“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A continuation of the epic fantasy that I fell in love with. A princess tale filled with angst and turmoil, destined to yearn for that happily ever after.
Opening Sentence: The Hall was empty except for a cloaked figure who stood motionless upon a black marble dais.
In Allegiance, the second book of Cayla Kluver’s debut series, we begin where Legacy left off. Alera is married to Steldor, and will soon be crowned Queen of the kingdom. Narian has returned to Cokyri, tensions between the two kingdoms are as high as ever, and it is clear that they are both on the brink of a war. Cokyri has an upper hand this time around, with the help of Narian. But will Alera still love the boy that opened her eyes and heart? Or will she turn her back away from him forever, only to be hurt one last time?
The exceptional characters that Kluver has created are back. This time, we see different sides of every single one of them. Where I felt I loved a character in Legacy, I seemed to dislike in Allegiance. And I love that about Kluver. Her talent is endless. Kluver challenged my perceptions of my heroes and villains.
Princess Alera is still headstrong. I feel that sometimes, her pride gets in the way of the duties that she must uphold to. Alera constantly challenges how things are done in Hytanica, but I feel that is a testament of her strength and character. Alera grew as a person, and Allegiance was an emotional journey to come to terms with who she was as a ruler. Her actions weren’t acts of rebellion, but rather, actions of loyalty to her heart and love. Alera had to have hope, so she challenged what she knew and rewrote the rules.
Steldor surprised me. As much as I wanted to continue to dislike him, I actually fell in love with him. I sometimes forget that Steldor is still pretty young when Allegiance begins. He is the King of Hytanica, with expectations as high as the sky. But in truth, my imagination was his only barrier. Steldor is a loyal man, loyal to Hytanica and to Alera. The love that he showed her was the foundation of his heart. He was ready to make that leap of faith to prove his love for her.
Kluver killed me when it came to Narian. I was so heart-broken with him. And I suppose, I now know how Alera felt. He did so much to protect Alera, despite how dark and ugly it could be. He grew from his pain and moved on to the next thing to survive.
Allegiance is a fantastic historical fiction that revolves around Hytanica and Cokyri. It has the elements of a great love story, and the action of an epic war story. Royalty garnishes the story like the jewels on a dress. But above all else, the characters are unique, developed, and definitely full of personality. Kluver’s world is still filled with secrecy and enigma, a perfect backdrop to Allegiance’s theme of love and betrayal.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Legacy, so before I began Allegiance, I reread Legacy. I instantly fell back in love with the kingdom of Hytanica, and its people. There is something about Kluver’s writing that transports me to her world. I escape all inhibitions and become a citizen of Hytanica. And that is why Kluver is one of my favorite authors.
“Worried about my eternal soul, are you?” he queried. I again struggled to speak, but he waved a hand dismissively. “Don’t be. My soul won’t be in danger until we’ve shared a bed. Consummation is a requirement of the marriage, remember?”
I grimaced and studied the pattern of the rug, wishing I had not raised the subject. A moment passed in silence, then I felt his hand beneath my chin. When I raised my head, he gave me a long and sensual kiss, his enthralling scent washing over me, and I was thrown off balance. He, however, went on his way as though nothing had transpired between us. Reeling from the unexpected feelings of both pleasure and confusion that his kiss had stirred, I stumbled to my room to prepare for bed. The entire evening now seemed surreal—Baelic’s offer to take me horseback riding, Alantonya’s questions about Narian, London’s unusual behavior, the compliment Steldor had earlier paid me, the love I had felt in his kiss, my response to his overture. I smiled drolly, for while I was bone weary, I suspected it would be hours before my restless mind and troubled heart would let me sleep.
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Allegience. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”