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Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals) Paperback – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Multiple characters share the limelight in a fast-paced historical fantasy chronicling the rise of Alexander the Great. Sixteen-year-old Alexander wants to leave the kingdom with his best friend Hephaestion to find the Fountain of Youth and prove himself a man and capable leader. Kat seeks to kill Queen Olympias to avenge her mother, but stumbles upon a revelation about her own birth and the magical abilities she keeps secret. Jacob will do anything to win Kat's love, even if it means siding with the enemy. Zofia, Alexander's Persian fiancée, steals away from her father's palace and risks her life to find the Spirit Eaters, who can change her destiny and give her the life, and love, she desires. So many points of view may leave readers confused about what exactly is happening in the narrative, but most likely won't mind in the face of liberal amounts of action, romance, and conspiracy. Kat is a smart, tough heroine, Heph a loyal friend, and Alexander a likable young leader intent on proving himself. These well-developed characters make up for the other relatively flat, two-dimensional ones, and as their stories intertwine and the action ramps up, teens will eagerly continue turning pages. VERDICT While those looking for deeper, more complete work and characters may feel unsatisfied, action and fantasy lovers will gobble it up.—Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, La Crosse Public Library, WI --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Legacy of Kings is fantasy just the way I like it: A mingling of history, intrigue, romance, murder, and magic." -Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Realms series
"An engrossing combination of fantasy and history-readers who love myth and magic will devour it!" -Alex Flinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beastly and Mirrored
"Action and fantasy lovers will gobble it up." -School Library Journal
"Thoroughly researched and absolutely modern." -Kirkus
"The writing of historical figures such as Alexander the Great in a new way in this story was brilliant. The plot will keep readers interested throughout the whole book and the unique writing style is entertaining." -VOYA
"Legacy of Kings is wow! History buffs and fantasy fans won't want to miss out on this mind-blowing new series that's bound to be a huge hit." -San Francisco Book Review
"Herman mixes real history with magic, mystery and intrigue, putting the 'epic' in epic fantasy." -Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of the Study series
"A richly detailed world full of romance, magic, and intrigue. Eleanor Herman blends the historical and fantastical seamlessly in this thrilling YA debut." -Amy Ewing, New York Times bestselling author of The White Rose
"A terrific reimagining of one of history's greatest tales. Alexander and his companions and rivals are brought to life in vibrant detail. This is a rich world full of peril and plots and world-shaking adventure."-Arwen Elys Dayton, author of Seeker
"Power dynamics abound in Legacy of Kings...rich in court intrigue." -RT Book Reviews --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Set in 340 BC, in Macedon and Persia, the story follows a number of different characters who have a key part to play in the young life of one of history’s greatest conquerors, Alexander the III of Macedon. Each character’s story and life intertwines with his in ways that are revealed or are yet to be revealed. Whether family, friend, betrayer or enemy or someone whose role or allegiance is still to be determined, each of their stories is gripping, action-filled, exciting and completely captivating.
Among them are Kat, a peasant girl, whose affinity for animals and life’s mission are secrets she must keep even if it drives a wedge between herself and the boy she loves; Cyn, Alex’s half-sister, whose goal is steeped in treachery and betrayal; Queen Olympias, Alex’s mother, whose secret desires are deadly; Heph, his best friend, whose pride and doubt could threaten to destroy everything he has; and Zo, whose wish to change her fate could lead to her ruin and that of everyone around her.
Alex, whose leadership and skills on the battlefield have yet to be tested, must prove that he can identify his enemies, uncover the plots against him, defeat those who seek his assassination, and defend his kingdom. Even with the bulk of Macedon’s army absent, with envy and distrust plaguing those closest to him, and with his enemies more numerous and powerful than he could have imagined.
LEGACY OF KINGS is a stunning, imaginative and spellbinding saga that will send readers back to a time of magic and myth, prophecy and fate, bloodshed and brutality, dishonesty and deceit. It is a tale that will capture readers’ interest from the start, will ensnare them as the story unfolds, and won’t let go until the very end. It is an absolute must read first book in a series that is guaranteed to be awesome.
Before I get too far into it here, let me say that I've read all of the mixed reviews and the issues that other readers had with this book, but I always like to decide for myself. I'm glad I did in this case, because I thought this book was pretty enjoyable. It did have its problems, but they weren't something that ruined the book for me.
The first problem I dealt with in this book was the fact that there were just so many characters. There were quite a few points of view going on, and sometimes it can be a bit confusing, considering that other books tend to keep it to like one or two points of view in a book. While I would have preferred a smaller amount, it had its point, and it made the writing different and the stories of the characters even more interesting. So while it takes a bit to get used to who is who, it was worth it! The only other thing I noticed about this book that was a little off-putting at first was how slow it was to start. By the middle of the book it picks up, with lots of plot twists and action, but in the beginning it's mostly just doing the world building and introducing the characters and their back stories.
The world building and character development in this book are incredible, and a lot of detail is paid to these things, which creates a rich environment and makes for an enriching reading experience, in my opinion.
If you love historical fiction (like I do!), I have to recommend this one.
If you look through my reviews, it's very rare that I give a bad review. A book would have to lack world building, character development and a certain magic that would ensnare its reader. Legacy of the Kings does NOT lack in any of those categories. It's the good stuff that (ummmmm) Legend are made of!!
Now this book is loosely based on the teenaged life of Alexander the Great and his rise to power so to speak. You don't have to know about him to enjoy it and it is a slow upbuild. BUT FAIR WARNING... most historical based fantasy fiction are slow at first, so that they can introduce you to each and every character and bring the world to life. If you enjoy this genre you will enjoy how Elenore Herman navigates through her novel.
Each character assist in the world building through their own POV and yes it does switch around so be prepared. I do like having the world described to me by the characters and even though there are 4 main characters there are a few more tossed in side characters that add more to the intrigue.
If you like the magic and beauty of Sarah J Maas, Victoria Aveyard and indy author B Lynch (King Callie), you will enjoy the multifaceted YA historical fantasy that Herman has woven.
I give you 4 stars and a tip of my Nerd Girl hat!! I even purchased a 1st edition for my collection. :-)
*This review was done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official*
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Quick & Dirty: The story of Alexander the Great’s rise to power with a young adult fantasy twist.Read more