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Allegiance (Harlequin Teen) by Cayla Kluver

Allegiance (Harlequin Teen) (edition 2012)

by Cayla Kluver

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8516141,824 (4.07)1
ORIGINALLY POSTED http://hobbitsies.net/wordpress/2012/02/allegiance-by-cayla-kluver/

MAN I loved Allegiance by Cayla Kluver. I mean, I liked Legacy, the first book, a lot, but so much epic happened in Allegiance that my mind was blown. Especially with how it all ended up, I was like WHAT I never saw any of this coming.

And yes, the length – Allegiance is a long book (although just a tad shorter than Legacy, I think). But it’s a fantasy, what do you expect? The world building is amazing and I could totally see myself in Hytanica, sneaking around riding horses and fighting against my attraction to Steldor.

Oh, yeah, and Steldor. I think I strongly disliked him in Legacy, because hello – Narian was the mysterious forbidden boy. And he was awesome. But in Allegiance, even though Alera was all “I never wanted to marry Steldor and I sure as hell don’t want his kisses although they are quite good” – I was like KISS HIM, ALERA. I know, I couldn’t believe myself.

And Alera. She was STRONG in Allegiance. Her strength came out in bits, like denying Steldor or annoying him, but she also made hard, real decisions and I really admired her a lot more in Allegiance than I did in Legacy It can’t be easy being a queen!

If you enjoyed Legacy by Cayla Kluver, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy Allegiance just as much or even more. It’s an awesome fantasy series with a kickass storyline full of fighting and drama and kidnappings and what not. ( )
  hobbitsies | Feb 25, 2012 |
Showing 16 of 16
3 ½ Stars

Allegiance is the second book in the Legacy Trilogy by Cayla Kluver.

I have to be honest, after reading Legacy (first book) I didn’t have high expectations about this book, but anyway I wanted to read it because I wanted to see what Ms. Kluver was going to do with the story.

The beginning of the book felt promising, actually I was surprised that many of the problems I had with Legacy were in some part fixed in Allegiance, but sadly half way in it started to fall short of my “new” expectations. The attention to detail wasn’t as overwhelming as with Legacy, but still sometimes it was a bit too much, the length of the book is unnecessarily long and needed some editing. But my biggest problem was the lack of growth of the characters, especially the main character, Alera.
In legacy while being in love with Narian Alera agreed to marry Steldor and become the new Queen of Hytanica next to her new husband.
Allegiance starts couple of days after their marriage with the coronation of Steldor and Alera as the new monarchs of Hytanica. I thought ok, Alera didn’t love Steldor but she agreed to marry him the least I was expecting was for her to do her best of the situation, she now is the Queen and I was expecting her to behave like one, but no, she is still the same spoiled selfish child thinking only about herself and brooding about Narian.
Steldor is patient with Alera, he doesn't want to force her to anything, he loves her and wants her to come to him of her own accord. He tries to approach her but is always meet with the cold wall of her indifference. Alera is attracted to Steldor but instead of working on a relationship with her husband she feels as if she’s betraying Narian, sorry but Narian is not your husband Steldor is! It was painful to see Alera’s attitude, not once she thought about her responsibility as a Queen and as a wife, even in the moments that Steldor needed her the most she keep her distance, I don’t know what kind of wife or woman could do what she did. By then she lost all the points she had earned with me. After these events she tried to take some control but it was always after somebody else told her what to do. She was a scared, immature and selfish child, not a Queen.

Now let’s talk about Alera’s men. In Legacy I liked Narian and hated Steldor. I was really disappointed when Alera accepted to marry Steldor without fighting for Narian, I kind of understood her reasons, but still I wanted Narian for her. In Allegiance I saw the real Steldor and my opinion changed completely. Ok, he has a temper but is not without provocation, with a wife like Alera is easy to lose your head, still he was caring, attentive, sympathetic, patient and overall her love for Alera was obvious.
Narian not only is fighting for the enemy, he’s leading the army, ok, supposedly he’s trying to minimize the damage but anyway the land is being destroyed and thousands of Hytanicas are dying under the hands of the troops he commands. Hytanica fell to the Cokyrians thanks to him. I thought Narian could have found a better solution to his predicament than following the Overlord orders and destroying Hytanica.

The secondary characters were sometimes more interesting than Alera, especially London and Canaan, they were the real force behind the good (queenly) actions that Alera did. Alera’s sister Miranna was one of the character that changed the most, although her change was a bittersweet one it was good to see some character development in her.

