Princess Alera the young heroine and narrator of Legacy lives in the mythical territory of Hytanica and is about to inherit the trappings of the Kingdom’s throne. Fifteen-year-old author Cayla Kluver shows every promise of inheriting the mantle of a first-rate novelist of historical romance and fantasy.
An enchanting once-upon-a-time story for readers aged thirteen and older with realistic overtones of medieval sieges feasts Faire and tournaments Kluver’s epic incorporates the best of the conventions of courtly love historical fiction romantic fantasy (but not the bodice-ripping kind) and her own unique creative imagination. She remains true to historical fact with sensuous descriptions and references to the customs of the times..
Like other stories of its kind Legacy concerns royals their guards their enemies heroic actions and a battle between kingdoms; in this case between Hytanica and Cokyri. There are giddy girls matronly mothers and heroic men—although one bodyguard Tadark more wimpish than wise “somehow drew jests from people like a flower drew bees.” As well there is a legend of the bleeding moon to be deciphered an identifying birthmark to be considered mummers to be frightened of and a High Priestess to be confronted.
Love affairs abound here. One is platonic between Alera and her bodyguard London; another is hesitant between Alera’s younger sister and a shy and bumbling suitor; one is passionate between Alera and the rebellious and mysterious Hytanican returnee Narian; and one is destined for disaster between Alera and Steldor the twenty-one-year-old chosen by Alera’s father as her betrothed. Also in the mix are secret meetings between Alera and Narian. The meetings are innocent because like the truly virtuous and classically romantic heroine Alera must remain chaste even on her wedding night since she has chosen an arranged marriage above love. She has chosen to fulfill her destiny to become queen while another has seemingly chosen his destiny to fulfill a legend.
Well-paced and well-written Legacy has passages of idyllic prose tension between lovers and a powerful narrative in the description of a tournament battle between Steldor and Narian that threatens to end in the death of one of the combatants. But there are enough story threads left hanging to ensure that book two Allegiance will be a fitting sequel and to ensure Cayla Kluver’s legacy as a stellar author and storyteller.