As the end of an age approaches, gods whisper horrors, families scheme for power, and one woman may hold the secret to a lost legacy.
At 19, Ada of Caria yearns to take the Snake Blood throne from her mad older siblings—and seeks the help of a young orphaned girl named Helen, the first True Oracle to have walked the earth in more than three hundred years. Helen may be able to channel the voice of the gods, but she hates her gift, and will do anything to get rid of it—even lie to her best friend, Myrtale, the priestess-princess of Epirus who is destined to marry King Philip II of Macedon even though she loves another. And in the shadows lurks a handsome green-eyed stranger who has more at stake—and more to lose—than anyone could possibly imagine.Amid jealousy and heartbreak, torrid affairs and secret rendezvous, it is spoken by the gods that either Helen or Myrtale —newly named Olympias— will carry the destiny of the known world within her womb.
I do not usually read novellas or even prequels very much, but I loved Legacy of Kings so much that I really wanted to know how things began. I actually think this one was even better than Legacy of Kings.
Eleanor Herman has such a great way of writing for this time period. Her world building is first class. I absolutely love this time period, despite the fact that women are treated as second class citizens and are only seen as worthy if they produce sons. Yeah, if you ignore all that, it may have been a fascinating time period to live in. One of the things that made this one better than Legacy of Kings was that Herman didn't overwhelm me with the POV of ten different characters. Of course, this book is rather short (about 120 pages) so it's possible she would have if the book were longer. But I loved the fact that there were only two POV's: Helen's and Myrtale. There were also a couple of chapters with Ada's POV as well, but she was dropped after the first couple of chapters. That was such a shame because I was fascinated by Ada's family. There were also a lot of names thrown at me at first and it took a bit to learn who everyone was. I wasn't sure who they were in relation to the characters of Legacy of Kings. But I quickly understood that Helen was Katerina's mother and Myrtale was Alexander's mother (and she would also change her name to Queen Olympias). Reading their story and learning how they became friends was wonderful. In Legacy of Kings, Queen Olympias is evil and a threat to everyone. But she wasn't always like that, as you learn in this novella. You learn exactly how power can corrupt people and how Myrtale went from an innocent princess to an ambitious queen. This was an excellent novella that tells of how the characters in Legacy of Kings came to be. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Buy/Borrow/Skip: If you enjoyed Legacy of Kings, you will enjoy this one as well. Buy it!