ARC Review: Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1) by Eleanor Herman


Legacy of Kings
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals #1
Author: Eleanor Herman
Published August 25th 2015 by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads Synopsis
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 newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author 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.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I needed it. If you don't know, I'm currently studying History and Ancient History at university, and recently completed a module on Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World. To be able to read about a young Alexander, during his regency of Macedon in his father, Philip's, absence, was like a dream come true. Thank you so much, Harlequin Teen, for the opportunity.

That being said, I was, to some extent, disappointed with this book. I knew going into it, from reading other reviews, that the writing style would take some getting used too. I think I counted seven different points of view, each of which that weren't all that distinctive. Perhaps if these PoVs had been in first person, it may have been more enjoyable. However, even though this seemed excessive, each and every PoV was needed in order to give the reader a full understanding of the story.

The seven PoVs were as follows:
- Alexander, Prince Regent and Heir Apparent of Macedon
- Hephaestion, Alex's best friend
- Queen Olympias of Macedon, mother to Alexander and wife of Philip II
- Cynane, Princess of Macedon, half-sister of Alex
- Katerina, an orphaned, peasant girl with a mission in Pella to kill the Queen
- Jacob, Kat's adopted-brother, and contestant in the Blood Tournament
- Zofia, Princess of Persia, who is to be engaged to Alex

Of these PoVs, I liked Kat's, Alex's, and Cyn's, and didn't enjoy Zo's. I felt, at least in book 1, that Zo was pretty much obsolete, and could only really see her connection to Alexander in a historical sense by her little sister, Roxana, who I'm guessing is the same Roxana who married Alexander in 327 BC. and bore him his only child, Alexander IV. Kat and Alex were my favourite characters overall, and I had sort of guessed their connection before it was revealed, but not to it's full extent. Their relationship was very sweet, and I'm glad it wasn't romantic, but rather a platonic love between them. Prince Arri (Philip Arrhidaeus, the disabled son of Philip II) was also a wonderful secondary character, who just needs caring for, and protecting.

Being an ancient history student, perhaps I'm looking too much into the historical accuracy of this book, rather than reading it from a layman's view. Nevertheless, the fantasy aspects of Legacy of Kings was as enjoyable as the historical accuracy. The book was slow to start, but once it picked up, the action was there. I especially enjoyed the battle scene towards the end of the book, which I'm guessing is based on the battle against the Thracian Maedi during Alexander's regency.

Though I was a tad disappointed in this book as a whole, I'm extremely excited to read book 2, Empire of Dust. I'm mainly can't wait to see how the revelations at the end of the book are dealt with, and I kind of want to see Philip return, and see that his son isn't weak, and will, one day, be the 'Great' king we know him to be. I think I just had too high an expectation about this book, and that is what let it down. For people who just want to read more about Greek, particularly Macedonian, history, this book would be perfect. It has the right balance of fact and fiction, and was a truly enjoyable read, once I got over my expectations.

Dates Read:
July 28-31, 2015

4 Stars

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