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Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: e-ARC/NetGalley + HarlequinTeen
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Upcoming: Allegiance (2011)
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 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.
I swear to you, I almost didn't finish reading this. There were so many things that had initially attracted me to Legacy. One, I was amazed that a teen author like Cayla was doing so well for herself--I wanted to see and be impressed by her book. Two, it's fantasy--like the kind of fantasy stuff you'd find in The Legend of Zelda and Avatar: The Last Airbender. So, here I thought I was going to be swept off my feet and find myself staggered by its brilliance. Yet, while I didn't find that with Legacy, there was something about it that kept me coming back for more. I tell you, I tried. I really tried to stop reading. But, then I kept thinking about what was going to happen next. And, you guys, I have a thing for Steldor--but more on that a little later... Somehow, Kluver still managed to snag my attention throughout the whole book. Before I knew it, the story was over and I'd read the entire thing! I don't know how it happened, but I've been reeled in!
The disappointment could have stemmed from the snail pacing found in the storytelling. How long does it take for a person to get from one room to the next? For the opposite team to attack the home team? There was all these little pieces of information that had no place in the story. I found myself getting bored from the extensive detail of the scenery and the rooms and on and on it went. Worse, though, it was probably Alera herself. I didn't hate her. At times, I actually felt sympathetic toward her. But, then there were those times that Alera just made no sense. Tattling on a long-time friend, stomping and pouting all the freaking time, really? I won't deny that she got on my nerves more than a few times. But, it was really her narration that bugged me. She bored me. There's no other way to put it. Being inside her head was like pulling teeth for me. I couldn't get a grip on the story and I felt detached throughout because of this.
And was it me, or did anyone expect more... action? Where were the fights to the death, the dueling and combating and battling? I found myself reaching for my River of Time series books. Now, Lisa knows how to plant some battle sequences. If there was a copy + paste feature somewhere, I would've definitely implemented it for this. This book was seriously lacking in excitement! I kept wishing and wishing for things to happen. And when something even remotely interesting cropped up, it still wasn't satisfying enough. Like the Cokyrian priestess and the super scary Evil Overlord (not sure if that's what he went by, exactly, but I'm sure it's close enough)! I loved them on the spot, because they intrigued me. All dark and elusive. And I love the idea that the Cokyrians tended to submit to women. All so fascinating, but oh so far away!
However, a small save was the abundant amount of sexy bodyguards. I was crushing majorly on London and Alera's younger sister's bodyguard--whose name, obviously, has escaped me by this time. While the other characters were mostly bland, London added some color to the monotonous characterizations AND plot. I wanted a POV switch. I'd rather learn all about London--Mr. Gorgeous-slash-Enigmatic-slash-Sarcastic-slash-Arrogant--and his super secret past. I'd rather be in the throng of his battles and missions. London was the embodiment of my bookish desires and hopes for Legacy. Too bad what I wanted didn't happen.
Speaking of hunky, though more pompous, males, somehow I did something I'd never thought I'd do. I fell for the wrong guy. So, Narian waltzes in and, shockingly, I barely gave him the time of day. It was Steldor, instead, who caught my eye. *moans* How did this happen? I always end up loving the guy that the heroine is most likely going to tango with, with the secondary love interest as a side-benefit and fuel for personal fantasies. I ended up doing a complete 360 and, oddly enough, I became a cheerleader for the guy I'd been wholly prepared to resist and detest. But, I couldn't help but feel for this guy. I saw a glimmer of something lovable in him, and over the course of the story, that glimmer grew into a beacon of possibility. I kept cursing Alera for going the totally predictable route, rather than basking in what was right in front of her. It was clear that Steldor would've made changes in himself had Alera so kindly given him affection and some loving. Sure, Steldor could be mean and over-bearing and self-absorbed, but I think that's just masking something much deeper. Or maybe I've just uncovered a secret soft spot for the underdog. Either way, I'm Team Steldor all the way. Narian can go stay hidden away in his mountains.
After that particularly long read though, it was, I have to admit, a tiny bit hard to judge my feelings. One side of me liked this story and the other intensely disliked it. But, I've come to the conclusion that this is an okay read, one that, on the one hand, hooked me, and, on the other, repelled me. Hopefully, I'll be impressed with the sequel--the second book to which I'm envisioning fantastic battle scenes for. With a little action, a push to the right love interest, and a little more personality for Alera, I think I could really enjoy this series.
Because I mentioned it, and as an alternative, one which I loved, you might want to check out: