Allegiance

Allegiance

by Cayla Kluver

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Overview

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….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459222908
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Series: The Legacy Trilogy , #2
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Cayla Kluver was born on October 2, 1992, in Wisconsin. She has cats, dogs and horses, and watches more crime shows than is probably healthy. Her office is filled with twinkly lights, candles, and fun colors. She loves Robert Louis Stevenson and the Beatles. Legacy is her first novel. Visit Cayla at www.caylakluver.com, friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @CaylaKL.

Read an Excerpt



Palace guards lined both sides of the Throne Room, standing at attention in their royal-blue tunics with gold center panels, each holding in his left hand a flagstaff from which hung silks in the same colors. At the front of the hall on the marble dais, the King's Elite Guard formed a double arc on each side of the thrones, with Can-nan, clad in the black jerkin he wore as Captain of the Guard, standing closest to the right side of the King's throne. The benches that had been placed in rows with a wide aisle between were filled with the opulently attired members of Hytanica's nobility. Late-afternoon sunlight filtered through the high windows of the northern wall, casting a glow over the front of the hall as if extending an invitation. Except for the occasional sound of someone shifting position or a bench scraping the stone floor, the room was silent, as everyone waited for the coronation ceremony to begin.

Steldor and I, along with the other members of the royal family, were likewise silent. Although the antechamber provided ample seating, excitement kept us on our feet. At the opening of one of the doors leading into the Throne Room, we shifted simultaneously to watch Lanek, the King's herald and personal secretary, step into our midst.

"The priest is ready to begin," he informed us.

My dark eyes briefly met Steldor's, but I saw none of the nervousness I was feeling reflected on his face. His composure surprised me until I realized that the stress of this ceremony was probably nothing compared to the pressures he would have coped with as a field commander leading troops in battle.

At the King's nod, Palace Guards swung the heavy double doors open, enabling my mother and father to stand side by side on the threshold. They would be preceded by heralds, one of whom bore the kingdom's standard, another a flag embroidered with the royal family's coat of arms.

My father was dressed in gold and shouldered the Sovereign's Robe of royal-blue velvet with an ermine collar. Upon his salt-and-pepper hair rested the Crown of the King, a diamond-embedded circlet of gold with four bejeweled crosses spaced evenly around its circumference. He carried the royal scepter in his left hand, on his right hand he wore the King's signet ring, and the royal sword rested in the scabbard on his left hip.

Atop my mother's honey-blond hair sat the Crown of the Queen, a golden band to match the King's, but with a single bejeweled cross at the front. From the shoulders of her gold brocade gown swept a royal-blue velvet cape.

The assembled nobility rose to their feet as the trumpets sounded and Lanek stepped forward to announce the King and Queen. Although his short, stocky build made him difficult to see in a crowd, his booming voice always ensured he was heard.

"All hail King Adrik and his Queen, the Lady Elissia!" My father's soft brown eyes met my mother's serious blue ones, and I saw him squeeze her hand affectionately before extending his arm to her for the processional. He then made his last entrance into the Throne Room as Hytanica's ruler, his wife at his side. The aged priest who stood in front of the dais in anticipation of administering the oath to the King's successor moved to the right to make way for their coming, and my father and mother mounted the steps to stand before their thrones, turning to face their subjects.

My sister, Princess Miranna, her blue eyes sparkling, entered next, clothed in a gown to match our mother's with a tiara of gold and pearls encircling her strawberry blond hair. She curtsied to the sovereign before likewise climbing the steps to stand in front of the farthest of three regal armchairs that had been placed to the left of the Queen.

I waited for my sister to take her position and then began the slow walk down the aisle. Despite my efforts to quiet them, my hands were shaking, for my heart was laden with dread at the thought of the power Steldor would soon wield as King. I was clothed in the dress I had worn for my wedding but a week ago on the tenth of May, although a crimson robe was now attached at the shoulders to sweep the floor in my wake. Like Miranna, I wore a tiara of gold and pearls upon my head, my dark brown hair drawn up off my shoulders.

As I approached the thrones, a smile flitted across my countenance at a sudden mental image of what London would have looked like had he been standing among the Elite Guards. My former bodyguard had not yet returned from his search for Narian in the mountains, but I knew if he had been present, he would not have worn the requisite uniform. The thought of him standing in his leather jerkin among this ostentatious company struck me as comical. Reaching the dais, I curtsied to my parents before stepping up to stand in front of the armchair immediately to the Queen's left.

The anticipation in the room heightened as I gazed at Steldor where he waited at the head of the aisle, magnificent in a black dress coat over a gold doublet that emphasized his muscular build and set off his dark hair and eyes. The scabbard that hung at his left hip was empty, but the dagger I had given him three months ago for his twenty-first birthday was sheathed on his right. A crimson cape, secured to the shoulders by gold clasps, pooled on the floor at his heels.

At the sounding of the trumpets, Steldor began the long march down the aisle, his boots beating a slow and steady cadence. He focused straight ahead, seemingly oblivious to the gathered throng, his expression as fixed as those of the past kings in the portraits lining the walls to his left and right. Regardless of his demeanor, I knew from the tilt of his head that he was relishing this moment.

As Steldor drew closer to the thrones, the priest moved into the aisle, not speaking until my husband had halted ten paces from him.

"Lords and ladies of Hytanica," he said, raising the volume of his nasal, tremulous voice so that all might hear. "I present unto you Lord Steldor, son of the Baron Cannan and husband of the heir to the throne, Princess Alera, who comes before you to be crowned rightful King over all the lands and peoples of Hytanica. Are all you assembled here this day willing to recognize him as such?"

A resounding "Aye" echoed throughout the Throne Room.

"And are you, Lord Steldor, willing to take the King's Oath?"

"I am willing."

The priest surveyed the nobility and, when he was satisfied that everyone was listening, nodded to Steldor, who dropped to one knee.

"Will you solemnly promise to govern the peoples of the Kingdom of Hytanica with justice, mercy and wisdom?" the priest inquired.

"I solemnly promise so to do."

"Will you promise to enforce and maintain the laws of God?"

"I do so promise."

"Will you restore the things that are gone to decay, punish and reform what is amiss, and confirm what is in good order?"

"All this I promise so to do."

"Then arise and approach the throne."

Steldor stood as the priest yielded the aisle. After tendering one last bow to his King and Queen, he mounted the steps of the dais, and Cannan advanced to remove the crimson robe that marked his son as the successor to the throne. My mother thereupon took the Sovereign's Robe from the King's shoulders. She waited as Steldor turned to face the nobility and then draped it over his powerful frame. As my parents moved to stand next to the Captain of the Guard, Cannan tendered the crimson robe to my mother so that she could place it upon my father's back.

Steldor now cast his eyes over the nobility, poised to make his final pledge.

"The things that I have here promised, I will perform and keep, so help me God," he declared, his voice impassioned.

He held out a hand to me, and I moved to his side. After detaching the crimson robe from my gown, he passed it to my mother in exchange for the Queen's royal-blue cape. He then laid the raiment upon my shoulders, and for the first time we took our places upon the thrones.

The priest now came before us with a small vial of oil for the Anointing.

"So be thou anointed, blessed and consecrated King over the peoples of Hytanica," he intoned, dipping his fingers into the vial and making the mark of the cross on Steldor's hands and forehead. "May you govern and preserve us in wealth and peace, and may you rule wisely, justly and mercifully."

Turning to me, he again dipped his fingers in the oil.

"So be thou anointed Queen of Hytanica, to support and assist your King in the performance of his charge," he said, likewise placing the mark of the cross upon me.

After administering a blessing, the priest moved to the far right of the thrones to sit in the chair that had been provided for him.

My father would now relinquish his authority as King and invest it in his successor. He stepped forward, and Steldor rose to accept the accoutrements of the monarchy.

"Receive the Rod of Wisdom," my father said, pressing the royal scepter into Steldor's left hand. "Honor the faithful, provide for the weak, cherish the just and lead your people in the way wherein they should go."

The King then drew the royal sword. "Do not bear this sword in vain, but use it for the terror and punishment of evildoers, and for the protection and encouragement of those who do well."

Steldor accepted the sword, briefly holding it aloft before placing it in his scabbard.

Removing the royal ring, the King slid it onto the third finger of Steldor's right hand.

