Format: Hardcover, 379 pages
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
Crystal Storm is the fifth installment in author Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdom's series. Crystal Storm picks up right where Frozen Tides left off. Rhodes uses her four main characters to twist a story of manipulation, power, magic & secrets, while leaving readers with an ending that crushed my soul into several thousand pieces. Magnus, Cleo, Lucia, and Jonas are once again put to the ultimate test of courage, strength & loyalty that will both bring them together to fight the newest threat to their kingdoms, while shattering all of my expectations as to where this series will finally end.
I have to start by talking about the villain of the story, one Empress Amara of Kraeshia, who has taken over the entirety of Mytica, while also desiring more power by uniting the 4 orbs containing powerful elementals. She has let nothing, not even her own family, including her brother Asher, stand in her way. She's laughed at King Gaius, while also taking his hand in marriage. Amara is destined to be a thorn in everyone's side no matter how long she survives. Amara, though, is not unlike Lucia in that when she is offered something so much more, she grabs it by the balls, and could care less what the consequences might bring.
My struggle with Magnus continues. He's broody, impatient, intolerant of others, & prone to violence. He lashes out, when he should be standing alongside those he needs, especially Cleo. But, at this point in the series, there is absolutely no turning back. Magnus shows so much promise if he would just stop drowning his frustrations in wine, and stand up and become the character we've seen from time to time. I've decided to ignore a bunch of stuff because of who his father and grandmother are, and just move forward and see if his relationship with Cleo survives. Will Magnus stand up and deliver one more time and save the one's he loves, or will he melt like the ice under intense heat?
Cleo is a deceptive character who desires one thing; her kingdom free from any outside influences. Cleo's discover that she is cursed, is a curious avenue to take at this point in the series. Not a bad thing mind you. Just didn't see that coming. Cleo's actions, and ultimate fate, are still tied to Magnus in my view. Cleo and Magnus romance has actually see-sawed so much, that I now have whiplash as a result. She, I think, truly loves him no matter how much he pisses her off, but he still stands in the way of freedom for Auranos. Did Cleo become even more interesting by the end of this story? Holy hell, yes!
Lucia is alone after what she and Kyan did in the past installments. Pretty much everyone hates her. Too bad that there are still those who need her. Lucia takes a trip to speak to Timotheus to try to find a way to contain Kyan who is still alive despite her own actions. Lucia knows that she needs to make up for a ton of mistakes after she chose to fall for a deceptive character with a major agenda. With her not so secretive pregnancy, and her supposed prophecy hanging in the balance, it will be curious to watch what happens in the next installment.
Jonas, poor Jonas. He just can't seem to catch a break. Except that he has become a bit more intriguing with the fact that he had experiences with both Olivia, and Phaedra who seem to have left Jonas a bit more than just a rebel who has lost nearly everything in fighting against Gaius, and now Amara. I want to give Jonas a break due to his baggage. I really do. I want to see him step up in the final installment, and whether it happens or not, I'd like to see him come out on top with a future he can believe in.
Crystal Storm is the perfect title for this story. There is a major storm cloud hanging over every since one of these characters. What's coming over the horizon in the final installment in the series called Immortal Reign, should have readers encouraged that Rhodes will impress once again.