Legacy of Light – Matthew Ward

Legacy of Light Matthew Ward
Legacy of Light by Matthew Ward
Also by this author: Legacy of Ash, Legacy of Steel, The Darkness Before Them
Series: The Legacy Trilogy #3
Published by Orbit on August 17, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
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five-stars

Legacy of Light is the spectacular conclusion to Matthew Ward's acclaimed Legacy trilogy—an unmissable epic fantasy series of war and intrigue perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Brent Weeks, and Brandon Sanderson.  For the first time in many years, the Tressian Republic and the Hadari Empire are at peace. But darkness never sleeps. 
In Tregard, Empress Melanna Saranal struggles to protect a throne won at great cost. 
In Tressia, Lord Protector Viktor Droshna seeks to restore all he's lost through forbidden means.
And as the sins of the past are once more laid bare, every road will lead to war. The Legacy TrilogyLegacy of AshLegacy of SteelLegacy of Light

Enthralling. I have no other words to describe Legacy of Light by Matthew Ward. Fantasy has never been my genre of choice, as now that I am older, I have trouble turning off the logical part of my brain. But I became completely invested in Legacy of Light. Mind, body, and soul. Maybe that is cliché to say, and perhaps I am hyperbolizing—but not by much. I read Legacy of Light in massive chunks of 100 pages or more. In one sitting, I read the last half the book. I could not help it. Legacy of Light by Matthew Ward features George R.R. Martin-level imagination, believability, and thrill.

I am a massive Game of Thrones fan. I have loved the novels since my father literally dropped the first book on my head and said, “Read this, you’ll like it.” The show—for all its faults—captured my attention in the same manner, besides the last season. It is safe to say most Game of Thrones followers feel the same way. Without too many spoilers, what irritated me most: The sudden emergence of a certain character’s madness. No real warning, just…a flip of a switch. No explanation. No descent into hysteria. Nothing. A character went from caring about others and wanting to protect life to indiscriminately killing civilians.

Ward did not make the same mistake in Legacy of Light. As one character tumbled farther from reality, their reasoning still seemed entirely rational. There is no flip. Nothing that left me perplexed and confused. Everything about this element of the novel’s plot was written with flawless perfection. When watching the final season of Game of Thrones, I wanted to throw something at my TV because nothing made sense. With Legacy of Light, I desired to throw the novel out of irritation at myself because I had not seen it sooner.

Like Legacy of Ash and Legacy of Steel, Ward filled the final book of his trilogy with battles galore. I grew a bit tired of reading about people killing each other, but none of the fighting was out of place. It never felt like he said, “I need something to fill pages. Let’s just have a battle; that’ll do it.” The tale flowed from one page to the next like a river carving out a canyon. Perhaps Ward could have shortened some of the scenes—as it reminded me a bit of the massive battle in the final Hobbit movie. Swords and daggers and blood and magic, and it could have been expressed just as well in ten pages versus fifty. But at the same time, Ward’s writing style drew me in, and I never wanted them to end.

Only one element—a very prominent element, mind you—in Legacy of Light made me squirm: dark sorcery. A lot of it. In fact, I would maybe even say the novel uses it as its foundation. Even with the darkness, Ward included light. Hope. Humor. Witticism. Clever conversations. Everything about Legacy of Light was absolutely brilliant, and I can’t wait to read the trilogy again to see if I missed anything. Because like any epic fantasy writer, I am certain Ward included snippets of information that hinted to a certain future.

I don’t usually post on Twitter about the novels I am reading, but I kept a whole stream going during Legacy of Light. It featured all of my reactions, including one where I pled the author to “stop giving my heart conniptions. It can only handle this for so long.” I was shocked to see he responded: “I can make no promises.” It’s a good thing he didn’t, because View Spoiler ».

I should’ve known that would happen.
But Ward did it in such a perfect way that I find I can’t be mad at him for it.

Bravo, Matthew Ward. Bravo.

five-stars