"Receive the Ring of Kingly Dignity so that all may recognize your sovereignty, and so that you may remember the oaths you have here taken this day."

The time for the final act had arrived, and I watched somewhat sadly as my father removed the crown from his own head and held it high for all to see. He then fervently made his last pronouncement.

"Receive this crown as a sign of royal majesty and as the rightful King of Hytanica."

He placed the diadem upon Steldor, and enthusiastic shouts erupted from the gathered throng.

"Hail to the King! Hail to King Steldor!"

My father, no longer Hytanica's ruler, waited for the noise to abate and then humbly knelt before his King to pledge his allegiance.

"I will be faithful and true unto you, my Sovereign Lord, King of Hytanica, and unto your heirs."

After kissing the royal ring, my father stood and took up position in front of the chair that had originally been provided for me. I came to my feet and removed my tiara, passing it to my mother, who had come before Steldor so that he could remove the Queen's crown. She gave him a curtsey, then crossed the dais to stand between her husband and her younger daughter.

"Be thou rightfully crowned Queen of Hytanica," Steldor proclaimed, placing the golden band upon my head, and another cheer ricocheted off the stone walls and wood-beamed ceiling.

The weight of responsibility descended upon me along with the crown, and I suddenly felt eighteen was far too young an age at which to assume such a role. Seized with panic, I glanced at my mother, and she offered the only assistance she could—a reassuring smile. As Steldor and I once more occupied the thrones, the rest of the royal family and Hytanica's nobility took their seats. Cannan then strode forward to kneel before his son and pledge his service.

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Allegiance 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm in love with this series.Cayla Kluver has written a world that is complex, interesting, filled with great characters and tension and I'm astonished that she was able to do this at her age in a way that was not at all noticeable.In my review of Legacy, I mentioned that I read the story before I knew anything about this author, but I found in reading Allegiance that even knowing what I do know about Kluver now, it didn't make an ounce of different. Instead, I found myself completely lost in a world that I would have loved to be the creator of. My biggest issue with these stories, and I do think this is a youth thing, is the lack of feminine power held by Alera - but it's balanced by the opposing kingdom - the Cokyrians. It's hard to explain - just.. trust me, even if the book starts to annoy you with its lack of feminine power keep giving it a shot, because the ending will not disappoint.
AboutToRead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved every second of Allegiance. I wasn¿t really sure what to expect after the surprising way that Legacy ended, but from the very beginning of the novel, I was captivated. Allegiance starts out with a deep-dive into Steldor and Alera¿s relationship. We see them interacting as a married couple, as Steldor continues to wait for Alera to accept their relationship and return his love.Steldor was my favorite part of the novel, he was so sweet! He was romantic and caring, and yes he has his faults¿but considering the culture he grew-up in, he is actually extremely considerate of women. Steldor does not hit his wife, and he does make an attempt to listen to her thoughts and opinions. Since he grew up in an environment where women are supposed to be seen and not heard, as well as physically disciplined, I think Steldor should be commended for his inclusion of Alera in political matters and his refusal to strike her. The entire time I was reading Allegiance, I was dying for Alera to accept Steldor. He loves her so much, and he is trying so hard to make her love him too. He really is a caring person and I think he would definitely be able to make Alera happy.The war-torn back-drop to Allegiance made for a heartbreaking read. There was tragedy left and right, and I was in tears for a good majority of the novel. While Allegiance is very character driven, it still has a pretty exciting plot. There is a ton of romance, plotting, and violence going on to keep the attention of readers who need more action in their novels. Personally, the extra-dose of tragedy was all I needed to add some more magic to the world that Cayla Kluver has created.Allegiance was a lot more exciting than Legacy for two reasons. First of all, the battle with Cokyri is more intense than ever¿leading to a lot of action and drama. The romance is also a lot more intense than it was in Legacy. I suspect that there will be a lot of debate over who Alera is better off with¿Steldor or Narian. This is a perfect series for fans of fantasy and character-driven plots. I¿m not really sure what direction Sacrifice, the final book of the series, will head in¿but I am anxiously awaiting the chance to read it and find out!
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading the first book, I was hooked! This book picks up right where it left off and the reader is swept away by emotions, a brewing war and a marriage!I really enjoyed the feel of the book. It was like me stepping through a portal of time, watching everything unfold before my eyes. Alera is going through some tough times and major changes. I really like how in this book she dealt with everything. She takes her new position as queen every seriously, even going as far as standing up to her overbearing dad. The reader can feel Alera emotions so well through the wonderful writing of Ms. Kulver. At times, the emotions are dripping off the page that you just want to drown in it. The feeling of being in Alera shoe's is a once in a lifetime feeling. Now, the love interest gets a little complicated. There is no real love triangle going on physically but the reader is left with the aching feeling of emptiness in Alera's heart. The longing she felt and the duty she is bound to left the reader's heart aching. Alear long for some freedom, long for the love that she wanted and needed. I admire her strength to do the right thing in the line of duty. That has got to be one of the toughest position to be in. To love from afar, all cause you must keep your word.If you want a heart wrenching, writing explosion of emotions, war, and fighting, read this book. The detailing of the time and place takes the reader off to the lands of Hytanica raging the war between right and wrong. In the darkest time, Alera will face the toughest questions. What do you go with? Your heart or your duty?
summerskris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The beginning of the novel was all that I could hope for. Steldor and Alera's marriage comes to a rocky start with Alera avoiding intimacy and Steldor respecting her but for some flirtations. However, the awkwardness is still there, and both have tempers that cause them great frustrations. I can't help but wonder why Alera continuously refutes Steldor's advances rather than permitting him to continue courting her after marriage and trying to get to know him better. After all, when she agreed to marry him, she should have expected to carry her duty, as Queen and a wife, to produce an heir.I was frustrated with Alera for the most part. While the motivations for her actions in book one are understandable, she's a Queen now by her own choice, and she ought to take responsibility now. Yes, she wanted to protect Miranna, but she now has a duty as Queen to fulfill yet she still acts like a rebellious teenage girl. I feel that Alera was in denial about a lot of things. She keeps Steldor at bay despite her responsibility to him as a wife to respect him, rather than try to anger him, and to produce an heir to keep the royal line running. She goes horseback riding without regard to her position. She refuses to forget about Narian.I grew more fond of Steldor, who is obviously trying to be a good husband, as the story progressed, and it is apparent that Alera develops some feelings for him. However, Narian is still the one she loves, though she can't deny that he has joined the enemy forces, a fact that coincides about the same time that her sister is abducted by enemy forces. Something possible only because she told him about a certain tunnel.It is after the castle falls to the enemy that my interest in the story wavered as the anticipation built in book one fell short of my expectations. I won't list all my grievances. I don't want to go on a rampage because some things didn't go my way. Let's just say that everything happened a little too conveniently and that while I liked Legacy, Allegiance just doesn't follow through all the way for me.Thus far, Alera has been a pawn in a game of mens. In Sacrifice, the final book in the trilogy, she will be a woman in her own right, with her own power. I look forward to seeing what she does.
BookishDame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was impressed to find that Ms Kluver's first book "Legacy" won such recognition. This 2nd book in her series seems to fall short of that sort of award-winning, I think. Such is often the way of 2nd and 3rd books in a series. And this is a publishing world in which authors are encouraged to produce a series when one fine book might suffice.This is a book for older young adults in that it has a more complex storyline about male-female relationships. While it is about young people in their late teens and early 20's, they actually behave like much older adults, which is disconcerting to the reader who expected less implied sexuality. I felt as if I were reading a sort of historical romance novel couched in a fantasy wrapper or vice versa. Ordinarily I can adjust to his senario. However, in this case, it was difficult to keep my concentration focused on the "other worldliness," though I did like the characters. I simply felt the author was trying too hard to straddle both worlds without being clear which one she was in! I attribute this to her being a young author who doesn't have the experience necessary to focus one way or another. Dialog was too contemporary to fit either category. All in all, it made for a novel that was a bit wonkey. The characters are interesting, the premise is good, and YAs will like the beautiful figures, castle and clothing described. That may make you wonder why I would question anything at all...but you'd have to read the mishmash or believe me to understand what I mean. Here's a twist: What appealed to me, but was actually out of place as well, was the young Alera standing up for herself against all the powerful men of the Kingdom. A daunting idea in the apparent "age" and time she found herself, and with the particularly violent and explosive temper of a husband who was King. I liked her spunk, but soon after she'd shown her strength a few times, I got bored with it, and kept wondering when she was going to loosen up a little! As women, we have to find a happy medium, and balance that with the understanding creatures we are, as well as keeping our individuality. Anger and violence from either gender is abhorrent, after all. Why should a woman get away with what a man shouldn't?Without beating a dead horse, I reiterate that this book is a mixed bag. There are some good moments if you're interested in a historical romance...but if you want a well-developed fantasy novel, this isn't it. Since I didn't read the first book in this series, I didn't have all the background on Alera, the young woman Queen, and her sweetheart Narian, a great warrior from an opposing clan. But, that story is soon picked up in the reading of "Allegiance." You won't miss much if you didn't read the first book. In a nutshell Alera's "allegiance" to her country is in contrast to her love for Narian...thus, the proverbial battle of love and war.I cannot recommend this novel without reservation to my readers and friends. It's a novel with a good premise that wasn't given a clear follow-through, written by a novice writer with promise, I think. I have to say readers beware...at best a light reading distraction that may fail to please..
flashlight_reader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First off, do not start a series without reading the first book. Just don¿t do it. As I read this book, it became painfully obvious that I was missing a lot of emotions because I didn¿t read Legacy. I had no idea about the passion and depth behind Alera and Narian¿s relationship. So of course, I instantly started liking Steldor. (Gasp.) I couldn¿t help it. Even with his chauvinistic views and mannerisms, I still liked him. Actually, I felt sorry for the way Alera always treated him. As the book went on, I figured out how deeply Alera cared for Narian, so that part of the plot made sense by the end. (Even if I did find it disappointing.) The plot was intricate. The author does an amazing job with building the world that her characters live in. The descriptive details used painted vivid images within my mind on every page. I felt like I was living in this magical land along with the characters. Absolutely stunning. The purposeful skill that the author has was evident on every single page. The plot seemed slow at times. I¿m not sure if ¿slow¿ is the proper term to describe it either. Every event seemed to steadily add to the plot until the climatic turning point. With a 490 page book, that climax didn¿t arise until near page 400. That¿s a long time to wait! Was it worth the long wait? Pretty much. It helped me understand the events more and feel like I was part of the characters. Did I like the characters more because of the wait? Eh. I still stand by Steldor, sorry. Caanan, London, Haitus, and many of the other male characters in the book also tugged at my heart. They were stoic and brave. I loved them. But, for a book that juxtaposes the strength of male versus female rulers, the women in this book fell a little flat. Alera was border line irritating at times. She had these moments that were brilliant, and you could sense her inner strength. But then she would turn around and do something to unbelievable immature that I had a hard time believing she was eighteen. Storming off in the woods after your horse was taken, just to prove a point? Pretty stupid. Of course, Steldor acted pretty immature at times too with his handling of Alera¿s defiant behavior. I would have enjoyed this book so much more if I had the backstory from Legacy. I appreciate that the author didn¿t employ the ¿info dump¿ to fill in those gaps for people like me. That would have ruined this book. If you haven¿t read Legacy, you need to do your homework before starting this one. Read the book. Read reviews. Whatever. Do something to understand the relationship between Alera, Narian, and Steldor before reading Allegiance.
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
"An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return...", that's how ALLEGIANT continues the story of Alera and her Hytanican kingdom. The beginning was kind of sluggish and slow, comparable to the first half of LEGACY. Even though I couldn't get a head-start into ALLEGIANCE the world grew on me a lot in this sequel to LEGACY and I felt more at home than in the first instalment. Her friendship with London was of such a strong presence, I couldn't help to be drawn into their story, his fate and his unbelievable will to survive. London is probably my favourite character in this series including Alera and Narian. Alera's marriage to Steldor was a bummer. So much bickering (with negative energy), quarrels and coups wouldn't have been necessary to see that these two are not destined to be husband and wife. So Alera's heart is very much torn between her duty and her required respect for her husband and her passionate and undeniable feelings for Narian. You won't get to see too much of him, since this novel seemed to be intended to focus on Alera's relationship with Steldor and the changing bonds and loyalties between her and her family. The war against Corkyri that has been dormant until now is raging again, turning the second half of ALLEGIANCE into a fast-paced and easily entertaining read. There are many twists and turns to the story, intrigues, much is at stake and our Hytanicans have to think up a good plan to beat the evil Overlord. 4/5 **** ALLEGIANCE - A historical YA read with a slow start, but a very strong outcome. Now give me the next book! If the first book in this series wasn't your favourite, don't give up on the LEGACY series yet. Alera's story promises to become better with each new book in the trilogy. I'm planning on reading the third book in the series soon, because I want to read it while the events of ALLEGIANCE are still fresh and present in my mind. The three books in the LEGACY series would make good material for a book binge.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Valerie Book provided by contest win from Revolving Bookshelf Review originally posted at Romancing the Book I like big books and I cannot lie…yes, that is SO me. This book, the second in the Legacy trilogy was not only fantastic, but it was BIG with a lot of story in it that I adored!!! *spoilers in review* Book two finds Alera married to Steldor for the sake of the kingdom, Hytanica, but they are playing a cat and mouse game with each other. Steldor has told Alera that he will not force her to bed and gives her all the time and space she needs. Slowly, Alera sees that although Steldor does have a temper, he truly doesn’t hurt her and does love her to the point of adoration. She, on the other hand, is constantly doing things to defy him as she longs for Narian, her true love. As they tried to be friends, the possibility of war turned to a reality, and Alera was unsure of what role Narian was playing in it but knew that he would NEVER do anything to her hurt or her kingdom. Little does she know that her younger sister will be kidnapped and used as a bargaining chip to ensure his compliance. As the suspense built, I really started to care about the fate of Steldor, even though Alera loved Narian. At times, some of the people in Alera’s life were threatened with harm but the times I cried the most were when her bodyguard was hurt. The job of guarding the princess and now, Queen Alera, is one that the bodyguards take seriously and spend their entire lives devoted to. While book two does end with some questions answered, the fate of the kingdom and it’s people will not be known until book three, Sacrifice. The title of the book has me SOOO intrigued.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up Allegiance from our school library and read it, not realizing that I was starting with book 2! Alera drove me crazy with her thoughts of this "mystery boy" while Steldor did everything he could to gain her affection. I want to see how the story continues but am torn whether I should go back and read book 1 first. I would like to get a better feel for Narian so I know who I really should root for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i like it but,is much better the another book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome!!!!!!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was....A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It was remarkable the way Cayla Kluver has created her own medieval fantasy world filled with hatred, war, and dark magic and was able to put it into such detail. It was an extraordinary romance novel. I loved the book from the beginning, middle, and end. Its one of those books where it was so good that you just can't imagine reading any other book. Over the past few days I just couldn't put it down. I wanted to finish it so badly, anticipating every word that comes next, yet that I didn't want it to be over. I definitely recommend this book.
