Legacy of Ash (The Legacy Trilogy #1) by Matthew Ward
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019
A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.
Ruling families -- once protectors of justice and democracy -- now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.
Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.
Viktor Akadra is the Republic's champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.
Josiri Trelan is Viktor's sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother's failed rebellion.
And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri's sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.
As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory -- if it comes at all -- will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined.
I was so excited for this book. I love a good, deep, epic fantasy with well-thought out politics and characters from every spectrum. Unfortunately, Legacy of Ash was too bogged down by everything it tried to be.
The idea was there and I could see what Ward wanted to do but there was just too much. Too many POVs, too many sub-plots, too little progression, and characters that I really didn’t care about. There were even times when Ward just left key characters out of the story for huge stretches of time which made me think he forgot about them or just didn’t know what to do with them.
I can usually get on board with a number of issues if I have at least one character that I am eager to see the POV of or get to learn more about and I was grateful that I had that with Viktor Akadra. He was easily the most interesting character of them all for me (although some of the side POVs peaked my interest at times). His character made me push through the annoying Trelans and random sub-plots in hopes of getting to the meat of the story.
The further I got with this book though, the more frustrated I became. There is a particular plot point that happens which totally changes Viktor’s character and sets him in a totally different direction than what was being set up. There is even a decision that was made that seemed so out of left field and not in line with his character that I don’t think I can push through the next book in this trilogy. I can appreciate that characters can grow and change and I love that, but with Viktor’s character… it just felt like a choice made at random. There was no lead up, no moment of acknowledgment. One moment he is trying to be one thing and the next he decides to follow the lead of someone else and basically just shrugs.
Maybe the series will get better and have more direction as it progresses but I feel like Ward wanted to do far too much in this one. I may finish this trilogy eventually but, even thinking about it now, I don’t really care about any of the characters at this point. It was okay but a bit rough to get through for a lot of the time.