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.
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman is the first book in the Blood of Gods and Royals series. It follows the adventures of Alexander the Great dealing with teenage life and being the future king of his country and his world.
What trials and tribulations would Alexander go through before becoming the “Great” king we have all read in our history books? A lot of them actually. So sit tight, and let’s get into this!
The story follows six main characters and a few side characters as they navigate the complicated court life and politics that ensue. Alex is the regent king in charge while his father is away on business, but no one will take him seriously. Katerina is new in court with a secret and a mission to complete. Jacob just won the warrior competition and is now apart of the king’s army, but all he can think about is Katerina. Hephastion, Alexander’s best friend and trusted confidante must figure out the lies that are being told. Cynane, Alex’s sister has her own devious plans, while Zofia, a princess from Persia is being betrothed to Alexander but runs away to be with her one true love.
With a wide variety of characters and points of view the plot is extremely thick and juicy. Herman knows how to tell a story weaving through everyone’s emotions and thoughts that eventually leads to their actions. The only downfall was the heavy romance from the first quarter of the book. Everyone, and I mean everyone was falling in love with someone. It was hard to keep up who was in love with who and I found it extremely awkward to read. But on the other hand the rest of the book was awesome. The fantasy aspect was filled with lore and magic. I found it very intriguing and can’t wait to see where it leads in the upcoming sequel!
As for the writing, I found it very elegant. As a historian I knew that it was going to be good and accurate to the times of the story. Because of her writing capabilities Herman was able to find all her main characters individual voices and characteristics and make them authentic. I really enjoyed her writing the most.
Alexander the regent king of Macedon. He is brave and he is a fierce warrior. He also has a some what strange ability. It is almost as though he can see down into a persons soul and can tell what kind of person they truly are. He doesn’t let others know about it. I am not even really sure if he realizes what he is doing or how he is doing it most of the time. He has a scar on his leg that is very prominent in his decision making. But he doesn’t let it completely define him on the battlefield. He had some pretty good character growth and I can’t wait to see what he does next!
Katerina the orphan with murderous plans. Her mother was killed when she was only 6, something she has never forgotten…or forgiven. She has a special way with animals. They seem to trust and understand her and she them. She has a special quest for herself that she must complete before she will allow herself to give herself completely to anyone. She is strong and courageous, but I feel she leads too much with her heart rather then her head.
Zofia the runaway Persian princess. She is the promised betrothed of Alex, but she doesn’t want to be. She is in love with another. A soldier. She will do anything to be with the one she loves and to avoid the fate that seems to be laid out in front of her. This includes running away at night despite the dangers that lurk in the dark. Zo, to me, seems like the most clueless one of the bunch. Heading out to be with her “true love” at all costs. This only gets her into more and more trouble. She is also the character we see the least of during the course of this story, so we don’t really get to see her grow much at all. I am looking forward to when her part in the story comes into more focus.
I loved being taken back to ancient Greece before it was called Greece. The story takes place in Macedon, and takes you all over the known world. There were a lot of fantastic descriptions would really set the tone for the setting and brought the book to life. As a historian Herman really did her research with the ancient world. From food, to clothes, to objects and traditions. She never missed a beat and it truly shows in her story telling.
I look forward to seeing where the story takes us next and where will Alexander conquer in the sequels to come!
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman was a great first book in the series and really set a tone for the future installments. I look forward to see what lore and magic is to come. I definitely recommend reading this book and sticking with it when things seem a bit odd or slow pacing. The end is worth it!
If you’ve read it, let me know what your thoughts are below? Were you surprised at all with the plot twists? Who was your favorite character?
Until next time,
Eleanor Herman 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 is her first novel.