October 3, 2012

Latest Read: Legacy series

Here are the basics ...
Book: Legacy (#1), Allegiance (#2)
Author: Cayla Kluver
Site: http://www.caylakluver.com/
Category: Young Adult - Fantasy

Summary: 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. (Adapted from goodreads.com

[Note: Second book c/o BEA and already available!]

My thoughts…
It's hard to review these books together without being somewhat spoiler-y so consider yourself forewarned :) Also, this is going to be a little longer than usual since I'm reviewing two books at once!

The good: I started this series knowing that the first book had been written by the author when she was only sixteen years old.  Crazy right? I wish I could've had a book published at that age! I have to admit, I was hesitant though and wary of what the dialogue and language overall would be like given her age. And I have to say, she definitely exceeded my expectations! I was completely swept up in the story and this fantasy world she had created.  It's a world of warring kingdoms, prince and princesses, royalty, balls, romance and a little bit of magic thrown in there too. The plot and the world was so detailed; it wasn't hard to picture exactly what the author had in mind while writing.

Alera is the protagonist and heroine of the series and she progresses a lot over the course of the two books.  I alternated between liking her character and being so frustrated that I wanted to reach into the book and shake her. But regardless, I always rooted for her. Yes, she had her spoiled, indecisive, far-too-timid moments.  Then certain circumstances would bring out a strength and feistiness in her that I just loved.  You can tell it's there but she obviously suppresses it for propriety's sake.  But as the plot thickens (and wow, does it get intense!), she grows into this very queenly woman with a voice.  And by the end of the second book, I really enjoyed where the author had taken her character.  Of course, she makes some bad decisions along the way but more on that in a minute.

My other love/hate relationship with this book? The love triangle.  But I say this in a good way (I think..). I have to say, my feelings on this one took me by surprise.  There's Narian, the boy from their enemy kingdom who ends up captured by the palace guard. He's unlike anyone Alera has ever known and treats her with a respect that is uncommon in her country. You can see where this is going.  It isn't long before they fall in love and have all these secret rendezvous. I liked their relationship and Narian very much in Legacy but I wasn't swooning. Then there's Steldor. He is introduced as being a total ass. Simply put. He's arrogant and cocky and sure that he'll marry Alera to be the next king. I hated him. Until the second book. I guess I should have seen this coming but all that bluster is a front. He's actually this strong, honorable, passionate man willing to die for his country and completely devoted to Alera. They bicker and fight and some of my favorite moments in the book are the ones where they try to one up the other with their antics to show who's the most stubborn. (Gosh, I love couples like this.) Plus there's tender kisses, him sleeping by her bed while she's grieving and he gives her a kitten. If you didn't realize it already, I'm totally Team Steldor here.

The bad:  I did have some issues with the book. As much as I appreciated the effort that went into the world building, it did go on for too long at times. It could be overly and unnecessarily wordy when all I wanted to do was get back to the characters.  Then I just gushed about what I loved about the "triangle".  Here's what I didn't love. Alera is completely single-minded in her "love" for Narian but I don't really see it. Nor did I feel it as I read their scenes. I didn't think they spent enough time together and as a reader, I didn't feel I knew him well enough to understand her feelings for him. And if the author is determined for an Alera/Narian endgame, then why bother making the audience fall in love with Steldor's character. I think it would've been more compelling for Alera to have explored her feelings for Steldor in Allegiance and seen where that had taken her before deciding who's "the one" for her.

Do I recommend?: I do! It's definitely a good series for lovers of fantasy and more importantly, romance! Even though it's a frustrating one, I think it's a testament to the author's writing that I have such a strong opinion on it.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE THIS SERIES. I'm so excited about the third book coming up!

    ReplyDelete