Published on December 13, 2016 by Razorbill
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
I don’t often read the Acknowledgements at the ends of books. It’s just something I’ve never really done. But I read this one and I’m glad Morgan Rhodes apologized to her readers because OH. MY. GOODNESS. THAT ENDING.
But maybe I should start back at the beginning. We’re on book 5 of the Falling Kingdoms series and lately with young adult fiction, this series would’ve wrapped up back at book 3 so to keep that energy going for more books, Rhodes put her characters through their paces. I’ve had my ups and downs with this series and while it hasn’t always been my favorite fantasy out there, I’ve enjoyed the later books quite a bit.
Crystal Storm was slow to start which had me worrying. After the end of Frozen Tides, I needed this book and I needed it to not suck (spoiler: it didn’t). SO we move past that first third of the book or so and then ALL the things happen. This book moves fast and covers a lot of ground, bringing together some of those loose threads from the last book.
Because this series revolves so much around the varying storylines of its characters, I have to talk about them, at least a little.
My ship of ships.
You poor, poor babies.
At this point in the books, I’ve grown to really like Cleo. She’s a mix of poised and kickass that makes her an excellent heroine for a YA fantasy. I didn’t used to like her earlier in the series and some of those traits I wasn’t a fan of came back in this one as she and Magnus struggle as a couple. She made some decisions that I was sending side-eye vibes at but will see how that goes. I still love Magnus. He must be protected at all costs. Hands down favorite male character from this series. Both caring and snarky, he’s just perfect. Well, at least for Cleo. They make a good team when they actually communicate…*cough* I also liked that we got to see more of his father too, as more than the King of Blood but also as a person. Gaius might have a soul….might.
I’m just going to skip Jonas because I STILL dislike him and want him gone. Though the thing with him and another certain character at the end isn’t sitting well with me. Makes me think of the whole “let’s pair everyone up” deal and I’m not a fan.
Lucia redeemed herself in Crystal Storm. I can’t say I truly enjoyed her chapters as much as others but I didn’t hate reading them either. Her character has grown so much and she’s still relatively young. For what she’s gone through she’s doing pretty well.
Finally, our villainess Amara. She KILLED IT in Frozen Tides and I was really excited for her character this time around but…she was a bit disappointing, to be honest. I guess conquering an entire continent isn’t so exciting once you do the actual conquering. This book turned the plot around so that even she is a victim of…wait for it…
You’re still waiting.
I’m still waiting.
Because without spoiling anything you’re going to be waiting with me until the next book comes out. *simultaneous cheers and boos*
This book is so character driven that it’s hard to really go into the story without revealing too much BUT I opened with an ending so let’s just jump to there. You may want to wait to read this one until the next book is released. Side effects of reading Crystal Storm include: urge to throw book against the wall; uncontrollable sobbing; screaming in rage; imprinting the pages with your arms from severe hugging; cursing the author to the ninth ring of hell and back.
BECAUSE THAT ENDING.
For your own health and safety, read with caution. And enjoy the ride!
In other news, the book was probably the best of the series so far. Just throwing that out there.