Legacy Of Kings by Eleanor HermanLegacy Of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Legacy Of Kings

byEleanor Herman

Hardcover | August 18, 2015

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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, Macedon'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 keeping hidden 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 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.
Title:Legacy Of KingsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 9.47 × 6.37 × 1.38 inPublished:August 18, 2015Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373211724

ISBN - 13:9780373211722

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great surprise I bought this book even if a friend of mine didn't like it, but I had a feeling this was my kind of book. Now I don't regret at all buying this novel. Sure it has a lot of POVs but it didn't feel confusing on my part. Also, I love greek history and mythology so this was really a plus in the book. The characters were great and so was the story line.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Legacy of Kings was a plus for me! Legacy of Kings is such a great read. Every single fantasy lover out there needs to grab their wallets, hitch a ride to the bookstore (or log onto Amazon) and just pick this up. I love the family ties and how every character is connected to one another, and I loved the fact that this takes away from our ordinary Mary Sue books about war. Hell yeah, there was fighting and action, but Herman knows exactly what she was doing to make sure that her debut YA book would stem in the opposite direction from others. In order to summarize this huge 428-paged bundle of madness into a paragraph, I will require a good mood. Check. Okay, so... We readers get to sit in the perspectives of three lovely people who are featured in this love square, as I like to call it. Alexander, Katerina and Jacob all live in this Roman period of time or whatever the correct terms seem to be, but this is kind of a prequel prior to Alexander's greatness and so on. Katerina likes Alexander, who likes Zofia, who likes Jacob, who likes Katerina. You see what I mean? At least these characters have a lover somewhere, someone who loves them, even though they may not realize that they love that person instead. YOU SEE MY FRIENDS? THIS IS COMPLICATED. This book is complicated by itself, without the romance, and I strongly recommend buying book one and two together and binge reading them. I feel like I am experiencing some kind of great loss without Empire of Dust in my hands right now. See above: I do own it. I also recommend reading this without any distractions: it is amazingly important to cherish Eleanor's writing with its details and the captivation that she writes with without any distractions. All of fantasy is like that: no distractions needed. I keep blabbing the positives here, my fellow kings and queens. THIS WAS BORING IN THE BEGINNING. Everyone was and still is saying that, and I seriously agree. This book is really difficult to get into, because there is so much destined to happen but there's nothing occurring at the same time, you know what I mean? I was bored out of my mind for the first hundred pages, and expected that I would DNF this. Once the romance picked up and the real drama (psstt.... OLYMPIA) arrived, I knew that this would be my kind of read. The character relationships are so complex and yet so interesting that I feel that they are the stars of this novel. Not the idea. Not the plot. THEM. And the amount of plot twists that Eleanor adds in to keep us reading? MAGNIFICENT.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this! I loved the combination of historical and magical aspects in this story! I found it really interesting to see how the characters' paths came to cross. Detailed enough to understand the settings, but loose enough to not make the story drag on.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Confusing This book had so many different points of view that it was hard to follow. It was very confusing and I could not finish it because of that.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A History Buff's Dream Come Ture MAAAANNNNN!!! THIS IS SUCH A GREAT TWIST TO THE LEGEND OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT!!!
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sooo good Especially because I'm a history buff
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from Giselle from Book Nerd Canada This is a retelling of Alexander the Great. Now I don't know much about him or his historic achievements, so I literally went in this with a clear head. No comparing to actual historic texts or even movies. So imagine my surprise that I pretty much fell for it. There were so many sub-plots woven in that I couldn't really distinguish which one was my favourite. There are also a ton of characters, but they appear so frequently that you don't get lost because you remember their lives and their personalities. Eleanor Herman is a master at character development and I couldn't help but love how each one had a backstory. The writing is vividly detailed and rich. Felt like I was right there in the same time period feeling all of their despair and heartache. The only thing that bothered me about this read was the instantaneous love at first sight. I kid you not, most of these characters would just fall in love with every person they met. It was a bit too much. But I chose to ignore that and kept on trading anyway because I was swept up in the world and the characters. Legacy of Kings was one thrilling read! Enjoyed it immensely. Especially how detailed the scenes were and how complex each character was. Can't wait for the rest of the series that I already requested to borrow the ebook from OverDrive and it's waiting for me to read right this instant. I also kind of wished I bought this when it came out, but then again the covers changed so now I can wait until the last book is out so they can all match. For anyone looking for a great fantasy read, please pick this one up. I hope you won't be disappointed!
Date published: 2016-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 428 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 3 I am fascinated by Ancient Greece. The minute I got home from the first day of learning about Ancient Greece in grade five, I started asking my family for books about it. The disappointing thing is that I haven’t found many YA books about it. This year, I had been seeing Legacy of Kings everywhere, so I read the description, and I immediately put it down. Why should I care about this Alexander guy and a bunch of people in Macedonia and Persia? (I didn’t know much/ care about Alexander the Great at this point) Then came the end of the Ancient Greece unit in my Ancient Civilizations class, when we discussed Alexander the Great, and though I didn’t see Legacy of Kings until a month had passed, the next time I saw it I was infinitely more curious (the lesson here is to do research before dismissing a book entirely). I didn’t hate Legacy of Kings, but I didn’t love it either. In fact, I was incredibly frustrated by it. There were so many “ugh” worthy moments. For example, two characters who barely knew each other, dreamed about each other multiple times, simultaneously producing every reader’s favorite thing, the love triangle (though the author tried to not make it as obvious as it was). The two characters dreaming about each other wasn’t even sweet and romantic. Instead, it was creepy, weird, and it made me want to throw up. Also, another character decided to walk 20 miles alone at night with a fair amount of gold. Seriously? My main complaint is that this book is written as though it is a nonfiction book. The writing style doesn’t really suit a work of fiction and the story is written like an emotionless statement of facts. Too be fair, this book is probably incredibly historically accurate, and it probably took a fair amount of research to write, but the way it was written bothered me for the entire book. The story is intriguing, though I wouldn’t call it compelling. Still, I see potential for excellent future books in the series. Overall, Legacy of Kings shows potential, but it’s not quite there yet, earning it 3 stars out of 5.
Date published: 2016-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fast-Paced, Richly Imagined Fantasy! I feel like I just need to get this out there: You don't have to know about Alexander the Great to enjoy this book. Trust me, I know nothing about him, but this book still rocked my socks. There were some great and some not-so-great parts about this book. I always like hearing the bad news first. So let's just start off with that. The Not-So-Great: There are seven POVS in this book, and I didn't like all of them, so some parts dragged on. Another downside of having so many perspectives is some of the mystery got destroyed since character #1 would get suspicious of character #2, then we'd jump into character #2's head and get the truth immediately. With all the alternating point of views, it's also hard to tell what the central plot is. The characters with perspectives are the protagonist of their own, sometimes separate, stories, with each other as the supporting characters. But unlike something from Rick Riordan, they don't all intertwine and make one cohesive story. Yes, they're all important to each other in some aspect, but at times I felt like I was reading 2-3 different stories in the same book. I also felt that it went super quickly for me (especially around the last 20% of the book) in some parts, but went as slow as molasses in others. The Great: Alexander. The characters, oh gosh the characters. Each of the characters are easily discernible from the rest of the cast, and they were all complex and unique. (Um, can we just talk about Cyn the warrior princess for a moment? She's awesome!) The writing flowed smoothly and was so immersive that I really forgot I was reading at some points. Not to mention wholly addicting. Seriously. I took it in the shower because I couldn't stop. When the story picked up, it fled at a breakneck pace that literally had my palms sweating. The world-building was amazing, as well! All in all, Herman plunges you into a fast-paced, richly imagined fantasy that's chock-full of deceit, magic, interesting characters and detailed action scenes that will leave your palms sweating and the pages turning. Please note: I received an ARC so the things I spoke about are subject to change.
Date published: 2015-08-02

