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Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver
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Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

The Legacy Trilogy has not garnered immense acclaim from most of my blogger friends. In fact, a full three of them rated the first book one star on Goodreads. So yeah, these books aren't for everyone, and I know that, but, despite them being imperfect, I really love this series. Sacrifice was one of my most desired ARCs of 2012, and that's why it was my first ARC request as a YABC staff reviewer. I'm happy to have been able to read it early, because, yet again, I found myself wholly swept up in Cayla Kluver's world. At this point, be advised that there will be spoilers for the first two books in the rest of this review.

Sacrifice gets off to a bit of a slow start, dealing with the political ramifications of Cokyri's takeover of Hytanica. That first chapter was a snoozefest, but, thankfully, things picked up a few chapters in. For the rest of the novel, I was wholly engrossed, just as I remember being every time I read a book in this series.

What I love about these books, what makes me look past their faults and hold them up as personal favorites, is the fact they Cayla Kluver always manages to convince me that I know what's going to happen and then pull the rug right out from under me. Seriously, this happened in every book, usually more than once. It's so rare for me to be so unsure what will happen to the characters, and I love that feeling, especially since Kluver does so without stooping to impossible twists. I just find that so refreshing, and it's also why I'm always on tenterhooks as I read, because anything could happen.

Both Legacy and Allegiance were written entirely in Alera's perspective, but in Sacrifice Kluver adds a second narrator, Shaselle. At first I was hugely skeptical, but I ended up really liking Shaselle's point of view. She's snarky and very different from Alera. Her romance plot line was cute, and I really loved her refusal to be put into a box of people's expectations. I was just sitting here about to make the assertion that her perspective doesn't really add anything to the story from a narrative point of view, but, on further reflection, I think her story serves as a foil to Alera's, showing how things might have been a bit different had Alera chosen another path. Maybe I'm crazy, but I like this new theory of mine.

Now, the romance did get me down a little bit. Here's the thing. I liked Narian at first in Legacy, but I very much switched allegiance (see what I did there?) in the next book. Steldor, while obnoxious at first, just seems so much more passionate and interesting than Narian. I kept holding out hope for him to win in the end, but, honestly, I knew as soon as I saw the second narrator that Alera wouldn't have any love triangle drama in this one. I'm glad Alera's happy, but my heart breaks for Steldor. Perhaps a spinoff about Steldor is in order?

The writing was a bit clunky in places, but I hope those issues will be fixed in the final version. I usually don't mention such things when reviewing ARCs, but I have to comment on one particular oddity. At one point, Shaselle referres to a horse as 'loco.' Since when do they know Spanish in Hytanica? The use of that totally threw me out of the text for a bit, and I hope it's caught by the editor before final printing.

The ending was a little bit too happy for my tastes, but good enough. All in all, I declare this an immensely satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, though I still want that spinoff. I hope Cayla Kluver continues to write books than can completely catch me off guard! ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
I received this book as a Goodreads ARC giveaway. This was a great book and I really enjoy it ( )
  slvoight | Mar 31, 2013 |
Once again I am blown away by the complexity of this story. Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver is the third (and final I believe) book in the Legacy series and all of the main players have been maneuvered into places that seem nearly impossible to get out of.

I've been following this series since the release of Legacy and it is one of the series of books that I do not have to go back and reread in order to remember where I left off. Within a few pages of Sacrifice it all came rushing back to me - fluttering of my heart included. I felt like a teenage girl all over again.

There are a few things about Sacrifice that make it worthy of your time (and the series as a whole). While the romance aspect is there, Sacrifice centers around two very strong-willed, very determined young women who, ultimately, have to make choices that are difficult and necessary in order for the world to continue in a way that makes sense. I was at peace with where both characters ended up and throughout the entire book kept wondering where exactly Kluver was going to go next. I simply could not figure a way out of their predicaments without the story losing some of its quality, but it worked and it worked well.

This series has a little bit of everything (and some beautiful covers!) and it comes highly recommended by me. I wish I'd been able to get my teenage hands on books like these. ( )
  TheLostEntwife | Jan 21, 2013 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: In this series finale, a young queen must find it in herself to free her people. But at what price will it cost her?

Opening Sentence: The Captain of the guard instinctively glanced behind, scanning the palace’s third-floor corridor for enemies who might be monitoring him.

The Review:

It’s not a secret that I’m a fan of Cayla Kluver and her Legacy series. When I was given a copy of Sacrifice, the third and final book in the series, I jumped for joy. I couldn’t wait to see where Alera would take me next, in her not so normal life, built around a fantastic world filled with wonder and amazement. Reading Sacrifice was a little bittersweet. I didn’t want the series to end, but on the other hand I wanted to know the answers to my questions, and I wanted to know what would happen to everyone in the story and two kingdoms.

The kingdom of Cokyri has taken over Hytanica. Alera and the citizens of Hytanica admitted defeat to protect her people. Appointed as the Grand Provost to Cokyri’s newly made province, Alera is still considered the leader, yet under the rule of the Cokyrian Empress. Alera has to find a way to balance life between the two kingdoms, sacrificing a little bit here in order to make compromises there. In the midst of it all, she must also maintain the respect of her people, her guards, and her court, all while pleasing the love of her life. It may seem a lot of a young woman, but Alera is no young woman, she is the true ruler of Hytanica.