pagese More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to this book. Legacy had everything that I look for in a novel, including fantasy, romance, and that historical novel feel. Asking this book to live up to the story the first one created for me was a daunting task. While at times the story felt long and maybe a little drawn out, the overall story was wonderful. I still enjoyed Alera's character, although I felt like she wasn't half the queen I thought she could be for most of the book. I know she didn't want any of these, and more important she is in love with Narian. But, I think she wasn't doing her character any justice by defying the rules and protection that people laid out for her. And by wallowing in her own self pity, she wasn't showing the people what a strong person she could be. Thankfully, she eventually steps out of that cocoon that she's built around herself. We, the readers get an excellent view of the powerful person she grows to be. And I can't wait for the people to figure that out as well. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around what Narian was doing. It sometimes felt like he was doing this just because there was a prophecy that said he did this. I understood that the Overlord had some serious leverage over him. But, what was keeping him there later. when the threat had been removed? I was pleased to see that even when we couldn't see it, every move he made was to put Alera in a better position. He was constantly fighting for her life. A lot of lives were lost to protect hers. A horrible position to be in no doubt, but to Narian nobody else mattered. The character that surprised me the most was Steldor. I had mixed feeling on him at the end of Legacy. But, by the end of this book, part of me really hoped that Alera would give him half a chance. He may have wanted to be king, but I honestly think that he wanted Alera more. I don't think he was use to having to chase her. Everything came so easily to him, and it really bothered him that Alera was the one thing that he couldn't completely had. It seems like a lot time is covered in this book and it's sometimes difficult to follow. It's also a little gruesome to the end. The author spares us quite a bit of details, but leaves plenty the imagination. War isn't pretty. And in this magical land, it can be more than bloody. We were told repeatedly how the Overlord would make everyone suffer. I apparently didn't really believe it (or couldn't imagine it). I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this series with the next book. The story went in a direction that I honestly wasn't expecting, so I'm curious as to what will happen next.
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
I adored Cayla Kluver's debut novel, Legacy, which left me begging for more in the trilogy- so when I picked up Allegiance, I had extremely high expectations. And in many ways, I was just as impressed as I had been the first time around, yet I found myself easily frustrated in two areas which largely detracted from my enjoyment of this hugely anticipated sequel. However, there are many strong things to this book from Cayla's impressive writing, to the excitement of action and political intrigue which is included in most of the book. Reasons to Read: 1.A fantasy novel with a historical feel: Alera's world isn't a historical world, nor her story a historical account but there's something about it that feels so very real. Yet she easily blends in some magic and myths as well- but it's done so subtlely that it never feels unbelievable or entirely made up. It's familiar with all the mystical legends and strange occurences, yet never overpowers the rest of the story. 2.Brilliant secondary characters: I think one of the way sin which Cayla's talent truly shines through is in her depiction of the secondary characters; there are a large number of them, but she brings them to life with their own unique stories and I find that they often overshadow even Alera herself. They don't come across as two-dimensional at all, and that's something I find rather rare in most books. 3.A story ripe with political intrigue and danger: I was shocked at how much actually happens and changes in this book- it's a bit slow at first, but very quickly takes off and doesn't slow down until the very last pages. And it's so humbling and tragic, you can't help but feel moved by the devastating effects of the events which take place in Allegiance. Allegiance is clearly a book with a message. I have no problem with that, except that I felt much of the story was lost to this attempt at making A Point. This is supposed to be a story about female empowerment. But the problem is that so much is lost to try and force this message across, and Alera doesn't strike me as the right character to carry it out. Alera, a character I greatly admired in Legacy, seems to have regressed in Allegiance more than anything else. She's EXTREMELY petty and immature - often acting like a child, and throwing her own 18 year old versions of temper tantrums. And further, we're clearly supposed to dislike Steldor- but I don't. The story failed to make me appreciate Alera and Narian more and Steldor less, and in fact I felt just the opposite. It simply felt too much like Steldor was being villainized for things he never does and Narian easily trusted for little reason besides Alera's love for him. That, to me, is frustrating to no end. And Alera's failure to accept the consequences of her actions or even own up to them is disheartening. She often relies on others to cover for her, and blames them if they don't act according to her will. The romance just isn't there for me. It feels too stilted and forced, and I now find myself rooting for the "wrong guy" (Clearly, he's supposed to be the wrong one for her, but I fail to see how the other option is any better). I don't buy into this forbidden love story at all. Not one bit. I'm just not sold on it, and that's disappointing. While it's not nearly as enjoyable as the first book, it's still an exciting and interesting read. ARC received from publisher for review (abridged verison due to posting limitations)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was attracted to the first book in the series because of the way the hardcover and paper looked at the library. I ended up loving the story and bought it. Allegiance I couldn't put down either. I only wish it was hardcover too. I'm really looking forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very well-written book. Love the story, love the author. A MUST READ.
