Legacy Book Review Review

As a dark rivarly between two kingdoms threatens to erupt into war, a willful princess must decide between duty and desire.

–back cover

Legacy by Cayla Kluver

A summary first:

Hytanica and Cokyri were engaged in a devastating war in which Cokyri had the final say: they stole 49 firstborn sons. But only 48 bodies were returned. It is a mystery left unsolved until the days of Princess Alera, who was born into the blissful happiness of the aftermath of the war. However, there is unrest, in the Princess and between the two countries. For, Alera is being forced by her father to marry to charming and handsome, but also arrogant and sexist Lord Steldor, while her heart pines after another. And, Narian, the youth she loves, returns the favor.  But, as always, thing as not so simple between them because Narian is from the wrong country: Cokyri.  Not to mention he’s the 49th son whose body was never returned. Born in Hytanica and raised Cokyiran, his views on women are different and he opens up a whole new world for Alera. No wonder she falls for him. But, he also may have the power to destroy Hytanica, and that’s why Cokyri wants him back.

That may sound a little confusing but it’s not. For a plot, it isn’t actually too bad. Though, I must admit, it wasn’t the threat of war that kept me turning pages (though it was still interesting), but the romance. I have to say right now that I really like Narian. I really like Narian. I tend to get attached very strongly to characters, and I can’t help it. Narian’s great. But let’s stay on subject.

The story moves along at a good pace, never seeming too rushed, and Kluver makes time pass in a logical way, as Alera’s tale ambles through the seasons while the drama unfolds. Although, I must say, in the begining, it was a little slow, but only because the blurb on the back had spoken of characters I really wanted to meet (Narian). The romance is without a doubt compelling, since it’s a lot more than your average love triangle. It is very easy to see why Alera cannot tell her father that she doesn’t like Steldor  and why she can’t admit her love of Narian. Kluver manages to make her duty strong, though not overly potent. She also makes Alera strong-willed, but the reasons behind why she can’t always speak her mind make sense.

That was one thing I liked about the story– that Alera didn’t always speak her mind. Too often you get female characters that are strong-willed, and that’s all they are. Strong willed. They don’t really have any other character traits. But like Jena in Wildwood Dancing, Alera cannot always stand up for herself, because of duty, tradition, or fear of retribution from her father. It’s not easy being at the top.

So, yes, I enjoyed the plot. I really enjoyed reading Alera’s struggles with the people around her, which is to say, I liked the characters. They were well written and surprisingly multi-dimensional, the good people not quite as good as they may seem and some of the “bad” people, are rather likeable (Narian).  The characters each talk and act in a way that is unique, making the entire cast interesting to read about.

One way I know I liked the characters is by the emotions I felt while reading the book, and the fact that I was screaming my anger towards Alera’s father though he was doing what was proper for a king, and hating Lord Steldor, though he was only acting as all of Hytanica’s men did, speaks for itself. If I didn’t like the characters, I wouldn’t care about the things they said or did. In this case, I cared very much. Perhaps too much (Narian).

The story’s romance was nice too. The pacing was good, and thank God, it didn’t have the cheesyness that sometimes made Twilight unbearable to read. All the different types of love portrayed in this story were interesting to read about, and Kluver has a knack for making character relationships seem realistic. She also did an excellent job of making the feelings of each character towards one another stay true to the type of people who embodied those feelings. What I mean to say is Lord Steldor is arrogant, and he never stops trying to seduce Alera (I think he sees her as a challenge more than he actually loves her).

Kluver’s writing isn’t bad. In fact, it was pretty enjoyable to read. The only problem I have with it is that she would sometimes fall prey to what I am going to call the Eragon Syndrome. The Eragon Syndrome has three parts:

1. Long, long descriptions

2. Words that sound too modern for the setting followed by…

3. …A look-at-my-vocabulary word

Sometimes the descriptions of things were a little bit long, such as when Alera was explaining the tournament arena. Because I needed  to know what direction the silk banners were blowing in. And occasionally, Kluver would write a sentence that sounded a little out-of-place; beside her well-crafted prose of “Have you nots,” there would be a “No way!” which just didn’t seem to fit. And then, every now and then, she would throw in a word that was long and little known, and though it worked, sometimes a simpler word would have sufficed.

 But the writing was enjoyable, making me laugh as Tadark (though in my head he was Tarduk, who is a Bionicle) was poked for fun, and then scream as Steldor made another unwelcome advance.

The ending was good, even though I did not agree entirely with it (Narian). I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that it wraped up part one nicely and left me yearning for part two.

Legacy was a good book. Though I had razzed it earlier, I cannot deny that I devoured it, spending all day today reading. I woke up at five this morning, and it was good enough to keep me from falling back asleep. Not many books can do that.

The only problems I have with Legacy are: the Eragon Syndrome, though it wasn’t too frequent to be distracting; the picture of Alera and Nirian on the cover; and the begining was a little bit slow. Oh, and Kluver’s names were a little bit strange sometimes. Alera, Narian and most of the others were alright, but every now and then, I’d run across one that was just a little too strange. Like, Kyenn. How do you say that? Ki-en or Ken?

My advice to you is read this book. Heck, buy it if you like medieval, romantic, not-lame-war stories. It’s definitely girly, but I would call it more wholesome than some of the whack-o paranormal crap that’s running around these days.

For me, it was worth the money and I can’t wait to read more. For a first book by a teen, it was pretty darn good. And by the way, the book itself looks really cool too. It has illuminated letters at the begining of each chapter, and the cover is great, and the ink is blue! I just love the way the book looks, inside and out, which is important to me, as I do judge books by their covers.

So, Ri’s final review? Not bad. Not bad at all.

Ri’s Rating:




0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

Leave a comment


  1. Melody

     /  September 27, 2009

    Wow, you actually rated something 4/5… I should read it. xD

    • i’ll lend it to you if you want because the library doesn’t have it. it actually was pretty nice.

  2. Passion

     /  September 27, 2009

    Dang 4/5?! You’re getting too lenient.

  3. Melody

     /  September 27, 2009

    You’re totally obsessed with Narian. xD Okay, that would be great! I can’t wait to get some time to read it. =]

  1. How to Find a Bad Review for Cayla Kluver’s Book « The Spotted Mushroom

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