BOOK REVIEW: Allegiance – Cayla Kluver

GENRE: Young Adult – Historical Fantasy
FORM: eBook – NetGalley – ARC
SERIES: Legacy Series – Book 2

While I was granted permission to read this book by NetGalley affiliate publisher, Harlequin, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads.com): 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….

REVIEW: I am in love with this series. It combines all of my many favorite things; fantasy, historical setting, royal court politics, hot heroes, strong heroines, the most evil of villains. Allegiance is a book where the romance does not rule. While there are snippits of gushing here and there, but this book is more about the downfall of Hytanica and about Alera’s rising strength as a Queen. As in the first novel, Legacy, Alera has some questionably immature behavior. There are times when she seems to be completely oblivious to the danger her country is in, or of the responsibility of her new position, however she finds out rather quickly and harshly. In Allegiance she grows up quickly and is becoming a very strong and capable leader.

I addressed love triangles in my previous review, and it seems I’m still unable to get away from them, but in this case it’s a very open ended love triangle, since Alera does not actually love the man she is married to. I actually felt bad for Steldor throughout this book. It seemed as if he loves Alera, even though – if I’m remembering correctly – he never really came close to expressing those feelings in a way Alera could comprehend in the first book. He’s a man who is handsome and knows it. I believe I may have actually compared him to Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston, a comparison I think still fits – but only if Gaston’s character were extended beyond the courtship. You start to see the real man behind the ego in Allegiance. You see he’s a good person, even if he has a temper. He’s protective and possessive over what he sees as his. If played out right, I actually wouldn’t have minded if the book turned to his favor, even if I do love Narian.

Narian, the character who was present throughout the entire book, without actually being present. He was in it – mostly through Alera’s memories. The moments that he was actually there himself, sometimes he was being painted in a very bad scenario, which I think may have encouraged the “Steldor alignment” of the thoughts mentioned earlier. But Narian is a proven character, and he will behave as you expect him to at the right moments. He is a hero who will not let you down!

I loved Allegiance! I love the story, I love the characters. I love the imagery of the world that Cayla Kluver has painted. I will admit that there were points when I felt the book was getting kind of long on the details. I was a bit antsy waiting around in hiding, in fact, but isn’t that what it would actually feel like? I LOVE the covers, absolutely beautiful!!! As I have read these books in a “borrowed’ ARC format from NetGalley, I am so tempted to purchase the book copies of this series – just so I can see them on my shelf.

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