Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman Review: Ancient Greek Legends Come to Life

September 24, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman Review: Ancient Greek Legends Come to LifeLegacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
on September 1, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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 newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author 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.

Blending historical fiction with an engaging YA fantasy, Legacy of Kings takes a look at Alexander the Great during his teenage years before his rise to power. And what a rich and fascinating world it was, bringing to life a period in history where Greek royalty practiced the occult, where an army was run by a 16 year old skilled in war strategy and tactics, and where the population worshipped Greek gods and goddesses.

Although there were many point of views here, covering the brief perspectives of at least six characters, I never struggled to keep track of them. Each and every character was there to give us a different perspective of life back then, from the royalty and corruption of the Greek courts to the Persian slave traders and their thirst for gold.

“I am the heir to the throne of Macedon…will be your next king. While you sat here and quibbled like crones, it was who suspected the Lord’s treachery and reconnoitered their camp. Without me, Pella would be under the Aesarian boot in a matter of days.” – Alexander

Although Alexander was the drawcard here, with his charisma, humility for all people whether friend or foe, and strategic mind, I was drawn to the strong female characters. From the peasant girl Katerina and the mystery behind her mother’s death and thirst for revenge, to the insufferable but alluring Cynane, a princess who would rather fight in battles than be constrained to a life of domestic duties, they each had strong personalities. They were all flawed characters with strong objectives, yet with admirable traits to balance them out, so they felt realistic.

The only character I had trouble connecting with was Jacob, who seems to blindly “love” his best friend Katerina, yet he never seemed to understand her all that well. Jacob spends much of his time playing mind games with Katerina. Just because she doesn’t want to hook up with you, doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you! It was annoying how he thought the world revolved around himself.

‘Soon he will be tall and broad-shouldered, forceful and strong. Soon she will be able to sit beside him in power and majesty, ruling the world together as they planned: he with his immortal blood, and she with the fire of her belief. Nothing will stand in her way. Nothing.’ – Olympias

It’s the mythology and world building in this book that made it feel really authentic. The author’s a historian who presented historically accurate details of the time period, the people, the cultural and their beliefs in a really engaging way. I loved the time period represented here, where heroes will rise and fall, where they believe in mythical creatures and blood magic, where the legendary figures in Sparta, Greece and Persia are brought to life.

Although the historical setting is what I loved about the book, at times the writing felt a little too simplistic with what was trying to be conveyed. This made it readable and easily digested when it came to the descriptions however – it didn’t feel like ‘boring’ historical fiction.


Legacy of Kings covers a time where legends are embodied in mortals and where worshipping, magic and legendary historical figures in Ancient Greece are brought to life. I personally LOVE this time period and enjoyed the historical setting. Those who enjoy multiple point of views and ancient history will enjoy this book, although those who don’t enjoy many point of views may find themselves struggling to connect to some of the characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Thank you to Harlequin Australia for sending me this book for review! 

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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34 responses to “Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman Review: Ancient Greek Legends Come to Life

  1. Eugenia

    I saw this at the shops the other day and didn't buy it, but I'm now wishing I had! I love historical fiction, and this rendition of Alexander's life looks really fascinating. Thanks for the wonderful review Jeann 🙂
    My recent post Genie's Weekly News (44)

  2. Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I LIKED it, but the multi-POVs were hard for me to follow along with, and I didn't feel like I got to know the characters enough to care about them. BUT I am intrigued about the sequel, and I did really enjoy the historical aspects to this even though I don't much about the time period it was set in. There were a lot of details, which made the setting rich and like a real place (which, obviously it was. Haha). Anyway! I don't have very strong feelings about this book either way, but I can totally see why people love it. Loved reading your thoughts on it, Jeann!
    My recent post Review: A History of Glitter and Blood

    • Ah that's a shame Holly, but I can see why – quite a few ppl struggled with the povs. I love the time period so much! It did feel authentic, as you said. Thanks for reading!

  3. paperboulevard

    Is this NOT in series? Bc I would love to buy when it's out! Aaaaaaahhh!!! I know I will enjoy this. ❤ Great review, Jeann! I have read lots of tweet about this but only your review made me want to get a copy of this.

  4. Ohh this gives me renewed hope about this book! I have read some… not so great things, but I don't think I will mind the POVs because I can deal with that as long as there's a reason for it, which there seems to be. And I LOVE the historical stuff. So I am hoping this will work for me, fingers crossed! Glad you enjoyed it, lovely review!
    My recent post This Week At Midnight (80)

  5. I really do love ancient history, I'm discovering, so this one's high up on my list to read. SO MANY BOOKS THOUGH! It's hard to pick what to prioritize 😀

    Have you read the novella, Voice of Gods? I read it and thought it was fantastic! I'm just waiting to see how it ties in with the novel.
    My recent post OTPs? More like BROTPs

    • So do I Kayla, it's just so fascinating! I totally know those feels. I haven't read it, I think I should though since everyone's been raving about it!

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Jeann! I struggled with a lot of elements in this one, like the multiple POVs (you know me and multiple POVs), but I was fascinated by the world and the rich history. I'm still not sure if I'm going to read the sequel, but I'll wait to see the reviews.
    Great review, Jeann!
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  7. I AM SO GLAD YOU ENJOYED THIS BOOK!!! I loved Legacy of Kings! I adored the world building, the characters, and the writing! Plus Eleanor Herman is such a sweet person!

  8. aentee @ read at midnight

    I am glad you enjoyed this one so much, I had like so much beef with this book because of Alex & Heph being portrayed as 100% straight dudes haha. I am thankful for it because it makes more people interested in classical history though 😀

  9. AHHH I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK! :DD I just ordered it and I was a bit worried because of all the POVs? But I do like books with multiple narrators as long as it's done well, and if they're all strongly written characters, then this book is like totally calling to me. Plus. FANTASY. I love fantasy. *impatiently waits for book to arrive*

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