Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 18th August 2015
Edition: US e-proof, NetGalley review copy
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 a map. A time when cities burn and in their ashes, empires rise.
Alexander, Macedon’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 keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…
Jacob will got to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means competing with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.
And far across the seas, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly spirit eaters.
Legacy of Kings is the first book is what the synopsis promises is an epic tale of gods, kings, princesses, war, love and Ancient Greece. What more could I ask for, I thought? A little more is the answer.
Eleanor Herman’s YA debut is strong on historical detail, puts you right in the moment and details the fascinating early life of Alexander the Great, who I knew nothing about previously, but I felt kept at a distance. Legacy of Kings is told in an unusual third person present tense narration and while at first I thought it was pretty cool, it quickly alienated me. There are a lot of main characters in this novel – five, I think – and I don’t feel like I got to know any of them properly. There was no connection between me and the book at all, I skimmed a lot of it to be honest, especially Zo’s chapters. Her story felt unnecessary and tacked on. I’m sure they’ll be more important in book two, but I won't be reading that.
Though this book is promoted as high fantasy, it felt a lot more like historical fantasy to me. The detail and the setting and the politics felt a lot more important than the fantastical elements that didn’t even come in until fairly late in the novel. You could tell that Eleanor Herman is a historian and she clearly knows the period in incredible depth; her passion came across vibrantly but it also detracted from the characters and story a little at times.
I was really quite disappointed by Legacy of Kings unfortunately. I loved the setting and the idea, but the execution just didn’t work for me, sadly.
Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the review copy.