I was granted access to a free copy of Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals, book 1) from Tara Sonin, Marketing Manager for Paper Lantern Lit, on behalf of the author, Eleanor Herman, in exchange for an honest review. This is now the second such review request I have received as a result from reviewing the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I was pleasantly surprised, since this was yet another young adult adventure story that I would not naturally seek out. I have come to the opinion that no matter what age you are, you can become intrigued by any genre that is well written.
This book is a historical fantasy that according to Ms. Sonin, has been “featured on Hypable, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and was just optioned for TV by Warner Brothers”. The following is a synopsis from the author’s page that describes this story which is part of a series of 4 novels:
Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.
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.
Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman re-imagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
I admit that the amount of character arcs for 7 people along with the overall plot of a famous historical figure such as Alexander the Great was at times, a little overwhelming. I did have to step away from the book about midway through because I was losing interest in retaining that many characters in my head. Also, I had a Déjà vu moment when I first came across the character of Jacob, who is described in much the same way as the transformed buffed up version of Jacob from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. (For those that love the series, Stephenie has just released a gender swap version of Twilight’s 1st story called the Twilight 10th Anniversary/ Life and Death Dual Edition). I did enjoy the interwoven Greek mythological characters such as Pegasus and Medusa. As a fan of movies like Clash of the Titans (classic and modern versions), I love reading about those mythical characters.
Once I came back to the story, however, I became invested in the female characters and their struggles. There are many women either scrambling to gain their freedom from an arranged marriage, seeking revenge for the horrific murder of their mother, searching for a mythical cure to human frailty much like her brother or vying for absolute power against all foes. As a female that recognizes the various challenges to my gender throughout history, I appreciate the various points of view in this fictional world. I think with recent conversations about inequality of pay for women, ongoing abuse of women worldwide and the purposeful enslavement of women in cultures such as in the Middle East and Africa…these characters’ struggles are not so fictitious after all…even in the modern world of 2015.
I have become a new fan of Eleanor Herman after completing this book and my subsequent review of her historical background and personal revelations regarding her research and passions. I look forward to the upcoming books in this series and plan to look into her previous works.