epicrat More than 1 year ago
There is no question that Legacy left one of the most uncool cliffhangers that I have ever faced in the history of reading. Whether or not it served as a ploy to get readers to pick up the next installment, I must admit that I am glad that I gave Cayla Kluver another chance because Allegiance was absolutely heartbreakingly good in the sense that one character made the story come to life for me. THE GOOD BITS {Falling in love with the “bad guy”} I can accept Alera’s scandalous love for the Cokyrian enemy Narian that was established in Legacy, but honestly I just do not see the magic between them. I also accepted that Steldor, Alera’s more proper suitor, may be a jerk to the nth degree who hit the jackpot of marrying Alera and becoming King of Hytanica. Steldor was one of those hot guys with a not-so-hot personality in Legacy and I did not expect much from him in Book 2, so how is it that he wormed his way into my heart by the end of Allegiance? No one was more surprised than I to find that Steldor’s arrogance hid a more vulnerable young man who also had a heart capable of breaking. {WAR! What is it good for?} Legacy set up the stage, but Allegiance finally delivers its promises of war between Cokyri and Hytanica. Granted, there is still the pretty political dance of back-stabbing, but as the Cokyrians start to show their true colors, Alera and her kingdom are left with no choice but to defend themselves. Cayla Kluver has woved complications upon complications into the story, and the results will sure to catch readers off-guard in the best possible manner. It might seem too neatly tied together albeit not quite the way Alera would have hoped, but I suspect that no matter how trim the bow on top of the box is, the bomb inside will be sure to deliver kingdom come when Book 3 releases. THE BAD BITS {How do you solve a problem like Alera?} Okay, she did not drive me as nuts as she did in Legacy, but I still do not care for her terribly much. In my eyes, Alera is simply a figurehead for Hytanica, but she continues to lack the ability to take care of herself or her kingdom and does not appreciate a good man when he is standing in right front of her. Which is not her fault because I know she wants to be more strong and independent – and honestly I cannot control her wayward heart. Yet I am still waiting for her to catch up to my expectations. When Steldor manages to steal the show away from Alera, I feel like that has to mean something has gone curiously off-center. THE OVERALL Allegiance rescues readers from the cliffs of Legacy, and it plops down to where the story starts to get good and twisty. Cayla Kluver has intricately crafted an elaborate story with an unexpected romance of doomed proportions, and I cannot remember encountering a more fascinating character who completely changes my initial perceptions of them since something blue.
JennRizz More than 1 year ago
Allegiance by Cayla Kluver Some books stay in my head longer than others. After all the books I’ve read for my library’s teen reading challenge, this one has stayed with me the longest. The cover is the thing that got me the most. I mean how can you not love a girl in a long swaying dress riding on horse back with the guy of her dreams? I am a sucker when it comes to royalty. Alera is my favorite character. She accepts the cards she’s been dealt with: a prearranged marriage to a man her father has chosen and the loss of her one true love—now turned enemy. There is never a dull moment. The plot is wonderful with many twists and turns. Just well you least expect, something happens. I’d categorize Cayla Kluver with Alison Weir and Carolly Erickson. I can not wait to see her next book in the series. I know I won’t be disappointed.
ReadingCorner More than 1 year ago
While I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Kluver's debut, Legacy, I went into the sequel with equal amounts excitement and trepidation. I suppose it's that latter part that kept me from reading this one right away and I certainly with I had take the dive back into this world sooner! In Allegiance, she has taken the beautifully crafted world of Hytanica and pulled readers right back into the world that we left a year ago. Very little time has passed since the end of Legacy--you dive right back into Alera and Steldor's wedding... Alera has transformed from a free-spirited young woman into a rather sullen yet feisty Queen. She hides the depth of her feelings for Narian, even when her relationship is finally revealed to her now-husband Steldor. You can tell that she longs to break free of her role as Queen from the moment it begins but is trapped by responsibility and her love for her family. While I was wholeheartedly cheering for Narian in Legacy, I found that there were definitely moments when I wanted Alera to at least throw Steldor a bone, especially toward the beginning. His actual love and affection for her is quite obvious and endearing. He does a number of things later on that are not exactly endearing, but all the while his intentions really do seem like that of a man in love. The world-building and storytelling is once again fabulous in this novel and I'm constantly astounded at the story that Ms. Kluver crafted at such a young age. I felt like her writing matured quite a bit in this novel as well and I didn't find myself bogged down in over-attention to minute details as I did with Legacy. The heart-pounding action in this novel will most definitely keep readers on their toes. If you enjoyed Legacy, I recommend that you rush out to read the sequel because it is even better than its predecessor!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book. And as many have said I did not care for Steldor much in the first book, however i just want to shake Alera and shout at her give Steldor a chance! So I dont know which boy I like more. Have to decide when the third is released