ARC Review: Live Like Legends by Kate Cornell

Title: Live Like Legends

Author: Kate Cornell

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: June 1, 2020

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Synopsis: Princess Kalista has known her role from birth. She’s spent her entire life preparing to be the socialite wife of a prince from a peaceful kingdom. But on her big day, she is shocked when she is instead forced to marry the warrior prince of a cursed land, who is as cold as the wintry kingdom he’ll one day rule.

Carson has a throne no princess wants to share with him. An immortal beast ravages their land, and he’ll do anything to stop it, even marry a complete stranger on the day she was supposed to wed her betrothed. Let her hate him for it, but Kalista is his only hope for peace.

Kalista knows she’s just a pawn on the chessboard of politics, but now she’s expected to kill an unstoppable creature because of some legend about her bloodline that Carson believes as truth. He trains her how to fight, and when lessons in swordplay lead to lessons in love, her destiny puts more than just her life at risk.

How far is she willing to go to save the prince she never wanted…but can’t imagine living without?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


My Review:

Princess Kalista spent her entire life preparing to become the wife of a prince in a neighboring kingdom. However, her predictable and controlled life changes when she is forced to marry a warrior prince instead. Prince Calder’s kingdom suffers under the wrath of a vicious monster, and a prophecy names Kalista as the kingdom’s savior.

Kalista is not a warrior, nor is she prepared to live in a cursed and cold kingdom surrounded by strangers. She doesn’t understand the language and customs of Estral, she can’t communicate with anyone save her monk companion Emmett, and she never expected to rule. However, as she grows closer to Calder, she learns that their feelings might just be worth fighting for. Can Kalista defeat the monster? Things are not what they seem in the kingdom of Estral, and Kalista must figure out the mystery of her new home before time runs out.

This is a coming-of-age story with a strong and independent young woman who is destined for greatness. Kalista has heavy burdens to bear, and she does all she can to fulfill them. However, she is so used to obeying and living by the rules that she doesn’t know what to do without them.

Kalista has never had any freedoms, and she likes to have control. She feels unnerved without it. It doesn’t help that she is dealing with major language barriers, she must take on responsibilities as the future queen, she is expected to slay a murderous monster, and she needs to conceive as soon a possible (at least, according to the King). This young woman has an awful lot on her plate!

The characters are interesting and Kalista’s character, in particular, is exceptionally well-developed. The author’s skill in developing dynamic characters without the benefit of dialogue is amazing. Often, when Carson speaks, we don’t know what he’s saying, much like Kalista doesn’t understand him. However, his facial expressions, gestures, and actions show his kind, warm-hearted, sometimes quick-tempered, and thoughtful nature.

Another aspect of Kalista’s character that I like is her perseverance. Used to being alone and often ignored, she is daunted by the attention she receives as the new princess, and she fears looking foolish. She is often frustrated with her inability to communicate and her ignorance of propriety. However, determined to succeed, she never gives up. This part of the story highlights the difficulties in acclimating to a new, and very different, world as well as the benefits of hard work and determination.

I also like the fun and witty banter between Kalista and Emmett. His guidance and unusual teaching tactics bring some levity to the story, and their sarcastic camaraderie is one of the highlights of the novel.

Emmett is not a typical religious man. He teaches Kalista the customs and language of Estral, and he acts as a translator and chaperone when needed. Sure, he is wise and pious, but he is also acerbic, sharp, and lethal. Skilled in fighting, he trains Kalista to fulfill her role in the prophecy.

There some unexpected twists and surprises, but the majority of the story focuses on Kalista trying to understand the language and customs of her new husband, training to defeat the monster, and questioning her role and ability as the future queen of an unfamiliar kingdom. Though I expected more action throughout the piece, the enigma of the monster, the slow-burning romance, and Kalista’s personal journey make for an interesting read.

Thanks so much to Netgalley and for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The love story, of course! It s complex, sweet, and slow-burning.
  • The mystery of the monster and the prophesy. Why does it haunt Estral? Why does it seem to target the ruling family? How can it be defeated?

Recommendations:

Readers who enjoy young adult romance with a touch of mystery and fantasy should give this story a look. It will also appeal to people who like dynamic female protagonists. 🙂

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Live Like Legends by Kate Cornell

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