on September 1, 2015
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…I will be your next king. While you sat here and quibbled like crones, it was I 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!