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 fiancée, 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!)