Title: Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Release Date: June 21st 2011
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher (Thanks, Tashya!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Summary (from Goodreads):
I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.
In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father's choice of suitor fills her with despair.
When the palace guard captures and intruder—a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom's greatest enemy—Alera is alarmed…and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.
In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won't be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.
Princess Alera of Hytanica's eighteenth's birthday is fast approaching, and as the Crown Princess, she has duty to fulfill as the future Queen, and that is to marry someone worthy to rule and defend the kingdom against Cokyri. Her father wants her to marry Steldor, the Captain of the Guard's son but Alera's heart is not with him. As Alera fights off his advances, a Cokyrian boy was captured, and Alera's life became a lot more complicated when their paths crossed and she fell in love. The Cokyrian boy, Narian, turns out to be a Hytanican, of noble blood, and as Narian discovers his true heritage, the Cokyrians want him back. Years before, fourty nine Hytanican infants were kidnapped. Fourty eight of them were returned dead. Narian was the fourthy ninth child, and the reason why he was kept alive was to fulfill a dangerous prophecy that will bring Hytanica's downfall.
Cayla Kluver has a great way with words. Hytanica and its surrounding kingdoms were easy to love because of her ability to describe them in detail. I can visualize the River, Koranis's summer mansion, the Royal palace and even the distant Cokyri, with Cayla's writing. She provides great imagery to readers, making it easier for us to feel Alera's world. What I enjoyed the most while reading Legacy was that I get to experience royal life through Alera's eyes, her responsibilities, her everyday life, which weren't so easy. Glamorous, maybe, but also tiring and requires dedication.
Alera, as a character, was confusing at first glance. I did not appreciate her character at all at the start as she comes off as a princess who is too carefree, too sheltered and too rash. Her childishness led her to do a lot of mistakes. But what I liked about its entirety is that Alera matured and eventually grew up, finally acknowledging and embracing the role she has to fulfill, even if it means sacrificing her happiness to do what is right. It's always nice to read about a person's transformation from a feeble princess to one who is ready to rule, who has a voice and continue to fight for what she thinks is right, and Alera, no matter what she has done has managed to do just that.
Narian is an enigma, a puzzle still yet unsolved, considering how long Legacy is. It felt like it was his story and was not at the same time. Though younger than Alera, Narian is wise beyond his years, headstrong, stubborn and fearless. Reserved, highly suspicious and deadly, who would have thought that the Crown Princess has what it takes to break down his defenses? To the end, I felt that Narian's story is very tragic. Taken from his home, his family, only to come back years later and have them afraid of him because of his life as a Cokyrian, which also earns him scorn from some people. The real tragedy is that despite knowing his true heritage, Narian feels alone. Receiving no love from his family, stuck between Cokyri and Hytanica, he's a pawn in an impending war.
The love story, though I appreciate so much, was so complicated. It felt like Alera and Narian's relationship was doomed from the start as there are a lot more at stake should they be together. A Hytanican noble, raised in Cokyri and a Crown Princess? There were a lot to consider, mostly politically and it was sad to think of how much they have to overcome. It was also frustrating, as I never liked it when the person I was rooting for do not get his happy ending.
Legacy has a wealth of vibrant supporting characters that breathes life to the story. London, for one, is a character I am most looking forward to reading more. I believe there's more to his youthful facade than he likes us to believe. Cannan, Tadark, Destari were great, faithful Royal Guards. Miranna and Semari were interesting characters as well. There were a lot of characters that pushes the story forward, and there was never a dull moment because of them.
Legacy is a wonderful addition to the ever growing historical Young Adult fiction genre. It has a mix of everything, romance, intrigue, politics, royalty, friendship and family, all of which can be found in the dazzling world of Hytanica. Cayla Kluver's easy writing, combined with great characters weaves a wonderful story that readers will easily fall in love with!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!
Alera is so gorgeous!
Alera is so gorgeous!
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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