Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: Allegiance by Cayla Kluver

Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
Series: #2 in the Legacy series
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 512
Received: ARC from publisher, via NetGalley
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Yes, this is a sequel. I tried to avoid major spoilers and hide anything that might be spoilery, but you WILL get some spoilers for the first book. 


From Goodreads:

Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. 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....


Did the writing improve?

Um, no.

The writing is pretty much exactly the same as the first book. Lots of useless information and sentences that say in twenty words what could easily have been said in ten. This frustrates me and I sigh about it an awful lot, but it's clearly not a dealbreaker for me since I keep reading these books. If you managed the writing in the first book, then you'll manage the writing in Allegiance.

Will I get to see a lot of Steldor?

YES! Sorry ladies, but if you're Team Narian, be prepared for a distinct LACK of Narian. He doesn't even appear in any significant role until the final showdown. But don't lose hope, your boy wins in the end. *grumble* (Read that spoiler if you want to know which guy wins the love triangle).

I loved it! (You may remember my hatred with the power of 1000 suns for Narian? Yeah, I didn't miss him very much). I am 100% Team Steldor and my appreciation for him only grew after Allegiance with everything he went through. He showed real maturity, putting his duty ahead of his personal wants and emotions. And oh my lord does that man have patience. I can't even count how many times I wanted to reach into the book and hug him and offer to be his queen instead of Alera.

Does London pull a disappearing act again?

London is always off doing something covert (and, really, don't his stealthy secret missions account for at least a quarter of his hotness?), but don't worry, he still gets a ton of page time.

When reading Legacy, I was really curious about London's mysterious past. Thankfully Cayla Kluver finally dished in Allegiance and I got all the dirty details. Rarely do Big Reveals like that meet my expectations, but I have to say this one satisfied me.

Do I have to suffer through long stretches of boredom?

Allegiance can be roughly divided into two parts. The first part is very similar in tone, style, and pacing to that of Legacy. The pacing was pretty slow and not much happened in terms of action. Mostly Alera pined for Narian, cursed Steldor, and tried to exercise her new role as queen with petulant attempts at independence. Blah, blah, blah, basically.

The funny thing is that I actually wasn't bored and I never considered DNF-ing. I would even go so far as saying I zipped through it. While it's true that not much actually happens and Alera continues to annoy me, the side characters are all wonderful.

Of course I also liked all the focus on Steldor. Not only that, but Cannan (Steldor's father) becomes a much more involved character and yet another contender for my heart.

The second part is where the action really picks up. I'm talking WAR. Yes!! I was positively giddy with this turn of events (even though it was all stupid Alera's stupid fault). Cayla Kluver did a fantastic job really driving home the bleakness and utter devastation of the war. She made me cry and rage and wail in despair that NO THAT CANNOT HAPPEN PLEASE NO!

She also took things in a direction I never expected and don't think I've ever seen an author take. That scored her major originality points. Seriously, I loved it.

The only thing that brought down all of this awesome was the fact that Alera was narrating. Now, this isn't ALL because I dislike Alera. The fact is, in her world women don't really do anything. At all.

So while all of the male characters (and my gosh, there was practically a harem of hot male characters getting all sexy and gorgeous with this whole war-torn-brothers-in-arms thing), I was stuck in Alera's useless head ineptly heating up porridge and feeling empowered because she hacked off her hair. She also sleeps a lot.

Whoop-de-do. I could have been in a battle! *STOMPS FOOT* I was SERIOUSLY gypped.

So what's up with the lower star rating?

Ugh, Alera.

Everything else I could give a pass, but Alera makes my stars shrivel up and die. I want to offer her a sleepover party invitation just so I can then snatch it back and dance around like a tiny little meanie gleefully crowing "SIKE! None for you! Hehe! None for you!"

She's just...she's dumber than a box of rocks, to put it mildly. And so totally childish. If she were the queen of my kingdom, I think I'd puke with fear. Every single bad thing that happens to her kingdom is the direct result of some utter piece of stupidity brought to them courtesy of Alera. And, of course, she doesn't see it AT ALL. She gets haughty and blames everyone else.

And did I mention she's selfish? Oh my word. While Steldor shoves aside almost every personal desire he harbors that may in some way conflict with his ability to properly run his kingdom, Alera does the complete opposite. All she ever thinks about is what SHE wants and how everyone should worship and obey HER and how she'd better get HER way or she'll do something even dumber than before.

