Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor HermanLegacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 25, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Mythology, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
AmazonThe Book Depository

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 reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

YAAAAASSSS. Oh man, this book, you guys. There have been a lot of books advertised as the next Game of Thrones. I actually haven’t seen that comparison about Legacy of Kings, but it would actually be my number one pick for something to scratch that GOT itch between seasons/books. The sexiness, the fighting, the politics, the large cast, and the awesomeness recall Game of Thrones. Add in a much heavier dose of fantasy and a solid foundation of history and Legacy of Kings is, in a word, BOSS.

Legacy of Kings has a large cast. I was aided a bit by having read the novella, Voice of Gods, but even the new characters immediately felt right. The narrative shifts through the main characters in third person limited. This really fits and adds to the intensity of Legacy of Kings because it really feels like so many of the characters are legitimately important, and, in a series like this, it becomes hard to guess which will survive the series.

Despite the length of the book and the constantly shifting narration, I couldn’t put Legacy of Kings down. I finished it in about 24 hours, of which I spent many of those hours at work and sleeping. Also, watching Awkward. Only one of the POVs dragged a bit for me: Zofia’s. It’s not that I don’t like Zo or think she’s boring, but her POV isn’t connected to the others yet, so I’m really just waiting for that to happen and until then it’s just not as much fun.

The setting of Legacy of Kings is Macedonia when Alexander the Great is but sixteen and still a prince, one not all that highly respected at that, due to his crippled leg. The historical setting is lush and wonderful. Of course, this isn’t a history, because there is magic all over. In this version of history, magic exists, a remnant of the gods having mixed with men. Those with magic are either Earthbloods or Snakebloods, and they are so freaking cool.

The curtain opens on Kat and Jacob, foster siblings who are falling for each other (not related, promise). It’s cute, but when Jacob is all “I’ll come back from the bloody tournament of death and marry you” (not a direct quote), Kat’s like “…” (also not a direct quote). My girl Kat loves Jacob but she also loves revenge, and she can’t agree to settle down and start a family because she has a queen to murder. This pretty much sets the tone for Legacy of Kings. There will be a lot of kissing and there will be even more murder.

Kat and Jacob end up heading to Pella together, where Kat quickly catches the eye of Alex. At this point, I was seriously side-eyeing the book because I really didn’t want an Alex/Kat ship, but Herman does right by this. Kat and Alex’s relationship ends up being a really great one, made more intriguing by knowledge of Helen’s prophecy from the novella.

Since I care about characters most, I’m going to run through the narrators. Kat, obviously, narrates, and she’s one of my favorites. Also she has super awesome blood powers which YASSSS. Jacob is sweet but misguided. #notteamjacob #oredward #oopswrongbook Alex I honestly expected to hate because of everything I already knew about him, but he’s a really sweet kid at this point. #notteamalex Cynane is a BOSS bitch and I totally love her even though she’s kinda mostly evil. Zo is Persian and has her very own storyline she doesn’t need to share with any of the other characters. Oddly, she’s got it even worse than everyone else. Then there’s Heph, Alex’s best friend, who could use a bit more self-esteem and a bit less pride. Oh, my beautiful boy. #TEAMHEPH Note how half of the perspectives are women. AWESOME SAUCE.

The only issue that I have is that the storytelling is a bit distancing. So I really love the characters but I should have been an emotional mess throughout this book and I really wasn’t. Still, I was totally absorbed from beginning to end and binged this long book in just a few hours.

My need for the second book is mighty. Things are only going to get more amazing when more people have powers and the backstabbings and the murderings happen more often. Also my ship needs to set sail into sexyland. PRIORITIES.

Favorite Quote:

Last year Olympias set up a loom in Cyn’s room and suggested she make her a wall hanging with it. Cyn smashed the loom with a hammer, sewed the broken wooden pieces into a long strip of cloth, and delivered it to the queen with a note: Olympias, I have indeed made a wall hanging for you with the loom.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 i don't give a fuck what the priests say gif rome
The Aesarian Lords can fuck right off.

3 responses to “Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman”

  1. Lesley says:

    This sounds amazing! Adding it to my TBR list right now. Thanks for sharing!
    Lesley recently posted…Since We Last SpokeMy Profile

  2. Interesting… I’ve mostly seen mixed – meh thoughts on this book till now, but you make it sound so good! I know you are a bit more intense about dense fantasy than I am, but we are mostly the same RE: characters so… hmmm. Tempting.
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Book Review: Miss Mayhem by Rachel HawkinsMy Profile

  3. I’m definitely picking this one up. I was already anticipating this one because of the title and synopsis but your review completely sold me on it!
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Review: Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) by Scott LynchMy Profile

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