Read from the Book

Katerina races across the meadow, scanning for any roots or rocks in her way. Her heart thumps wildly in her chest. Her legs ache. The gazelle leaps slightly ahead of her, its hooves barely touching the grass. It is a blur of tan and white, with long, black-ringed horns; a creature not fully of the earth, but also of the sky.Ahead of them, the forest looms, and far beyond it, she knows, lie all the villages and woods between Erissa and the capital. A sudden breeze rushes through her tangled brown hair. Her lungs burn. Instinctively she knows the gazelle does not fear her; it is challenging her. She can feel its heartbeat, its heat, its aliveness radiating in her own chest. It wants her to catch up with it.When Kat was a child, her mother always told her to keep her special understanding of animals' thoughts and feelings a secret—such knowledge was dangerous. But that was beforeInto her mind flows the image of her mother's shining blue eyes, her cream-colored veil slipping from her golden-brown hair. She hears her voice: low, throaty, with just the trace of a Carian accent. Kat is flooded, momentarily, by a sweet, familiar comfort. But then she feels the harsh pang in her throat that always follows, as her memories dissolve into echoing screams.Kat stumbles and the gazelle leaps ahead, kicking out front and hind legs at the same time. Raw, visceral rage consumes her, forces her to run faster, through a copse of razor-edged grass that rips and shreds her bare legs.The sun is sliding down toward the horizon. The gazelle casts a brief glance back at her with enormous, moist brown eyes. It's time. It's time, it's time, it's time.The gazelle dashes into the tree line at the edge of the meadow. Kat surges forward, just inches behind the creature now, focused on the horns, perfectly straight like unlit torches beckoning her, even as the animal darts through the trees. As deftly as possible, Kat follows, dodging branches and ducking beneath low-hanging limbs.In the next few strides she will be able to touch—She slams into something hard.Reeling backward toward the ground, she sees blue sky and green branches overhead, grass and mud and blue sky again, and thenblackness. Kat realizes that her left cheek is on the ground. She opens her eyes, and they focus slowly."Kat!" It's Jacob's voice. "Are you all right? I'm so sorry. I thought you saw me."Slowly she sits up, rubbing her head, her breath coming in jagged gasps. A pair of strong, tanned legs stands before her, leading up to the broad, commanding form of her oldest friend. The boy Kat has known longer and better, it sometimes seems, than she has known herself. A boy who, until recently, was equal parts playmate and pest. Now, he has grown taller and handsomer and somehow resists falling into either category the way he used to.Kat cranes to look around him and can no longer see the gazelle's graceful form. She's lost it."Here," Jacob says, offering her a hand.Kat can't get her breath enough to speak, and her head is still spinning, but she grabs his hand and allows him to pull her to her feet.Jacob raises an eyebrow, making his broad, tan face look a little goofy. "You're a mess," he points out unhelpfully. "And you've cut your legs, Kat." He shakes his head at her like she's a wayward pony who keeps breaking out of its pen.She brushes herself off, scoffing. "I'm fine, Jacob. At least, I was fine until you got in my way.""I can't believe you were after that gazelle on foot. You're crazy." He shakes his head."You're clumsy," she throws back.He smiles. "That's me."She can't help but laugh a little, shoving him out of her way. "Well, now that you've ruined my fun, the least you can do is carry my supplies home. Come on," she says, taking the game bag with knives and nets off her back and tossing it at him.He catches the bag against his chest. "Holy gods, what's in here?"She shrugs. "Only some trapping gear.""Kat, hang on a minute. You can't go back likelike that."She turns to stare at him, still unable to fully take in the new Jacob, the Jacob who has existed for several months now, maybe longer—the Jacob who is more than just a hilarious partner in crimewhose broad, muscled shoulders, and lopsided grin keep causing her pulse to stutter just slightly."Like what?" she demands, knowing full well she probably looks like a living tumbleweed that's just been dragged across the countryside by a strong wind.He rolls his eyes. "At least wash off in the pond before we head back for dinner. It's kind ofimportant."She cocks her head at him, wondering what he's hiding—she can always tell when he's got a secret. When it's clear he's not going to say anything further, she sighs and follows him to the wide, deep pond at