February 6, 2012

Love or Fealty • Legacy

Legacy book cover
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Series: Legacy #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

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.

"A tale of epic proportions" - this is the phrase that I would use to describe this book, though it's been used for a variety of titles over the years. But in all honesty, this is the only way to encompass how I feel about this incredibly written story. It won me over complete with the wonderfully written characters and descriptions of the world they lived in. Even more simply put, it was one of those books that had me completely absorbed from beginning to end.

The Characters

The novel primarily revolves around one girl - Alera, a Crown Princess of Hytanica. She may bear the title of princess, but she's a princess after my own heart. She isn't extraordinarily beautiful in appearance, but she's intelligent, inquisitive and adventurous. I love her bravery and honesty when the situation calls for it, and her unquestionable love and concern for her loved ones.

It's extraordinary watching her transform from being merely a girl into a woman, someone who is capable of making difficult decisions with other people's welfare - I think this is what makes her capable of becoming the future Queen of Hytanica. I was a little sad for though that duty won out over her own feelings, but the position of Queen really didn't give her much choice in the matter.

There is, however, one other character that plays a large role in the novel. Narian is still a complete mystery to me. But the fact that he's described as having striking blue eyes pretty much makes him a winner in my book. KIDDING - since when has it only been the physical that mattered?

I like that Narian isn't necessarily a bad seed, even though he's mischievous and completely unconventional. He's athletic, he's unique and he's incredibly deadly with a sword (or even without one). I like that he's reserved, that he's thoughtful in his actions, that's he's got a shrewd intelligence about him. And I'm also a big fan of the fact that, when he does let his guard down, he's animated and passionate and engaged. And his feelings for Alera? SO swoon-worthy.

This could be an extremely long post if I talked about all the other characters that I fell in love it. Suffice it to say that Cayla Kluver does a brilliant job at bringing multi-dimensional characters to life, with stories and pasts and personalities that set them all apart from each other and make them easy to love.

The Story

The novel started off slightly slow; it honestly took me a while to get into it. But once I was absorbed into the tale, I just couldn't leave. As in, and this is no exaggeration, it was physically difficult for me to put down my Kindle while I read it because it was so captivating. I'm a fan of stories that bring to life an entirely new world with characters that are easy to love and relate to - and this is one of them. I remember thinking, "dang, and this girl was only SIXTEEN when this was published."

This slow build, upon reflection, is a great way to set up the premise, location and characters who are a part of the story. Through little events, such as tea parties, picnics, interactions and day-to-day kingdom dealings, we learn and fall in love with everything about this world.

It's difficult to talk about this novel without giving too much away, especially because discovering those things is an essential part of the experience. But I will say that it is incredible to observe the journey of this one girl - Alera - as she discovers who she is, what she'll stand for and what she won't, what really matters and what it's like to be forced to choose between love and duty.

Personally, I say you should...

... pick up this novel if you're a fan of incredible world-building, great characterization or a fan of fantasy YA. Legacy certainly surprised me with it's awesomeness and I went straight into reading the second book in the series, Allegiance, right after.


  1. This sounds really good! I'm going to go see how much it costs right now. :D And I really like the cover. I like the title, and how it incorporates all the swirls. Plus her dress is pretty.

  2. Melissa @ iswimforceansFebruary 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Despite the mixed reviews I saw on this one, I really loved it! I thought it was a beautifully-crafted story. Fab review :)

  3. I remember you mentioning how much you were enjoying this on twitter, I'm going to see fi I can find a copy over here.


  4. Mands! I bet you'll enjoy it - I hope you get a copy for yourself <3

  5. Me too. It was SO good. Have you read Allegiance?


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