Legends and Liars by Julia Knight
Orbit: November 10, 2015
Source: Free From Library
So Legends and Liars pretty much picked up after the ending of Swords and Scoundrels. I had felt rather ambivalent about Swords and Scoundrels and I can’t say that Legends and Liars really changed my mind. The characterization continuing to feel a bit weak and there was an over abundance of play-by-play description of all the fighting, which is never going to be my thing.
In Swords and Scoundrels, Kacha and Vocho fled the city of Reyes and into enemy territory. However, even in Ikaras the famed duelist are not safe. When the powers that rule Ikaras decide to move against Reyes, Kacha and Vocho have to decide whether or not they should lend a hand to save the city that has betrayed them.
What I was looking for in Legends and Liars was a greater emphasis on the characters. Kacha and Vocho are the main characters and I would have expected there to be a little bit more exploration of what makes them tick. To an extent there was a bit of digging into these characters. Kacha is conflicted about her true reasons for going back to Reyes and Vocho is less certain about his desire for fame. Surprisingly it’s other characters that I found more compelling that Kacha and Vocho. Alicia is styled as the villain of Legends and Liars and I found her perspective was really readable. There’s a reason that she’s turned to “the dark side” and this makes her a more complex and interesting character. Petri too has changed a lot in Legends and Liars. Petri is brought to the lowest point he can go after being tortured and mutilated and the consequences of those actions are going to have serious ramifications for the final book in the trilogy. I wouldn’t have expected to be more invested in characters other than Kacha and Vocho, but I was. In fact, I found both Kacha and Vocho to be a little bit dull as characters. There is only fleeting moments of greater characterization of them both, and because of this I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I would have expected.
The emphasis on detailed descriptions of what all of these characters were doing is another element that I didn’t enjoy in Legends and Liars. I am never going to be a reader that likes a lot of detail. I really don’t want to know how many times you blocked an opponent who was trying to kill you, nor do I want to know the gritty details about your trek through some goat trails. Many readers love this kind of detail; I am not one of them.
What I did appreciate in Legends and Liars were the moments of humour. You would have expected much of this to come from Vocho; however, it was Kacha and Vocho’s trusted companion, Cospel, that provided many of the moments of comic relief. Cospel didn’t play a huge role in the narrative (he’s not a duelist after all), but the moments that he did appear gave the story a much-needed lightness.
Legends and Liars is sequel that didn’t really work for me. Considering how I felt about the first book, I was hoping for something a little different in it’s sequel. For those that prefer their fantasy more focused on the characters and their personal journey, I might say approach this trilogy with caution. For those that enjoy action-packed adventures and lots of detail about those adventures, you’re much more likely to enjoy Legends and Liars.
For similar reads, see my review of Swords and Scoundrels.