Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review: A Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals Series, #1) by Eleanor Herman

Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals Series, #1)
Author: Eleanor Herman
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Synopsis: 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 a newcomer…

Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…

Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.

And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Review: As a fan of historical fiction, high fantasy and Alexander the Great, I was VERY excited when LEGACY OF KINGS was finally published! Although there are aspects of this book I enjoyed, I did not find myself as in love with the book as I had hoped I would have.

LEGACY OF KINGS is told from six different points of view. SIX! This was exhausting. It made the story as a whole feel disjointed. The many points of view made it hard to emotionally connect to any of the characters. The various points of view also dragged the story along at an agonizing slow pace, particularly at the beginning. It takes a while to really feel your way around the story and characters and to keep track of the connections and how those connections play out against each other. The biggest struggle is that—although the story is supposed to be more about Alexander the Great than anyone else—it barely features him and when Alex is featured, it’s not for very long.

The characterization in the book was okay. I couldn’t emotionally connect to any of the characters (despite how many there were) and couldn’t really cheer for anyone. I did enjoy Alex’s character though more than anyone and reading from his perspective when the book finally got around to him was enjoyable. He is a young boy of 16 left to defend the entire kingdom from an impending war while his father has left with most of the army to deal with other matters. Even with such a heavy weight to bear, Alex is driven and determined and intelligent. He cares about Macedonia not simply because of power but because of its people. He has a lot to prove to himself and to the Council of Elders and especially to his father but every time one of his fears or insecurities tries to get the best of him, he shakes it off and plunges ahead with strength and wisdom.

The best part of the book is the world building. The vividness of an ancient world is beautifully captured on every page. The clothes, the armor, the palace—you definitely feel transported to another time and place. Beautifully setup and written. The ancient world of Macedonia is, on one hand, beautiful, massive, and intricately constructive and, on the other hand, it is harsh, secretive, and bloody.

The story is filled with betrayals, schemes, dark rituals, powerful secrets and cunning villains. Even though the book had its pitfalls, I still would like to read the sequel. I would like to see what Alex does with the big revelation at the end of LEGACY OF KINGS and how Kat harnesses her discovered gifts.

I would recommend giving LEGACY OF KINGS a chance. It’s a retelling of Alexander the Great so it doesn’t follow his history exactly but that doesn’t take away from enjoying many aspects of the story, or Alex himself.

About the Author

New York Times best-seller Eleanor Herman offers a rare combination of skills for a historian – her research is intensely scholarly, yet she writes the story in a colorful, witty manner.

Eleanor calls herself a “Sherlock Holmes of history.” To research Mistress of the Vatican, she traveled to Italy hot on the trail of documents related to Olimpia Maidalchini and Pope Innocent X, and found a cache of their letters. She visited Olimpia’s palace in the Piazza Navona in Rome (now the Embassy of Brazil), her villa outside the city (now used by the prime minister of Italy for entertainment), and the papal palace of the Quirinale, (now the ceremonial palace of the President of Italy.) She visited Olimpia’s birthplace in Viterbo, 50 miles north of Rome, her tomb in San Martino, the town she built for dowerless girls, and her country hunting lodge, gracefully falling to ruin.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Eleanor graduated with a degree in journalism from Towson University, studied languages in Europe, and for thirteen years worked for NATO’S Nations & Partners for Peace magazine. She is married and lives in McLean, VA.

Where to find Eleanor Herman

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