The pace in Allegiance flows better than in Legacy but still it stalls in some parts. The plot is well defined and interesting and it will have you glued to the pages wanting to see what is coming next. Despite the problems I had with Allegiance (Alera) I can honestly say I enjoyed it and it was a book difficult to put down. The outcomes are unexpected and will have you guessing page after page, surprising you more than once along the way.
The end was somehow a closure but still there is a lot to come. The next and last book, Sacrifice, will be release at the end of this year. I’m planing to read it, I want (hope) to see if Alera is going to be the Queen her people need.

I recommend this book and this series in general to all YA Fantasy lovers. ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
Great book, ALTHOUGH... I HATED the pathetic weakness of Alera. I was totally team Narian in book 1, in book 2 her sniveling, pettiness had me routing for Steldor and i almost cried she was so cruel to him when it was obvious he was trying to make her fall for him. Overall, holding my breath for the last book to come my way!
  saucymama | Aug 19, 2013 |
Okay, so before I can talk too much about Allegiance, I need to talk some about Legacy, since I can now do so without spoilers. When I prepared to read this book, I realized my memory was fuzzy, because, well, it's my memory. Anyway, I tried reading my review, but that was less than helpful, because I didn't want to spoil anything and concrete facts were what I needed.

Last night before bed, I reread the last couple chapters of Legacy to brush up. Anyway, that reminded me both of the things that I loved, and the things I didn't. Basically, the main character needs to stand up for herself more and the society needs to be more open-minded. What I loved so much about Legacy, though, was that Kluver did something I did not expect. She married the heroine off to the guy you didn't want her to marry, the guy she didn't want to marry.

Obviously, this made me sad, but I also loved it. Why? Because usually in fiction, the princess manages to get out of her arranged marriage and marry the guy of her dreams. Examples include Aurelia and Entwined. No such luck here. This seems a lot more realistic. I could not wait to see how Kluver was going to handle this, since it's not like she can just divorce her husband, the king. Pretty much the only way out of this will be to fall in love with him (which sounds tricky what with him being such a playboy) or for him to die. Either way, I knew some serious drama was in store.

Okay, so now that I've read Allegiance, I find myself entirely satisfied, except that I don't have the final book, Sacrifice, in my hands right now. How will I wait?!?

Alera is much the same as she was in the first book; she still frustrates me no end sometimes. From her narration, it's obvious that she is an intelligent, powerful woman, but she doesn't see that in herself. She spends a lot of the book crying and throwing the grown up equivalent of temper tantrums. While normally this would lead me to dislike a book, here it just shows what the Hytanican society can do to even the best of women. Simply disgusting the way their women are treated and undervalued. However, by the end, Alera is finally starting to realize that she's a force to be reckoned with, so yay for that.

The romance aspect of the book felt like Kluver was playing tug of war with my heart. Just when I had switched to supporting one guy, I would then be tempted to switch to another. Ahhh! Mostly, this was seriously frustrating, but in as good a way as possible.

Mostly, though, what I think I love so much about this series is the fact that I cannot predict what will happen much of the time. The fact that I can't see things coming makes the whole thing such an emotional thrill ride. Kluver's definitely defying some of the standard YA plot lines and putting the characters through hell. Love it!

Fans of YA fantasy will likely adore The Legacy Trilogy as much as I have, especially people who have enjoyed Tamora Pierce novels. ( )
1 vote A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
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.

The Review:

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.

Notable Scene:

“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. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Dec 9, 2012 |
I'm glad I liked Legacy enough -despite the immature and unlikable heroine Princess Alera- to go on with the series and read Allegiance, because this book simply rocks! Where Legacy was mainly a character based book, focused on introducing the main players of the oncoming battle between Cokyri and Hytanica as the threat of war is getting more imminent with every page, Allegiance is a book of action, romance, danger, humor, heartache and divided loyalties where a woman is called to choose between her duty to her country, her husband and the man she loves.The book starts a week or two after Alera's and Steldor's wedding night. Their relationship is still rocky and as Steldor has the ability to drive Alera mad without even trying, this leads to some very humorous scenes between them. On the other hand, it seems that Steldor is quite the capable king after all and we get to see a face of him that we hadn't met in the first book. He's busy all day trying to keep up with his everyday duties as a king as well as preparing for the Cokyrian attack which seems unavoidable by now, but still finds time to flirt with Alera and try to win her over with his charming ways. I ended up actually liking Steldor despite his arrogance after Legacy, but I fell madly in love with him after Allegiance. Steldor proves to be loyal, protective, caring, brave and is the only one of the whole cast with a sense of humor which made me appreciate him all the more. He's also obviously in love with Alera, and watching him come to realize what Narian meant to her was as heartwrenching for him as it was for me.The biggest success of the book though is that we actually see Alera growing up at last and becoming the queen her country needs in this difficult time. Alera doesn't start much differently than she appeared in Legacy: she's still rude to Steldor, even cruel, incredibly selfish and thinking only of Narian and how much she misses him instead of focusing on her duties as a queen and a wife. Slowly though, and with Cannan's as well as her mother's guidance, Alera learns what being a queen means. And it's when the enemy threatens everyone she loves, that Alera finally comes to fullfill her role as a leader for her people. I really loved how gradually the transformation took place; Alera does not wake one day and goes from selfish, spoiled princess to a know-it-all, confident leader whom everyone respects. She makes mistakes but learns from them and grows stronger after each trial. I'm not very hopeful that she'll someday make it to my 'favorite heroines' shelf, but she did earn my respect in the end.Most secondary characters from Legacy appear here as well, while new interesting characters are also introduced. Unfortunately, and much to my dismay, Narian, the man Alera claims to love, continues to remain a black box for the reader. That is in fact my only complaint of the book: I can't see how are we to come and care for Narian and his affair with Alera when we barely know him and especially, after so much effort to develop Steldor's character has been made. From what we've so far read, a true and deep affection, based on solid foundations seems to have developed between Alera and Steldor while her feelings for Narian appear to be no more than an infatuation to me. So forgive me if I can't rejoice in her choice of a lover:)From teasing humor to romance, to danger, to devastation, to heartache and finally to hope, Allegiance provides an exciting and highly engaging journey for all YA fantasy fans. [b:Sacrifice|11262609|Sacrifice (Legacy, #3)|Cayla Kluver|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nocover-60x80.jpg|16189428], the third and final book of the trilogy, has rather unexpectedly become my most awaited book for 2012!ARC provided by NetGalley ( )
  faniP | Aug 24, 2012 |
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! ( )
  AboutToRead | May 23, 2012 |
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. ( )
  TheLostEntwife | May 18, 2012 |
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.

{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.

{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.

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. ( )
  theepicrat | Mar 31, 2012 |
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. ( )
  flashlight_reader | Mar 12, 2012 |
Allegiance is the long anticipated sequel to Cayla Kluvers’ novel, Legacy. I read Legacy last year, and loved the plot and wonderful writing style. I was extremely excited to get my hands on Allegiance. I have to say, Allegiance was even better than the first book!

The book pretty much picks up where Legacy leaves off. Alera is now the Queen of Hytanica, being married to Steldor. Poor Alera. She was forced into a situation where she didn’t really know how to react. Being a wife, a queen; it was an experience that she was not prepared for. I love that for the most part, she was pretty strong and determined; although she did have some moments when I was yelling at her to stick up for herself!

Narnia is in the hands of the Cokyrians, and is being forced to do their bidding. We don’t really get to see a whole lot of Narnian this time around, and his absence was definitely noticeable. The parts that he is in the book are enjoyable, for the most part. You definitely have to feel bad for him, as he’s being forced to do things he really doesn’t want to do. I love that no matter what; he is always true to Alera.

The one character that really great on me in the book was Steldor. I didn’t really care for him in Legacy, but in Allegiance, we get to see a completely different side of him. I will always be Team Narnian, but I also now definitely have a soft spot for Steldor. My favorite character in both books would definitely have to be London. I just love that fierce protector. He definitely made the book even more awesome for me.

The writing in this book was just as wonderful as it was in Legacy. Kluver definitely has a wonderful way of describing situations and settings. I was hooked on this book, it grabbed my attention and didn’t let go up until the end. There was no cliffhanger ending in this book, and I really liked that. I am also looking forward to the next book. I’m curious to see where Kluver will take us next!

Overall, if you enjoyed Legacy, you will definitely enjoy Allegiance. Kluver will take you for a ride you won’t soon forget with this novel.

  TheReaderBee | Mar 8, 2012 |
This review was originally posted on my blog, Starting the Next Chapter.

