Author: Cayla Kluver
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Legacy (Book 1)
Publication Date: June 26, 2011
Format: Paperback, 496 Pages
ISBN-10: 0373210345 (Harlequin Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0373210343 (Harlequin Teen)
Reviewed by: Michelle
I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.
In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father’s choice of suitor fills her with despair.
When the palace guard captures and intruder? a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom’s greatest enemy? Alera is alarmed? and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.
In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won’t be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.
Quick & Dirty: Legacy of a nation filled with duty and honor plays an important role in this fantastic tale.
Opening Sentence: The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon that ruled the sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, the same night the Empire of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.
Legacy was on my short list of books that I wanted to read when I visited the library recently. Of course, that list usually goes out the window when you’re in the mecca of books. Legacy was not one of those books.
Looking at the cover alone you are drawn into the story. The original cover of Legacy looks like it belongs in the royal archives. It’s genius really. It set a tone for me. Also, having the hardcover in my hand while reading this great story, just added to the whole effect. It made me love this book more.
Legacy is about Princess Alera of Hytanica, destined to marry the future king. She is surrounded by her family, the royal court, and her personal bodyguards who dutifully protect her from harms way. After many years of peace with the Cokyri kingdom, everything seems well in the princess’ world. Even though the ghastly war is over, tensions between the two kingdoms still exists. One night, a foreign visitor turns up and changes everything. What could one Cokyrian do that disrupts the peace? What does this all mean?
Kluver introduces Alera in this fantastic tale. She is headstrong, curious, and not interested in any of her current suitors. Her upbringing has instilled in her duty, honor, and loyalty. Before she turns eighteen, she needs to choose a proper suitor to marry, one who is blessed by her father. Throughout the book, she questions the Hytanican culture and traditions that she was raised with. In Hytanica, men hold dominant rule over the women. For Alera, as queen, she can not be involved in the rulings of the kingdom. It is simply not her place. She finds herself with the help of some surprising characters. She finds self-worth as a person first, and as a woman next.
Other characters play fantastic supporting roles, like London and Narian.
London is a personal bodyguard whom I felt was an older brother to Alera. He seemed to have guided her when she seemed lost. She inexplicably trusts him, even if that trust is questioned from time to time. He has been very loyal to the Kingdom of Hytanica, and has proven it time and time again.
Narian is a Hytanican child who was kidnapped during the Cokyrian war. He was raised as a Cokyrian with their beliefs, their culture, and their outlook on life. Upon discovering his heritage, he journeys back to meet his family and experience the culture in the kingdom. He is a helpful aid in Alera’s life, allowing for the friendship to grow.
Kluver’s writing was not only beautiful, but moving. Her descriptive details really painted a picture in my mind. She worded everything so the words just came to life, allowing my imagination to organically create these vivid visualizations. It was like a movie played in my mind. And what’s more impressive is that Kluver wrote this at such a young age! Is that talent or what?
Legacy has several meanings to me when I think about it in respect to this story. Legacy of a princess expected to marry the next King. Legacy fulfilled of duty and honor. Legacy of the culture of the two kingdoms. And finally, legacy of a girl becoming a woman.
This book is the start of a series, so of course there were cliffhangers! There are some questions that will most likely be answered in the upcoming books, but I personally see the potential for the characters to be developed even more than they already are.
“I am not a traitor,” he declared. The air thrummed with tension for a moment, then he continued, his heart obviously heavy. “If you truly trust someone, then you trust their words and actions, even without explanation. You apparently don’t have that level of trust in me.”
I felt for a moment as if I were drowning. The only thing I found harder to endure than London’s anger was his disappointment. I looked pleadingly at him, but his expression did not change.
“If there is nothing further you want of me, I will take my leave.”
I grudgingly dismissed him, stepping into the corridor after him. As he and the guard assigned to remove him from the palace strode away, I was gripped by genuine sorrow instead of guilt, regret or denial. I did not know when I would next see him, and it felt like my heart was trying to follow him. With each step he took, it pressed more painfully against my chest, trying to escape. I wanted to run after him and somehow erase the events of the past day, but there was no way to fix what I had done.
FTC Advisory: I purchased this copy of Legacy. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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