Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review & Fancast: Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1) by Eleanor Herman

Author: Eleanor Herman
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals 
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Source: Netgalley
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Summary From Goodreads: 
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 fiancĂ©e, 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.

My Thoughts 

I wouldn't say that I had high expectations going into this book, but I was definitely excited to read it. I love all things fantasy and the fact that it was historical and based off of Alexander the Great made me more intrigued. I actually did a quick Google search about Alexander the Great before I started reading, because I honestly remembered little too nothing about him, oops. I guess I should have paid more attention in my World History class!
Anyway, Legacy of Kings is one heck of a novel. So many things were happening at once, it was almost disjointing. I will say that the beginning was a bit slow and hard to read, but it definitely picked up around halfway through. 

Plot: There are a lot of character point of views in Legacy of Kings. And I'm not kidding when I say a lot. There's a total of seven. Trust me, I kept count. Before you get scared off, let me say it honestly wasn't bad. I'm not a huge fan of duel POV, much less multiple POVs, but it somehow worked in this book. I don't like reading books in 3rd person either because I find it more difficult to connect to the characters, but just imagine the chaos if Legacy of Kings was written in 1st person. So I'm actually glad it was in 3rd. I think the way the characters' stories were all woven together and connected (even if it was only in a slightest sense) prevented me from being overwhelmed by all the different perspectives as well. While the plot isn't exactly complicated, it certainly is intricate with keeping track of all the characters and their motives. 

Things definitely came together at the end of the novel surrounding Kat's new found knowledge about herself and family. The paths of Cyn and Olympias story also made me curious for more.

Characters: The first character we meet is Kat. She lives in one of the outer villages and holds a strange connection to animals. She's childhood friends with Jacob, another main character. Every year the contestant from each island, city, and village are called to Macedon to participate in the Blood Tournament. It's supposedly considered an honor because only the strongest from each place is chosen. But the winner is usually the last person standing, and this year, Jacob was chosen to represent Erissa. 

Then there's Alexander, son of King Philip and Queen Olympias, who lives in Macedon. Alex has his own agenda of finding the fabled Fountain of Youth to heal his scarred leg, so he'll no longer be viewed as a weak, unwanted prince. Hephaestion is Alex's best friend and together, they plan on finding the fountain.

Cynane, Alex's half-sister, and Olympias have similar agendas. Both desire more power by obtaining an ancient Blood magic. Cyn wants to prove that being a girl doesn't mean she's valueless, while Olympias is simply power hunger.  

Zofia is the last character. She lives in the Persia, and must marry Alexander as part of an agreement between Macedon and the Persian Empire. Zo only has a few chapters, and I honestly don't understand how her story fits in with the rest besides her proposed marriage to Alex.

One part that I especially enjoyed in Legacy of Kings was the magic. I loved the idea of the blood magic and other fantasy elements such as the Hellions. I also really liked all the Greek mythology references, being a historical fiction book set in Greece and all that.

Romance: The romance definitely takes a back seat in story, and I thought that worked well with the overall plot. Jacob loves Kat, but Kat may or may not reciprocate those feelings in the same way. Then there's Zofia and her arranged marriage. This wouldn't be a problem if she wasn't already in love with a guard in the Persian Army. The romance does happen to be a driving force in her story.

While the Legacy of Kings did begin slowly, it picked up about halfway through. The multiple POVs were a bit overwhelming, but not as hindering as I expected. Overall, the Legacy of Kings provides an interesting and intriguing read filled with fantasy and historical elements. I definitely recommend it to fans of Girl of Fire and Thorns, Defy, and other similar fantasy books!

Don't forget! If you pre-order Legacy of Kings you get a free signed bookplate! Details here.

Eleanor Herman

New York Times best-seller Eleanor Herman brings her skills as a historian to an exciting new Young Adult series on Alexander the Great at sixteen, the four-book Legacy of Kings: Blood of Gods and Royals.
Eleanor lives with her husband, their black lab, and her four very dignified cats in McLean, VA. She is a member of the National Press Club, where she often moderates book events, a queen mother of Cameroon, an elections officer, and a volunteer for the aging in Fairfax County, VA.


  1. Love your fancast! They certainly seem like a group who'd be up to some mischief.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

    1. Thank you! This is actually the first fancast I've done, so I tried really hard to pick people who matched the characters' descriptions in the book!