An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return... Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge. Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....
Allegiance (Legacy #2)
And yes, the length – Allegiance is a long book (although just a tad shorter than Legacy, I think). But it’s a fantasy, what do you expect? The world building is amazing and I could totally see myself in Hytanica, sneaking around riding horses and fighting against my attraction to Steldor.
Oh, yeah, and Steldor. I think I strongly disliked him in Legacy, because hello – Narian was the mysterious forbidden boy. And he was awesome. But in Allegiance, even though Alera was all “I never wanted to marry Steldor and I sure as hell don’t want his kisses although they are quite good” – I was like KISS HIM, ALERA. I know, I couldn’t believe myself.
And Alera. She was STRONG in Allegiance. Her strength came out in bits, like denying Steldor or annoying him, but she also made hard, real decisions and I really admired her a lot more in Allegiance than I did in Legacy It can’t be easy being a queen!
If you enjoyed Legacy by Cayla Kluver, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy Allegiance just as much or even more. It’s an awesome fantasy series with a kickass storyline full of fighting and drama and kidnappings and what not.
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2012/02/allegiance-by-cayla-kluver/
Last night before bed, I reread the last couple chapters of Legacy to brush up. Anyway, that reminded me both of the things that I loved, and the things I didn't. Basically, the main character needs to stand up for herself more and the society needs to be more open-minded. What I loved so much about Legacy, though, was that Kluver did something I did not expect. She married the heroine off to the guy you didn't want her to marry, the guy she didn't want to marry.
Obviously, this made me sad, but I also loved it. Why? Because usually in fiction, the princess manages to get out of her arranged marriage and marry the guy of her dreams. Examples include Aurelia and Entwined. No such luck here. This seems a lot more realistic. I could not wait to see how Kluver was going to handle this, since it's not like she can just divorce her husband, the king. Pretty much the only way out of this will be to fall in love with him (which sounds tricky what with him being such a playboy) or for him to die. Either way, I knew some serious drama was in store.
Okay, so now that I've read Allegiance, I find myself entirely satisfied, except that I don't have the final book, Sacrifice, in my hands right now. How will I wait?!?
Alera is much the same as she was in the first book; she still frustrates me no end sometimes. From her narration, it's obvious that she is an intelligent, powerful woman, but she doesn't see that in herself. She spends a lot of the book crying and throwing the grown up equivalent of temper tantrums. While normally this would lead me to dislike a book, here it just shows what the Hytanican society can do to even the best of women. Simply disgusting the way their women are treated and undervalued. However, by the end, Alera is finally starting to realize that she's a force to be reckoned with, so yay for that.
The romance aspect of the book felt like Kluver was playing tug of war with my heart. Just when I had switched to supporting one guy, I would then be tempted to switch to another. Ahhh! Mostly, this was seriously frustrating, but in as good a way as possible.
Mostly, though, what I think I love so much about this series is the fact that I cannot predict what will happen much of the time. The fact that I can't see things coming makes the whole thing such an emotional thrill ride. Kluver's definitely defying some of the standard YA plot lines and putting the characters through hell. Love it!
Fans of YA fantasy will likely adore The Legacy Trilogy as much as I have, especially people who have enjoyed Tamora Pierce novels.
The plot was intricate. The author does an amazing job with building the world that her characters live in. The descriptive details used painted vivid images within my mind on every page. I felt like I was living in this magical land along with the characters. Absolutely stunning. The purposeful skill that the author has was evident on every single page.
The plot seemed slow at times. I’m not sure if “slow” is the proper term to describe it either. Every event seemed to steadily add to the plot until the climatic turning point. With a 490 page book, that climax didn’t arise until near page 400. That’s a long time to wait! Was it worth the long wait? Pretty much. It helped me understand the events more and feel like I was part of the characters. Did I like the characters more because of the wait? Eh. I still stand by Steldor, sorry. Caanan, London, Haitus, and many of the other male characters in the book also tugged at my heart. They were stoic and brave. I loved them. But, for a book that juxtaposes the strength of male versus female rulers, the women in this book fell a little flat. Alera was border line irritating at times. She had these moments that were brilliant, and you could sense her inner strength. But then she would turn around and do something to unbelievable immature that I had a hard time believing she was eighteen. Storming off in the woods after your horse was taken, just to prove a point? Pretty stupid. Of course, Steldor acted pretty immature at times too with his handling of Alera’s defiant behavior.
I would have enjoyed this book so much more if I had the backstory from Legacy. I appreciate that the author didn’t employ the “info dump” to fill in those gaps for people like me. That would have ruined this book. If you haven’t read Legacy, you need to do your homework before starting this one. Read the book. Read reviews. Whatever. Do something to understand the relationship between Alera, Narian, and Steldor before reading Allegiance.