Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms #5) by Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Goodreads Summary: 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?
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Mytica continues to be divided as Princess Cleiona Bellos must decide between her country and her heart. Magnus makes some conflicted decisions which will alter his life forever while Lucia's fate is uncertain. Worlds will collide and shatter in the fifth book of this adventurous high fantasy series.

The many storylines constantly interweave and sometimes it takes a little extra thinking to remember where each of the main characters is located. Often two or more of these characters are at the same place, making the perspective switches extremely effective as it switches from one place to another, back to that place, but with three different views. This also gives a cliffhanger effect as we switch out of one character's head and into another; sneaky but genius.

Successful relationships in Crystal Storm? Oh dear, I must say I saw none. Failed romances, arguments, fights? There were definitely plenty. I must say, I love the drama and development this tension brings though my heart also breaks as my ships sink. Their hesitant alliances gradually form into something more genuine as situation after situation forces them to work together and achieve a common goal.

As always with the multitude of main characters (or just characters with a perspective) it's hard to pick favourites when you get to know all of them about equally. That being said, I admire many of them, including Nerissa with her unwavering loyalty and acceptance of reality and the sacrifice of living without luxury, Amara who fights for women's rights in her misguided ways, and of course Cleo, the golden princess whose fa├žade might just fool them all. I can never decide if I love or hate Magnus, as with Jonas Agallon. I respect Lucia's spirit and Prince Ashur is a mystery waiting to be solved.

Shifting allegiances and plans gone wrong bring those from the empire of Kraeshia into Mytica as rebels continue to fight against their monarchies. Searching for the four kindred becomes erratic as their importance only increases as circumstances change and some are left with no certainty about whether they live— or die.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
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Quotes: "I learned a long time ago [that] no matter what I might be feeling on the inside, I should show only strength on the outside." –Nerissa Florens, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

"It's when we feel the most uncertain that we must appear at our most confident." –Queen Althea Damora, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

"How strange it must be to lie in a world where everyone and everything is perfect.
 –Princess Lucia Damora, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

"I know, without a doubt that you'll choose power." –King Gaius Damora, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

"Love isn't enough to fix this." –Princess Cleiona Bellos, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

"I despair. It's what I do." –Nicolo Cassian, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

"I think we all deserve to die for something we've done." –Jonas Agallon, Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes
Recommended for: Fans of fantasy novels and books about war.