Rebel Spring: Morgan Rhodes

Just finished Rebel Spring and the first thing that I have to say is that it was infinitely more interesting at the beginning than Falling Kingdoms was– but again, the first story required a lot of exposition, so this is understandable.

So the focus in this book is around the building of a gigantic road that not only connects the three kingdoms, but also extends into the “forbidden mountains,” which are, well, forbidden (surprise), and a lot of people are not very happy with this decision to branch into mountains that are *forbidden*.
We get a lot more of the Watchers in this novel, which is pretty interesting. Alexius and his brethren play a much bigger part in this plot than I had initially thought– in fact, one of the elder Watchers, the most powerful one, a woman named Melania, is playing the entire cast of characters like a violin… or so it seems. Alexius is revealed to be a part of her secret missionaries, and he’s going to help her achieve her end goal (to free the Watchers from the Sanctuary), no matter what the cost… or so he thought. He’s starting to fall in love with beautiful Princess Lucia, which could put a damper on things, considering the fact that he’s the one that’s going to have to kill her in the end.

There’s a civil war brewing in the Watchers, too, because some of the members don’t trust Melania and her intentions. Namely, Alexius’s mentor, a Watcher named Timotheus, and his friend, a woman named Phaedra. Unfortunately, it also seems like the number of Watchers that are distrustful of Melania are slowly being killed off, considering the fact that one of the first dissenters that we ever meet is killed at the very beginning, and Phaedra is killed at the end of the book– which leaves a grand total of 1 Watcher who doesn’t believe Melania’s pretty speeches.

Another thing that happened in this book is that I started to hate Gaius a lot, lot more. He’s completely insane, that man. And he’s like the quintessential crazy king: a psychotic who cut his seven-year-old son with a dagger, has an assassin kill his wife, paves his kingdom with the blood and bones of his people, and uses abuse, threats and violence to intimidate those he deems irrelevant or harmful to his master plan.
Speaking of crazy people. Aron. That kid is such a creep. He spends 90% of the novel drunk off his ass and proceeds, several times, to puff out his chest and act more powerful than he is or ever was. After being appointed kingsliege by Gaius, who finds him amusing, Aron becomes nothing more than a nuisance. A violent nuisance. Throughout the course of the book he murders Brion and nearly rapes a young woman. I can’t say that I was disappointed to see him go. There are some evil characters who are fun and it’s a sad time to see them die off, but Aron was a moron and I, frankly, felt nothing but that “ugh, finally” feeling when he died.

There are a lot of character deaths in these novels. It’s kind of like GOT in that manner, I guess. I’ve never actually seen GOT. But I tried to guess who would die over the course of the book. Here’s a list:

  1. Jason
  2. Nic
  3. Tarus
  4. Lysandra’s brother

Out of those, I kind of got Jason since he nearly died, and I was almost right with Nic. Wrong twin, though– they ended up killing off Mira, which I was actually pretty sad about. In all truth, I hoped that Mira and Magnus might get a little friendly. That died pretty quickly, around the time Gaius broke Mira’s neck.

Speaking of characters getting friendly, I kind of like that I can’t figure out who’s in love with who in this book. Magnus was in love with Lucia– and might still be, I don’t really know. But now he seems to be interested in Cleiona, who is currently attracted to Jonas but also maybe Magnus? Alexius and Lucia have a thing going on, and Jonas has a thing with Lysandra– and also Phaedra. And Cleiona, most of all. And then Nic might have some thing going on with the Prince of that other country?? These guys can’t keep it in their pants. I don’t think I’ve read any books with such complicated romance charts. If you get really attached to one couple, prepare to be disappointed. I’m sure someone will die or someone will get betrayed or something will happen. Loss of interest.
The trick is to be objective. Which is hard, but doable. Just enjoy the story for what it is and don’t get attached to any characters. I’ve made a game of, as I said, trying to guess who will die over the course of the series. Here’s that list:

  1. Alexius
  2. Timotheus
  3. Lysandra
  4. Lucia
  5. Franco
  6. Nerissa

We’ll see how many I get right. If I get three out of the six, I’ll get myself a bag of caramel corn. Yum.

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