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Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1) by Eleanor Herman | Review

7:07:00 PM

Pages: 428 pages
Publication Date: August 18th 2015 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 0373211724 (ISBN13: 9780373211722)

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to a newcomer…

Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…

Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.

And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

Now, What I Thought:

This book follows Alexander the Great, yes the same one we learn about in high school, in his teenage years to becoming the king of Macedonia . It takes place in 360 BC, which is just crazy to read about in Herman's amazing descriptive text. This did take me a while to read and get into but that's only because of the amount of characters with crazy long ancient names. I needed time to remember the roles some of these people played in our protagonist's storylines. With that in mind, there were A LOT of different character arcs. I actually really liked Herman's writing and the distinguishing between the characters, it was really fun and different to read about this mysterious, unknown time period from a historian's (Eleanor Herman) mind. 

For everyone's storyline, we have 3 main plots: Alexander, Katerina and Zofia's. Among those we then have the minor plots with different P.O.V chapters: Jacob, Hephaestion, Cynane, and Olympia. It sounds really confusing but it wasn't! I liked how we heard from everyone's head and it gave us more perspective on the story and world we're set in. Speaking of the word, this takes place in, again, 360 BC, so the Gods and Goddesses from Greek mythology are pretty prominent in this. We always get references about how not long ago the Gods roamed the earth. I really liked the incorporation of mythology and how we frequently get references of Zeus, Ares, Oracle of Delphi, Athena etc. Again, Herman is a historian so it does not surprise me that she included history that's pretty accurate to today's knowledge. 
This is a quote from the Author's Note at the end of the book:

"Though this is a work of fantasy with some fictional main characters—Katerina, Jacob, and Zofia—I wanted to make their world of 340 BC as historically accurate as possible... While Alexander’s half sister, Cynane, might feel too modern, she really did model herself on the Amazons and was known for her military prowess....His father, the king, was distant and harsh; his manipulative, ambitious mother was devoted to her snakes and widely regarded as a witch; his older half sister, Cynane, was a jealous, competitive Amazon; his younger half brother, Arrhideus, was mentally handicapped; and his tutor, Leonidas, employed educational methods that would today land him in jail for child abuse."

I loved how accurate this was and it really does make me want to read more of her work. 

Now, for the actual characters and storylines, the only plot that really advanced in the beginning was Princess Zofia. Right away, her story just goes to the max with drama and she has to fight for what she wants and realize the dangers outside of her well protected and sheltered life in the palace. We left her story very open ended and I'm excited to see how her's will end in the sequel. I also just really want her to help with the war in Pella and meet everyone. We start the book off in Katerina's P.O.V and we can already tell she's not normal. She definitely has some strong magic coursing through her veins and I liked how the book ended with her owning her true self and I'm so excited to see her embrace herself fully. Heph, Alexander's best friend (even in history), was pretty dull, but I still liked hearing his thought. His one problem, which clearly states in the book, is his pride. I really found his pride annoying at times but towards the end, like everything, he was just getting better and I think he's going to be a great hero in the end. 

My favourite storyline had to be between Kats and Cynane, Alexander's sister. Something about her abrasive manner and how she'll do anything to prove she doesn't want to be just a lady (GoT's Arya basically) was amazing. From the start of her P.O.V chapter, I knew I'd like her. 

"As she slips through the crowd, she intentionally brushes against different men. She’s not sure why she does it—to remind herself of her power over them, perhaps? Or maybe because even through the coarse cloth of her dress, it feels kind of thrilling when they touch—as if anything could happen."

I just feel like there are so many great moments in this book that I need to quote them all for you guys. If you need convincing to read this book at all, just look at all of the glorious reviews it has. This book was amazing and I can say it is my favourite read in 2016 so far. I can't remember a book I read that just left me speechless and MAKE me want to search the web to find out more of the stuff that conspired in 360 BC. Guys, just read it. It's simply amazing and I am now going to read Eleanor Herman's other novels.

Here are some quotes to persuade you further: 

Alexander's P.O.V:

"Down on the street, a man driving an empty cart is cursing bitterly, trying to back up his donkey and cart to make way for another vehicle. That’s how it is, Alex thinks. Someone always has to give in. But not for long. He has other plans, plans his father doesn’t know about. And if he succeeds, he’ll be the greatest leader this world has ever known."

Cynane's P.O.V: 

"True loyalty—it’s almost unheard of. And it’s exactly what Cyn has been looking for all these years. Correction: it’s what she has been looking to destroy."

Katerina's P.O.V: 

"“There was, long ago, in the time before time, a great battle between gods and monsters,” Ada begins, looking straight ahead. “The gods won but lost much of their power and became almost mortal, mating with humans.”" 

Hephaestion's P.O.V: 

"“Kat, you’re going to be all right,” he lies. She doesn’t answer. She’s looking in wonder at the sky, moving her pale lips. He turns to see what it is that so fascinates her. It’s the hellion, flying in wide lazy circles over the battlefield, howling as it rises higher and higher, and is gone." 

I am so excited to read Herman's sequel to the Blood of Gods and Royals series, Empire of Dust.

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