Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Source: Publisher through NetGalley
A historical fantasy about a princess and the feud between two nations, Legacy had a lot of elements that could have made it a new favorite. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.
of Kingdom Hytanica has had a long standing feud with its neighbor Cokyri. During the last war, Cokyri kidnapped forty-nine newborn boys, slaughtering and returning all but one. For sixteen years an uneasy peace has existed. But it’s about to shatter as a Cokyrian boy is found within the walls of Hytanica. In the midst of this, Alera, the seventeen-year-old crown princess of Hytanica, has one year to find a husband and get married. Her suitors must be capable of ruling a kingdom, because after Alera is married her husband will become king. Her most persistent suitor, Steldor, has the backing of the king despite the fact that Alera can’t stand him. As Alera gets to know Narian, the Cokyrian, she is shown that there can be more to life than being the king’s wife. But, Narian’s past brings with it new questions and tensions with Cokyri.
After a prologue that set up the story and gave the reader more information about the war between Hytanica and Cokyri than some of the main characters had, Legacy got off to a slow start. There was so much description, especially of rooms and clothing, that it really slowed the narrative down. I normally like description in books, especially if it is important to the plot, but I also like to have some room to imagine how things look on my own and that didn’t happen with Legacy. A lot of the descriptions were not important to the storyline – which I think was the tension between Hytanica and Cokyri and Alera’s marriage – but more Alera’s observations. An example is that Alera explains that the throne room has four entrances and that one of them leads to the King’s study, but it never comes up again.
Most of the time, reading Legacy felt like reading someone’s journal as they look back on the past year of their life and examine what happened. At times, Alera felt disconnected from what was happening, again she came across as an observer not a participant. It’s not until events start to affect her personally that there is a spark in her personality. For someone who questions a lot about her country, she remained ignorant of some of the most important pieces of its history. And this more than anything made dislike her for a great part of the book. It wasn’t until more than halfway through that the real Alera came to the surface.
What saved Legacy for me was an intriguing love interest, even though it was part of a love triangle. Alera’s connection with Narian was evident from their first meeting and I was hoping for more of their romance. The historical feel of Legacy worked well for the story. The way Hytanica was described it put to mind an Italian city-state or small medieval nation. I also liked that Alera was a rule-breaker at heart and she did go after her heart’s desire. I just wish that she hadn’t been so passive, especially in her dealings with the king. It took meeting Narian for Alera to consider that there were places women did more than serve their husbands.