Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

The basics

Title: Rebel Spring


Series: Falling Kingdoms #2

- Falling Kingdoms (2012)
- Rebel Spring (2013)
- Gathering Darkness (2014)
- Frozen Tides (2015)
- Crystal Storm (2016)
- Untitled (2017)

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Goodreads Summary:

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over...

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.

Read a full summary of Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes below. If you can’t remember what happened in Rebel Spring and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

Katie wrote this stealth recap for the site. Thank you so much, Katie!

in short

King Gaius rules all of Mytica. With the guidance of Melenia, an elder watcher, the king builds an Imperial Road that will help him find the Kindred. Melenia has told Gaius that Lucia’s magic will also help locate the Kindred. Meanwhile, Cleo and Magnus get married, forced to put up a loving front in order to get Auranians to support the king. Jonas leads a rebellion with his friends Brion and Lysandra, and they attempt to take down the king, stop construction of the road, and free the Paelsian slaves. Lucia spends much time in a coma thanks to the queen who uses a potion to keep her asleep so Lucia’s magic cannot cause more damage. In her dreams, Lucia falls in love with Alexius, a Watcher who is also working with Melenia so that Lucia’s magic can help free the Watchers from the Sanctuary where they have been trapped. When the queen is killed by Aron by order of the king, Lucia wakes up, but her magic creates a darkness in her. After his wedding tour, Magnus joins the search party to find the queen. They capture Brion, who refuses to answer their questions, and Aron kills him. When they arrive at the mountain camp, Magnus discovers that Aron was the one who killed the queen, and Magnus kills him. That morning, the rebels attack the camp. Jonas is nearly killed, but Phaedra, his Watcher, saves him. She is then killed by Xanthus, exiled Watcher and follower of Melenia. Jonas escapes the camp, but Lysandra and other rebels are captured and thrown in the dungeon. At the Auranian castle, Cleo and Lucia forge a friendship that Cleo imagines will help her find the Kindred and take down the king.

what happened in Rebel Spring?

