Author: Cayla Kluver
Series: 1st in Legacy Triology
Published: Available now from Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack. Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies. Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth.
I Give This ...
I was thoroughly impressed when I was done with this story so I started looking at a few reviews. I began to wonder if we read the same book. But since there are several versions available, I wonder if the book went through some major edits before published by Harlequin Teen. I just couldn't see some of the faults that readers pointed out.
The story reads like an epic young adult fantasy/romance. While I knew going into the book that it was a trilogy, I was thinking that this first one would be a major part of the story. While it is, I felt like it was more like Fellowship of the Ring in The Lord of the Rings series. It's major contribution is painting the picture of what's to come and to give the back story. I obviously really liked it, but feel like the best is yet to come.
I enjoyed learning about the Kingdom of Hytanica. It functions much like I imagine kingdoms did in the medieval time period. Women's primary role is to serve their husband. Princess Alera wants more than that. She's knowledgeable and has a knack for disregarding her "place" in society. She likes knowing the inner workings of ruling the kingdom. I think she would make a great queen, but she's not allowed to rule. She needs to marry and her husband becomes the new king. I actually really disliked her father in this aspect. He had it set in his mind who would be the next king and never stopped to think how it might affect his daughter.
I think my favorite character was Narian. His past is quite interesting. I liked how he challenged Alera. I think if given half that chance, he would be the perfect counterpart to Alera and her place as Queen. I especially enjoyed how he was raised by the mortal enemy. Which of course has different views on military training and especially in their views of women. He struggles when he return to Hytanica, but knows he can not return to Cokyri. His relationship with Alera was wonderful.
I enjoyed the intrigue in the story. It seems most of the characters are hiding something. London, Alera's personal bodyguard, has a deep connection to the Cokyri's that causes his to act completely out of character. Stelton, the man Alera's father wants her to marry, seems like a complete jerk for most of the story. But, I think there's more to it than that. And I'm not sure what to think of Stelton's father. There's a few events that are a little gruesome, but without all the gory details. Such are the problems with war. There's romance and love triangles (sort of). But, most of all there's the promise of what's to come. And while the story ended with a little bit of a cliffhanger, I can't wait to see what is in store for us next!