Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms #5)

23367261Crystal Storm. Morgan Rhodes. High fantasy/Young adult. 2016. 379 pages. 5 stars.

“It’s when we feel the most uncertain,” her mother had told her, “that we must appear at our most confident. To show weakness is to allow others to prey upon it. Now brush your hair, lift your chin, and pretend you are the most powerful person in the room.”

The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

The second to the last installment of the Falling Kingdoms series prepares everything for the finale, which is set to be released later this year! Crystal Storm was nothing short of exciting due to many rivals forming alliances–albeit temporary–to take down common enemies.

Cleo, who has been hiding her true feelings for Magnus from her closest friends, has come to a dead end and must decide what she really wants: power or love?

Jonas, known to be one failure after another, meets a destiny that requires him to confront the very thing that destroyed him.

Magnus, raised to be heartless but finds himself incapable of staying away from the golden princess, is confronted by more than just the problem of his father but the trust of Cleo as well.

Lucia, once tied with the Fire Kindred, has now saw the error in her ways and wants to restore peace in Mytica by taking it upon herself to trap Kyan back in his orb.

Although these characters seem to have their own problems to deal with, they start to work together in ways we never expected. Minor characters such as Nic, Felix, and Ashur are vital to the success of their missions and Amara becomes the least of their problems in the end. Elementia is moments away from being released and Kyan, the fire god, will stop at nothing to be reunited with his brothers and sisters. A game of deceit, strategy, and sacrifice.

I have to admit, Crystal Storm had its hits and misses. Some scenes were dragging but it was compensated with plot twists and dialogue that was exemplary. Morgan Rhodes knows how to write her stuff. The character development was spot on if we compared them from their versions in Book 3. It’s like watching your baby grow up–it’s touching, really :’)

No doubt I expect the finale, Immortal Reign, to be the ending that will satisfy me and make me bawl like a child. This series has a special place in my heart.

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