Book Review: A Legacy of Darkness by J.M. Wallace

About the Book:

Title: A Legacy of Darkness

Author: J.M. Wallace

Series: A Legacy of Darkness

Publication Date: Oct. 10, 2021

Synopsis: A reluctant King haunted by his father’s actions.
A Druid girl haunted by her bloody childhood.
And an impossible quest to save their country…

Gripping and action-packed, A Legacy of Darkness is an adrenaline-filled, high fantasy of sword and sorcery, mythical creatures, and a charming cast of characters, perfect for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and Holly Black.

Darkness spreads through the kingdom of Asterion. Shaye Wistari witnesses it with her own eyes as she returns home from across the sea. Fearful of the monsters lurking in the waters to the East, she must revisit the bloody memories of her childhood.

When the newly crowned King tracks her down to enlist her help, she learns only she, the last of the Druid line, can save the country she has tried to leave behind.

Paired with the son of the man who slaughtered her people and stole her magic, she sets off on an impossible quest to save the innocent citizens of Asterion.

Alongside a group of unlikely allies, Shaye embarks on a desperate journey to reclaim her power and face the ghosts of her past. She must confront her own demons, or the darkness will overtake her, leaving Asterion vulnerable to destruction.

A Legacy of Darkness is the first book in this exciting fantasy trilogy. From it, you can expect danger, political intrigue, and thrilling passion, as Shaye and King Sorin fight the darkness closing in on them.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

My Review:

I loved J.M Wallace’s debut novel, A Legacy of Darkness! The characters, the action, the quest, the enemies-to-lovers romance, the friendships – it’s everything I love in a romantasy and more. The world-building and magic are fascinating, well-developed, and immersive. Asterion is described in a way that pulls you right into the story and into Shaye and Sorin’s worlds. They come from very different places, and each setting, as well as the places they go to on their quest, is vividly painted. The magic, monsters, other unique fantasy elements are also intriguing and layered.

Written from a dual point of view, the story delves into the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of both Shaye and Sorin. It’s interesting to see the story from both of their perspectives. Shaye and Sorin are both so compelling, and I loved their journeys – both physical and emotional. Shaye is such a richly developed protagonist, and I was drawn to her story from the very first page. The last of a powerful family of Druids, Shaye is the key to defeating the evil that is destroying their land and killing their people. She is fierce, tough, cunning, and brave, but she is also vulnerable, sympathetic, and sensitive. There are so many layers to her character, which I loved. Throughout the book, Shaye faces so many obstacles, and her journey is not easy.

Now, let’s talk about my new book boyfriend Sorin. I think I love him! Sorin is also intricately developed and layered, and his arc is as compelling as Shaye’s. He’s determined, brave, and strong, and he has some amazing friendships. A newly crowned king, Sorin has a lot on his plate. Fixing the wrongs of his father, defeating the evil that has reappeared, and trying to bring balance to his kingdom are just some of his obstacles. He is far from perfect, but (I hope) he is sincere in his actions.

The secondary characters are also well-developed, and their stories are equally intriguing. I particularly love the found family aspect of the story. A unique group goes with Shaye and Sorin on their quest, and their dynamic is fantastic. The banter, the comradery, the way they all slowly begin to trust each other and work as a unit – this group forms a bond that none of them expected, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the story. Of course, one of my other favorite aspect of the story (no surprise here) is the romance!

Enemies-to-lovers romances are one of my favorites, and the budding relationship between Shaye and Sorfin is everything! It’s the kind of slow-building, “will they or won’t they” kind of love story that I adore. Sorfin is the son of the man who killed her family, so Shaye doesn’t trust him at all. Of course, Shaye is slow to trust everyone, and rightly so. There are some major betrayals in her life and in the story that prove she is right to be so discerning when it comes to giving her trust. I loved seeing Soring slowly break down Shaye’s walls, and their slow-building relationship is wonderful. I’m totally rooting for Sorin and Shaye to be endgame! They have great chemistry, and I think Sorin deeply cares for Shaye. But after that ending, who knows what will happen!!

There is never a dull moment in the story, and with some surprising revelations, morally grey characters, lies, secrets, and betrayal, and antagonists trying to thwart them every step of the way, Shaye and Soring are in constant danger. They must learn how to work with and trust each other, which proves difficult, especially for Shaye. They go on such an epic quest, and it is suspenseful, deadly, and intense, and I loved it. The pacing is also really well done, and the intensity and suspense build to an unbelievable ending that left me speechless. There’s so much to want to say about the plot and the characters, and the love stories (yes, stories! There’s a budding romance between secondary characters that is so cute!!), but I don’t want to give too much away. All I can say is be prepared to feel all of the feels because this story will take you on a dark, twisted, and fantastic adventure.

Action, romance, a found family, an epic journey, and unique magic and monsters, A Legacy of Darkness is a gripping and immersive debut novel. And that ending! Oh my word!! After that cliffhanger, I need to read the next book ASAP!!! I highly recommend the book to readers who enjoy fantasy or romantasy, and I’m so thankful to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The adventure.
  • The characters.

Favorite Lines:

Holding onto that anger and hate is only inviting the darkness in.

Fear was a dangerous thing, more dangerous than any magical monster.

No one in this world or the next deserves to live a life in servitude to another.


This is a great book for readers who enjoy YA or NA fantast or romantasy!!

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