August 20, 2015

Legacy of Kings - Eleanor Herman

Legacy of Kings book cover
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Source/Format: BEA 2015 || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

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 newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancĂ©e, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Based off the description, there are many appealing things about Legacy of Kings. Greek culture! Alexander the Great! Historical facts! Magic! That epic cover! I was looking forward to it, all set to be immersed in this excellent-sounding historical fantasy. Herman certainly delivers on the historical and cultural references, and weaves together multiple plots fairly seamlessly. In spite of that, I wound up being less than impressed with it.

To be fair, as I've mentioned, this story does have certain strengths. Herman is well-known for her work as a non-fiction author, and her skill is obvious in the integration of history and culture into her first work of fiction. She also excels at juggling multiple plots, making sure to keep all of them going simultaneously by shifting narrators with each new chapter. But her writing itself was a bit dry for my tastes, which made the entire reading experience a bit more difficult than expected. Additionally, the characters felt so far removed. It was almost like I was a spectator sitting up in the highest section in the stands, and I was watching everything that happened from afar. The sense of disconnection was strong, so I couldn't truly get invested in these characters and their situations.

Even though I did struggle while I read it, I did wind up finishing Legacy of Kings. It ends on a definitive note (complete with a plot reveal that I had seen coming from almost the very beginning, mind you), which is nice considering I don't currently plan to continue reading the series. While I'm sure there are readers out there who will like it a whole lot, I just don't happen to be one of them.

Who is your favorite Greek god?

I was obsessed with Greek mythology when I was in elementary school. (Actually, I still kind of am. I'm prone to picking up books solely because Greek mythology or ancient Greek culture is a part of the story.) My favorite goddess, at the moment anyway, is Athena. She's the goddess of wisdom, strategy and even craft; how could I not love her best? (Plus, she's the goddess who gave birth to Annabeth, one of my favorite characters from Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series. Extra incentive to love her!)


  1. I was so excited for this book and so far every review I have read has been similar to yours (and some rather harsh goodreads status updates). It sounds great in theory but I feel like I can't justify spending time on it when I have so many other books I know I'll love!

  2. I was unsure about this one from the get-go but I'm sad to hear the middling reviews coming in for people who were super excited. I am happy to see more ancient historical fiction hitting the market though, so at least there's that! Thanks for the review!

  3. I'm currently reading this book and what you said about the characters feeling so far removed, is so on point. Like you, I feel like I'm in arena and just watching things unfold without any emotional connection. I'm considering DNFing this book because of that.

    Great review!

  4. Uggghhhh.... I keep hearing mixed reviews on this one. I have an ARC, but maybe I'll move it down the list.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  5. Gorgeous review Alexa. <3 Aw, I'm sorry this book was a bit disappointing :\ but glad you still liked it a lot, even so :D I'm not going to read it; since I have heard so many bad things :p Sigh. Though you do make me curious :) Thank you for sharing. <3

  6. I had a little more success with this one than you but it was still a little rough for me. I don't know how quick i'll be to pick up the sequel either. It's a shame cause I do think this series has potential...

  7. This is the second review I have read for this book and you have pointed out all the exact same things as the previous one did. I'm kind of gutted, because I had hoped that this one would be good. But now I don't know if I want to dedicate time (and money) to a book that I may not really like. I've heard that there are a lot of POVs which could get a bit overwhelming I guess. Ooooo dilema. I may wait until it comes to my local library and then possibly give it a go. Thanks for the honest review!


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