“You don’t cry when someone pushes you down. You get up. You get up and you fight back. And pretty soon nobody’s going to shove you anymore because they’ll see it’s not worth it.”
Title: Gathering Darkness
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms # 3
Publication: December 9th 2014 by Razorbill
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Finally! This series was off to a meh sort of start for me, but it has finally picked up the pace. While the ever present problems I have with some of the story telling and methods are still very much alive and kicking in this third installment, there is also a light shining through the other end for once. Gathering Darkness, much like the other books in the series, is full of unnecessary deaths and awkward confrontations. However, Gathering Darkness also brings a fire the other books have been lacking. It is adventurous, heart pounding, and it takes constant unexpected turns. One thing I do enjoy about these books is that I never know what’s actually going to happen. Gathering Darkness feeds of the success of the previous books while also highlighting a new region of unexplored territory. It is a much needed addition to this series.
Like I said, my main problems are still very prevalent. One of my biggest issues is the constant death. I am not opposed to killing characters (not in the literary standpoint, at least. As a fangirl, hell yes I’m opposed). I am, however, not akin to just killing them off. There is so much death, people are dying left and right and it is completely taking away the power of their deaths. Huge main characters have died and more will keep dying; the problem is that there is no meaning in their deaths. I honestly feel like the characters are being killed off just because she can’t think of anything better to do. It doesn’t further the plot and I feel absolutely nothing but annoyance when they die. My thoughts instantly turn to – oh lookie, there goes another one. Too much of a good thing can be bad, and these books are a prime example of it.
My second issue is the relationships between all of the characters. This is a problem that has been around since book one and has yet to dissipate or fix itself. The characters all fall in love like Romeo after he gets dumped by Rosaline: BOOM. One second they can be talking and the next they are kissing and there has been no romantic tension build up whatsoever. There is only one relationship that has actual grounds and it is the least likely one to happen. Everyone loves Cleo, but Cleo likes Nic, Jonas, and Magnus? Wait, what? I am honestly so confused with everything when it comes to the characters interacting. It’s all hot and cold. “I HATE YOU” and then they’re making out or something. None of the relationships have plausible grounds. I ship nothing with nothing – and that’s a problem for me.
Anywho, problems aside, Gathering Darkness did bring a lot of things to the table. It was exciting, entertaining, and thought provoking at points. I finally could feel and hope for some of the characters. I had a purpose to reading, I had a side I had chosen. Previously, I was reading just to read and see if something got better. Now? I wan’t to see success, I want to see vengeance. I actually want to see what happens to the characters – and that is a vast improvement over my prior feelings towards the books. Gathering Darkness is the perfect third installment, it was just enough to rejuvenate my interests.