Dec 22, 2016

Review--Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

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.

WARNING: Review will have spoilers from previous books and lots of bemoaning over a certain cliffhanger. Though said cliffhanger won’t be discussed. Only referred to as the cliffhanger. Also, just FYI I get a little gabby in this one over that cliffhanger that shall not be named. ;)

I implore you all here and now. If you haven’t read Crystal Storm by the incredibly talented (and sometimes evil) Morgan Rhodes then do so now…if you like suffering due to waiting for the next book! If you can get over the shocks and stuns of Frozen Tides and wait another year…you’ll be much obliged! Because yes, Crystal Storm, despite being one of the most exciting and incredible reads of the year...has a cliffhanger. And one that will positively drive you batty for the next 12 months! And I’ve just now learned…GASP! The next book is the FINAL book!! Eeee gads I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!! But good news for all you who are being good and trying to wait, you can finally finish it all up next year!
I’m quite an emotional mess right now. In some sense I was suspecting something of this kind to happen. Something that would drive the stake further into my heart and make me wallow in misery…to help feed Morgan’s muse of course! But that ending…yeah…I didn’t prepare myself FOR THAT!
Okay, enough with the ending…for now, at least. We pick up right where we left off in Frozen Tides which was seeing Ashur alive and well. He too is apparently phoenix bound or took a similar potion because he felt like he couldn’t trust his sister one hundred percent. This book, should you choose to read it, but do read it somewhere down the line, maybe just before the final book?, is one that’s filled with many, many surprises and shocks! Some will thrill you, some will terrify you, and oh god it was just so freaking awesome!
I’m always a little hesitant with fantasies because you never know how complex the world-building might be. Some series can really pack in those details and throw thousands of impossible words at you and have a history that’s pivotal to know in order to understand the current happenings, but is rarely ever given out in a timely matter. This is not one of those series. This series has always dealt with all those things in a way that is easy to understand. True, there are still some foggy areas or it’s my foggy memory at work when it comes to the more magical side of the history, but things aren’t overly complicated here. But at the same time, nothing is ever simple either.
There are so many plans happening in this one too. Our usual cast of characters is still around and it seems they are all working towards the same goal. Firstly, King Gaius is still kicking, but barely and he wants Magnus and Cleo to help him find his mother so that she can heal him, help them find Lucia, and to help Cleo remove a curse that was placed on her mother and also transferred to her during birth, which is being killed in a painful matter during childbirth. Then we have Lucia who is trying to find a way to get Kyan back, she killed his host body but not himself and she wants to find a way to stop him once and for all. Amara is still trying to rule the world and seems to have everyone wrapped around her little finger. Things are chaotic, but as I might have already said, it’s a good chaotic!
It still amazes me that sooo much can happen in these books but I never once feel lost or overwhelmed. Morgan knows how to keep the main storyline going and tie in everyone’s side adventures and whatnot into the main arc. And if this ending—not the evil cliffhanger part—was anything to go by, I think we’ll be seeing some pretty impossible things in the final book!
My emotions were once again tossed all over the place in this one! I’ve been a big Magnus and Cleo fan probably since the second or third book. Just when those little tiny hints at something more were starting but they were both constantly fighting it. And I was thrilled that we saw them finally admit it to each other and themselves in the previous book. This book has some nice steamy moments between them, but also tamed as Cleo is possibly cursed to die should she have a child. But then in what seems the true twist of fate, just as we see this couple start to commit to each other, Fate throws a few monkey wrenches at them!
In another bizarre twist of fate, Jonas ends up helping Lucia out and trying to get her into the big plan that the group has developed. I admit I expected this to be a larger part of the story, but really didn’t come about until the last quarter or so. It’s tough to say if we’re supposed to be seeing something else happening between these two or if it merely is what it appears to be.
Despite being considerably shorter than its predecessors, a LOT happens in this book! So much so that I feel like I can’t touch on enough details to tell you all how exciting and freaking amazing this book was…despite that cliffhanger ending. This book truly blew me away with all its stunning happenings and characters that continue to amaze me! I seriously love all these guys! Even the ones I hate, I kind of love to hate them! Morgan pulls no punches in this one…or any of the books! You almost can’t love anyone too much because you never know what may happen. Things will always surprise you. But I think it’s safe to say, in fantasy, anything goes!
Crystal Storm was one of the most thrilling and action packed reads I’ve read in a while! It’s a book that will take your breath away…multiple times! It’s basically breathtaking! It’s filled with fights and battles, magic, and romance, and of course some well-placed humor…it has everything you could ever hope for! Morgan Rhodes will always be one of my most favorite authors for this series, despite those heart-wrenching cliffhangers. But I would like to pass on my wisdom to you new readers, if you haven’t read this series…DO! But start it next December. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later. If only I had listened to others about this cliffhanger here, I wouldn’t be suffering. But suffer I must.
Dear goodness…is it 2017 yet?!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

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