Thursday, August 4, 2016

*Spoiler-Free Review* -- The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes

Let’s chat for a second, I’ve told you time and time again about my love for the Falling Kingdoms series. I have what is essentially a shrine to this series on my “favorites” bookshelf, see:

I’ve convinced several people to buy the entire series in one go, because otherwise I just won’t shut up about it. (Granted, I heard about the series form Lainey at GINGERREADSLAINEY, so she deserves the second degree credit.) If you aren’t reading this series, you’re making a mistake. This series has something for everyone, and it’s the perfect foray into fantasy if that’s something you’re even a little interested in.

Recently the author, Queen Morgan Rhodes, as she is often referred to, or simply THE QUEEN, expanded this series with a spinoff that has ties to both the Falling Kingdoms-world and modern day Toronto. The first book in this series, A Book of Sprits and Thieves, was released last summer and it was awesome! The second book, The Darkest Magic, came out in the last few weeks, and it’s just as phenomenal!

This review will not have spoilers for the second book, but it will have spoilers for the first book in this series.

In A Book of Spirits and Thieves Becca Hatcher touches a magic book that transports her in a spirit form to the fantasy land of Mytica while remaining in a coma in modern day Toronto, and her sister Crystal begins fighting to get her back to their world. Throughout the fight to get Becca back, Crystal makes the acquaintance of Farrell Grayson who leads to her discovery of the mysterious Hawkspear Society, a cult centered around a so-called god whose membership once included Becca’s own mother and aunt, and still plays home to her estranged father.

While in Mytica Becca meets Maddox, a slightly abused boy with magical abilities, abilities that are being harnessed by his guardian, a con man. The Mytican world in this book is probably my least favorite, while it still keeps me reading, Maddox reminds me a lot of Alexius, and Becca reminds me of Lucia. However, I did love learning more about the world and mythology of the land that my beloved FK characters live in, so it was worth it. Essentially Becca’s time in Mytica teaches us about the true story of the goddesses who are legend in Cleo/Magnus/Jonas’ time, and there are some adventures there that are really well-developed and interesting.

Learning about Maddox’s magic was also pretty interesting, we know so little about the magic in Mytica outside of Lucia’s experience because magic is banned in most areas (but given the strengths and consequences that arise in FK and this series, that might be for the best…)

Morgan is the master of a slow build, and while some fantasy authors info dump to get their story jump started, you need some patience to get that information in the Falling Kingdoms world, but that was the job of A Book of Spirits and Thieves—The Darkest Magic picks up where ABOSAT left off, and Crystal and Farrell are absolutely my favorite part of this series (similar to Magnus and Cleo in the main series), and Becca is still mildly annoying, but her character has come a long way after her time in Mytica. Throughout this book we also get to learn more about the adults in the modern day setting, which was interesting. It would be fascinating to see more of their perspective with the knowledge they have of the bigger picture of the Hawkspear Society.

This is the same reason that I love Farrell, I want to know MORE! I need more Toronto in my life. I need more Crysell!!! 

Overall, I gave The Darkest Magic 5/5 STARS. I wish Maddox was more compelling, but I still love him because he teaches me about the glorious origins of Mytica. 

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