Publication: December 9, 2014 by Razorbill
Source: I received a hardcover copy of this book from Penguin in return for my honest review. Thank you!
*Since this is the third book in a series, my review will contain spoilers for the 2 previous books, Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring. There will not be spoilers for Gathering Darkness*
Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred—the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic. . . .
THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.
THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia’s overpowering magic—all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.
THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.
The only certainty in these dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica. . . . but the four element gods of the Kindred have other plans.
This installment blew me away. I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, but this one took the story to a whole new level.
The characters and character interactions are so dynamic and well developed. I really loved reading from all the different perspectives. It had been over a year since I read Rebel Spring when I started Gathering Darkness, and it was so wonderful getting to know these characters again. I always loved Magnus, and this book deepened my affection for his character. I love that Rhodes delves into Magnus' relationship with his father. I think it adds such an important layer to the story and his character. He is so complex and his interactions with Cleo are my favorite parts. After finishing Rebel Spring I was dying to know what was going to happen with Cleo and Magnus, and that part of the story captivated me in this book. I love how slow-burning their connection is and all I'm going to say is that they better end up together! <3
I really like Jonas too. He's a charming and fun character to read about and I enjoyed seeing his journey in this book. Magnus and Cleo are my favorite characters, but I find Jonas' role and dynamics with the other characters very interesting.
The magic system plays a bigger role in this book, and I loved it. It is explained more in depth and I like how it's pretty easy to understand, but also very intricate. The race for the Kindred made for a twisty and gripping plot element.
I never really loved Lucia's character, and I still don't have a strong emotional bond to her. However, her magical struggle and all of the developments that went along with that aspect fascinated me. I was definitely entertained by everything that was going on with her as well as the Watcher drama.
The plot is a little slow to start off. I was slightly disappointed when I started reading because I felt like not much was happening. Then I realized that the tension was slowly building, and something big was going to happen. Let me tell you, it's definitely worth the wait. I loved every second of it. I literally had to stop reading at points and take a breath because I was almost overwhelmed by everything. There are so many twists, feels, and craziness that I was totally engrossed in the story.
There are just so many wonderful elements to these books and so much is going on. I think Rhodes weaves everything together beautifully. I love the switching of POVs and I love seeing how all of them interweave with each other. The world is built strongly along with the magic system. The characters are fantastic and well developed. I literally have no idea what's going to happen in the next installment, but I am dying to find out!