Publisher: Amazon Encore
Publish Date: August 18, 2011
Series: Legacy #1
Synopsis: In an award-winning YA fantasy debut, 16-year-old novelist Cayla Kluver brings a magical touch to an unrelentingly suspenseful coming-of-age tale. Duty-bound to wed her father’s choice in successor to the throne, Princess Alera of Hytanica believes that she is being forced into the worst of all possible fates’ a marriage to the arrogant and hot-tempered suitor, Steldor. When a mysterious boy from enemy Cokyri appears bearing secrets and an entirely different view of what’s appropriate behavior for a young lady, Alera learns that her private desires threaten to destroy the kingdom. When Narian’s shocking past comes to light, Alera finds herself in a shadowy world of palace intrigue and ancient blood feuds, facing an uncertain future with dwindling options – and must learn to decide between right and wrong all alone. Marked by witty, rapid-fire dialogue and dramatic complexity that belie the writer’s age, Legacy brings a fresh, new sensibility to age-old questions of duty and inheritance and to a young’s heroine’s quest to find her true voice.
Legacy was Bronze Medalist in Young Adult Fiction in the 2008 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards; Finalist in Young Adult Fiction in the National Best Books Awards 2008, sponsored by USA Book News.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Legacy was on my short list of books that I wanted to read when I visited the library recently. Of course, that list usually goes out the window when you’re in the mecca of books. Legacy was not one of those books.
Looking at the cover alone you are drawn into the story. The original cover of Legacy looks like it belongs in the royal archives. It’s genius really. It set a tone for me. Also, having the hardcover in my hand while reading this great story, just added to the whole effect. It made me love this book more.
Legacy is about Princess Alera of Hytanica, destined to marry the future king. She is surrounded by her family, the royal court, and her personal bodyguards who dutifully protect her from harms way. After many years of peace with the Cokyri kingdom, everything seems well in the princess’ world. Even though the ghastly war is over, tensions between the two kingdoms still exists. One night, a foreign visitor turns up and changes everything. What could one Cokyrian do that disrupts the peace? What does this all mean?
Kluver introduces Alera in this fantastic tale. She is headstrong, curious, and not interested in any of her current suitors. Her upbringing has instilled in her duty, honor, and loyalty. Before she turns eighteen, she needs to choose a proper suitor to marry, one who is blessed by her father. Throughout the book, she questions the Hytanican culture and traditions that she was raised with. In Hytanica, men hold dominant rule over the women. For Alera, as queen, she can not be involved in the rulings of the kingdom. It is simply not her place. She finds herself with the help of some surprising characters. She finds self-worth as a person first, and as a woman next.
Other characters play fantastic supporting roles, like London and Narian.
London is a personal bodyguard whom I felt was an older brother to Alera. He seemed to have guided her when she seemed lost. She inexplicably trusts him, even if that trust is questioned from time to time. He has been very loyal to the Kingdom of Hytanica, and has proven it time and time again.
Narian is a Hytanican child who was kidnapped during the Cokyrian war. He was raised as a Cokyrian with their beliefs, their culture, and their outlook on life. Upon discovering his heritage, he journeys back to meet his family and experience the culture in the kingdom. He is a helpful aid in Alera’s life, allowing for the friendship to grow.
Kluver’s writing was not only beautiful, but moving. Her descriptive details really painted a picture in my mind. She worded everything that the words just came to life, allowing my imagination to organically create these vivid visualizations. It was like a movie played in my mind. And what’s more impressive is that Kluver wrote this at such a young age! Is that talent or what?
Legacy has several meanings to me when I think about it in respect to this story. Legacy of a princess expected to marry the next King. Legacy fulfilled of duty and honor. Legacy of the culture of the two kingdoms. And finally, legacy of a girl becoming a woman.
This book is the start of a series, so of course there were cliffhangers! There are some questions that will most likely be answered in the upcoming books, but I personally see the potential for the characters to be developed even more than they already are.
Pick it up today, because you will definitely love it.