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Thursday, September 24, 2009

DNF Review: Legacy by Cayla Kluver

Author: Cayla Kluver
Publisher: AmazonEncoreGenre: YA fantasy fiction
Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Book Source: Marketing Firm Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

In an award-winning YA fantasy debut, novelist Cayla Kluver brings a magical touch to an unrelentingly suspenseful coming-of-age tale. Duty-bound to wed her father’s choice in successor to the throne, Princess Alera of Hytanica believes that she is being forced into the worst of all possible fates—a marriage to the arrogant and hot-tempered suitor, Steldor. When a mysterious boy from enemy Cokyri appears bearing secrets and an entirely different view of what's appropriate behavior for a young lady, Alera learns that her private desires threaten to destroy the kingdom.

When Narian’s shocking past comes to light, Alera finds herself in a shadowy world of palace intrigue and ancient blood feuds, facing an uncertain future with dwindling options—and must learn to decide between right and wrong all alone. Marked by witty, rapid-fire dialogue and dramatic complexity that belie the writer’s age, Legacy brings a fresh, new sensibility to age-old questions of duty and inheritance and to a young heroine’s quest to find her true voice.

My Thoughts:

I got to page 275 and just stalled. I waited a week, and tried again to no avail. The story started out well enough, but I soon got bogged down with the lenghty descriptions and Hytanica's treatment of women. Alera is a young princess, almost of age, being forced to marry her father's choice of husband, who happens to be a pompous jerk.

Unfortunately, Kluver takes too long to move the story along. She is extremely descriptive about manners of dress and scenery. Even while a character is running to a room, a detailed description of the route is given. Theses descriptions continue throughout the story.

Another aspect which I couldn't get past was the constant reminder of how the females place in Hytanica society. Women basically have no rights or free will. They are precious property which must be safeguarded at all times. A husband may treat his wife in any way he chooses, including giving her a good slap if need be.

I could understand laying the basis for the story and the world in which it is contained, but I felt as though I was constantly reminded that women had no rights. Princess Alrea's behavior probably didn't help the situation either. Alera quite often had nothing to say and would stand there dumbstruck. She did not act like a 17 year old Princess, and yes I am judging her character by the standards of the book. Teenagers are usually teenagers no matter what land or time period.

You know, I am not the target audience for this book, and that could be the problem. And that's cool. Not every YA book should be read by an adult. I get that, and just wanted to explain why I didn't finish it. I do think Kluver is pretty talented considering she wrote this when she was 16. Set up the different lands and characters, had a game plan for her story. Something I certainly can not do. It's just not for me.

Therefore, as a contrast to my opinion, here are some other reviews of Legacy I found around blogland:
Krista from Life or Something Like It
Liz from Booklover
Chick Lit Teens
Curled up with a good kids book
Brimful Curiosities

Thank you to Natalie fromWaggener Edstrom Worldwide for my review copy.


Blodeuedd said...

Good point, some YA books are so not for me, but then they are not for all teens either. I appreciate your honest review and oh my how long you lasted!

Unknown said...

I hate when books d-r-a-g out the beginning - it really makes it hard to keep going. Good effort tho, at least you gave it a fighting chance.

Jenn M. said...

I love that you are brave enough to put a book aside and still write a review about it. I have no problem writing bad reviews, although I usually like to be able to say at least one good thing about it. I have never ever been able to not finish a book, although I would have really liked to sometimes. Some part of me has to finish it, no matter how bad it is. Maybe that part is the optimistic part of me...hoping it will get better?

I also love that, although you did not love the book, you found us some other reviews. That is good research and good blogging.

You will have to teach me the courage to put a book that isn't doing it for me down!

Nise' said...

It is hard (for me) when a book is difficult to stick with. I so want to like every book I begin.

Meghan said...

I was definitely wary of this book before and now I know I had a reason! Thanks for your honest review.

Jenny Girl said...

B and Dolley: Thank you! I try to be honest and not down right bash the book.

Jenn: I think the plot idea of the two kingdoms was a great idea, maybe just not the execution or little details. I forgot to put that in there. I stopped reading books I didn't like like years ago, after Stephen King disappointed me several times.
I try to br fair and balanced hence the other reviews. I felt bad I didn't like this book!

Nise: There are too many good books out there to be bogged down with something you don't like.

Meghan: Thanks! You have very good instincts.

Jenn M. said...

I always feel a bit bad when I write a less-than-flattering review. You can't say you didn't give it a chance.

p.s. I've heard the same thing about some Stephen King novels....maybe a good reason i haven't EVER picked one up. Wait...that's a lie....I read part of It when I couldn't sleep at a friends house. And from what I hear, I didn't make it to the disturbing part. :)

Jenny Girl said...

Jenn: I used to read King a long time ago, and his later stuff def got very long indeed. One book I flup a 100 page chunk in one fell swoop and the story didn't skip a beat.
However, my girlfriend just mentioned Salem's Lot , stating it's a great vamp story before vamps became popular. Sets up today's story. It's one of his earlier books so I may check that one out. I also heard IT was creepy but I didn't read or watch that either. Someday!

The Bookworm said...

Thanks for the honest review! I am reading this one soon myself.

Jenny Girl said...

Naida: I look forward to your review. I'm curious to see what others think of it. Hope you like it :)

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