Interview with Morgan Rhodes, author of the Falling Kingdoms Series.

If you love YA fantasy, you're probably a fan of Morgan Rhodes. Her Falling Kingdoms books are multi-character, multi-kingdom, multi-cliffhanger pageturners. Today, Morgan's stopping by the blog to answer a few of my burning questions about the series. Then stop by tomorrow for a chance to win a fabulous Falling Kingdoms prize package, courtesy of Penguin Young Readers.

First, here's a little bit about the series:

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed…and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even love.

In AURANOS, privileged Princess Cleo is forced to confront violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse.

In LIMEROS, the king’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying family secret about her birth that will change everything.

In PAELSIA, rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Witches, if four, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

Photo by Shanon Fujioka
Morgan Rhodes is the New York Times bestselling author of the FALLING KINGDOMS series. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess—the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, and reality TV, and is an extremely picky yet voracious reader of all kinds of books.

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JEN: Gathering Darkness, which came out on December 9, is the third installment in your six book YA high fantasy series. I’ve always wondered how writers keep track of that much story. Do you have a war room in your house filled with charts and graphs and post-its?

MORGAN: Ha! If I had enough room here for a war room I’d definitely install one. But you’re right, it is tricky to keep loads of information organized to prevent inconsistencies. I do have a “Falling Kingdoms Bible” document, which has sections like Character Descriptions, Mythology, Settings, and I have a full glossary of every name that’s been used in the books. Still, I find myself paging through the previous books as I’m doing my revisions to make sure there are as few errors as authorly possible!

JEN: I’ve read the first book, Falling Kingdoms, and just started the second, Rebel Spring, so I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but have the following observations from the reviews I have read. Feel free to comment on any or all. First observation: I can see on Goodreads that readers of this series seem to have wildly differing opinions on their favorite characters/villains/couples and seem to change their minds from book to book.

MORGAN: I’m glad to hear this. It means I’m writing characters capable of change (either for the better or for the worse). To keep a character interesting, there needs to be some sort of growth…and I’m so happy that readers are connecting with them!

JEN: That's a great point, and very important for a multi-book series like this. Okay, moving on to
my Second Observation: You’ve taken the stereotypical YA love triangle and blown it into a multi-sided three-dimensional shape. So many possible ships…

MORGAN: Some ships will sail and some will sink. I don’t know much about how it’s all going to end, but I do know who I see together romantically…or how do readers put it? OTP? One True Pairing? 

JEN: I suspect things are going to get even more interesting, then. Which leads nicely into my Third Observation: sheesh -- characters are dying left and right. Was this new for you as an author? I know you’ve also written adult urban fantasy, so maybe you have prior experience as a (fictional) murderer….

MORGAN: I had to think about this question for a while… I have written many books under my other pen name, in urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and YA… and characters have definitely died. I think I just haven’t been quite as bloodthirsty in the past as I have been in Falling Kingdoms. I like to keep readers on their toes! ;)

JEN: One more question just for fun: your bio says you’re a fan of reality TV. What reality show would you most like to appear on, and what reality show are you most likely to get secretly nominated for by your family or friends? 

MORGAN: Yes, I watch far too much reality TV, mostly since I’m on my laptop so much that reality doesn’t really need you to follow along as closely as a plotted show. I’m more a fan of the competitions shows than, say, the Real Housewives or Kardashians. I think I could do well on Big Brother (lots of sleep and sitting around chatting and eating). Not so well on Survivor (insects + hunger, not a good mix). My friends and family might secretly nominate me for What Not to Wear, but luckily it’s not on anymore.

JEN: Ha - if you're that bloodthirsty on the page, I think you could handle Survivor! Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to seeing what happens next in this series -- and it's almost as much fun to read other readers' reactions to what transpires...

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for a chance to win this Back to Mytica, Wish You Were Here prize pack... includes a t-shirt, postcards and a set of the three released books in the series!



  1. Great interview! I don't really read fantasy but I have heard good things about these books!


    1. I don't read a lot of fantasy but really enjoyed the first book and am hoping to get to two and three over the holidays...

  2. I gather this series is underhyped from what I've been hearing from some people! I definitely want to give this series a go, and the covers are quite nice :D

    Loved the interview, ladies! <33

  3. Lovely interview Jen! I've always wanted to give this series a try since it's seems like a hidden gem and I always see reviews popping up for the first book here and there on blogs!

  4. I've got the first two books and I'm bursting to start but half of the series is still not out yet :( I've definitely heard there are many different ships and possibilities but I'm hoping my ship will sail (I do have a ship even though I haven't read the books yet lol) :P "I do know who I see together romantically" this!!! Ahh! Thanks for sharing the interview~ The giveaway is probably US only but I'm still going to cross my fingers for it to be INT :)

    1. Yeah, that's always the quandary in a long series. Do you wait and binge read?? Or do you just read along and suffer with waiting.

      Yes, sorry -- the publisher sets the rules and this is US only :(

    2. I try to wait and binge read but sometimes I just get really impatient and say 'screw it' lol... No worries, I figure it would be US only :)

  5. Great interview! I'll have to give this series a shot. The first two observations makes me a little more curious about the books. :)

  6. I cannot even tell you how much I LOVE this interview. I JUST finished Gathering Darkness...This series is AWEEEEESOME! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  7. Excellent interview! I've gotten so close to buying this book so many times.l.i really want to read it! It sounds like a great fantasy series :)

    1. Hope you win then -- good luck! There are other blogs running giveaways and there may be other prize packs too :)

  8. I love that she's not afraid to kill characters off! It's been awhile since I've the first book, which is all I've read so far, but I remember enjoying the character changes and growth. I might have disliked someone at one point and then liked them later on. Can't wait to catch up!

  9. I have heard great things. I'm a huge Maas fan and I was told these were the books I needed to read to get over my Heir of Fire hangover!

  10. I've actually had this series on my TBR for a while but still haven't given it a shot. I do like knowing that the author knows who is going to end up with who romantically! It gives me hope in terms of love triangles since I am personally not a huge fan of them! I also like it when characters are well developed which they sound like they are in this series!

    Definitely going to head over and enter in your giveaway so that if I somehow win the books, I'll have more initiative to start them! :)

    Thanks for sharing the interview, Jen!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  11. Just up my alley. Cant wait to read these.


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