Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
Legacy of Kings is a fantasy romance based loosely on the early life of Alexander of Macedonia, later known as Alexander the Great. Since he was one of my favorite people of the ancient Middle East, I eagerly volunteered to read and review this book and gave it a solid six chapters before I realized that this is not a book for me.
Published by Harlequin Teen, it fits into the Harlequin Romance genre of bodice rippers. Every woman in the book is lusting after the closest handsome man, and even young women who start out as strong-willed people with missions of their own are literally chasing after the guy who they turned down within a chapter or two.
For some readers, this semi-historical romance will be a good fit, but I just could not get further in the book to give a final review.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Legacy of Kings from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (Blood of Gods and Royals #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 18, 2015
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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 having to compete 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.
Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings 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.
How is the writing style?
I have always found novels written in the present tense to be a bit jarring. When the book is set two millennia in the past, this style seems extremely odd, but it probably follows the conventions of the romance genre.
The third person point of view follows the stories of several different groups of people who, I assume, will end up crossing paths as the novel unfolds. Some of the characters, Alexander in particular, are intriguing and written with some potential depth. In a different genre, they could have developed great sympathy for their struggles and triumphs.
General tone of the beginning
This is strongly a teen-focused book, setting up the classic challenge of young people who want to get out from under their parents’ influence/control and follow their own quests and journeys. Many of their aims are entirely unrealistic, but that is often the nature of a teen’s imagining of the future.
This actually strongly reminded me of the beginning of the Mockingjay series, including the nickname of one of the main characters: Kat, and the unrequited love interest between her and a childhood friend/foster brother.
Setting, genre, etc?
This book attempts to be a historical fantasy/romance. It is set in the early days of Alexander the Great of Macedonia, but the anachronisms abound. I had to look back at the front of the book to check my recollection that it is set in 340 BC since some of the modern names and references to equipment that did not exist at that time had jarred me out of the flow of the story.
There are hints of some magic and magical creatures, but the magic is gradually fading away, and the creatures of legend are going with it.
Roles and relationships are also very rooted in the modern romance genre. Women in the ancient Middle East would not be enjoying the freedom to choose and move about that is portrayed in this novel. So, if you like a romance set in an exotic time and place, you might enjoy this book.
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
I have to give this one a 1.5 star rating. Older teens may really enjoy it as a fantasy romance, but the historical inaccuracies and laughable anachronisms doomed it for someone who had minored in Classics.
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
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