Live Like Legends
Carson has a throne no princess wants to share with him. An immortal beast ravages their land, and he’ll do anything to stop it, even marry a complete stranger on the day she was supposed to wed her betrothed. Let her hate him for it, but Kalista is his only hope for peace.
Kalista knows she’s just a pawn on the chessboard of politics, but now she’s expected to kill an unstoppable creature because of some legend about her bloodline that Carson believes as truth. He trains her how to fight, and when lessons in swordplay lead to lessons in love, her destiny puts more than just her life at risk.
How far is she willing to go to save the prince she never wanted…but can’t imagine living without?
Kalista goes to this land with her new husband, not speaking the language or knowing any of the customs. Estral is plagued by a monster who kills so many. Kalista believes this to be a legend until she barely escapes a terrifying encounter. She now has a new purpose to her life- to defend herself and those she cares about from this monster.
What I loved: I was completely engrossed in this story very quickly- it's an excellent page-turner and the pacing is absolutely perfect. Kalista is someone you can care about very quickly, and even though she does not speak the language, the romance is really well built, slow and beautiful. There is also the portrayal of PTSD from her encounter and the consequences of that, which add to the dimensionality of her experience.
There is also a really big twist towards the end that totally surprised me, and I absolutely love to be surprised. This is also a stand-alone read, and so it was really nice to have a contained novel. And what a read this is! I loved every second of it, and absolutely devoured it in a few hours- the mystery, the romance, the danger, the characters! Beyond Kalista, the other main characters, like her husband Carson, his cousin Luke, and her religious teacher, Emmett, are all also really compelling and easy to fall in love with.
There are also some interesting background themes about what is love/what makes a marriage, religion and its role in society, and politics/culture.
Final verdict: Highly devourable and compelling, LIVE LIKE LEGENDS is a fantastic romantic YA fantasy. I would recommend this for fans of THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US, THE WINTER DUKE, and GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS.