It’s Kind of Exciting to Love a Book That None of Your Friends Did

Legacy of KingsLegacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals #1
Published by: Harlequin Teen on August 18, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Magic
Pages: 428
Source: Purchased
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★½

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.

Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings 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.

I may have exaggerated a little.

It’s not that none of my friends loved Legacy of Kings, but the vast majority gave it three stars or less, which to me ranges from “I didn’t like it” to “it was only okay”.

But I loved it!

When I finished the book and stared at my list of Goodreads friends’ reviews, I had a weird feeling. Was it excitement? Relief? Pride? Maybe more like, “Hah! I sure showed you guys!” It was weird. I was so happy that I loved this book when so many of my friends didn’t.

Anyway let’s talk about the book!

Things to know about Legacy of Kings (to help you decide if you’ll like it or not!).

Let me prefix this by saying there’s no way to know for sure if you’ll love a book or not. In fact, based on most of this list, I would have assumed I wouldn’t like Legacy of Kings. But I totally clicked with the book anyway based on some “vibe” I can’t quite put into words.

  • There are loooots of points of view. Like six. Maybe more. There are at least two more than alluded to in the synopsis (names in bold).
  • This is one of those books that tracks different people and different motivations over a long period of time. So it will require patience.
  • There’s a big focus on secrets, lies, betrayals, and things like that. Again, all unravelling slowly.

I’d really compare Legacy of Kings to Game of Thrones in every way except writing style. I think George R. R. Martin and Eleanor Herman have very different ways of writing. But the overall format and ideas are very similar.

  • Multiple points of view.
  • Different kingdoms with different motivations all coming together.
  • Lies, deceit, power struggles.
  • A hint of magic (more in Legacy of Kings than Game of Thrones).

(What’s funny is that I hated the Game of Thrones books, but I think that largely came down to Martin’s writing style. I just couldn’t connect or feel anything for the characters. Some people are the opposite of this and love GoT but couldn’t connect with Legacy of Kings.)

The tough parts.

Legacy of Kings didn’t quite hit five stars for me. I’m hovering somewhere around 4 or 4.5. Here’s the main reason why:

The book could be overwhelming at times. I think it came down to the many different complex names/kingdoms/places, which was made even more complicated by the fact that there were 6+ points of view (spanning multiple kingdoms!). It was a lot to keep straight.

While I did struggle at times to remember who’s who and which kingdom they’re from and what their goal is, I think I came out at least roughly understanding everything. But I honestly might have missed some details just because it was hard to keep track of.

But those characters!

I love how my expectations about certain characters changed. I pretty much loved everyone—even the bad guys. But mostly I loved how some people I loved at first went down bath paths and vice versa. View Spoiler » Some people I didn’t like at first grew on me a little.

I really like where this story is going and I’ve already purchased the second book! I really wish the third one was out so I could binge read the series all at once. *sigh*

The Verdict


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  1. I can appreciate any author that can toggle so many view points, but the many comparisons to GOT gets me a little worried. I’m going to make a big assumption here and say that this author was probably inspired by Martin to go this route (and the publisher made the cover so strikingly similar to Martin that it would draw those readers in). Which in some ways, is pretty smart. In others? A huge risk.

    Because you liked it (and I’m a sucker for dissecting such interwoven plots) I’ll probably give this one a try!

    1. I hope you like it Kate! 🙂

      Objectively it is similar to GoT in the sense that they’re both about kingdoms with people fighting for power and following multiple view points, with hints of magic/paranormal. Of course that doesn’t mean you’ll like this just because you like GoT. (As made evident by the fact I didn’t like GoT and I did like this, hah.)

  2. This series looks like something I’d like. 🙂

    Anyway, I came here specifically to say that I love the new look of your site. 🙂

  3. I’ve heard mixed things about this book. I really want to start it but I’m definitely intimidated by the multiple POV and politics that seem to encompass most of the book. But, I also didn’t really like ASOIAF, maybe I’ll be like you and love this one!

  4. AHHH I’M REALLY GLAD ABOUT THIS!! I mean, I know I shrieked that it was glorious on twitter so I’m just going to take some credit for you reading it.? (Shh, I know I probably wasn’t even that influence but I can dream bahahhah.) ANYWAY. I completely agree! It was incredible but didn’t quite get to 5-stars for me either. I think I was a bit annoyed with the princess’ POV? The one Alex was supposed to marry? (Omg I would like to say her name is Zoey but I actually cannot even remember.) I thought she was a bit pointless. But I LOVED the villains’ perspectives and the complexity and I just adore the book. :’) I’m going to order the sequel soon (I’m just praying it matches the first one that I own because I heard they changed the covers). I’m so glad you loved it!!

  5. I have an ARC of this still I keep meaning to try. I feel odd saying that as I hated GOT I will be more likely to give this a try!

    1. Good luck!! I think it’s going to depend on why you hated GoT, since some elements are similar but others are different.

  6. I feel like this is like The Winter King by C.L. Wilson. I loved that book but none of my friends even knew it and I was just fangirling like crazy over the awesomeness, so I totally get the feeling! Glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂

    1. OMG YES!! The Winter King!! That is the biggest hidden gem in the book blogging world. No one knows about it but it’s amaaazing.

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