Magic Makes History Fun - Legacy of Kings (ARC review)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Once Upon A Dream Books - Legacy of Kings (Of Gods and Royals #1) by Eleanor Herman
Title: Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1)
Author: Eleanor Herman
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
“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 newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author 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.”

RELATED: Empire of Dusk (Blood of Gods and Royals #2) 

My Review

When I first saw this book, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it. If you can explain what that pathetic, obviously lacking in taste me was thinking, please do.

I started seeing more and more buzz about this book, so I put on my big girl blogger hat, and reread the summary once more. And this time, something just clicked. 

So when I saw the book on NetGalley, I had to try my chances.

Legacy of Kings was a story that took the life of Alexander the Great, twisted it, and added in whole heap of things, namely magic. I've always liked the question "what if" so "what if there was magic in ancient times" made for a great premise. 

Honestly, I cannot remember my ancient history lessons. Ask me about the gods and mythology, and I'm your girl. But real people? I'm lucky I can even say Alexander and Macedonia.

Even though I knew I wouldn't need the knowledge, I spend an hour on the internet reading about his life and accomplishments. So when I started the book, I was super excited to see how Eleanor Herman was going to weave magic into the story.

Legacy of Kings was told in multiple point of views, there was something like 6 in total. Essentially the story has three paths (four if you count the baddie's.) 

Katerina, Kat, has a secret mission she was determined to complete at any cost. Together with Jacob, her maybe something more childhood friend who was proclaimed a competitor of the Blood Tournament, she set off for the royal city. 

Meanwhile, Alexander and his best friend Hephaestion were plotting and saving to run off in search of a magical healing fountain. Alex's sister Cynane, Cyn, was tired of being the girl in a man's world and started scheming how to better her situation.

Across the water there was Zofia, who wanted nothing more to be with the man she loved, but her family had other plans for her. 

Then we have our villain who wanted to complete a magic ritual that was years in the making.

Confused yet?

You shouldn't be. 

It sounds like a lot of information, but Eleanor Herman does a wonderful job with character introduction and weaving all their lives together that you could just as easily see these people every day and have grown up with them for how well you get to know them.

If all the names seem daunting, just know that the main characters all have easy to use nicknames. Which was a life saver because the Greek ae thing was killing my dyslexia. My brain just does not like that combination.  

I could easily spend hours talking about these characters. There were so many of them to keep track of through the pages, so I have to give the author credit for making them all unique and fully developed. At no point did I confuse any of the point of views or forget whose head I was supposed to be in.

Every character in this book has their desires and fears, and they reacted believably to the pressures placed upon them. Sometimes they moved in the direction I anticipated or feared they would go, and other times they took a different path, but one that fit them well all the same.

You could look at each one of these characters, and turn the world around from their viewpoint and make them the hero of their own story. Even the villain isn't just evil for evil's sake. And I loved that. I love reading books that prove the world is not just black or white, but that everyone is good and bad together. 

Legacy of Kings was a wonderful character driven story.

Though, I'd be lying if I said I did not have a favorite. *cough* Hephaestian *cough*

There was some romance in the book, but it wasn't the focus of the story. 

Unless of course, you were the one guy trying to win the girl, then I guess you could say that it was the focus for you.

There were hints of things that were, hints of things to be, and hint of things that might be. So I'm not really sure where the romance in this story is going to go. I have theories of course, even a few supported by history, but I cannot foresee where Eleanor Herman is going to take things yet. A fact I love.

There is a small ship sitting in the harbor with a certain duo's name on it, but I am not ready to let it sail quite yet.

The world building in this book was amazing. 

I really felt like I was transported back in time to ancient Greece/Persia. Yet, the world was open enough and just a little bit more to give any fantasy novel a run for it. 

Words To Live By

"Weakness, he has learned, isn't in the leg or the arm or back. Weakness is in the mind." (Alexander, ARC pg 23/461)

"A son with a weak mind is a misfortune. But even the strongest, most intelligent daughter is simply worthless." (Cyn, ARC pg 40/461)

"Questions are answered not when you want an answer but when the time for answers is right." (Kohinoor, ARC pg 270/461)

"We are all caged and wounded in our own way." (Kat, ARC pg 309/461)


I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Legacy of Kings. If you are looking for a fun historical or fantasy novel, then I highly recommend this book. I cannot wait until the final version is published and I get to reread this book.


  1. I"ve been starting to hear buzz about this book. Now your review has me wanting to read it! Thank you for doingt he groundwork!

    1. This book was definitely worth the read. I really hope you enjoy it when you manage to get a copy.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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