Plus, the girl's priorities are all kinds of messed up. We're in the middle of WAR, tons of her countrymen dead, more dying, lots of very bad things happening, and what does she focus on? Whether or not Narian still loves her. Dude, REALLY??

Bottom line

If it weren't for Alera, I would Special Shelf this book. Cayla Kluver may take a while to tell her story, but what a story it is! That surprise twist in the latter half was fantastic. And the men. Oh my oh my, I can't even count how many attractive men there are in this book. That alone makes me want to read the final book.

About that third book. When I finished Allegiance I wasn't sure I wanted to continue on with the series. It ended really well and I couldn't imagine what would happen in the third book except a super annoying romance between Alera and Narian. *barf*

But then Cindy told me there was a prologue for book 3 included at the end of Allegiance and, after reading that prologue, I can't wait for book three! I'm even holding out a teeny tiny bit of hope that some of the guys will get a shot at narrating! (*please please please*)

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Allegiance that I haven't addressed? 

Feel free to ask in the comments!

Add it to Goodreads

Buy it on Amazon

Have you read this book? What do you think about the characters? Who is your most hated book character ever?

If you've read Legacy, what do you hope happens in Allegiance?

Looking for another book like this? 
You might like: 

Click on the covers to go to my reviews.


  1. I kind of want to pick up this series but I don't know if I'll like Alera. And the whole pace thing. You know I hate slowish books.

    'tis sad.

    1. Hmmm I'm not sure you'd love it. It's fantasy, slow, and then there's Alera. But you could always give it a try. :)

  2. Hm...so although your really turning me off this series because of the awful narrator, the "harem of hot male characters getting all sexy and gorgeous with this whole war-torn-brothers-in-arms thing" is definitely peeking my interest ; ) I actually own the first but I know now not to read it until I have a lot of time.
    Awesome review as always Small!

    All the best ♥
    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

    1. Hehehe the MC is awful, I think, but plenty of people do love her. The men make up for her though :D They're almost all awesome. The plots are really sloooow, but they're easy to read so you shouldn't need too much time.

  3. I skipped your review because I haven't read the first book. I've read mixed reviews of this one. I'm glad that the bad writing doesn't necessarily spoil the book. It didn't for Twilight for me. Plus the author is very young, isn't she?

    1. Yep, the author was only 14 years when she wrote the first book. Its a great series, yes, writing is a bit over the top, with descriptions, but its NOT bad writing. Its actually very good. The story line is TOP NOTCH. Give it a chance, I bet you won't be disappointed if you like this genre.

    2. I'd say give it a shot. The writing...eeeh I have a lot of bones to pick with it, but it's not like a self-published book with straight up bad grammar or incomprehensible sentences. You can read it just fine, and I like the story enough to stick with it.


    "I can't even count how many times I wanted to reach into the book and hug him and offer to be his queen instead of Alera." Oh, *fist-bumps* you so perfectly described my feelings right then and there. I would totally battle against you to win his heart. Gabi and Lia taught me a few things, so watch out.

    And Alera was less annoying for me in this one, but I still wasn't totally on board with her. I just dislike her a little less. But, oh yes, this book really shined with the action (OMG, THE WAR!) and the side characters. London. Steldor. Steldor's father. All the guards. OH GOSH. Even the sister and her beau. I felt so bad, and I cried a little, and OH. It was all so very dramatic and unexpected and just wonderful. I'm not too sure I dig that little decision the High Priestess made in the end, if you know what I mean. *grumbles*


    1. Aaaah I think I hated Alera even more in this one. I like her sister though...and pretty much everyone else. Oh, except Narian. Yeah, the end was unexpected and dramatic, but I'm not happy at all. I'm REALLY glad to see the guys don't seem to be very happy with the situation either, though, so I have high hopes for the third book.

  5. Oh, wow! This is super cool. I'm currently reading Allegiance right now. I have it from NG. What a fantastic review. My favorite part is how you want to invite Allera to a slumber party then take it back. This just made me giggle. I didn't like Steldor at all in the first book, but now he's growing on me. I can't believe how extremely patient he is, being just married and young man hormones flowing like crazy. Allera is so hard on him, it also seems like some part of her cares, she just won't admit it because she's too gall darn stubborn! Can't wait to see what happens with this one. Your review has motivated me to want to read it way more than I did before I read this. Yippee!

