Something about this book didn't feel real at all. There was so much detail but I had so many questions. Like what the heck does Alera do on a day-to-day basis? This seems dumb but I never saw her mention a friend of hers beside London who was her bodyguard. Do princesses just walk around gardens to calm their mind and read books all day with the occasional party thrown in? This part of the story really bugged me. Many times a chapter skipped ahead to another month and I was really curious what happens when Alera isn't doing something relevant to the plot.
The plot, the plot, the plot... *sigh* 500 pages. And this "magic" and war we were promised isn't seen until after, what, 300, 350 pages? So, so much was unnecessary. Or if you wanted to keep that huge page number, a bit more drama would have been fun. There were many moments where nothing happened but there was so much potential. At times I could NOT stop reading. Even if there wasn't any action, strangely I still was very into the book. I was hooked anyway.
Much of the story was Alera musing, whining, moping, whatever you want to call it about the fact that as crown princess, she couldn't rule the kingdom on her own and therefore had to marry a suitable husband. Or at least get Father's definition of suitable which could be summed up into one word: Steldor. There wasn't very much action though. Alera can't do much as a woman in that kind of society. The ending was expected but at the same time, very interesting.
Many people complained about the writing... I will say that I didn't pay much attention to descriptions. There were many of them which I just ignored. (You'd be surprised how often that happens.) I prefer content over wrappings. I'm not an amazing writer nor am I particularly literary. At the beginning of the book I didn't like the writing at all. There were way too many commas, long sentences, and unnecessary descriptions. Later on I got used to it and continued on.
From the tone of my review, it may seem like I didn't like this book. That's far from the truth- I did! I acknowledge its errors but I enjoyed the book anyway. Something about Legacy was so alluring for me. I can't put my finger on it yet though. For example, I should hate Steldor. But I don't. I never know what he'll do. I'm curious about his manipulations and love when Alera tried to best him. I love reading about him, as a character he's a pompous jerk but he's a mystery and I can't help but want to read about him. Stuff like this made Legacy an enjoyable read.
There's so much set up in Legacy that I truly have no idea where it will go. Hopefully the author has a fulfilling destination seeing as I may really begin to like this series as a guilty pleasure. 3.5 stars,
*** & 1/2 *