Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Book Review: Legacy and the Queen

A couple of months ago this book came in the mail and I'm like.... Kobe Bryant? What the hell is this? Then I got to paging through it and realizing it's focused around tennis (and magic) and I can't think of any other fiction book around tennis, so that's pretty cool. It's a neat book, and as we're going back to school, you might want to pick it up.

Legacy and the Queen - Kobe Bryant & Annie Matthew 

Game – Tennis means life and death for the residents of the magical kingdom of Nova, and for twelve-year-old Legacy, it’s the only thing getting her through the long days taking care of the other kids at the orphanage. That’s all about to change when she hears about Silla’s tournament.

Set – Silla, the ruler of Nova, hosts an annual tournament for the less fortunate of her citizens to come and prove themselves and win entrance to the Academy, where they can train to compete at nationals. The prize is Silla’s favor and enough cash to keep open the orphanage, and Legacy has her heart set on both. 

Magic – What Legacy has yet to know is that the other players have something besides better skills and more money than she does. In Nova, tennis can unlock magic. Magic that Silla used to save the kingdom long ago and magic that her competitors have been training in for months already. 

Now, with the world turned against her and the orphanage at stake, Legacy has to learn to use her passion for the game to rise above those around her and shine.

What an incredibly interesting book. I wasn't sure if this was going to be my cup of tea since magical realism and all of that isn't my go to trope or genre but I was immediately interested because my son is learning to play tennis and tennis as a major theme throughout a book isn't something I'm familiar with.

In this book we have Legacy, a 12 year old girl finds herself in a tennis tournament that could gain her a spot in the Academy. (It's like.. the Divergent series in a way, if you are one of the chosen and can prove your ability, your rank in this society increases and you are afforded better opportunities... just without all of the crazy violence in Divergent.) As it turns out, she's pretty good and even though her father is dead set against this, she goes anyways to the infamous Academy. She quickly realizes that tennis is the key to unlocking/becoming more magical and she learns that everything is basically riding on her ability to do that (and quickly).

I have to give this book an A for effort because the basic premise isn't new (disadvantaged kid in a new society they don't belong and are an underdog, but they save the day), the concept of excelling at a non-violent sport/craft to unlock magic and be more powerful is, at least to me. At the end of the book you realize this is very much a girl power inspired book, a stand-up-to-the-man if you will, book and I think that's a really inspiring message to send to kids (especially in the middle grade reading group, though I think kids as young as fourth grade would enjoy this). I really liked that as a mom of three daughters (and one son, who is actually reading this now and enjoying it), I'd like to see that message in more books.

A few missteps along the way, it felt a little hokey with the magic aspect of it, but like I mentioned above, that isn't really my go-to trope or genre and so just because I think it's a little cheesy, doesn't mean it would be to readers who do enjoy that. I hate to say it didn't feel real enough for me because it's a book about a magical land, but that's kind of how I felt.

Overall though? I'm giving this a solid 3 stars. I liked the book, I thought it was cute, it would probably be a fun read aloud/bedtime story, one-chapter-at-a-time book, but also one to have on hand in a classroom or library for that reader still trying to find their favorite genre of book, this just might peak their interest, it did mine.

Thank you to Granity Studios for providing an ARC of Legacy and the Queen for review! This post contains affiliate links. 

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