Book Review: "Crystal Storm" by Morgan Rhodes

Here's your spoiler warning now. I'll do my best to contain my excitement, as Morgan Rhodes has once again topped herself, and I really want to discuss this book.

An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he's no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she'll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend—and who will be safe—after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

Here I was with the previous installment of Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms series claiming it was my favorite. Well, Crystal Storm is now my favorite book in the series. I'm sure the next book, Immortal Reign (coming February 6th, 2018), will also be my next favorite. I love when an author does that, and Rhodes definitely is one of those authors.

Here's where I'm going to be dropping in some spoilers, so I'm giving you one last shot to back out. My goodness do I swoon every time I read about Magnus and Cleo's developing romance. I had joked about these two coming together previously because they were simply my two favorite characters in the series, but having my cake and eating it too is wonderful.

I love the tug and pull of these two characters, I love their arguments, I love their bonding, I love that I love them more intensely than I did when I started this series. That goes for every character in this cast really, but that's also because Rhodes is writing a series of books that grows up with its readers. Jonas is still deliciously snarky and handsome, Lucia's grown up and matured back into my liking (no offense to fans, but she was bleak) and Amara I still want to see dead (which is intended as a major compliment).

The cast of side characters are much more present in this story, which I prefer. There was definitely much more activity among all the characters, which really helps to enhance how dire the situation is becoming. A lot of questions were also answered concerning prophecies, the past, the future, etc. I'm glad Rhodes did not hesitate to answer a little more, especially since the situation definitely called for it towards the end of the book. This in turn also makes the endings for each character this book all the more exciting!

Seriously, don't say I didn't warn you.

Here's the part where I gush about the ending. I love how aside from Amara, (and of course Magnus for those who have read), everyone has seemingly earned a huge victory this round. Lucia got to keep her baby, and her life, all thanks to Jonas' adamant refusal to accept his destiny. Jonas, having given Lucia what magic lingered in his body and his trust, manages to survive what should have been his inevitable death. You can imagine my relief. Cleo, though having to tragically (perhaps temporarily) lose her friend Nic to Kyan's possession, is literally a water sorceress (or a water bender one might say) and is ready to set out to find and rescue Magnus.

Speaking of Magnus, albeit the heart attack I had reading the very last chapter of this book, I'm so ready to see what happens next. I trust Rhodes won't leave our handsome, heart-on-his-sleeve prince to suffocate in a coffin. I'm practically demanding Cleo show up, drown Kurtis and take back the man she loves by force. I'll get out the celebratory "kill-the-character-that-desperately-needs-to-die kit."

Looks like Amara's very much alive, though injured and stripped of her power by her brother Ahsur. Its satisfactory, considering she was set to kill our entire cast, but I'm suspecting she'll have many more opportunities next book to get her vengeance. All in all, Rhodes has me begging for February to get here so I can purchase a copy of Eternal Reign and slap it on my spring reading list!

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