Author: Cayla Kluver
Series: Legacy Series
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: August 4th, 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction
I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.
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 an 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.
I wholeheartedly admit that I am addicted to books with pretty covers. Hence why I bought this series in the first place. Now that we have that confession out of the way, I had never heard of this series prior to purchasing it, and, unsurprisingly, it isn’t particularly popular. So all in all, I bought this trilogy on a complete whim with absolutely no expectations, read the first two books in about three days, and don’t have a single regret. This is a very unusual chain of events, particularly my lack of regret.
I quickly fell in love with Alera’s character – despite her title as the Princess of Hytanica, she recognizes the importance of traits such as modesty, humility, and forgiveness. Rather than sitting back and allowing others to wait on her every need, she establishes a sense of independence, a rarity in the male-driven society that was depicted. Most notably, she insists on learning how to carry and use a weapon should she ever need to defend herself. Lastly, she’s decisive and willing to act on these decisions regardless of any personal peril in which she may place herself.
Narian, the primary male character and Alera’s love interest, is not the stereotypical “bad boy.” While he doesn’t receive the approval of Alera’s father, he is nothing less than a gentleman toward her, saving her life on several occasions and treating her like a lady throughout the remainder of their interactions. He’s dark, mysterious, and able to hold his own in a fight, but refuses to let his ego get the better of him. From the very first time he was introduced, I was in love. Another book boyfriend – exactly what I needed.
Despite it’s initially slow pace, the plot was intriguing and immediately pulled me in. After the first several chapters, it quickly became fast-paced and action filled, accompanied by a series of twists and turns that proved all of my plot predictions false and left me begging for more. I had quite a bit of trouble trying to drag myself away from the book while reading, and I managed to finish it in a little under 24 hours. I also haven’t read anything similar to this to date (kudos to the author!), so it was nice to not constantly compare it to another book or series.
The only component I disliked about this book was the conclusion. With the disappearance of one of the main characters for the final 100 pages of the book, I found the ending a bit bland and spent the majority of my time focusing on the absent character (who happened to be in really, really, really big danger, but readers had absolutely no information as to his whereabouts or progress). While he reappears in the second book of the series, his prolonged absence caused me to temporarily lose interest in the plot, to the point that I was merely skimming the text for his name. On a more positive note, there was a rather large cliffhanger in the final pages of the novel which had some redeeming qualities (I don’t want to give any more away for fear of spoilers).
Overall, I found this book highly enjoyable, particularly due to its engaging plot and characters and original premise. While I’ve read a variety of complaints about the author’s age upon the completion of this book (16), I didn’t find the writing to be immature or juvenile. I would certainly recommend this book to individuals who enjoy dystopian or fantasy novels, particularly The Selection series by Kiera Cass. While I wouldn’t classify Legacy as a dystopian due to its historical setting, it contains many similar components and themes.