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Monday, June 27, 2011

ARC Review: Legacy by Cayla Kluver

Title: Legacy
Author: Cayla Kluver
Series: Legacy Trilogy, book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (6/28/2011)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*Warning: This review contains spoilers*
“The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.
Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies.
Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth.”
Legacy is the first book in the Legacy Trilogy by Cayla Kluver.

Princes Alera of Hytanica just turned seventeen and her father king Adrik wants her to find a suitor to marry by her eighteen birthday. Hytanica is a patriarchal kingdom and the crown will be past to Alera’s husband and not to her. King Adrik wands to stepout from the throne as soon as Alera is married. He already has one man in his sight for her, the son of the Captain of the Guard, Lord Steldor. Alera despises Steldor. The only problem is there are no more suitors with enough qualifications to be king but him.
A mysterious young boy name Narian, from the enemy kingdom of Cokyri is found in the city and brought to the palace. Hytanica and Cokyry fought a terrible war sixteen years ago. During this war forty nine Hytanica baby boys were abducted from their cradles to days later be returned the palace murdered, from the forty nine boys all except but one infant body was return.
Aleria and Narian develop and friendship, she feels he understands her better than anybody else; he is coming from a kingdom were women are leaders, respected and appreciated, something Alera wishes for herself. Alera stars to have feelings for him, but there are so many unanswered questions about him and his real motives, that she knows their relationship would never be approved. 
Aleria’s eighteen birthday is approaching, the moment she would need to decide between heart or duty.

It took me a while to get into the story, Narian is one of the key characters and he is not introduced until well advance in the story.

I felt Alera as a weak character, she is going to be queen in the following months but her behavior is completely childish and immature. She is supposed to have a strong personality, but I didn’t see it, she was meek and compliant. She never spoke for herself and even her bodyguards talked down to her.

Lord Steldor’s character is almost caricaturesque. He is a womanizer, egomaniac bully. Who is said to be in love with Alera but I perceived him more in love with the idea of being king than with her. Steldor changes a bit towards the end but sadly this change is questionable and hard to believe.

Narian is a mystery, his feelings for Aleria are more clear than Steldor’s, but he is full of secrets and difficult to trust.

In some cases the secondary characters were stronger and more interesting than the principals. Especially in the case of Alera’s bodyguards London and Destari.
One character I couldn’t understand was Alera’s father King Adrik, I don’t know how he could think that a man like Steldor that is known to be abusive could be a good ruler and even more wants him as a husband for his daughter. Also what is his rush to abdicate the throne especially now that difficult times are coming.

This book is told from Alera’s point of view and as I said before she is not a strong character, making it a little bit dull and with a very young feel. I think it would have been better if it had been told from multiple characters point of view.

Although I liked Legacy I had some problems with it. Besides the point that I felt the characters were weak there was not a real character development. The descriptions in this book were extremely descriptive and many times unnecessary, to the extent that I start skimming over them. Don’t take me wrong I loved descriptions but when in every new scene the dresses, tapestries and layouts were describe anew it got to a point where I didn’t want to know anything else about dresses, hairs, tiaras, food…
Also it needs some editing, adjectives and big words are use redundantly, almost like trying to prove the author possesses a smart vocabulary.
The author uses a Gregorian calendar, a religion with catholic symbolisms and languages as Latin even though this book is set in a fictitious medieval kingdom.
The only real action are birthday parties, walks through the market and tea parties. Furthermore the end was kind of abrupt and dissatisfactory.

I’m sure a young audience (teens) would enjoy this book. I’m not so sure about older readers. The second book Allegiance will be release later this year. I’m planning on reading it, I want to know how the author is going to continue developing the story.

My Verdict: 3 Paws

Other books in the series
Legacy (6/28/2011)
Allegiance (TBA)
Sacrifice (TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads

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