Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman // A Yummy Fantasy!

Thursday, 30 June 2016
Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1), by Eleanor Herman
Publication: August 18, 2015, by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Historical
Pages: 428
Format: ARC
Source: BEA/Publisher
Rating: ½

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.
Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

My Thoughts:

Every year, the YA book community is lucky to discover many new reads that will end up on many of our "Top 10" lists. In 2015, although it took me more than a year to actually get to, the world discovered and was lucky to receive a book by a lovely fantasy author that will change the way we look at high fantasy literature and retellings: Eleanor Herman. With this gorgeous Legacy of Kings, readers are thrown into a story that features many perspectives in the first person (my favourite!), a love square (or something like that—trust me, everyone's connected and in love with each other), retelling aspects, and story about Alexander the Great, something that has never been done before and carries on with George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones and Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass vibes. I am not saying this simply because of the fact that the two are high fantasy novels with assassins and all of that cool gear, but because I feel this historical fantasy vibe while I did read this lovely thing.

I was hesitant, trust me. Reviews are kind of slamming back and forth with this one, and I felt this sure thing that I wouldn't enjoy it. I had a review copy from BEA, so why not take the risk? But you should imagine when I took the risk. I took the risk in May, deciding to lug this one with me on my trip to Chicago, where Eleanor Herman was signing the sequel to this. THANK GOODNESS I GRABBED A COPY. High fantasy either becomes a hit or a miss for me, and I find myself frequently disliking books with magic and hierarchies, and then there are the times where I go on this high fantasy stroll and try to add every book that exists like this to my bookshelf.

Legacy of Kings is such a great read. Every single fantasy lover out there needs to grab their wallets, hitch a ride to the bookstore (or log onto Amazon) and just pick this up. I love the family ties and how every character is connected to one another, and I loved the fact that this takes away from our ordinary Mary Sue books about war. Hell yeah, there was fighting and action, but Herman knows exactly what she was doing to make sure that her debut YA book would stem in the opposite direction from others. 

In order to summarize this huge 428-paged bundle of madness into a paragraph, I will require a good mood. Check. Okay, so... We readers get to sit in the perspectives of three lovely people who are featured in this love square, as I like to call it. Alexander, Katerina and Jacob all live in this Roman period of time or whatever the correct terms seem to be, but this is kind of a prequel prior to Alexander's greatness and so on. Katerina likes Alexander, who likes Zofia, who likes Jacob, who likes Katerina. You see what I mean? At least these characters have a lover somewhere, someone who loves them, even though they may not realize that they love that person instead. YOU SEE MY FRIENDS? THIS IS COMPLICATED. This book is complicated by itself, without the romance, and I strongly recommend buying book one and two together and binge reading them. I feel like I am experiencing some kind of great loss without Empire of Dust in my hands right now. See above: I do own it. I also recommend reading this without any distractions: it is amazingly important to cherish Eleanor's writing with its details and the captivation that she writes with without any distractions. All of fantasy is like that: no distractions needed.

I keep blabbing the positives here, my fellow kings and queens. THIS WAS BORING IN THE BEGINNING. Everyone was and still is saying that, and I seriously agree. This book is really difficult to get into, because there is so much destined to happen but there's nothing occurring at the same time, you know what I mean? I was bored out of my mind for the first hundred pages, and expected that I would DNF this. Once the romance picked up and the real drama (psstt.... OLYMPIA) arrived, I knew that this would be my kind of read.

The character relationships are so complex and yet so interesting that I feel that they are the stars of this novel. Not the idea. Not the plot. THEM. And the amount of plot twists that Eleanor adds in to keep us reading? MAGNIFICENT.

Legacy of Kings was a plus for me, but it could surely be a minus for you, depending on your patience. I JUST NEED TO READ THE SEQUEL NOW. That's what's bothering me, poking at me whenever I decide to add a different book onto my currently reading shelf on Goodreads. Alex's voice is just stuck with readers from start to finish, and definitely way after. I just cannot get this twisted story out of my head and can only wish that I was part of this fictional world somehow. 

*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

What is your favourite genre of books overall? What are some other books that could compare to Game of Thrones or Throne of Glass?


  1. I have a copy of this on my Kindle - this review has me wanting to read it now! :)

    1. Yay, that's great! Definitely go for it, I promise it'll be satisfying! Thanks! <3


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