Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Legacy #1
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.
Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies.
Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth.
'Legacy' is a bit of an interesting novel. I'm sort of confused about what genre to label it as so I'm going with historical because of the technologies used and the clothing, etc. It takes place in a setting that's sort of like a fantasy made-up kingdom except... there doesn't seem to be anything fantastical about the book that I can recall, unless I'm missing something. So that was a bit odd, but in the end I really enjoyed the setting and the whole background to the plot. The back story is well developed, and the characterizations of the kingdoms and their subjects were pretty well done.
One thing that I found frustrating about 'Legacy' was the pacing. I found it to be quite S L O W at times with a lot of detailed descriptions of everything. If you're the type of reader who likes to know exactly what food was served at a feast then you're in luck. If not? This may not be your cup of (earl grey) tea (served with milk and sugar). Ah, details. See what I did there? =b Anyway, I wouldn't say it was tough to get through, but I just kept thinking that the length of the book could have been drastically reduced if there were fewer descriptions.
Alera (very cool name) is a character who I couldn't really decide if I liked or not. I did care for her and about her, but then she kept moaning about things without doing much about her situation. It was frustrating, but I guess considering the patriarchal society she lives in she was actually viewed as quite the rebel. I was so looking forward to the romantic aspect of the book, but in the end I found it a bit 'meh'. Alera has the consideration of two men in this book, but I wouldn't really describe it as a love triangle. The love aspect took a long time to develop (which can be good, obviously), but once she fell for him Narian was so absent that it was hard to get a read on who he was. His character is so "mysterious" that you never really knew if you should trust him. Steldor, meanwhile, is who Alera's father wishes her to marry, but Alera can't stand him. In fact, she goes on and on about hating him (methinks she doth protest too much). Steldor is kind of like that idiot frat guy who knows he's gorgeous, but that when you actually get to know him he has some hidden depth. I was kind of fascinated by Steldor, and I'm interested to see what happens in the next book with him.
All of this leads to an ending that sort of leaves everything up in the air. That was more than a tad disappointing after reading close to 500 pages. However I have to say that where Cayla Kluver leaves the story? Pretty awesome. I kept expecting something else to happen, but there's no easy way out when it comes to this ending. That alone was pretty awesome and brave, so despite the fact that nothing is really resolved, I was happy with the fact that the author isn't afraid to take chances.
Overall? I did like this novel, don't get me wrong. It was a pretty good read, but I think there are better books out there with similar tones.
The Cover: Quite beautiful! I will fully admit I was drawn to the book because of its cover. I don't picture Alera like that at all, but I do love the swirly things!
Find Legacy by Cayla Kluver on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca