Disclaimer: I read an ARC of this book, and there may be some small changes in the final edition. This book will be released on August 18th
I would recommend this book for ages fourteen and up.
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. (Goodreads)
This book was absolutely one of the most complex and beautiful young adult books I have read in a long time. I have been told by other reviewers and the author herself that this book is so different than any other young adult book. I didn’t fully comprehend what that meant until I read it. To start with, the atmosphere of this book was so incredibly realistic. I could picture every single thing that Eleanor Herman was describing. With this book being historical fantasy, it was very important to me for it to have great world building, and it did not disappoint.
One of the most talked about things of this book is the fact that it has six different narrators. Normally that would be overwhelming, and you wouldn’t feel connected to anyone. That was not the case with this book. Every single character had amazingly detailed and fleshed out backstories, that somehow intertwined with the rest of the characters. My favorite character through out the entire book was Cyn, with Heph coming in second. Even though I had two definite favorite characters, I didn’t dislike anyone. Another thing I loved were the friendships in this book. Most specifically between Heph and Alex. During some of Heph’s POVs, he said things about Alex that I say about my best friend, and I loved how realistic and relatable they were.
Legacy of Kings was incredibly historically accurate. I’m pretty sure that Eleanor Herman is a historian which would make perfect sense. Most of the time in books, especially YA, it feels like authors make up history as they go in hopes that their audience won’t notice. in this book, it never feels like info dumping, but instead blends into the story perfectly. Eleanor Herman never caters to the young adult age group, but instead writes an amazing book that she knows her audience will understand just fine.
Lastly, there is a magical element in this book that was so cool. Since there are so many point of views, not every character is aware of the magic in the palace. It never felt like the magic was overpowering because of that. The way the magic was built blended in perfectly with the rest of the story, but I can’t explain why without spoiling it.
This book had medium language, minor violence, and medium romance. This book covered pretty much every romantic or sexual thing that it could, but with nearly no description involved in it. It also stayed very true to the time period.
Other Notables: One of the characters was involved with a cult when she was much younger and she remembers pieces of it. The same character is obsessed with snakes and the snakes bite her a couple times, and that is described in detail. There is a lot of description of people’s bodies. One character is naked a couple of times, but not in a sexual way and it is not described.
Four and a Half out of Five Stars
Pages: 432 ARC edition
Author: Eleanor Herman
Buy Book Here: Amazon