My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by Eleanor Herman via Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review.
‘Legacy of Kings’ was NUMBER ONE on my to-reads list of 2015 and I had great expectations for it. So eager was I, that when before reading the prequel ‘Voice of Gods’ I convinced myself that my excitement was overdone and that like many novels I read, the series will probably end up a failure. Well, fortunately for me, it was I who was proved a failure! The prequel was great (a 5 star) and I am currently DIEING of the need to express how excited I am for the real deal. Unfortunately, I can’t. If I could self-combust to prove my point, I would. But I shan’t. I NEEDED to read this novel and boy am I glad that I did. Eleanor Herman has bravely wielded her pen with power…and officially ruined me for anything else.
The novel is written in third person present tense: something I greatly enjoyed. It really allowed for that depth of the story to be conveyed. It allowed me to dig deeper into who everyone was, what was happening and experience – no, LIVE – the story as the characters do. I saw, heard, touched, smelled and tasted in the moment and allowed myself to be entranced in the flow of events. It was a really good choice of style and one I favour for epic fantasies as it really brings about that awesome effect that, if done right, can make a novel THE best.
There are multiple character perspectives, each one changing every new chapter. Some may find this annoying or unattractive but I found that it was quite appealing and allowed for an extra perceptiveness for the reader. I am absolutely in love with the range and uniqueness of characters the author has provided, so to be able to experience the story from their point of view was something I greatly enjoyed. The characters whose perspectives we read from are also not limited to Alexander, Katerina, Jacob and Zophia, which was something I expected, but also extended to characters they often interact with.
Character development is SOOOOO great that talking about it makes me giddy. It happens so well that you almost don’t notice its transition from one to another. All characters were extremely dynamic and they evolved into these persons who were not just characters but people so realistic I would forget that some probably never did exist in reality.
Establishment of characters was also aided by the alternating perspectives. Each and every character was fully developed making the novel so much more vibrant and alive. A multitude of personalities and attitudes these characters would have, and the best thing was that no two were the same. Each was an individual with their agendas, motives, histories, distinguishable appearances, flaws, virtues and sins. I can only imagine how big Eleanor Herman’s character database was and how many A4 sheets of paper she had to go through whilst developing each and every one. I am in COMPLETE astonishment.
This novel is also part historical fiction and that made so much the better for me. Eleanor wrote her novel around a very memorable time period in the history of civilisation. I love the intrigue and mystery that seems to follow these old and fallen civilisations and to see them come back to life in the pages of an epic fantasy was inspiring. It really is astonishing to read about their cultures and most likely probable events that occurred so very long ago. If you turn your mind to how these civilisations in turn influenced the formation of modern day countries and empires, it will astonish you. I believe the author allowed the reader to open their minds and imagine this. She allowed me to imagine a time when powerful kings and tyrants ruled mighty empires and nations. It was a really eye opening story.
The story itself was better and more complicated than I had every expected. It was so complex that in the first half of the novel I got a headache from trying to make sense of everything and absorb as much as possible! It was like the beautiful tapestries which Katerina’s mother, Helen, would weave. What I really loved was that Eleanor Herman also tried to keep as close to historical facts as possible whilst adding magic and fantasy to the mix. There were so many twists and turns in the novel that I believe it could have turned itself into a whole series if the author had chosen to prolong events and slow the pace at which events happened.
A complex web of history and fantasy is woven together in the greatest novel of 2015. A must read!
Congratulations to Eleanor Herman on the publication of her first YA epic fantasy! Words can’t express how much I look forward to reading ‘Empire of Dust’!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!