Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Publisher: HarlequinTeen (Harlequin)
Publication Date: June 28, 20111
"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." (From goodreads.com)
Legacy drew me in from the first page where Cayla Kluver sets up the Kingdom of Hytancia. Alera, princess of Hytancia, deals with a marriage she does not want, the possible betrayal of someone close to her, and the sudden reappearance of the kingdom’s enemy the Cokyri. Being the first born and part of the royal family Alera seems to live in a panopticon with everyone watching her every move and no one can keep a secret for long. Alera has always been interested in the politics of her country but has to deal with the fact she is a woman and is looked down upon. She must deal with everyone’s expectations of her and decide what she wants out of life. When a boy from Cokyri, Narian, is captured inside Hytancia, Alera finds herself drawn to him. I loved the character development for Narian who is very reserved with everyone around him, but around Alera begins to open up. Steldor, Alera’s suitor, is the King’s first choice to take his place. From his first scene I could feel his arrogance and while I don’t like him as a character the author does a good job developing him. While Cokyri is the enemy I couldn’t help myself by cheering for them since they hold women in higher esteem than Hytancia. With a possible war and prophecy that could destroy Hytancia Alera begins to grow up and makes difficult and important decisions for her life and kingdom. There are some unexpected twists and with the politics of monarchy it’s hard to know who you can trust. I loved the writing style which kept me entertained and pulled me along at a great pace. The book is almost 500 pages long but I was never bored for any of them because the characters came alive from the moment they were introduced and made me want to learn more. This is a coming-of-age novel with mystery, intrigue, and romance which I think many people will enjoy. I didn’t agree with how the book ended but I’m interested to see where it goes in the next novel.