Blurb from Goodreads:
Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.
CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.
MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.
LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.
JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.
KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.
This series has got me conflicted. Every time I start with a new installment it’s like, Why did I ever decide to continue with this series? The world-building is lacking, the characters weren’t very complex, there were some plot holes you can poke at, and it moves at snail’s pace! Sometimes the grip is there. Most of the time, it drags. But every time I finish reading I’m like, Damn, I need the next book! It’s like there’s a strange force underneath everything that I find dull, and it pulls me in, just before the book ends—making sure I’ll consider picking up the next installment.
Like the previous books in this series, a huge part of Frozen Tides is slow but it ends up with such intriguing revelations. But unlike them, this one doesn’t have a clear plot. More like it’s working on building up more tension, adding more layers of conflicts, and pushing things further into the ugly side, until they’re ready to explode in the next release. The whole book was like a bunch of things happening here and there—some of them were quiet enjoyable while others felt unnecessary—but we don’t really know where it’s leading us. Usually that would have thrown me off. So it’s a bit odd that I actually liked that. It kind of keeps the whole thing unpredictable, that way.
“If you don’t choose to fight against the wrong in the world, then you are the wrong in the world.”
Before I express my happiness over the satisfying growth of some of the characters, let’s talk about just how much of a walking and breathing bad luck Jonas is. Should I start worrying about Magnus, Felix, and Cleo now? Because when someone is tied to Jonas’s name, they die—his family, his best friend, pretty much everyone who signed up for his rebel cause. And the latest addition—the woman he loves. We are all aware of Jonas’s routine since the first book. He is either planning something, failing at something, or he is dying. Nothing is new in this book. He still comes up with plans, leads his friends to death’s door, and then he would end up dying or in a really bad situation. Then someone would appear and save him from death. And here I thought Cleo was the damsel in distress!
Ah Cleo! Her evolution is one of the highlights of this book. And damn, did I love it? One does not need to be exceptionally skilled in swords, or knives, or bow and arrows, to be called a fighter. But Cleo has come to realize that crafty schemes and clever plots aren’t enough especially when you’re a princess who is a threat to the throne. With so few allies against some powerful enemies, she needs more than just her cunning to survive. She needs to learn to protect herself and learn she does! Her quick and sudden improvement with her weapon of choice came a bit unbelievable to me. But I’ll let that slide because I’ve been waiting for her to up her fight a notch and she just did. Cleo had snatched the Most Amazing Growth title from Magnus in this one.
“You should remember that charm opens far more doors than harsh words do.”
“And a sharp ax will open every door.”
And Magnus, my dark prince. Magnus should write a book and call it A Book of Sarcasm by Magnus Lukas Damora. What can I say? I love his sarcastic arse. He has become my only dose of humor in this world full of dangerous magic, and backstabbers, and serious characters. He is proof that one can be extremely serious and hilariously sarcastic at the same time. I love how he stood up for himself, for Cleo, and for the rest of Mytica, and he is unflinchingly firm about it. I love that he makes and implements new and much needed laws for the benefit of Limeros—breaking those that are ancient yet completely unnecessary. I love that he goes all the way with his rebellion against his murderous father in this book. And I love how he loves Cleo—not for her beauty or her title, but for her defiance, her courage, and her strength. Okay, I just realize how much I love this guy. So Magnus better not die, Rhodes.
“What our hearts want can overtake what our minds tell us is forbidden to us. We can’t control these feelings, even if we desperately wish we could.”
I was not a fan of the romance in this book seeing how everyone falls in love in a snap. But I must say, Rhodes is doing a fantastic job building up all these romantic tension between Magnus and Cleo. Magneo? Yes, please! It was so good reading about these two. I’d give my eye to Felix and wear Jonas’s ridiculous eye patch if it means Magnus and Cleo will get their happily ever after at the end of this series.
“All magic comes with a price. A price that is never revealed until after the damage has been done.”
Lucia was not my favorite person from the start when she was just a beautiful, innocent, princess, who does whatever her father asks. I still don’t like her very much now that she’s in full-on sorceress mode. Sure, her partnership with Kyan has made her stronger as he told her of things she wasn’t aware she’s capable of. But she’s not getting any wiser. She left because she felt used by the people closest to her. And yet she goes with the first guy who obviously intend to use her magic for his benefit. That’s so… I don’t know… stupid?
“Nothing worth having is easy.”
Amara is one hell of a character to watch out for. Dangerous as a viper. Clever as a fox. She knows what she wants and she does what it takes to get it even if it means getting her own hands dirty. Conscience be damned. Like every other woman in Kraeshia, Amara is unwanted, underestimated, seen as weak just for being a woman. And oh, how well she showed them all! While I loved her for that, I hated her for everything else she did. Particularly that trick she pulled with my darling, Felix? Jerk move.
The ending made me gasp in surprise. Twice. Because why do we have to learn such nice and totally interesting surprises at the very end of the book, Rhodes? Good thing for me, I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out. I can only imagine what kind of torture this ending had caused for those who had to wait a year before getting their hands on the next release. I kind of formed some ideas about what the next book might be like, but there’s really no telling what happens next with this series. It gets more and more unpredictable as it goes. Which is why I’ll totally see this through.