the west end of the meadow, where, she knows, wolves and foxes venture out of the woods at dusk to lap its clean water. On the hottest nights of the summer she has even seen a bear and its baby bathing and floating, two dark lumps that could've been fat fallen tree trunks but for the bubbles drifting from their mouths.She takes off her leather shoes and belt and sinks into the cool water in just her tunic, all the way up to her waist. Her breath is coming more slowly now; her head has stopped spi-raling. She closes her eyes and sighs.Then she hears a rippling sound. It's Jacob wading in beside her."Come on. Why were you after that gazelle?" he asks, laughter in his voice. "I could tell you weren't planning to kill it.""I was racing it, not chasing." She sinks under the water completely, feeling her hair float around her in the murky silence. Though he knows almost every little detail about Kat—the way she likes her goose meat prepared just on the brink of completely charred, the way she nibbles her thumb when she's worried and disappears into the fields when she's sad—this is one thing he doesn't know about, wouldn't understand. This feeling deep in her chest, this perception that others don't share. The way the animals whisper to her in their strange language of hunger and need and drive. Their focus. Their wisdom.And sometimes, their warnings.She surfaces, takes a deep breath of air, and rubs the water out of her eyes. "For the first time ever, I was going to catch up. And you ruined it." She splashes water at him.Jacob turns his head away too late, then begins laughing. He charges back at her with an even bigger splash. She screams, then runs toward the grassy edge of the pond, feeling the water's resistance over her tired legs. He follows her, splashing her back as hard as he can. She turns to splash him again and he stops abruptly, his mouth falling open in surprise."What? Scared?" she says, before realizing his gaze is directed not at her face but her body. Kat looks down and gasps. Her unbleached tunic is soaking wetand perfectly transparent. He can see, well, almost everything. Feeling heat rise into her cheeks, she quickly covers herself with her arms.Moving through the heavy, waist-high water, he reaches her and places his hands on her shoulders, even as she starts to back away. His look is so intense, so full of feeling, Kat suddenly can't move.His chest rises and falls as though he's having trouble breathing. "Kat, I want to tell you I—" He closes his mouth, clearly unable to say whatever it is he's holding in.Kat can't remember the last time she and Jacob didn't know what to say to each other. The way he's looking at her now, with his hair dripping pond water down his big, strong, square face and shoulders, it's like they are two strangers.His lips part again, and she feels her whole body start to shiver just slightly.And then he is leaning in, so close she can smell the familiar, earthy scent of clay dust in his hair, so close his lips touch hers. Suddenly, he pulls her strongly toward him and her arms drop away from her wet tunic, grabbing his back as he kisses her, his tongue softly parting her mouth.The kiss is slow and hesitant at first, and then, when she doesn't pull away, it grows deeper, and Kat finds herself clinging to him. She can feel his hard strong body against her wet clothes, sending tingles all across her skin.How could this be happening? her mind is screaming. Jacob is like her brother—no, not brother. Foster brother. Son of Cleon the potter and Sotiria, the people who'd raised her since she was six afterafter.Her thoughts melt into feelings so strong they overpower her. He is kissing her eyes, her neck, pressing himself tightly against her wet tunic—"Jacob! Kat!"They separate so quickly that Kat falls into the water with a hard splash. When she stands, arms crossed over her chest again, she sees Calas, Jacob's little brother, running toward them."There you are!" Cal pushes his curls out of his eyes. "Mother wants you both to come home now and help with dinner. It's rabbit stew!"Rabbit stew? That's Jacob's favorite. Now she knows something is up.She and Jacob slosh out of the pond and wring the water from their tunics and hair. From her sack she grabs a spare cloth she usually uses for wrapping game and throws it around her shoulders. They sit on the grass to lace their shoes and put on their belts. Then they start following Calas, who is running and skipping ahead, beating the tall grass with a stick.The silence between them is thick. Kat still can't completely comprehend what just happened. Jacob's hands. His smell. His lips It's all an unreal dream, and yet she knows it was real. And something, some small voice deep inside