Review Detail

 
Young Adult Fiction
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Disappointing - and historically frustrating

Legacy of Kings was not a bad book per se, but I found it a confusing, frequently boring one. Perhaps I had high expectations for this novel – hello, it’s about Alexander the Great – and those expectations were just not met. Or maybe this book just wasn’t worth the hype.

--

Legacy of Kings is a magical fantasy novel full of myth and history. I picked this book up because it’s about Alexander the Great in his formative years, which should seem like a fun adventure story, right? Wrong.

My first issue with the novel was the ridiculous amount of POV characters: seven. My friend, that is too many POV characters, this isn’t Game of Thrones where that many characters makes sense. This is only a 400-page novel. I constantly confused the characters and couldn’t remember whose chapter I was reading, because some of them did just not need to have a POV.

Let’s briefly go through them:

Of course you can’t have a book about ALEXANDER the Great without the man himself, and thankfully, I really liked his portrayal. Despite the fact that Alex doesn’t actually play a large part in this book (he is continually overshadowed by other characters), he was my favourite character.

KAT was … a very annoying character. I wasn’t very interested in her storyline at all, nor her as a person. Her character/personality fluctuated as the storyline demanded, and she always seemed to pop up at the most random times and/or as a deus ex machina.

CYN was a very confusing character. I get the feeling that she was intended to be this badass warrior, but she didn’t really do anything? She was akin to an irritating fly that buzzes everywhere and basically annoys everyone. I honestly have no clue as to what her role in the novel was, so please don’t ask. She was just there to cause trouble, but didn’t actually succeed in doing anything.

At the beginning of the book, HEPHAESTION was one of my favourite characters. I’ll be honest: there was a part of me that hoped (read: expected) Heph and Alex would be together in a romantic relationship – after all, it’s historical canon. But they weren’t, not even a little bit, and I was really, really annoyed and that feeling kind-of-almost-definiely translated to the novel itself. Now, I fully understand that there is such a thing as creative license, and that an author can do whatever they want with their novel, but listen: Alexander and Hephaestion’s relationship was romantic in nature, which many scholars and historians agree on. Of course, we shouldn’t place our modern understanding of the word ‘romance’ to describe them: they were brothers-in-arms, best friends, lovers – everything that almost every Ancient Greek male solider was with his comrade.

Paul Cartledge, a Professor of Greek History in the University of Cambridge, explained his understanding of Alexander’s relationship with Hephaestion: ‘‘The question of Alexander’s sexuality–his predominant sexual orientation–has enlivened, or bedeviled, much Alexander scholarship. That he loved at least two men there can be little doubt. The first was the Macedonian noble Hephaestion, a friend from boyhood, whom he looked on–and may actually have referred to–as his alter ego. The Persian queen mother, it was said, once mistook the taller Hephaestion for Alexander, who graciously excused her blushes by murmuring that ‘he too is Alexander’. Whether Alexander’s relationship with the slightly older Hephaestion was ever of the sort that once dared not speak its name is not certain, but it is likely enough that it was. At any rate, Macedonian and Greek mores would have favored an actively sexual component rather than inhibiting or censoring it. Like hunting, homosexuality was thought to foster masculine, especially martial, bravery.”

If it’s not obvious by now, I take the firm stance that Alexander and Hephaestion were lovers. They were not monogamous lovers – as Ancient Greeks didn’t understand the concept of monogamy – but they were lovers all the same. My issue with Legacy of Kings is that the book doesn’t even mention or touch on this facet of their relationship.

Look, Eleanor Herman is well within her rights not to include the romance, but we live in such a heteronormative society, is it so wrong of me to want to see queer representation from a character who is based on a real life person who was almost certainly queer himself? Is it wrong of me to get annoyed by the erasure of real-life queer romance? Do you think I’m over-exaggerating?

(Of course this issue isn’t an actual fault with the book itself, this is all me and I understand that.)

Anyway, I digress.

OLYMPIA was one of the few interesting characters. I was honestly frightened by her POV chapters, and wanted to read more from her to discover just what the hell was happening. She was definitely one of the few female villains who is genuinely scary, and I sort of want to read the other books just for her, but ultimately she was not a strong enough character for me to invest my time in the remaining two books.

ZO … had nothing at all to do with the storyline. I struggle to understand her importance to the storyline and the only thing I can come up with is that she was there to add extra pages to the novel.

JACOB was a little sweetheart, and I really liked his character. Like every single other character, he doesn’t really have anything to do with the main storyline and kind of goes off on his own adventure, but Herman gets props because he was cute.

--

The plot:

I read a review of this book a while ago (I can’t find it now!) but the reviewer had summed up my issue with this novel in one sentence: too much happens in this book, and at the same time not enough happens.

That is the most accurate description of this book. Herman shoves all this information and all these characters in our faces but the plot doesn’t develop. Instead, the characters have small adventures on their own, occasionally meet up/save other characters, come together to defeat the random bad guys who show up 3/4 of the way into the novel, and then the book ends with all of these loose ends and I’m left wondering what happened: a lot … but actually nothing.