When sitting down to read Allegiance, I did so with the knowledge of how wonderful the previous book, Legacy, had been. Little did I know, I was in for a treat. Not only is Allegiance a likewise wonderful book, I am happy to say that it is even better! Cayla Kluver's historically-inspired fantasy world was about to push the bounds of everything I thought I knew of the atmosphere in which this series takes place. This novel, detailing the conflict of duty vs. love and good vs. evil, provides a smooth plot progression that makes it so very easy to sink into the story, thus allowing hours to pass by before coming up for air. This well-written, descriptive novel is everything a fan of fantasy fiction could want.

Alera, Steldor, Narian, and Hytanica all come into their own within the pages of Allegiance. Alera begins to leave behind childhood and develops an inner strength that will get her through many struggles and allow her to become a ruler that even the patriarchal, misogynistic society of Hytanica will respect; Steldor, the reprehensible, egotistical young man whom Alera now finds herself shackled to by the bonds of duty reveals some surprising character traits; and Narian finds himself trying to balance allegiance by way of love and allegiance by way of coercion. These characters, as well as others scattered throughout the story, have developed so much past what they were in Legacy. Each has newly found strengths and weaknesses that make them such well-rounded characters. I couldn't help but question with whom my sympathies lay the most. I was absolutely blown away by the time the last chapter was complete that I immediately wanted the next book to read. It was just that phenomenal.

If you, yourself, enjoyed Legacy, don't hesitate. You will want to read Allegiance as soon as possible. If you haven't yet begun to read this series, I must urge you to do so. Cayla Kluver's books will not leave you wanting. With its smooth plot progression and propensity for detail, Allegiance will leave you stunned and craving more. Fans of both historical fiction and fantasy can find enjoyment in this series due to its historically-inspired world-building and the presence of a mysterious Cokyrian magic. I can not wait to house this entire series on my shelves.

Obligatory legal statement: This eGalley was provided to me free of charge by the publisher via Netgalley. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this fair and unbiased review. ( )
  MarlaSTNC | Feb 28, 2012 |
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.. ( )
  BookishDame | Feb 28, 2012 |
This is definitely epic fantasy in the most original sense.

It's definitely a slow burn, moving at a leisurely pace. At times, it seems too long or too slow, but it fits with the story and it works. You move past the slow bits and it's fine. Plenty still happens, just at a slower pace than we're used to.

The characters are truly incredible. Alera develops so much and she deals with so much crap. I loved how she tried to handle all the conflicts in her life as well as she could, but she wasn't perfect. And all the other characters were so fleshed out. Anytime something bag happened or there was a chance something bad would happen, I was pretty upset. None of them are perfect and they all have their issues, but even the worst of them isn't so bad.

The ending was interesting. Very interesting. Twisty and turny and wonderful. Sad but very fitting. I'm not really sure how book three will work considering how it ended though.

This is a really good continuation with a lot of action and dynamic relationships and interesting characters. I really enjoyed it. It didn't blow my mind, but it was a good follow up and part of a really good high fantasy series. I strongly recommend this to anyone who loves their fantasy.
  breakingdownslowly | Feb 27, 2012 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED http://hobbitsies.net/wordpress/2012/02/allegiance-by-cayla-kluver/

MAN I loved Allegiance by Cayla Kluver. I mean, I liked Legacy, the first book, a lot, but so much epic happened in Allegiance that my mind was blown. Especially with how it all ended up, I was like WHAT I never saw any of this coming.

And yes, the length – Allegiance is a long book (although just a tad shorter than Legacy, I think). But it’s a fantasy, what do you expect? The world building is amazing and I could totally see myself in Hytanica, sneaking around riding horses and fighting against my attraction to Steldor.

Oh, yeah, and Steldor. I think I strongly disliked him in Legacy, because hello – Narian was the mysterious forbidden boy. And he was awesome. But in Allegiance, even though Alera was all “I never wanted to marry Steldor and I sure as hell don’t want his kisses although they are quite good” – I was like KISS HIM, ALERA. I know, I couldn’t believe myself.

And Alera. She was STRONG in Allegiance. Her strength came out in bits, like denying Steldor or annoying him, but she also made hard, real decisions and I really admired her a lot more in Allegiance than I did in Legacy It can’t be easy being a queen!

If you enjoyed Legacy by Cayla Kluver, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy Allegiance just as much or even more. It’s an awesome fantasy series with a kickass storyline full of fighting and drama and kidnappings and what not. ( )
  hobbitsies | Feb 25, 2012 |
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? ( )
  Bookswithbite | Feb 15, 2012 |
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. ( )
  summerskris | Jan 23, 2012 |
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