Pages: n/a (496 - paperback)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Others in Series: Allegiance (2011), Sacrifice (2012)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Legacy sports some beautifully scripted landscape and for the first half of the story, I feel that is all it is. Kluver's description and attention to detail of the characters looks, surroundings, etc is astounding. It is all wonderfully written and I can envision each and every little thing that Kluver is writing about. Setting aside though, I feel like there isn't much plot-wise or storyline movement until halfway through the book.
Alera lived in a time and society where women did not hold important roles or play a part in politics. Alera wanted to burst out of this mold. She wanted to learn to defend herself, she wanted to learn to rule her kingdom... she did not want to depend on a husband to do these things for her. I really liked that about Alera and was glad to see that part of her personality. One character I really enjoyed was London, although he was not present as much as I thought he would be. He seemed to have such an important role, but he was only present for convenience... like when important information regarding Cokyri's history needed to be dropped. I think London had the best personality of the entire story. He was loyal, kind, strong, protective and funny. I was actually confused about his relationship with Alera throughout the story. I personally felt like there was quite a bit of attraction between the two. I did not quite like Steldor. His arrogance was unattractive and I didn't like how he pushed Alera around to get what he wanted, just because she was a woman and couldn't stand up to her father regarding the man he saw as absolutely fit to marry his daughter, occupy the throne and rule his kingdom. The one character I felt hardly any connection with was Narian. To begin, once he showed up he was really hardly there. He was not as active a participant in the storyline as I assumed he'd be. He rarely ever spoke and I could never quite tell if he was sincere in what he said. I would not have trusted him the way Alera did.
While I did mention that the first half of the story was quite slow (plot-wise) for me, the second half of the book definitely made up for it. There was action, adventure romance and intrigue. The ending was quite a cliffhanger and not something I was expecting. After finishing Legacy, I am definitely looking forward to picking up Allegiance and finding out what happens to each of the characters and how the kingdoms handle things.
Overall, a beautifully descriptive story with an ending that will leave readers desiring more from Cayla Kluver and her characters.
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