Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Release date: August 25, 2015
An ARC was provided by Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I have never seen or read Game of Thrones. But from what I know from Twitter and Tumblr, I could see this being a slightly less violent, slightly more appropriate version. Legacy of Kings's world is based in reality with magic and fictional characters thrown in. A young Alexander the Great is one of the lead characters, along with his best friend Heph, and his half-sister Cynane. Katerina, Jacob, and Zofia (all mentioned in the synopsis) also narrate. It got a bit jumbled trying to follow all of their histories and motives. I would've liked a little more time with certain characters (mainly Zofia) just because I don't feel like I got to know them very well. There was a lot of moments when the plot wasn't really moving, and a lot happened at the end, namely with Kat. The plotline with Jacob and the lords was a bit confusing, so I think those were some of the chapters that needed clarity and less space between them. Jacob, Kat, and Heph were probably my least favorite chapters, although Kat was still fascinating so I didn't dread her chapters. But I definitely wanted more of Zofia and Cynane!
I appreciated reading historical fiction of a time that many YA books are not set in. I studied ancient history a lot in middle and high school and Alexander the Great is such a fascinating player on the stage of history. I'll be interested to see where this series goes, especially because the plot felt like it was cut off abruptly in some places so readers would want more. Trust me - I would've wanted more, even with more loose ends wrapped up.
Lots of violence, some dark magic, and sexual content (I think it was fade to black but still).
The Verdict: Great concept, just too many characters and not enough time with some of them.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Maybe