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|
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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!