- Date published: 1st March 2012
- Publisher: Harlequin Teen AU
- Format: Paperback, 488 pages
- Series: Legacy, Book 1
- ISBN 13: 9781921796593 ISBN 10: 1921796593
- Categories: YA Fantasy
- Goodreads / Booktopia / Bookworld
- Source: bought
A crown princess…
A scandalous secret cush…
A kingdom on the brink of disaster…
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 hold dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.
A new world, intriguing court life and an ancient prophesy: Legacy carries all the hallmarks of a kick-arse Fantasy, but it ultimately fails on execution and wasn’t as enjoyable as I had anticipated. The book is a romantic story masquerading as a Fantasy: most the plot revolves around Princess Alera and her dislike of her father’s chosen suitor, which is disappointing.
The characters in Legacy are interesting, but under developed and the conversations between them seem forced and a bit weird because of this. They lack real motivation and have been painted with a broad brush: the loyal guard, the set upon Princess and her naive younger sister, the boorish suitor and his handsome, dangerous counterpart, the King who doesn’t understand his daughter (or women in general). So, I got really tired about reading about these people, because they never did anything that surprised me, although they managed to outrage me fairly often. Alera displays a shocking lack of foresight and poor judgement with alarming frequency, and then has the gall to be perplexed and hurt when the people around her call her out on her behaviour. She also claims not to enjoy dressing up and wearing the gowns and jewellery that goes with her being a Princess, but the book is filled with descriptions of what she wears, in excruciating detail.
The world building was decent and I enjoyed it a lot. I wanted to know so much more about the Cokyrians – this would have been a wonderful opportunity for Alera to break into a library or something! One of the most intriguing things is the explanation for why the war occurred between the two kingdoms in the first place – it made so much sense! One aspect I detested was the overly descriptive passages telling readers how Alera’s castle is laid out. Near the beginning of the book, every time the action moved to a new room, courtyard or garden, Alera explained where it lay in relation to everything else. While this may have been deemed useful, without a map it was largely confusing and I ended up skipping most of it because I don’t care where the Throne Room is or what other names you might have for it, I want to know what happened in there!
The plot. I looked and looked, and couldn’t find it. Really. The whole book is just about Alera and her two love interests, with a prophesy and some politics thrown in. I wanted, so much, for Alera to be interested in these things and pursue them, but nope, every time she was told ‘you’re a woman, go back to the embroidery’, she did just that, and then fumed afterward about how people treat her. Now. I have to clarify here: I know she was raised a certain way and has to remain within that role, but unlike Sansa Stark, who finds immeasurable power within that role, Alera just whines. A. Lot.
Legacy was a passable read. I think there is a certain type of reader who will love it, but it while I enjoyed some aspects of it, a lot of the book frustrated me. I have the next two books in the series, and I will be reading them because I’m curious how it will all play out. And I want to know how that prophesy ties in!