03 March 2012

ARC - Allegiance by Cayla Kluver

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...

I don't think I have ever seen such a downfall between books.  Where Alera was merely an irritant in the first book, Legacy, she has turned into a thorn in my side.  Ultimately, she ruined the whole book for me.  I couldn't finish because she was just that irritating.  While Ms. Kluver's writing has the kind of archaic grace up there with Christopher Paolini, I wasn't as impressed this time around versus with the first book.  Bottom line: I was so uninterested and disgusted with the whole thing that I couldn't trudge through the last bit of the book.

There was no character development whatsoever in terms of the main character, Alera.  The girl was dumb.  Not only dumb, but selfish, immature, and misguided.  I had an issue with the fact that people could walk all over her, but I was downright pissed when she stood up to the wrong people.  Also, I can understand her ignorance--she grew up in a society where women were completely subservient--but she never even realized that her ignorance eventually became a hindrance, and then deadly.  I was expecting her to finally say, "Teach me how to fight." Did that happen? --->  -_____-  No.

The sub characters showed little development and almost seemed 2D.  Instead of taking this chance to flesh out her characters, Kluver practically kept them from expanding.  I saw many chances to see more of these characters, but that never happened.  The only character development I saw was from Steldor.  He annoyed me in the first book, but his character really changed this time around.  Only problem is, Alera has the stupidest priorities.  Pining after a guy who's told her to forget him when Steldor--her husband--is right in front of her?

Alera had this knack of being a complete pain but making other people ignore her shortcomings.  And many of the characters like London and Cannon told her that she had "strength".  And I'm left going, "You're joking, right?"

I was done when Alera completely ignored the torture of one of her closest friends because she became trapped in Narian's gaze.

Yeah.  No.

I was very disappointed with this book.  I loved Legacy mostly because at the time I thought it was well-written and it was written by someone barely a few years older than I was.  But with Allegiance, I felt like all the time I spent reading it was completely wasted.  So at the end (I got 84% into it) I just didn't care.  I didn't even care about the characters that I liked, like London and Galen.  The only person I was really curious about was Steldor.  I feel really sorry for the guy, having to put up with Alera.

I may pick up the third book out of curiosity to see how things change, but I won't buy it.  Alera was just too much.

Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 490
  • published - February 28th, 2012
  • publisher - HarlequinTeen
  • genre - fantasy
  • received - NetGalley
  • rating - 2/5
  • series - Legacy trilogy
    • Legacy
    • Allegiance
    • Sacrifice (coming later this year)