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A Reader of Fictions: Review: Sacrifice

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: Sacrifice

Legacy, Book 3

Author: Cayla Kluver
Pages: 437
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Source: HarlequinTeen via YA Books Central

Description from Goodreads:
This is not the time for the fight to end. Now is when the fight will begin. This is the time to regain what has been lost.


Queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy.


Daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause.

One lives behind the former Hytanican palace walls and walks the razor's edge to keep the fragile peace in her beloved homeland. The other slips through the war-torn streets, seeking retribution for her family's tragedy, following whispers of insurgency.

Both face choices that will separate them from those they cannot help but love. As their stories intertwine, a conspiracy ignites that may end in slavery or death—or lead to freedom anew, if only each can face what must be sacrificed.

1: Legacy (review|Goodreads)
2: Allegiance (review|Goodreads)
3: Sacrifice

First Sentence: "The Captain of the Guard instinctively glanced behind, scanning the palace's third floor corridor for enemies who might be monitoring him."

The Legacy Trilogy has not garnered immense acclaim from most of my blogger friends. In fact, a full three of them rated the first book one star on Goodreads. So yeah, these books aren't for everyone, and I know that, but, despite them being imperfect, I really love this series. Sacrifice was one of my most desired ARCs of 2012, and that's why it was my first ARC request as a YABC staff reviewer. I'm happy to have been able to read it early, because, yet again, I found myself wholly swept up in Cayla Kluver's world. At this point, be advised that there will be spoilers for the first two books in the rest of this review.

Sacrifice gets off to a bit of a slow start, dealing with the political ramifications of Cokyri's takeover of Hytanica. That first chapter was a snoozefest, but, thankfully, things picked up a few chapters in. For the rest of the novel, I was wholly engrossed, just as I remember being every time I read a book in this series.

What I love about these books, what makes me look past their faults and hold them up as personal favorites, is the fact they Cayla Kluver always manages to convince me that I know what's going to happen and then pull the rug right out from under me. Seriously, this happened in every book, usually more than once. It's so rare for me to be so unsure what will happen to the characters, and I love that feeling, especially since Kluver does so without stooping to impossible twists. I just find that so refreshing, and it's also why I'm always on tenterhooks as I read, because anything could happen.

Both Legacy and Allegiance were written entirely in Alera's perspective, but in Sacrifice Kluver adds a second narrator, Shaselle. At first I was hugely skeptical, but I ended up really liking Shaselle's point of view. She's snarky and very different from Alera. Her romance plot line was cute, and I really loved her refusal to be put into a box of people's expectations. I was just sitting here about to make the assertion that her perspective doesn't really add anything to the story from a narrative point of view, but, on further reflection, I think her story serves as a foil to Alera's, showing how things might have been a bit different had Alera chosen another path. Maybe I'm crazy, but I like this new theory of mine.

Now, the romance did get me down a little bit. Here's the thing. I liked Narian at first in Legacy, but I very much switched allegiance (see what I did there?) in the next book. Steldor, while obnoxious at first, just seems so much more passionate and interesting than Narian. I kept holding out hope for him to win in the end, but, honestly, I knew as soon as I saw the second narrator that Alera wouldn't have any love triangle drama in this one. I'm glad Alera's happy, but my heart breaks for Steldor. Perhaps a spinoff about Steldor is in order?

The writing was a bit clunky in places, but I hope those issues will be fixed in the final version. I usually don't mention such things when reviewing ARCs, but I have to comment on one particular oddity. At one point, Shaselle referres to a horse as 'loco.' Since when do they know Spanish in Hytanica? The use of that totally threw me out of the text for a bit, and I hope it's caught by the editor before final printing.

The ending was a little bit too happy for my tastes, but good enough. All in all, I declare this an immensely satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, though I still want that spinoff. I hope Cayla Kluver continues to write books than can completely catch me off guard!

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote:
"He took a breath, then proclaimed, 'Lady Shaselle of Hytanica, I am in love with you.'
   I burst into laughter, pulling my legs up to ease my aching stomach muscles. He rolled onto his side to look at me, propping his head up with his hand.
   'I'm serious,' he insisted, grinning foolishly at me.
   'You're drunk.'
   'True, but even drunks can be in love.'"

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Blogger Katie said...

I can't believe you made it through this whole series! I so wanted to like it but couldn't get more than 50 pages in - the writing was just SO detailed, I couldn't take it. But I'm glad you were satisfied with the ending, even if it was too happy lol

October 5, 2012 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, you're one of my GR friends that didn't like it. Yeah, I don't know. I just really like the writing, except for that loco business, lol. Details aren't a problem for me. I read epic fantasy.

October 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did you read this book ?? I think its release is on the 23rd of October but you posted your review over two weeks ago !!! --envious

How did you find the end too happy ?? Although I did not read the book I discovered an interviwe where it was stated that anyone who roots for an happy ending would end up brokenhearted ???

October 22, 2012 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yup, I got an Advance Readers Copy (ARC from the publisher) for review. They give out some of those to help drum up buzz about the book pre-publication.

That's interesting. I thought the ending was mostly happy, except for Steldor. *weeps* I just thought things turned out too conveniently for Alera. It's all a matter of personal opinion, I suppose. I read a lot of dark books, so I may find an ending less dark than some.

October 22, 2012 at 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I like happy endings but the realistic ones, especially because I find Alera and Narian such a romantic couple, I think nobody can resist the ´Romeo and Juliet´ ending But I think their end does not suit every book and clearly not a book series like Legacy and co. . I was merely shocked when I read in the interview that one can not help but end up heartbroken if rooting for an happy end (the exact words from that interview). So imagined that Alera would again choose duty and not her love, which she already did at the end of Legacy. I even interpreted that Alera would die because of the cover you know she wearing a blood red dress. But I agree with you: poor Steldor=( , he clearly has something ...

October 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, an Alera and Narian shipper. Interesting. I really liked them in book one, but Steldor is so broody and he changed for her in book two. Oh well. It comes out tomorrow though, so you can read it and find out what you think of the ending!

October 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read it and I am wondering why this end should break my heart, I favor happy ends and to me this was one. Although I do not know why the title is ´Sacrifice´. I was sure the title along with the cover implied that Alera would be the one to make a sacrifice, I was absolutely sure that she would have to choose either Narian or her kingdom. Maybe the title refers to Cannan- Steldor´s father. who died, but I always thought that the title did refer to Alera and Narian...

After all I enjoyed the end...even though I found it very abrupt... so many questions which are not answered, especially Nantilams request that Narian should be under her control...

(sry for my writing I am learning English in school but now is fall break so my English is a bit rusted =)

October 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I agree with you. I thought it was a happy ending myself. Perhaps that bit where she tells Narian the plans to the detriment of the rebels? That could have been it.

Yeah, I'm not really sure what happened with Nantilam. I still really like the series, but there's room for more. This is why I want a Steldor spinoff, though apparently her next book is about faeries.

(No worries! I totally get what you're saying and you clearly got the book and read it super fast!)

October 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM  

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