her, knows that it has been coming for a long time, even if in the moment it felt like a shock.But what does it mean? Will everything be different now? She shakes her head, unable to process it, trying to focus instead on what the mysterious dinner could be about. "So? What am I missing? Why the celebration?"Jacob shakes his head. "It'swellunexpected," he says slowly, and for the second time that day Kat knows he's hiding something important from her."Did Cleon get a big contract?""No," Jacob says, smiling sheepishly."If you don't tell me right now what it is, I'll—" She raises a playful, faux-threatening hand.He grabs her wrist. "You'll what?" he whispers. Suddenly, she's embarrassed, and turns away.They keep walking. Finally, it seems the silence is too much for Jacob, too."I wanted to wait to tell you," he begins. "Doros and Kyk-nos came from a meeting of the village elders, and believe it or not, I was chosen to be Erissa's contestant in the tournament. I'm going to be in the tournament," he repeats, as though he can hardly believe it.Kat stops dead in her tracks. The Blood Tournament. The name conjures up images of knives flashing, throats slashed, arms and legs hacked off, eyes gouged out. "They chose you?""You don't have to act quite so surprised." For a second, he looks wounded. He clears his throat. "I'm going to do it. I leave tomorrow.""You can't go," she says quickly. "They'll kill you. You're only seventeen. Some of the contestants are Olympic athletes, professional wrestlers, and soldiers. Think about Bendis!" When their village had sent Bendis to the tournament four years ago, he never returned. "He was twenty-five," she presses on, "and bigger than you, and—""I've trained with the village militia," Jacob cuts in.Kat can't help but roll her eyes. "With rusty swords and bent arrows. That training is a joke." You'll get killed. She can't shake the horrible thought from her head, but she can't say it, either. I can't lose you, too.Jacob plucks a piece of leaf from her wet hair and sighs. "Kat. I'm no good as a potter. It's like Father says—I'm all thumbs. Even Cal can throw a better pot than I can. I need to find my own future, away from here. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a man now, and I need to do something with my life." The words come out hard, determined—it's a side to him she doesn't always see. "It's a great honor," he says, lower now. "The best contestants in the Blood Tournament are chosen to join the king's elite guard, the Hypaspists.""So you'll leave us," she says. It's the simple truth. Someone may as well say it. Even if her throat aches as she does. "You won't come back."He runs the back of his hand over her cheek, startling her. "I'll come back," he says softly, "once I have something to offer. Something to offeryou." She can see his tan face blushing. "Just, don'tdon't do anything in my absence."They've stopped walking again; Cal runs down a dirt road ahead of them.Something to offer you. She knows what he means, suddenly and seriously, and it's as though she's been plunged backward into the pond all over again.The kiss—everything that happened between them only moments ago—it shocked her. Amazed her. She had no idea something like that could happen, with him. She had no idea how much she had wanted it before. She couldn't believe how good it felt, and right. But still, what he's saying now.It's so much more than that, isn't it? He wants her. Wants to be with her, and have her, only. Not as a sister or friend. As a wife.And even though her body is still vibrating from his touches, and even though she's tempted to pull him off the side of the road and kiss him again, the idea of wife stops her, freezes her. She wants him. She didn't know it before, but it's so clear now.But she's not ready. She still has something—something terrible and desperate and secret—that she must do. Deep within her, inside her bones and in her blood, she knows she won't ever be happy otherwise.She swallows. "I won'tdo anything in your absence," she says. Because at least that part is true. The village boys who flirt with her mean nothing to her. "But I can't— I don't—" She stops, at a loss for words.But he obviously hears her hesitation, sees the stricken look in her eyes, because a wave of pain washes over his face. He takes a step back. "Of course. I understand."Then he turns and strides briskly away from her."You don't," she calls after him, but he doesn't turn around. How can she tell him she needs to finish the unfinished? He would say she was crazy, risking her life for the impossible. He would try to stop her, would ruin everything.

Editorial Reviews

"Power dynamics abound in Legacy of Kings...rich in court intrigue." -RT Book Reviews