I loved how different A THOUSAND NIGHTS was from many other Young Adult novels I am used to reading. I loved being able to explore a different cultureI loved how different A THOUSAND NIGHTS was from many other Young Adult novels I am used to reading. I loved being able to explore a different culture and a different world. The writing was exquisite and beautiful. The world building of the desert and its people was fleshed out with detail and appreciation. You fall in love with the desert and the quiet, almost reverent power held within. The culture of the people who make their homes and lives in the desert was very interesting to discover and the unity shared by the desert people was a wonderful element to the story.
I also really loved the unity between the main character and her sister. They share such an intimate, supportive, loving bond and it was so refreshing to read. They truly, unconditionally love one another and in there own ways, fight against the darkness of the king. One to save her sister from a marriage she was forced into, the other to save not only her family but a king possessed by darkness. It is the unity of the two sisters that you fall in love with the most. This isn’t about a girl falling in love with a king to set him free. This is a story about a love of two sisters that changed everything.
But the story is not without its faults . . .
Even though I didn’t mind that none of the characters—outside of the king, Lo Melkhiin—had names, it became quite bothersome after some time. I liked that the characters didn’t have names because the story makes you focus on the ones who are often overlooked, to the wisdom and power and beauty they hold. It forces you to see the cast of characters as a whole where each has a significant function and how interconnected they are, even as strangers. BUT the book refers to characters such as “my father’s father’s father” or “my sister’s mother” or “Lo-Melkhiin’s mother” so many times, it grows very tiring after the first few chapters. Characters being referred to as such so often interrupts a reader’s ability to stay connected to the story itself.
The plot barely exists. The book opens with urgency and panic as Lo-Melkhiin rides into the desert town to choose a new bride. The main character sacrifices herself on behalf of her sister and is taken away across the desert she loves to a small kingdom where a king will decide how long she lives. But as soon as the main character arrives to her new home, the story completely slows down and painstakingly slow unfolds the truth of what happened to the king and the changes taking place inside the main character. The main character is meant to be kept alive by telling stories to Lo-Melkhiiin. Every night he goes to her room and asks for another story about her sister (since they are so close). He only ever touches her to exchange the weird, mystical power growing between them. But none of the stories the main character told were powerful or meaningful enough to keep her alive. Outside of the king-demon being interested in the power growing inside of the main character, there really was no reason to care about the stories she told.
A majority of the book deals with the main character remembering life in the desert with her family. There are moments where the main character develops and experiences the power growing inside of her since her sister had made her into a smallgod. And there are scenes where she explores small parts of the palace and has short audiences with the king. But until 90% of the book is done, nothing much happens. The ending is abrupt.
If you enjoy a story that slowly builds with lavish descriptions and centered more around family than romance, I would recommend giving this book a chance. ...more
As a fan of historical fiction, high fantasy and Alexander the Great, I was VERY excited when LEGACY OF KINGS was finally published! Although there arAs a fan of historical fiction, high fantasy and Alexander the Great, I was VERY excited when LEGACY OF KINGS was finally published! Although there are aspects of this book I enjoyed, I did not find myself as in love with the book as I had hoped I would have.
LEGACY OF KINGS is told from six different points of view. SIX! This was exhausting. It made the story as a whole feel disjointed. The many points of view made it hard to emotionally connect to any of the characters. The various points of view also dragged the story along at an agonizing slow pace, particularly at the beginning. It takes a while to really feel your way around the story and characters and to keep track of the connections and how those connections play out against each other. The biggest struggle is that—although the story is supposed to be more about Alexander the Great than anyone else—it barely features him and when Alex is featured, it’s not for very long.
The characterization in the book was okay. I couldn’t emotionally connect to any of the characters (despite how many there were) and couldn’t really cheer for anyone. I did enjoy Alex’s character though more than anyone and reading from his perspective when the book finally got around to him was enjoyable. He is a young boy of 16 left to defend the entire kingdom from an impending war while his father has left with most of the army to deal with other matters. Even with such a heavy weight to bear, Alex is driven and determined and intelligent. He cares about Macedonia not simply because of power but because of its people. He has a lot to prove to himself and to the Council of Elders and especially to his father but every time one of his fears or insecurities tries to get the best of him, he shakes it off and plunges ahead with strength and wisdom. The best part of the book is the world building. The vividness of an ancient world is beautifully captured on every page. The clothes, the armor, the palace—you definitely feel transported to another time and place. Beautifully setup and written. The ancient world of Macedonia is, on one hand, beautiful, massive, and intricately constructive and, on the other hand, it is harsh, secretive, and bloody.
The story is filled with betrayals, schemes, dark rituals, powerful secrets and cunning villains. Even though the book had its pitfalls, I still would like to read the sequel. I would like to see what Alex does with the big revelation at the end of LEGACY OF KINGS and how Kat harnesses her discovered gifts.
I would recommend giving LEGACY OF KINGS a chance. It’s a retelling of Alexander the Great so it doesn’t follow his history exactly but that doesn’t take away from enjoying many aspects of the story, or Alex himself. ...more