Monday, 10 August 2015

Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Length: 384 pages

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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, Macedon's sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world, but finds himself drawn to a newcomer… 
Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life, while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. But she doesn't account for her first love… 
Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means competing 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.

This has been one of my most anticipated books of the year, so I was incredibly eager to get stuck in, but unfortunately what could have been a fantastic book ends up tying itself up in knots.

That blurb looks awesome, and yes there is a lot going for this book, but there are a few big stumbling blocks which mean that you’re either really going to get along with it, or end up hating it and unfortunately I fell into the latter camp.

The biggest issue for me is that the entire story is told in third person present tense, not a style you see used often, and for good reason. Done well it can be used to great effect, but unfortunately in this instance it just ends up slowing the story down dramatically, and not allowing the reader to connect with any of the characters. You’re told how they feel and what they think, you’re not really able to experience anything with them and that stunts any sort of connection that would otherwise be built. Add to that the fact that every tiny minute detail is strung out in excruciating detail and I ended up skimming and skipping a lot because nothing was happening. For example, a character is walking to the stables, we don’t just get a brief ‘hey look, walking to the stables’ we get a whole page of left turn, right turn, walking through some archways, round the back of a building, past the blacksmiths, through another door and down some steps and then we’re there, and it doesn’t add anything to the story. It just slows it down, frustrates the reader and left me wishing someone had edited this a little.

Then there’s the pacing, like I’ve said the writing style slows everything down and I found myself growing increasingly bored. No real action happens until around 85% of the way through. You get odd little side plots, but there’s nothing driving the story, it’s all stagnant. Stretch that over so many different character points of view and you end up running into major problems. All but one of the characters can all be found in roughly the same place, so it isn’t so jarring skipping back and forth between them all. Zo on the other hand has no real ties to anyone or anything and I found her plot thread to not add anything and just left me feeling frustrated (again) at the lack of any real purpose behind her story. I’m sure there will be a purpose emerge in the next book, but that isn’t good enough. If you’re going to have that many characters, either make their stories compelling all the way through the series, or condense their stories and introduce them later.
This whole book was an exercise in frustration. I didn’t connect to the characters, the pacing was terrible, odd modern phrases crept through with alarming regularity and nothing really happens. I had to force myself to keep reading, which is a terrible state of affairs for a book that I had been so excited about reading.

The premise is great, and there is a lot of potential with all those characters and story threads for this to really pick up in the next book, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to make me want to find out what happens to any of them.
I wanted to feel, I wanted to get swept up in this epic plot I was promised, I wanted to care about these characters and instead I just felt bored and grumpy that I'd wasted my time.


  1. That's too bad, I've been tempted to buy this one since I heard of it, but held off because I had a feeling the expectations were too high. Maybe I'll just check it out from the library once it's released. Thanks for the review!

    1. I'm really upset with how badly this one and I got along considering how excited I was. Definitely give it a go, you may find that you get on well with the writing style which will make all the difference in enjoyment levels. I'd love to hear what you think when you read it.