  • King Gaius of Limeros has taken over Auranos and Paelsia. Cleo, princess of Auranos, has been taken captive. The king, who pretends that Cleo has been accepted lovingly into the family, announces that rather than marrying Lord Aron, Cleo shall now be marrying Prince Magnus as a sign of unity between the kingdoms.
  • The king announces construction on a new Imperial Road that will run through the three kingdoms. He says that this, too, shall join the nations together. The king is a real smooth talker and has most of the Auranian people convinced that he will be a great king.
  • Jonas, a Paelsian rebel, and his friend, Brion, have created a group of rebels to oppose the king. On one of their missions they meet up with a girl named Lysandra who has been separated from her brother and wants to join the rebels.
  • Meanwhile, Princess Lucia is in a deep slumber thought to be caused by the force of the magic that she used in the attack against the palace. The king anxiously waits for her to wake. He was told by a new adviser that Lucia will be the key to finding the Kindred.
  • The king’s adviser is Melenia, the eldest Watcher. She tells him that if he does what she says, he will one day discover magic that will make him an immortal god that will rule over all of the world with her at his side.
  • Gaius is constructing the road to find the Kindred which are supposedly located in the Forbidden Mountains. Spilling blood on the road has an effect on the elementia in the world and causes great disasters. Melenia has a follower, Xanthus, who is an exiled Watcher with earth magic. He is the head engineer for the road.
  • In her dreams, Lucia meets a Watcher named Alexius who tells her she is going to help restore Sanctuary, the world of the immortal Watchers where magic has been fading since the death of the last sorceress, Eva. They meet many times and develop feelings for one another.
  • The queen has been giving Lucia a special potion to keep her asleep. After having seen how many died as a result of Lucia’s magic, the queen is determined not to let the king corrupt Lucia for his own gain.
  • The queen has been getting the potion from a witch who used blood magic to see the future where Lucia causes much damage with her magic. On a trip to meet the witch, the queen is murdered by a cloaked figure.
  • Jonas kidnaps Cleo when she is away from the castle for a wedding dress fitting. He takes her back to the rebel camp and leaves a note telling Gaius to stop construction on the road and free the Paelsians, or he will kill Cleo.
  • Jonas does not really intend to kill Cleo, but the king is not concerned over the threat. He sends a search party to find Cleo, but if the rebels kill her, it will only turn the Auranians against the rebel cause. Cleo agrees to help the rebels.
  • Guards find the rebel camp, but Cleo and Jonas escape. As they hide out in a small cave, they kiss, and most of the previous hatred they felt for one another is brushed aside. Cleo suggests that she should return to the palace and pretend to go on with the wedding, and the rebels can attack at the ceremony and attempt to assassinate the king and the prince.
  • The king tells Magnus of the queen’s death, and shows him a dagger that was used to kill her. He says that it is the same one that was used by Lord Aron to kill Jonas’ brother Tomas, so it must be Jonas who killed the queen as revenge for not listening to Jonas’ demands.
  • On the day of the wedding, the rebels attack. They are disguised as guards, and right before Cleo says her vows, they attack. However, the king had guards disguised as citizens in the congregation, and they swarm the rebels killing everyone except Jonas who barely manages to escape. Blood hits the floor, and a massive earthquake splits the ground.
  • Cleo pretends to have had nothing to do with the ambush, but the king doesn’t fall for it. He slaps her and nearly suffocates her before forcing her to continue the wedding ceremony.
  • At the wedding banquet, Cleo speaks with Prince Ashur of Kraeshia, the large kingdom across the Silver Sea. He is interested in learning about the legends of the Kindred, but Cleo gives him no answers.
  • Back in the Sanctuary, Alexius and Melenia meet with one another. Alexius has been working for Melenia. When the road is complete, Lucia’s blood will be spilled, and the Watchers will be released from Sanctuary.
  • Lucia, having woken up for good now that the queen is dead, feels a beast inside of her and a darkness surrounding her. She finds herself constantly on edge and enjoying the fear she can evoke in others with her power.
  • The wedding tour makes a stop at the castle in Limeros, Magnus’ home. A friend of the king gives them the gift of a large stone wheel. These wheels are supposedly used by Watchers to transfer between realms. When alone with the wheel, Cleo touches it, and her ring, once belonging to Eva and a key to controlling the Kindred, begins to glow.
  • Magnus gives his first speech to the people of Limeros. He is cool and confident, and the people love him. At the end, they chant for Magnus and Cleo to kiss. Magnus kisses Cleo to keep up the front that they can actually tolerate one another, and Cleo finds that she doesn’t hate it as much as she probably should.
  • After returning to the Auranian palace, Magnus leaves to join Aron’s search party for the queen’s murder. He is also supposed to meet with Xanthus at the camp in the Forbidden Mountains to gain information for the king who is becoming increasingly paranoid of any danger he might face before he is able to become immortal.
  • While the search party camps out, rebels attempt to steal their weapons. One rebel is caught: Brion. When he refuses to answer questions and denies that Jonas killed the queen, Brion is killed by Aron.
  • Nic, Cleo’s best friend, approaches Cleo and asks her to run away with him. She tells him about her magical ring and says that she must stay at the castle. He confesses his love for her, and when she still refuses, he runs away to a bar where he gets very drunk.
  • At the bar, Prince Ashur questions him about the Kindred and Cleo’s magical ring. Nic gives him no answers and leaves the tavern.
  • Nic wanders the streets drunkenly before running into Ashur again in an alley. He is afraid Ashur is going to kill him. Instead, Ashur kisses him, and Nic is surprised to find himself not stopping Ashur. Ashur tells Nic that he will return, and he knows Nic will help him then.
  • Magnus’ party reaches the mountain camp where he receives a tour from second in command, Franco. Aron spots Franco’s beautiful daughter Eugeneia and requests that she join him that night for dinner. That night, Magnus ventures to Aron’s tent where he catches Aron forcefully trying to get Eugeneia to spend the night with him. Magnus interrupts and sends the girl away.
  • Magnus notices a dagger that Aron had been eating with. Magnus guesses that King Gaius had Aron kill the queen with one of Aron’s daggers that matches the one he had just been using and the one used to kill Tomas. Aron admits that he did it.
  • Magnus intends to take Aron back to the palace to discuss this with his father, but as he turns to walk away, he sees Aron lung towards him in the reflection of a goblet. Magnus kills Aron with a sword through the chest.

how did it end?

The rebels attack the camp to avenge Brion’s death. Jonas is caught by a guard and stabbed in the heart. Phaedra, a Watcher in human form who has been looking after Jonas, gives him magical grape seeds infused with earth magic which heal him. Magnus catches both of them, but Phaedra is able to prevent him from taking Jonas. Xanthus, who is also Phaedra’s brother, then appears in the tent, and Phaedra is excited to see him. However, Xanthus is being controlled by Melenia, and he kills Phaedra before disappearing. Jonas escapes and sets out to search for Lysandra, leaving the camp behind as a wildfire burns it to the ground, another consequence of blood spilled on the road. Meanwhile, Lysandra and a few other rebels have been captured and thrown in prison. Lysandra is reunited here with her brother, Gregor, who has been thrown in jail for attempting to assassinate Magnus on his wedding tour. He had been receiving dreams from Phaedra who told him he could make a difference and that when Lucia’s blood is spilled, the world will burn. In the castle, Cleo goes to visit Lucia who is sobbing after having accidentally killed her rabbit with her magic. When Cleo comforts her, her ring glows, and Lucia feels more calm and balanced. Cleo and Lucia agree to be friends, and Cleo believes that Lucia is what she needs to take down the king.

anything else

-Elementia: the magic of the elements (air, earth, fire, and water)

-The Kindred: four stones containing the essence of elementia and able to grant the owner great power

-Watchers: immortal beings who live in another realm called The Sanctuary and can enter the dreams of mortals or travel to the mortal world in the form of a hawk

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