Sunday, August 3, 2014

Magic and Knights: Review of Legendary

*I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely love books that re-imagine King Arthur and Camelot's legends. I don't read many of them (this is maybe my first), but that's certainly going to change. As well as reading the actual myths and legends. I have read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which was an awesome poem written in the 14th century. But that's about it, and I'm going to be changing that, because I love the legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin, Morgan LeFay, and Camelot.

Rating: 4 Magical Stars!

This book was told in 3rd person narrative, which I much prefer when it comes to fantasy novels. I don't know why, except it just always sounds better. I liked the additions of other characters' POVs at the beginning of the chapters, though I'm not sure if all of them really helped the story-line or the growth of Aliana. I don't think all of them tied together, but maybe that will change once the series continues. And I want to read the sequel so badly!

The main character, Aliana, was a little bit of a Mary Sue. She was the special Destined One, and she didn't seem to have a problem with any obstacles thrown her way. But I loved her character. I loved that she was strong and didn't back down when she had to do the right thing or when the guys were being overprotective. She was a fierce warrior but she could be reckless. I loved that she had insecurities and made mistakes as any real-life person would. But well past the halfway point, I wasn't feeling like she'd been growing much. It almost felt like she backtracked. A lot of it had to do with her insecurities surrounding Galahad and Arthur, her uneasiness about magic, and the looming threat of Mordrid. But she grew on me a lot, and I started to understand how she felt and thought about everything. It just didn't help that her head was clouded with a pushy love triangle and she had a need to be perfect all the time. 

Speaking of pushy love triangle, I was not a total fan of this one. For some reason, it just felt like it was being, well, pushed on the reader and the main character. It started to annoy me a little bit. It's clear that Aliana develops true feelings for only one of the guys, but the little tidbits of POVs in the beginning of the chapters tried to sell another angle. It is totally reasonable that maybe more than one of the knights would be attracted to her. But it didn't feel genuine with the other guy. Maybe in the sequel I'll understand why Aliana felt two equally strong bonds between Galahad and Arthur. But for now, I'm just going to stick with the couple I ship. And their romance was so sweet and genuine; the chemistry between them was there from the start.

And oh, how I loved the secondary characters! The main reason I wanted to read this book was because of the knights and Arthur. I loved their interactions and the friendships that they had with each other. It was so nice to see such strong bonds, even after hundreds of years. They each had their own personalities, and I loved how the author brought them to life in the pages of this book.

The plot was slow-paced, but I didn't mind it so much. There was a lot of action, some quiet moments amid the tension and danger. The obstacles the main character and knights went through were a little easy to maneuver around or defeat, though. There is this looming sense of battle and war, but the characters have a slightly easy road. But I loved where the story headed, and I'm excited to see what happens in the sequel. A lot of questions are left unanswered!

I loved the author's writing style, the main character's voice, and how she drew me into the story from the beginning. Legendary was a wonderfully written fantasy that retells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. All the while with a modern flair and a sassy main character who will do whatever it takes to save the people she loves.