Ahh, Legacy of Kings. This book was one of my most anticipated reads of this fall and was thrilled when I finally got my hands on this book. This story drew me initially by being a sort of “retelling” of Alexander the Great and how his life was before he became the super awesome king he was. Add a bit of mythology and the little girl in me that wanted to be a historian when she grew up was THRILLED. What I read was both a slow and predictable plot that was bogged down with details that made me skim through some of the book wanting some action!
I will say this, Harman did her research and created an very authentic world and I couldn’t help but love the rich detail that she put into the characters surroundings and the lives they lived. Loved it! With that being said, I felt while reading this that at some points the descriptions caused the pace to slow to a creep. For example, in one part of the book it is describing horses and what the horses looked like and how they where used. While I applaud and love the detail the sheer amount of detail combined with the amount of points of view became at points overwhelming to me.
Along with the overly descriptive sections, another thing that I found myself shaking my head at was the predictability of the plot. Not because the things going on COULDN’T have been suspenseful or intriguing but because all of the little intrigues were spelled out for you between the seven point of view characters. This is extremely aggravating to read because I want a little mystery. Who is behind this sabotage? Why are they doing it? This is why I love Game of Thrones so much even though it has multiple POVs and can get a little crazy sometimes. George knows not to give away things until heads are already rolling and blood has already been spilled.
With that being said, a lot of things in this story happened out of purse convenience for the characters. What do I mean by that? In one section of the book Kat travels to Persia, learns magic lessons, and quickly returns just to save the day. This does not seem completely realistic as travel in these times took a significant amount of time. This isn’t the first, last, or only time in the book that this happens but some of the ways this happens spoils some of the plot of the story and I would like to remain as spoil free as possible in this review.
Ultimately when I finished Legacy of the Kings I had a feeling that the author had a way of thinking how young adult books should be written and what information could be handled by the reader and what couldn’t. I loved the descriptive prose that the author used to describe the surroundings and the time periods but on the other hand I would have liked to see more of that descriptive flair used to describe the feelings and emotions of the characters. I felt that a lot of the characters feelings were being told to me and not shown and this is honestly one of my biggest pet peeves about young adult books (and some adult books too). It leads to a disconnection to the characters and when an author is using multiple perspective it is almost the most important thing in the book to do because it is what SEPARATES the characters from each other in my opinion.
When it comes down to it, despite these faults, I can’t give up on this series. The descriptive prose that the author uses is too much and I am still curious at how the Alexander in this story eventually becomes Alexander the Great. So, I will continue this series but with less hunger then I did this one.