15 Sep 2012

Review: Allegiance by Cayla Kluver


Title: Allegiance
Series: The Legacy Trilogy
Placement in Series: #2
Author: Cayla Kluver
Rating: 4.5/5
Blurb: 
Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.
An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return...
Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.
Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....

Review:

This book made me cry. To me, that's a very good thing. It means it affected me.  I love the characters -- especially obnoxious Steldor. I love the growth of Alera. She is in mid-transition here to what I predict will be a pretty bad ass character in the end. It's a very interesting and usually a pleasing thing to see a character grow into a better, tougher person. And in a series like this, it is all the more believeable.

As usual Cayla Kluver ceases to amaze me with her writing. She's a young writer and this is her first series, with Legacy being her first published work. She is among the young adult writers that redeem young adult writers (and by young adult in this case I do not mean genre/age group. I mean writer age group). Kluver writes in a way I hope to, using language, phrasing, and expressions that pull you into the time and world this series takes place in. She paints such a visual setting with her prose, that I envy her. I truly admire her skill.

I really enjoyed this book, and for those of you who have not yet read Legacy, I suggest you head on over to your local bookstore and/or library and pick it up. It's amazing, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction. Now this review is going to get spoilery, so from hereon out if you get spoiled, don't say I did not warn you.

I have to jump right to the part of this book that affected me most, and that was (man, if you haven't read this series, I hope you've already stopped reading, and if you haven't DO NOT READ FURTHER) Alera losing her kingdom. This was a turn I did not expect the book to take. I had it in my mind that Narian would lead the Cokyrians to battle Hytanica and they would be unsuccessful. That Hytanica would be safe in the end, even though I knew there is another book after this one. I think I expected them to somehow get Narian back after that war, which causes another one which becomes the main climax in the final book in the trilogy. Mostly I was rooting for everything to go well in this book, but man was I disappointed. And in the best way possible. I was rooting so hard for Hytanica, and when London was gone and everyone was stuck in the castle, with Hytanicans knocking on the doors outside but not being permitted entry because it was too full... It was so emotional, and I had no idea how they could possibly come out of that alive. But of course Cannan and the other Elite guards had plans up their sleeves, and managed to (with some difficulties) whisk Alera, Steldor, Miranna (Miranna -- I didn't see that coming, either! Well, I did get suspicious when she told Alera of the letter, and I was gripping the book yelling at Alera with my mind that something was not right, but alas, she did not hear me) and few others to a hideaway.

I mentioned above that this book made me cry. Well I teared up a bit when they lost Hytanica, but when they all accepted Steldor was dying and there was nothing that could be done, that was it for me. I read on hesitantly, begging through my tears for a way to save the arrogant King that Alera is so uncomfortable with (But I mean, come on, Alera! I'd pick Steldor over Narian any day!). I was literally choked up with tears and emotion. I felt everyone's pain at losing Steldor and eventually succumbed to the idea just like they did.
And then London and Galen come back and London, I think you are my second character apart from Steldor. Alera holds him on a pedestal, and I am right with her there. He is an amazing character, and I really do hope we get to learn of his time in Cokyri. I know the High Priestess shared some, but I'd like to get it from London. The whole story. I think it would be a great way to better get to know his character, and please Cayla Kluver, do abide Alera's wishes to know that. Please? For her? If not, then for us readers?

This book did not leave us with a very happy ending. It left me devastated, but thankfully with enough hope to keep me alive. I read this book so much later than I should have (seriously, it's been sitting on my shelves for months), but I'm a little thankful I waited so long, because now I only have to wait a little over a month for the final book in the trilogy to come out. So I won't be in pain for too much longer. But seriously, there were few happy things in this book, yet I was perfectly content reading them. It was torture! Pure torture. Those poor guards and their families. And Baelic. I don't want to talk about him. I can't.

And can I just say that I would like to punch Narian in the face? I understand that you are trying to at least save Alera here, and that you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, but seriously! *tugs out hair* It hurts, Narian. What you are doing hurts. And I kind of wish Alera would just get over you, but I feel like you are it for her, and I am just going to have to accept that, alongside Steldor. Hmph.

Just ugh, this book is amazing. I'm looking forward to reading Sacrifice, even though the title terrifies me.
What will have to be sacrificed?
Or rather, who?
And London, what is your plan?


Theories in the comments! But try not to spoil, just in case?
If you post a spoiler-y comment, place a warning in case anyone who has not read the books won't have to worry. And readers who have not had a chance yet to read these fabulous books... Just be cautious, I guess.


This book!

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