Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 18th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
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 a newcomer…
Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding 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 having to compete for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.
And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.
I feel like the Good Reads description says it all really. Thank you, Good Reads.
Legacy of Kings was a book that I was excited to find, and eager to read. As a teenager I studied Alexander the Great for nearly half a year in 6th Form/Year 12/age 16. And I loved it. I loved Ancient Greece and Macedon, I loved battle strategies and questionable ethics and people. I love the rise of young kid into a great military leader. I loved it all. It was by far my favourite subject and topic across all 13 years of school. I even got top of my class, even though my friends and I were taking that class that was for the year above. That’s how much I loved it. My friend Roz and I even went to Greece a few years back precisely because of this class and the love we had for Ancient Greek everything.
When I saw that Legacy of Kings was a a fictional take on Alexander as a teenager, I thought ‘yes! Okay fantastic! Let’s do this thang!’ I was excited to read a fictional take on the great leader throughout his teen years, and while I was prepared for some creative licences, I wasn’t really prepared for this.
While my love for Alexander is in no way an expert knowledge, I did find myself thinking things like ‘wait, what?’ and ‘who?’ and ‘is that even a Greek name?’ The first chapter was good, not great, but good, but as I read on, the historical aspect of it really got to me. As a declared historian, Herman seemed to leave of key bits of information, and add other things in which I thought were beyond the realm of ‘creative licencing’. I know that it’s fiction, and that’s great, and you get to add things in and take things out, but I think it was too far from what I had learnt in school to make it enjoyable.
I struggled through this book, consequently, and didn’t enjoy the writing style at all. Too many exclamation points, and sentences which ‘told’ rather than ‘showed’, and things that were implied in one paragraph and then directly spelled out by the character’s thoughts in the next … I can’t do it for another book.
I think this would have been an awesome book if I hadn’t studied Alexander in high school, and I’m in no way disregarding this book or throwing it in the ‘you must never read this’ pile. If you love historical fiction then this is a good one. There’s love and loss and mystery and magic and a whole of adventurous happenings. If you have studied Alexander however, maybe err away from this book. You might enjoy it yes, but you might get incredibly frustrated by it also.
At the end of the day, it’s your call. I’m deeply sorry that I didn’t enjoy this book. I was so looking forward to it. I guess you win some and you lose some.
Yikes. What a sad review. I apologise, but I do like to share the books I didn’t like as well as the ones I do.
Have you read this? Perhaps you enjoyed it? I’m so glad! Let me know what you thought in the comments!