--

The writing:

The writing was actually quite lovely. Herman is a great writer and her prose perfectly encapsulating the mystical tone of the book. I was honestly swept away by some of her sentences.

Sometimes with a slow book, the author’s writing can make me forget about the slow-moving plot and I can fully immerse myself in the story, but that wasn’t the case here. Herman’s writing really wasn’t enough to make me forget about the lack of plot progress or the annoying characters.

--

Final thoughts:

Legacy of Kings has quite a few high ratings from reviewers I trust and I am a little gobsmacked by that fact. Did we read the same book? It looks likes that many reviewers had the same issues with me, but they were able to disassociate themselves from the problems. I couldn’t.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

controlfreak_wordart (wecompress.com).png
He actually gets the girl in this story. His perfect...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Soul of Power (The Waking Land, #3)
One young woman learns the true nature of power—both her...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Oath Taker
Light magic is forbidden. Dark magic spells death....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twisted Saga Collection 1
Save almost 40% off the price of the single books...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Sin Soldiers Cover
Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hunter's Truce
The Big Bad Wolf never killed for fun—he was on...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lions and Lamps
Aladdin-meets-steampunk in this brand-new retelling from K.M. Robinson ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ode to the Queen
Savannah wants to be a nurse, not a Greek Goddess....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Super Humans
A mysterious chest. A terrifying vision. Are their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Fifth Well: Fate of the Future
Carter, Patrick, Amber, and Ryan discover a set of five...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dragonfell
“An adventurous dragon tale that delivers an emotionally satisfying ending.”...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Goddess and the Guardians Boxset
This digital boxed set includes all four books in the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finley and the Foster Brother
When a social worker and a truancy officer show up...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Of Wolves and Witches
I messed up. I broke two of the Arcane Council's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two Like Me and You
Edwin Green's ex-girlfriend is famous. We're...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Skyward
Spensa's world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Soul of Power (The Waking Land, #3)
 
5.0
"THE SOUL OF POWER is a strong conclusion in The Waking Land trilogy. While the first book focused on Elanna..."
Skyward
 
5.0
"Sanderson raises the YA sci-fi quality bar in this high-flying story of human survival, friendship, legacy, loss, and confronting enormous..."
The Afterward
 
3.7
"It's been a year since a team of knights, a mage, and a thief defeated a great evil. Hope sprung..."
The Lost Coast
 
5.0
"THE LOST COAST is lyrical, ethereal, and deliciously haunting. Danny has moved to Northern California with her mother, to a..."
We Rule the Night
 
4.3
"WE RULE THE NIGHT is an engaging YA fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Revna works in..."
Internment
 
5.0
"This book absolutely wrecked me. INTERNMENT is a YA contextual dystopian that takes place in the near future. Extrapolating from..."
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe
 
4.7
"THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE is a fascinating YA fantasy/dystopian that is even better than Condie's Matched series. The..."
Night Music
 
5.0
"NIGHT MUSIC is a beautiful YA coming-of-age/romance that brings classical music front and center. Ruby Chertok is the youngest of..."
Cogheart
 
4.0
"COGHEART by Peter Bunzl is a thrilling adventure that blends a historical setting with futuristic elements. The author hints his..."
The Cruel Prince
 
5.0
"Having only read one book of Holly's I wasn't caught up in the hype of her writing a new YA..."
Through the White Wood
 
4.7
"THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD follows Katya, a young woman who has a power of ice and is feared by many...."
Bloodleaf (The Bloodleaf Trilogy, #1)
 
5.0
"BLOODLEAF is a new favorite. This YA fantasy is completely engrossing, thrilling, and absolutely amazing. Aurelia is princess of Renalt..."
Beware the Night (Beware the Night, #1)
 
4.7
"BEWARE THE NIGHT was an intriguing YA fantasy that follows Veda, a seventeen-year-old Basso who lives on the island of..."
Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution
 
4.3
"Angie is about to start sophomore year, and she's miserable. She made it through 9th grade on her second go,..."
The Girl with the Broken Heart
 
3.0
"THE GIRL WITH THE BROKEN HEART is Lurlene McDaniel’s latest YA contemporary novel. The story follows Kenzie as she throws..."
Three Dark Crowns
 
3.0
" The dark YA fantasy tale of a brutal matriarchy, and its vicious method of choosing its rulers. ..."
Where She Fell
 
3.3
"Eliza is an aspiring geologist and self-professed 'nerd'. Even though she feels like the odd one out, Eliza tries hard..."
Once & Future (Once & Future, #1)
 
4.7
"Capetta and McCarthy have crafted a fantastic novel weaving the legend of King Arthur with the majesty of space in..."
The Geography of Lost Things
 
4.0
"THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOST THINGS by Jessica Brody is a YA contemporary novel that begins with Ali needing to sell..."
Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy, #1)
 
4.7
"WICKED SAINTS was an absolutely wonderful YA fantasy. We plunge into this world with a holy war- Tranavians against Kalyazins...."