Alera has grown a lot with the span of this journey. I have seen her blossom into this monarch, fighting stereotypes and breaking tradition for the good of her people. In Sacrifice, she is tested every day, not only for her duties, but also on a more personal and emotional level. Regulations, love, and obligation weighs her down. But Alera has become such a strong person, especially given that women in Hytanica was never looked at in a leadership role.

In a change of format, Kluver has added an additional point-of view. Shaselle has quickly become another strong woman in Sacrifice. To be honest, even if I understood the importance of her role in Sacrifice, I didn’t care for her. Shaselle was forced to grow up too fast, and she had a huge struggle breaking free from her spoiled and privileged life. She was too headstrong and stubborn, and at times I found her antics to be too much, too fast. I will say that she has a strong spirit, leading her life without a second thought. Shaselle added additional interest to the story and another plot device, but overall, I didn’t care for her.

Kluver brought back the characters I love, like London, who is so loyal and brave. In my opinion he is one of the main characters, and I felt that without him, Alera would have been lost. There’s also Narian, who at times clouds Alera’s judgement, but at other times, adds important value. I had a love/hate relationship with him in Sacrifice, but he was still one of my favorite characters. And finally, one last important character to mention is Steldor. He surprised me the most. Growth, maturity, and kinship is what I would use to describe him. Steldor was another great character to get to know all over again.

The setting of Sacrifice takes place within a new version of Hytanica. As Cokyri’s new province, Hytanica is no longer what it used to be. What was described as beautiful and peaceful in the previous two books, Hytanica has a sense of decay and ruin. Given the war between the two nations, Hytanica’s change became a character all on its own, providing an additional dimension to the story. It’s familiarity to the citizens, but also a newness to the reader provided an excellent backdrop of the story.

Overall, I felt that Sacrifice was a good ending to the series. My questions were answered, the characters I loved received a good resolved end, and I felt content after I read the last page. I had a few things I loved, a few I liked, and some that I disliked, but they were all things of personal taste. I highly urge you to read Sacrifice and the rest of the Legacy series by Cayla Kluver. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Notable Scene:

“You must help,” I pleaded. He strode past me heading into the corridor, and I called after him. “Wait, I’ll go with you!”

He stopped and faced me, his brow furrowed.

“No, Alera, you can’t. The High Priestess gave us two realms of responsibility. Yours is here, in the Bastion, seeing to the welfare of the Hytanican citizens. Mine is to command the peacekeeping forces and enforce her rules. This is my business, not yours. My effectiveness may even be hampered if you come with me.”

I nodded and watched him depart, leaving me with hope but no concrete idea of what he intended to do.

FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Sacrifice. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Dec 31, 2012 |
Sacrifice is a phenomenal conclusion to the Legacy trilogy. The second novel in the series, Allegiance, had so many twists and turns that I wasn’t really sure what to expect in Sacrifice. I am happy to say that it was just as engaging as the previous novels and had a lot of action, despite the conquest of Hytanica in the previous novel.

Cayla Kluver is amazing at character development. The cast of characters we have grown to know in Hytanica are smart, cunning, and persistent—which means they won’t take their defeat lying down. There was a lot of secret plotting throughout the novel, which was a lot of fun to read about. You could see the strategy and the misdirects being formed which increased my respect for the characters involved.

As always, we have a strong set of female characters in a world where they are supposed to seen rather than heard. What is unique in Sacrifice, however, is that we also have a strong set of male Cokyrian characters, who are supposed to be weak and feeble. I appreciate that Cayla Kluver really shows that genders are equal in her trilogy and explores both patriarchal and matriarchal societies.

One of my favorite parts of the Legacy trilogy has always been the love triangle. I am a huge Steldor fan—he is charming, funny, arrogant, handsome, cunning—I just can’t read enough about him! I was in heaven with Allegiance because Steldor played such a major part in the story. While he is still present in Sacrifice, I didn’t get quite as much as him as I wanted. While I have never been opposed to Narian, I have to say that I just don’t like him as much as I like Steldor. He did grow on me throughout the course of the novel, however.

I have immensely enjoyed the Legacy series and am sad to see it go. Sacrifice was a fantastic read and I am looking forward to more from Cayla Kluver in the future. What makes her writing truly special is the endearing characters she creates. Even though I am highly anticipating new characters and new worlds from Kluver, I am so sad to leave the Legacy world behind. I will be crossing my fingers for a Steldor spin off in the mean time. ( )
  AboutToRead | Oct 25, 2012 |
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"Alera, queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy. Shaselle, daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause. One lives behind the former Hytanican palace walls and walks the razor's edge to keep the fragile peace in her beloved homeland. The other slips through the war-torn streets, seeking retribution for her family's tragedy, following whispers of insurgency. Both face choices that will separate them from those they cannot help but love. As their stories intertwine, a conspiracy ignites that may end in slavery of death--or lead to freedom anew, if only each can face what must be sacrificed."--Back cover.… (more)

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