I was in the mood to be swept away into a new and exciting fantasy world so after reading lots of positive reviews, I decided to load this on to my KiI was in the mood to be swept away into a new and exciting fantasy world so after reading lots of positive reviews, I decided to load this on to my Kindle and get to reading. Boy was I disappointed. I was expecting a strong heroine and an exciting plot and instead I got weak world-building, a whiny main character and a really annoying love triangle.
World Building…or lack of it The best fantasy has great world-building. It’s not enough to have interesting characters. You have to also have a great setting, back story and magic system that makes sense and draws the reader in and makes them believe in this fantastical world you’ve created. Defy gave me none of that. Initially, I was intrigued because one of the two main warring nations is set in a jungle. That’s new and different and I hoped that the people and supporting details would flesh that out a bit more. I was hoping for descriptions of the clothing, food and people who would live in an area like that. Aside from an encounter with a Jaguar and a few mentions of heat and humidity, this could have been set in any fantasy realm anywhere. The people felt very generic and there weren’t any customs to speak of. There wasn’t a whole lot in the way of description and nothing all that original.
There’s a Love Triangle… There is a love triangle. It takes up most of the book. This is definitely romance heavy and fantasy light. I went into it knowing that there’s a love triangle so I can’t fault the book for that. However, I did not expect it to be the main focus of the story. Love triangles aren’t my favorite trope, but I’m willing to give them a chance and sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. This one didn’t offer anything new. Girl has feelings for two different boys. She decides on one and the other pines for her. There’s a whole lot of whining and lots and lots of Alexa being indecisive and lots of internal dialogue that was very repetitive.
Just…why? There was just so much here that didn’t make sense:
King Hector is evil. Why? Is he a psychopath? Did something awful happen to him in his past?
The people believe sorcerers are evil. Why? Because King Hector told them so. Whaaat?? King Hector overthrew the previous king so any laws or “teachings” that he has imposed are new. Wouldn’t there be people that would still remember how things were? Alexa is of a younger generation, but wouldn’t her parents and still older citizens know the truth? Are there no historians or scholars in this society?
Random people are sorcerers. Why? Is it hereditary? Just how many types are there? Are there only women healers? What is the nature of this power. Where does it come from? There is absolutely no system to the magic at all.
Overall Really disappointing. Seasoned veterans of the fantasy genre beware. This is probably not going to be to your liking. I can see this being a hit with teen or tween readers who have little to no other experience in the fantasy genre but I would not recommend to anyone else. Plot holes + little to no world-building + lots of telling, little showing + a love triangle = a weak fantasy and no interest in reading the rest of this series....more
Legacy of Kings is a take on ancient Greek history that mixes historical fiction and fantasy. I hadn’t read anythThis review was originally posted on
Legacy of Kings is a take on ancient Greek history that mixes historical fiction and fantasy. I hadn’t read anything with this setting or time period and have always been fascinated by Greek mythology so I jumped at the chance to read this. I generally enjoyed it but found a number of issues that were problematic for me.
My biggest problem was with the POV. The book is written in third person multiple. That means that there are multiple POV’s – at least 5 here – but the book is written from the point of view of an outsider looking in on these characters. I found it very hard to connect with the characters and though there was some character development, they all felt somewhat flat. It’s hard to feel emotion about a character or their situation when you’re being told what’s happening to them instead of really experiencing it with them. The third-person POV left me feeling very detached from the characters. I’m not against multiple POV but I generally prefer it being first-person. I find that it’s easier to “get in the head” of a character when it’s written from their perspective and that it’s easier to differentiate between characters.
Many books with multiple character POV’s show different sides to the same story. It’s one story with one goal told from multiple perspectives. Here, rather, I felt like each character had their own story and they ran parallel to each other rather than all of the stories leading to the same goal. I never really understood where this book was going. I never felt like it was building to any real climax. For example, in Game of Thrones we want to know who will win the Iron Throne. In The Hunger Games we want to know if Katniss will survive. In a romance, you want to see the happily ever after. In Legacy of Kings, I didn’t know what we were building towards. Obviously, historically Alexander was a conqueror. But, that wasn’t really a huge focus in this book. It was like a mish-mosh of characters each with their own problems. To be honest, I would have preferred the book to be focused just on Alex and Kat. All the other POV’s seemed unnecessary to me and only served to slow things down.
So, what did I like? I loved the mix of historical and fantasy. I must tell you that I know very little about this period in history so I cannot speak to historical accuracy. I can say that it felt very authentic to me. It was obvious that the author knew a lot about this time period and it showed in the details. The descriptions of the architecture, the clothing, tools, weapons, etc., were all spot on. There was never a moment when I was jolted out of the story by dialogue or descriptions that did not fit the time period. I love how the superstitions and religious beliefs of the time were woven into the story. The subtle use of magic, the mention of mythological creatures like the Pegasus, the scrolls with spells on them – these were all intertwined seamlessly to the story and the plot and they felt very realistic despite being fantasy elements.
Overall, despite my dislike of the multiple POV’s and third-person narration, I generally enjoyed the story. I wish there had been a more defined goal to this book but I realize that it’s the first in the series and is setting up for future events. Though it was slow in parts, then end of the book picks up and there’s a great battle scene at the end. I loved the historical detail and the mix of fantasy and mythology that was woven in seamlessly. I would recommend this to fans of Greek mythology and fans of the fantasy genre looking for something a little different....more