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I Belong


Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Legacy of KingsTitle: Legacy of Kings

Author: Eleanor Herman

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Series: Blood of Gods and Royals (Book #1)

Publication Date: August 18, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 428 Pages

ISBN-10: 0373211724 (Harlequin Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0373211722 (Harlequin Teen)

Reviewed by: Tara

Synopsis: Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to a newcomer…

Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…

Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.

And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

Quick & Dirty: The story of Alexander the Great’s rise to power with a young adult fantasy twist.

Opening Sentence: Katerina races across the meadow, scanning for any roots or rocks in her way.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Legacy of Kings was a solid start to a very promising series. Eleanor Herman takes the broad outlines of Alexander the Great’s life and weaves an entirely new story filled with magic from them. Many of the characters from the real Alexander’s life make appearances and the author creates some wonderful new ones. I ended up really enjoying this one and I’m intrigued to see where the story goes next.

The book does start off rather slowly. However, the events at the beginning shape what happens throughout the story, sometimes in unexpected ways. The author lays the groundwork very well for the reader to understand both the world and all the characters. Luckily, the pace picks up about halfway through and I ended up flying through the rest of the story. As a fan of Greek myths and history, I enjoyed seeing how the author brought the world to life, she wove in the magical aspects very well. Sometimes the magic system was a little jarring since I was expecting more of classical Greek mythology but I ended up enjoying that she created something entire new.

Part of why it took me so long to really begin enjoying the book was the multitude of different points of view. The story follows six different main characters and constantly is switching between them. The switches sometimes would even happen in the middle of a scene, which was a little jarring. Since the story is told in third person omniscient, the switches weren’t as jarring as they could have been. Zo’s storyline is the only one that takes place in another location so the switches to her always took me a few pages to get used to and to remember what happened to her previously.

Over time, I did end up falling in love with most of the characters. Olympia and Cynane are two that I still have mixed feelings on but I always looked forward to their scenes because of how entertaining (and deliciously sneaky) they were. I really enjoyed seeing how the relationships between the various characters developed and shifted over the course of the book. Kat’s encounters with Hephaestion usually involved verbal sparring and entertaining dialogue. The friendship between Heph and Alex was believable and the challenges they faced understandable, even if some parts were slightly heartbreaking to watch. One benefit of the multiple POVs is that the reader did have more insight into situation than the characters, which worked well in this book. In some cases, like Cyn’s interference with Heph and Alex, it made me feel a lot more emotionally invested in the characters.

The passage of time in this book was often quite confusing. Events, like Kat’s trip to Halicarnassus or her stay at the palace, would appear to take place over weeks but then characters would mention that it had only been days. This is a small point and it might just be me but I think the story could have been improved by expanding the timeframe and not cramming the events into a short period of time.

While this book did have some minor flaws, it was overall a very solid start to a promising series. Now that much of the groundwork has been laid, I am very intrigued to see what the next installment in this series brings.

Notable Scene:

Furious now, the guards throw themselves on her, driving the breath from her chest. Her face is pressed into the hard ground as the men hold her down. At the lightless, airless bottom of a heap of armor and sweaty, hairy flesh, Kat wonders if they will break her bones or, worse, smother her to death in a muggy fog of fermented body odor. But then she hears a voice cutting clear and cool through the soldiers’ grunts.

“What’s going on here?” It is a young man’s voice and, oddly, one that seems both comforting and familiar.

The weighty load on top of her removes itself. Gulping in fresh air, Kat pushes herself to her feet and sees her rescuer on a beautiful black stallion. He’s muscular yet slender, dressed all in royal purple. A gold crown sits atop his strikingly light hair. If anything, he’s just as handsome as the other man, but his unusual eyes—one brown, one pale blue—make him seem otherworldly.

And yet familiar. She’s heard of the boy with such eyes. Everyone has.

It’s Prince Alexander.

Blood of Gods and Royals Series:

0.5 Voice of Gods

0.6 Queen of Ashes

1. Legacy of Kings

2. Empire of Dust

3. Reign of Serpents (June 27, 2017)

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FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Legacy of Kings. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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