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Dawn of Legends (Blood of Gods and Royals)


Dawn of Legends (Blood of Gods and Royals)

All of your favorite characters are back in this epic tale of mayhem, trickery and fantasy. Alexander is working toward defeating the entire known world. Heph wars with his feelings between Katerina and Alex. Zo joins a band of female rebels who set out to change the world. Cynane becomes a ruthless leader who stops at nothing to get what she wants. Together, their paths crisscross in this fourth and final installment of the magnificent series, The Blood of Gods and Royals.

I had the highest of expectations with DAWN OF LEGENDS and it sure does not disappoint. I am very happy and satisfied with the series as a whole. Only, I wished Herman had given us a drawn-out recap instead of the brief remarks we got in the beginning chapters. Still, instead of a long recap of previous novels, Herman dived right into the story of the conclusion to The Blood of Gods and Royals series.

"DAWN OF LEGENDS....truly leaves readers on an epic note. Herman ties every loose end up, going through each and every character and finishing their story."

Herman gives us some new chapters from perspectives we haven't read from before which is a bit daunting at first because the cast of this series is so huge! However, each chapter easily flows into the next in chronological order so it is quite easy to follow along despite such a large cast of characters. Each of their stories intertwine one way or another --- which is different from previous books when they all seemed to be separate from the other. When they all connect, structured works so seamlessly.

From LEGACY OF KINGS to DAWN OF LEGENDS, it isn’t hard to find that in each new book, Herman's writing steadily blossomed into an epic, storytelling masterpiece that readers will want to read again and again. Once again, it is hard to ignore the masterful way Herman writes battle scenes. The tactics and strategies that arise are absolutely genius. If Herman wasn’t an author, I would think her a magnificent queen of her own palace that constantly wars with neighboring cities.

Herman uses mythology and other Greek tales to parallel alongside the characters' ideas and actions. Sure, it shows readers that these ideas been done before but I think in doing so really captures the essence of the story. It is, after all, a re-imagining of Alexander the Great. It also is believable as these characters have also grown up with knowing these tales and of course, they would implement some in their daily lives.

Herman puts Heph and Alexander on a path I certainly didn't see coming. There was absolutely nothing leading up to this new development. I had always loved their relationship because it was two remarkable close friends who would do anything for each other. In DAWN OF LEGENDS, Herman changed the dynamic --- like she was doing for lots of the other relationships too --- and flipped their friendship upside down. This new dynamic Heph and Alexander had didn't last very long though as in the end, it is not mentioned again as if the whole relationship was forgotten. The Cynane and Pyrolithos dynamic is, also, very interesting and at times confusing as they now share one body. Readers get two different perspectives from both a female and male point of view which makes such a unique reading experience.

Readers have been seeing this brew for quite a while but the love triangle seems much more prominent in this book as the characters are constantly moving away or toward a certain character. The scenes of pining for each other’s arms emphasize their bond but making it into a triangle was rather unnecessary as Kat herself seems uninterested in becoming too serious with anyone. This is rather unfortunate since she basically strings these two along and it's completely unfair to do so.

Arridheus' character arc has been a long time coming. He's rarely mentioned but his chapters are always so riveting. His story is extremely compelling and it’s upsetting that other characters have been given up looking for the missing prince. In DAWN OF LEGENDS, we get an entirely different Arridheus than the one we have met before and this new development truly reflects what he has been through during these four books.

Near the end, there are several time jumps. It is realistic in its chronology but it does put gaps in the story that I wish were filled. Since this is the finale, I only wished we received a bit more explanation on to the characters’ choices as it seemed the Fates and their destinies had it all mapped out for them. The jumps truly make the ending feel a bit rushed which is terribly upsetting because I could stay in this series forever. With every book in this series thus far, readers will not want to miss the Author’s Note. Readers can certainly tell when extensive research has been done and it is most clear that Herman has gone all out for DAWN OF LEGENDS. It is so interesting to also learn what elements of her plot was taken from historical facts and what was of her own making.

DAWN OF LEGENDS is the finale of The Blood of Gods and Royals series. It truly leaves readers on an epic note. Herman ties every loose end up, going through each and every character and finishing their story. Some stories were sad and heartbreaking, some were adorable and happy but all of them were satisfactory. Overall, DAWN OF LEGENDS was an epic finale to the series. This wonderful re-imagining of Alexander the Great once again wows readers with its fantastical elements, extensive cast of characters and action-packed plot.

Reviewed by Jeanna Michel on June 26, 2018

Dawn of Legends (Blood of Gods and Royals)
by Eleanor Herman