Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.
Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.
Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
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Before the Game of Thrones craze swept the nation, Eleanor Herman was hard at work entertaining readers with her extensive research on courtly intrigue and romance. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings, as well as three other works of nonfiction: Sex with the Queen, Mistress of the Vatican, and King Peggy.
Obsessed by all things royal and historical, she lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and four extremely dignified cats. Legacy of Kings is her first novel.
Before I sat down to write, I wanted to understand thoroughly the Greco-Persian world of 340 BC. I explored what people ate, wore, and believed. I studied warfare, religion, women’s roles in society, politics, philosophy, magic, medicine, travel, and everything else I could think of. Through this research, I constructed a three-dimensional world ready to receive my characters.
Then I studied Alexander and his family. As for Alexander himself, people only started writing about him once he became king at twenty so very little is known about him before then. Based on the man he became, I extrapolated backward and imagined him at sixteen: serious, ambitious, bursting with energy to lead and conquer, frustrated that he was still so young that the adults didn’t take him seriously. His half-sister, the scheming warrior princess, Cynane; his mother, the beautiful and manipulative Olympias, and his father, gruff one-eyed King Philip, were similar in character to how they are represented in Legacy of Kings.
So much for the facts! I then blended in fictional characters with dark secrets, including Katerina—the peasant girl Alexander is strangely drawn to, whose secret mission is to kill his mother, the queen. One fictional element I really enjoyed writing was
the Aesarian Lords—a mixture of the Spanish Inquisition, a leather-clad motorcycle gang, and a SWAT team. With all these conflicting characters, it was easy to develop a plot with surprising twists and turns.
I blended in a bit of magic—the hellion, the Pegasus, and blood magic. The ancients believed they lived in a magical world, with gods and goddesses, nymphs and monsters liable to pop up at any moment, so the magical elements fit in well. I hope, with this combination of ingredients, my readers don’t read the book so much as experience it as a kind of spellbinding time travel!
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