Release Date: June 28, 2016
Author: Eleanor Herman
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Length: 432 pages
Source: Review Copy for Tour
In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust
After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.
Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.
The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon's undoing.
And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.
New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman entwines the real scandals of history with epic fantasy to reimagine the world's most brilliant ruler, Alexander the Great, in the second book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
Characters: Once again this book takes us through this story through many different points of view, but for the purpose of this review I'll stick with the main characters. First we have Kat, who has recently found out that she's the twin sister of Alexander, the prince of Macedon, but her birth mother still hunts her for unknown reasons, to keep her safe Alex sends her and his friend Hephaestion, on an adventure to help protect Macedon from further threats. Alex is still trying to figure out his role as Prince Regent while his father is off fighting a war in Byzantium, will he rule with an iron fist, or with cunning and wit? Then there's Jacob, who bored me to tears in the last book, given that literally his only character motvation was how he could get Kat to fall in love with him, this time however, while his motivations are still in some way still ties to Kat, he's off on his own path, a path of glory and for himself. However, under his careful watch is the princess, Cynane, Alex's half sister who will stop at nothing to hold her own kingdom and lead her own army. Finally, far removed from this story for now, is Princess Zofia, who longs to find the Spirit Eaters and change her destiny to be with the one she loves, but now held captive and led on what she believes to be a wild goose chase for the last pegasus, she begins to wonder if finding the Spirit Eaters is still what she truly desires. Going into this book, I loved most of the characters, even the characters who hate other characters I love. I did not, however, love the character of Jacob, that being said I actually enjoyed him in this book and after a few chapters actually found myself excited for his next chapter. I'm still not sure about a romance between him and Kat, but on his own he's actually not a half bad character anymore. Another character I love, Zo, again doesn't have all that many chapters, and with her story being so far removed from the rest it's hard to get a good chunk of her story each book, hopefully she'll meet up with some of our other heroes in the future. Overall, all these characters are fantastic, the heroic ones, the villainous ones, and the ones in between are all so richly fleshed out and described.
Romance: So if Eleanor Herman had one flaw I'd say it's romance. Now, not all her romance was negative, in fact in the first book I only really wanted Kat and Heph to get together because I despised Jacob so much, but after this book I actually really and truly wanted them together. There is one other romance, one I'm not going to divulge too much of due to spoilers, but suffice it to say that these two romantic interests grow close in this book sure, but the fact of romance comes out of nowhere, and suddenly the person who's perspective we're reading from is all, "Yes! I do love *spoiler*. How did I not see it before?" and with it coming out of the blue like that, without any real romantic tension between the two or really anything pointing toward affection of that nature on either side, really kind of bugged me.
World Building: There is so much world building in this book. One of the things I find really interesting about this book are all of the legends that don't quite exist in our world, but are still tied to the mythology of our world in some way. If you've read the prequel to this series, you may know that there is a god called Riel mentioned in it, and if memory serves he may have even been mentioned in the first novel as well, anyway, since reading about him I had thought that the name "Riel" was a false name for some other god, but in this story not only do we learn more about Riel, but about where Snake and Earth Blood Magic comes from, about the mythical events that have shaped this world at a tipping point, a bit about what to expect in the future. Another thing we see in this book are two character venturing to Egypt on an important mission and making even more discoveries along the way. The way this author describes the landscapes of Egypt is so wildly different to that of Macedon. In fact it's evident that the author really wants the reader to feel that they aren't in Macedon anymore, and really feel this new part of the world. I love the mix of different mythologies and how this world has grown, the author does take some liberties with history, beyond just the magic stuff, but nothing that would cloud the core feel and purpose of the story and world at large.
Predictability: This series as a whole hasn't been all that predictable, if memory serves, and this book is no exception. As always there are a few things that are easier to predict, though more specific things foreshadowed than just vague normally guaranteed things. Then there were the big twists, and one of the big twists is pretty predictable, though I never felt like it was supposed to be this big shocking twist, it was more that the characters finally caught on to what's been going on. There were a couple fairly large twists though that knocked me off my feet and had my mind reeling. With how this world is constantly evolving I can't wait to see what's next!
Ending: This ending was rather strange. Not in a bad way at all, it's just when the first book ended with a large battle, I had assumed that this book would as well, but the final climax, or should I say climaxes, were much more subtle and really drove home where this series is going. I've heard rumors, or possibly just straight up fact, that this is a trilogy, and I sincerely hope it isn't. With how this book ends and everything it's hard to even think that this book could end in just one more installment, it wouldn't be unheard of, but it would be pretty disappointing. Oh, yeah, and this book does end with a pretty huge cliffhanger.
I loved this book so much. While there is both not that much, and a whole lot, going on in this book due to the shear number of perspectives, it's such a gripping story and it was hard to put down for too long because I found myself itching to find out what happens next, as I said above I hope this has more than just one installment left because I feel there's much more story to tell!
About the Author:
Before the Game of Thrones craze swept the nation, Eleanor Herman was hard at work entertaining readers with her extensive research on courtly intrigue and romance. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings, as well as three other works of nonfiction: Sex with the Queen, Mistress of the Vatican, and King Peggy.
Obsessed by all things royal and historical, she lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and four extremely dignified cats. Legacy of Kings is her first novel.
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