Review of Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

LegacyofKingsCoverLegacy of Kings
By: Eleanor Herman
Release Date: August 25th 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Print ARC
Source: Thank you Grace from Books of Love

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.

My Thoughts:
I am a huge fan of fantasy and multiple point of views so I was thrilled to be given a copy of this book by the very kind Grace. Legacy of Kings was my first of Herman’s books to have read but I was aware of her accolades regarding her historical fiction. Needless to say I was excited!

Overall, I liked this book but for me the pacing seemed a tad on the slower side. It might be because I read the majority of young adult books but I kept waiting for things to pick up and for me to need to turn the page. I never became so engrossed with the story or characters that I had a burning desire to read.

I did enjoy the storyline and the characters but once I set the book down I sort of lost touch with them and when I picked up to read again I had to remind myself what was going on. This could totally be a me thing–perhaps I wasn’t in a reading mood. It’s so hard to tell at times if it’s a mood or if the book wasn’t engaging me.

The story revolved around a good amount of characters but the main story arc in this first book rotated mostly with Alexander and Katrina’s stories. Alex’s character was based on Alexander the Great and I enjoyed seeing tidbits of history thrown in. Beyond these two characters we also spend time with Jacob, Zo, Heph, Cyn and Olympias. Each point of view was done in third person and the chapters were numbered rather than labeled with whom the chapter was about. I admit that it sometimes took me a minute to remember who I was reading about and after finishing the book this evening I still couldn’t remember some of the lesser character’s (Zo and Cyn) names. As you can tell I had a disconnect throughout my reading experience.

I enjoyed the world that Herman created and felt that for the most part I was able to visualize her settings and characters fairly well. I could see it playing out in sections like a movie which I loved. The majority of the action scenes were well constructed and there were a few ooh la la moments. As far as romance was concerned there were scenes but nothing that overrode the story. I do think that the next book might feature a love triangle (warning to those that are firmly against those). I could be wrong but I can see the makings of one very easily.

The big twist of the story was fairly easy to see early on but it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the story. I think that a lot of the writing was a bit too clear about the reveal and also foreshadowing later events. I’d have preferred for more to be left a mystery.

If you don’t want to be spoiled on a plot point don’t click on the below View Spoiler. You’ve been warned.

View Spoiler »

 

The villain of the story had some fairly creepy scenes and think that in the next book we’ll see much more. I don’t want to mention too much because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Since this was a sprawling fantasy I felt that there were many different people that could easily be considered a villain at one point or another. I always enjoy reading a fantasy with multiple threats and I feel that as this series moves along more will be introduced.

Final Thoughts:
I might have gone into Legacy of Kings with too high of expectations but overall I felt that it was an enjoyable read and I will be interested in reading the next book. I’m curious what might be changed in the final version of the story (will there be chapter headings? etc).

Where this novel fell short for me was my constant disconnect with the characters. I don’t know if it was because their point of views were in third person or they all ‘sounded’ too similar but I had difficulty really feeling anything deep for any of them. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite character or feel anything passionate about any of them. Regardless, as a fantasy fan it was worth the read.

Comments

  1. says

    Hmmm, I might have issues with the lack of headings to tell me who’s POV is in each chapter, because unless they’re done flawlessly… I have issues remembering and telling them apart! Thanks for the warning though!

    • says

      The character name for the chapter heading would have helped me I think. I’ll be interested to know if you have the same problems I did Pili.

  2. says

    Kristen, it’s totally okay that this book had its ups and downs, whether it be contingent on your reading mood or not! I have pretty high hopes for this one, but after reading your review, I’m going to lower my expectations just a tad. I have issues with books in general that have multiple character POVs but are told in 3rd person and if the chapter headings aren’t labeled. It sure doesn’t help that the characters are all kind of similar! I’ll be reading my eARC of this soon – I’m curious to see how my thoughts will compare to yours. Thanks for being honest in your review! <3

    xoxo,
    Jen

    • says

      Jen I’ll be really curious to hear what you think about this one. I typically like multiple pov and it was one of the aspects I was excited about.

  3. says

    I understand the feeling of disconnect with characters making it hard to read the book. Sometimes you need that connection to feel anything about the book. I just finished one that had that feeling of disconnect which was sad for me because in the first book of the series there was that connection. It just didn’t play over to the second. I’m interested in picking this one up and seeing how our thoughts correlate as Jen said.

    • says

      Exactly Jenn. It’s hard sometimes to have an emotional connection to the story if you can’t connect well to the characters. I hope you do connect with these characters and love the book! I’ll be curious to hear your opinion after you read.

  4. says

    Hmmm. I was very on the fence about reading this one before reading your review. Even more so now that I’ve finished it. I really enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn but I’m having a hard time parsing out if that had to with the time period or just with the writing so I stare at books like Legacy of Kings, which I don’t think of as “my bag” and I wonder if I’m right to skip it or not.

    Also I feel you about when you might not be connecting with a book because of your own baggage/mood rather than the book itself–it’s such a fine line sometimes.

    • says

      It really is a fine line. My next book is going oh so much better so I think it was this book rather than mood 🙁 I LOVED Wrath. That book was so well done 🙂 If you read Legacy let me know what you think.

  5. says

    Yeah, I felt similar about this book. I’ve been struggling with writing the review. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it but I didn’t love it. I found it easily put-downable.

    • says

      Exactly. I could put it aside and not even miss it which saddens me. I like being drawn to the books I read…I like NEEDING to read them. This I could have abandoned midway and not thought much of it. 🙁

  6. says

    I added this one to my TBR pile some time ago – will go in with my expectations slightly lowered. This was a great review though – I’m glad that there were elements that still worked for you.

    • says

      I’d actually hoped for a few more ‘ooh la la’ scenes than there were! haha. You’ll have to let me know what you think when you read it

  7. says

    Amazing review Kristen. <3 I'm glad you liked this one, despite it not being perfect :\ I.. don't really like all those different point of views, hah :p but curious about it even so. It looks pretty. But doubt I will read it 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it all. <3

  8. says

    This sounds like a decent read and I do like the sound of multiple points of view when it comes to fantasy after having read Game of Thrones. But I do think if I am gonna read it I would want to feel that excitement so that I am urged to keep reading. Although the characters and worldbuilding sound lovely, it’s a shame about that.

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