia, are also manipulating their way into finding the magical stones and are proving to be more ruthless that they first seemed. Then there are the Watchers, mystical beings who have hunted the Kindred for hundreds of years, and are now setting foot on land and allying with the King. They know that Lucia is they key to finding the Kindred and they will stop at nothing until they have them. Prince Magnus has learned the truth about his family and has been betrayed by those he loves. Now, he has to decide which side to join.
So much happened in this book and although I finished it a few days ago now, I am still thinking about that ending. Unexpected information was revealed about the Kindred that completely changes everything, especially for the next book in the series (which I don’t have yet). I loved the way Lucia used her magic to find the stones and how everything finally made sense, especially with the road and the strange things that happened on it.
There was a lot more action and killing in this book, with some of the deaths very unexpected. You never really know who had good or bad intentions and I love that about it, especially towards the end. The Kraeshians were a welcome mix to the story, changing it up, and there was a lot of betrayal going on. We also see a lot more of Melenia, a Watcher who is hell bent on finding the Kindred for her own reasons, which we find out in this story, as well as the real story of the Goddesses (it was amazing to know the truth). Everything made sense and yet at the same time I still have so many questions!
While I enjoy most of the characters and root for them with all my heart, there are still some I don’t like. I’m all for rebels, but when you are terrible at it (*cough cough* Jonas) it can be a little painful. I can feel myself losing interest in his side of the story and felt he didn’t contribute much in Gathering Darkness. But then there is Cleo and Magnus, two of my favourites in the whole story. Cleo is definitely getting her confidence back and is taking risks to fight for what she wants. She makes some bold moves and takes the lead with the rebels (go her). Then we have Magnus, who does some very unexpected things in this book and by the end I found myself falling for him as a character. I hope that in the next few books he can become the hero we all want him to be.
Lucia is still an enigma and often acts completely crazy, mainly due to her magic, but I think we would all be the same if everyone was trying to use us to find the Kindred. The only person she feels she can trust is the Watcher, Alexius, but even then we find that he has a dark secret of his own. There are a lot of revelations in this book and I can only imagine that there will be more in the next.
Overall, I am still obsessed with this series and I am loving the direction it is taking. There is so much back-stabbing, people changing sides, and secrets that you can’t think straight. This series brings out a lot of emotion in me and I can’t remember the last time I felt this way about one. All I know is that I cannot wait to get my hands on the last three books. 4.5 stars for me on this one!