Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
Falling Kingdoms, bk 2. Razorbill, 2013. ISBN 9780141346175.
(Age: 15+) High fantasy. One country Mytica has been formed from the three kingdoms, Auranos, Limeros and Paelsia, and is ruled by the evil King Gaius. He is determined to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains, joining all three together and perhaps securing the power that he so desperately craves. Princess Cleo has been dethroned, her family killed and she is forced to stand beside Magnus, King Gaius' son. Jonas is desperate to kill the king and save his countrymen and brings together a band of rebels, with Lysandra, a skilful archer, joining the ranks. Lucia, the sorceress, is yet to wake from a coma and use her powers that are craved by the King and The Kindred.
This is a quick easy read, with Rhodes filling in the backstory of book one, Falling kingdoms, in such a fashion that it is easy to get into the continuation of the story. Told in alternative viewpoints, the power struggles between all the protagonists lead them down difficult paths. They all have to make decisions that will reverberate throughout the land. All characters grew and developed in this second book. Cleo has to come to terms with being dethroned and in the power of King Gaius. Magnus is enigmatic and keeps his feelings to himself, although his love for his sister Lucia, adds spice to the story. Jonas falls in and out of dangerous situations and Lucia has to learn about her powers. The romances were low key and it is possible that there will be some interesting developments there in the future.
Lovers of high fantasy will enjoy the magic, alternative kingdoms, the Watchers, the cruelty, arranged marriages and deaths and will look forward to the next in the series. It has been described as the Game of Thrones for teens and there are certainly some similarities but this is much less complex to read.