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A Reader of Fictions: Band of Gold - Freda Payne

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Band of Gold - Freda Payne

Allegiance
The Legacy Trilogy, Book 2

Author: Cayla Kluver
Pages: 482
ARC Acquired from: HarlequinTEEN via NetGalley

Warning: This book is part of a series and will contain spoilers for the previous book, Legacy.

Brief Summary:
Alera and Steldor, now wed for ten days become King and Queen of Hytanica. Alera struggles with her new position and with her continued love for Narian. She and Steldor are constantly at odds. Even worse, Hytanica can expect war with Cokyri at any time, and Narian, prophesied to bring down Hytanica, is still missing.

Review:
Okay, so before I can talk too much about Allegiance, I need to talk some about Legacy, since I can now do so without spoilers. When I prepared to read this book, I realized my memory was fuzzy, because, well, it's my memory. Anyway, I tried reading my review, but that was less than helpful, because I didn't want to spoil anything and concrete facts were what I needed.

Last night before bed, I reread the last couple chapters of Legacy to brush up. Anyway, that reminded me both of the things that I loved, and the things I didn't. Basically, the main character needs to stand up for herself more and the society needs to be more open-minded. What I loved so much about Legacy, though, was that Kluver did something I did not expect. She married the heroine off to the guy you didn't want her to marry, the guy she didn't want to marry.

Obviously, this made me sad, but I also loved it. Why? Because usually in fiction, the princess manages to get out of her arranged marriage and marry the guy of her dreams. Examples include Aurelia and Entwined. No such luck here. This seems a lot more realistic. I could not wait to see how Kluver was going to handle this, since it's not like she can just divorce her husband, the king. Pretty much the only way out of this will be to fall in love with him (which sounds tricky what with him being such a playboy) or for him to die. Either way, I knew some serious drama was in store.

Okay, so now that I've read Allegiance, I find myself entirely satisfied, except that I don't have the final book, Sacrifice, in my hands right now. How will I wait?!?

Alera is much the same as she was in the first book; she still frustrates me no end sometimes. From her narration, it's obvious that she is an intelligent, powerful woman, but she doesn't see that in herself. She spends a lot of the book crying and throwing the grown up equivalent of temper tantrums. While normally this would lead me to dislike a book, here it just shows what the Hytanican society can do to even the best of women. Simply disgusting the way their women are treated and undervalued. However, by the end, Alera is finally starting to realize that she's a force to be reckoned with, so yay for that.

The romance aspect of the book felt like Kluver was playing tug of war with my heart. Just when I had switched to supporting one guy, I would then be tempted to switch to another. Ahhh! Mostly, this was seriously frustrating, but in as good a way as possible.

Mostly, though, what I think I love so much about this series is the fact that I cannot predict what will happen much of the time. The fact that I can't see things coming makes the whole thing such an emotional thrill ride. Kluver's definitely defying some of the standard YA plot lines and putting the characters through hell. Love it!

Fans of YA fantasy will likely adore The Legacy Trilogy as much as I have, especially people who have enjoyed Tamora Pierce novels.

Rating: 4/5

A note about today's song choice: This song came on my shuffle while I was reading and the atmosphere fit so well with Alera's mood and thoughts in the beginning of the novel, I couldn't resist even though it's not completely perfect.

"I wait in the darkness of my lonely room
Filled with sadness, filled with gloom
Hoping soon that you'll walk
Back through that door
And love me like you tried before"

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