    1. Hehehe it's so mean, but that's how much I dislike Alera :P

      I liked Steldor even in the first book, but he did a few things there that were very NOT COOL. I think he's a lot better in Allegiance though. Isn't his patience amazing?! It's incredible, and yet Alera is still nasty to him. I can't wait to see what you think of it at the end!

  6. You're reviews always crack me up, Small! I think this one of the books where you'd skim all the boring parts and actually start reading when you're favorite character pops up. I don't think this series is for me, but I'm glad you really liked the love interest in this one. :)

    1. :D Yep, if I could allow myself to skim, I think I would have been a lot better off. Alera makes my blood boil, but if I could skip over all of her parts then I would LOVE this book.

  7. I LOVED this review and wanted to reach over and hug you. You've voiced so many of my thoughts. In LEGACY, I didn't love Steldor, but he really redeemed himself in his eyes in the second book. Yeah, I know it's supposed to be all Happily Ever After with Alera and Narian, but with this second book...Alera could have been so happy with Steldor. He changed so much and genuinely cared about both her and the kingdom. He was a GOOD husband and she was so whiny and wishy-washy. I find myself really not loving Alera and the way she's a catalyst for everything, but agree that so many things could make this fantasy epic. Jury's still out on if I'll read the final book (But I probably will, lol).

    1. Aw *hugs* accepted! :D I know, right?! I don't understand why Alera was so cold to Steldor. I was SO hoping for a hate-turned-love romance. I might have actually been able to like Alera then. I really hope the next book has different narrators. It sounds like there will be so much action and good stuff going on, but it doesn't sound like Alera will really be a part of any of it.

  8. That girl Alera is a disaster for the poor world. She destroyed it for me too, as you may already know.
    And good point with the men! Indeed they are all awesome...i wish the book was from Steldor's POV.

    1. "That girl Alera is a disaster for the poor world"

      Hahahahahaha YES! I loved how you described her in your review, too. This book would have been 100% better if Steldor were the narrator. Ha, imagine hearing his POV on Alera? :P

  9. Almost you have convinced me to pick up this sequel. :) But I think the writing and Alera would make it unbearable for me. I kind of just want you to write a very spoilery review giving all the big reveals away so I don't have to slog through it myself. Plus, you would add some humor and I think that might make it more fun for me.

    1. Haha if I remembered it well enough, then I would oblige! If you're really interested though, then I can try to see how much I remember. Shoot me an email if you want :)

  10. LOVED your review! As usual, I was chuckling throughout. XD I might actually pick this series ep (harem of sexy men? yeah!), I just hope I can separate the awful Alera from the events of the book.

    1. Thank you! It's worth it for the men alone, but the plot is also good. I guess...hm, maybe this will help put it all in perspective: Alera is probably my most hated fictional character ever, yet me, ruthless DNF-er, will still read the rest of the series.

  11. Hah hah, your review is HILARIOUS. I especially like the "Alera makes my stars shrivel up and die" remark, and your plotting to swipe her slumber party invite. Love it, SR!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  12. Small-
    Your review made me laugh so hard! I have not read these books, but I thought for sure you'd be working for the side of true love! But, you make great points about the book and really, Alera is that bad? I might have to read it just for that! This was a very great review! You definitely make me want to read it!


    1. :D Ha, if Narian is true love, then color me the cackling villain bent on destroying true love :P

      Oh my gosh, Alera is WORSE than I could ever possibly put into words. And I really am trying to temper my reaction here. Read it, you'll see (or hopefully she won't annoy you as much!)

  13. I finished this one a couple of days ago and had the exact same thoughts as you, Small. It's still really long but the excitement does pick up and I was happy to finally figure out why London (who I love) manages to repeatedly survive. I also loved seeing more of Cannan and his brother. Steldor annoyed me at the beginning but he really grows throughout the novel. Alera however does not :(

    1. Oooh I can't wait to read your review! The London reveal was great. I like how she had a good explanation for his survivals.


It's all about friendly conversation here at Small Review :) I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Be sure to check back again because I do make every effort to reply to your comments here.

Because I am absolutely terrible about following through with blog awards, I can't in good conscience accept any more. Thank you very much for thinking of me though!

Spam WILL be deleted. Attacks on myself or other comments WILL be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...