“No woman is ever dead while shes spoken of. Her legacy abides while memory remains.”
Legacy of Steel by Matthew Ward is the second book in the Legacy series. Having read the first book, Legacy of Ash last year I was super excited to see how the second book would unfold. The first book blew me away with its brilliant and complex characters and also a world that a lover of the fantasy genre could only dream of. So how did Legacy of Steel fare you ask continue reading this review and you shall discover.
Legacy of Steel begins one year after the events of the first book. The Tressia council is under construction after many dark secrets were brought to light. Malachi Reveque is reluctantly at the head of the council having been voted First Councilor. However, what the council don’t know is that Malachi made promises in the Legacy of Ash, promises he may soon regret as The Crowmarket and Dregmeets mists draw closer to Tressia.
To make matters even more spicy, the short lived alliance between The Republic and the Hadari Empire is nothing more than a memory. The book begins with the Prince of the Hadari Empire proclaiming his daughter, Melanna Saranel his rightful heir to the throne once he passes away. This goes to shit when they are attacked by a Kernclaw(assassin of the shadows). Luckily Melanna and her father survive but it only fuels Kai to pull together the full force of the Hadari Empire into invading The Republic and claiming it once and for all. It’s not just about claiming a piece of land however, Kai believes he must rid Tressia and the Republic of the “Dark” that consumes them.
Who will save the Tressia Republic? Will the Hadari Empire finally rid the world of the darkness? Will Malachi succeed as leader? Will an unlikely hero return to save his home? Well I know what happens but I’m trying to get you all hyped to read this series 😂
Words can’t explain to you how much I’ve loved this series so far! The thing that has really taken me aback is how superbly the characters have been crafted into these unforgettable beings. It’s not just that these characters are so well developed that makes this novel perfect for me, it’s also the way they develop interact and form relationships with other characters. You have duos like Viktor Akadra and Calenne, Anastacia and Josiri, Seveka and Rosa. All of these relationships are so well done and added so much to the story.
Matthew Ward also further develops many characters from major characters in the previous novel, to the side characters. For example, Malachi’s daughter Sidara, and the Crowmarkets assassin Apara both shine so much and have character arcs that really shows the brilliance of Matthew Ward’s storytelling. I feel Sidara for sure will shine even further in the third book, especially due to her power with the light. We also have side characters such as Seveka who blew me away with how strong of a character she was! During the first major battle Seveka steals the show as she must lead the front against the Hadari Empire. I loved her relationship with Rosa as they bring out the best in each other. Rosa is the definition of a lioness and is definitely deserved of being the Champion of Tressia. She never gives up even when the odds are against her.
“For giving them something to aspire to. Soldiers need exemplars, and you’ve certainly been that … even before you were chosen as the new champion.”
I also have to mention Kurkas who even though a side character, is so memorable due to his dialogue with others, especially with Anastacia. I loved how they cussed each other and it was most memorable whenever Kurkas called Anastacia “plant pot” 😂.
“Altiris, you go on ahead. ‘d like to speak with Lady Plant Pot.”
Although a prime character in the first book, I felt Viktor Akadra took a back seat from the story. In a way he reminds me Gandalf the Grey for some reason lol. But yeah he has to face his own demons again as he has to come to terms with having to control his powers and not use them as much. I can’t say why as it would spoil the story. I kinda felt bad for Viktor and Calenne because they’ve been through a lot together and seeing them struggle was really sad.
All in all every character has their own unique storyline allowing them to develop their personalities and overcome the difficulties they face. Many characters face the consequences of their own fate and past actions and must deal with these issues headfirst. Seeing them grow and flourish from the first book to now made me so happy. Also, most of my favourite characters in the series have been the women who have stolen the show in my opinion✊🏼
In terms of the world building, Matthew Ward further adds to the world through the much more deeper inclusion of Dregmeet and the Crowmarket. They are basically the equivalent of Ra’s Al Ghuls League of Assassin’s. They work in shadows eliminating for people for a price, or those who have wronged them.
Although we are introduced to them in the first book they play a greater role this time around. Having made a deal with Malachi in the first book, the Crowmarket wish to have a greater influence on things that happen within the Tressia Republic. This in turn allows us to learn more about the organisation and Apara who begins to question being part of the Crowmarket due to the path they are heading in. The political elements in the whole series so far have been great and the situation with the Crowmarket further adds to the story.
Another factor which blew me away was the confrontations between the Gods. You have the Ashana, Goddess of the moon and the mother/mentor of Melanna. We also have The Raven, the God of the dead who was my absolute favourite. I loved how smart and calculated he was with the decisions he makes. He pops up when you least expect it and helps Rosa many times, even though she doesn’t like it. You just know that he is always thinking of all the mischief he can do. Finally, there’s Jack O’Hallow the God of living lands. Each of them have their own reasoning for taking sides which was intriguing as it alternates as the story goes on. The consequences for the characters in colluding with the Raven and Jack (willingly and unwillingly) in particular was super intense and made me nervous.
I must also add that the battles in the series have been nothing short of spectacular. You can picture everything that is going on in the battlefield and boy does a lot happen. I was constantly in awe of the the detail and the nail biting tension.
Overall, my final thoughts are that the Legacy series is outstanding, phenomenal, brilliant, I could go on and on with praise. This review could’ve been even longer but I don’t want to bore you with my excitement 😂. All I can say is that this series has everything you’d want in a fantasy series. I can’t wait to read the third book and definitely have s feeling it’s gonna blow me away. I’m also so glad this is the first book I have read and reviewed in 2021😊
Thank you again to the absolute star that is Angela and the Orbit team for sending me this book. I am so grateful for the opportunities I’m being given to review these books and can’t wait to review more in 2021