Author: Jesikah Sundin
Rating: Three stars
“A sensible young nobleman and his sister live in an experimental medieval village. Sealed inside this biodome since infancy, Leaf and Willow have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable world, one devoid of Outsider interference. One that believes death will give way to life.
All is ideal until their father bequeaths a family secret with his dying breath, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf’s head. A death Leaf believes is the result of murder. Now everyone in their quiet town is suspect. Risking banishment, the siblings search for clues, leading them to Fillion Nichols, an Outsider with a shocking connection to their family. Their encounter launches Fillion into a psychological battle with his turbulent past as he rushes to decode the many dangerous secrets that bind them together–a necessity if they’re all to survive.
The Middle Ages clashes with the near future in an unforgettable quest for truth, unfolding a story rich in mystery, betrayal, and love.”
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I had the wrong idea about the genre of this book when I first picked it up, for some reason I thought it was fantasy. But hey, I love a good dystopian, and the prospect of a biodome novel was really exciting.
Legacy follows siblings Leaf and Willow, who have been raised in a medieval society within a biodome in a dystopian world, which is being used to experiment with possibilities for colonising other planets. It also follows Fillion, son of the organiser of the biodome society, named “New Eden”, and his struggle to be his own person and live a good life without the influence of his father and the expectations placed on him.
When Leaf and Willow’s father dies under mysterious circumstances, they struggle to understand what happened and why. After finding an unusual card in his father’s pocket upon his death, Leaf wonders if his father was murdered and he and Willow try to discover who may have done this. When they meet Fillion through a portal between the biodome world and the outside world, Fillion realises that the siblings were reported to have died years ago.
With many mysteries to unfold, Leaf agrees to an exchange, sending someone out into the dystopian world and allowing a visitor from the outside to stay inside the biodome for three months.
This biodome world has an interesting hierarchy, with nobles still a big part of their society, and several factions relating to elements. They have an old-fashioned tradition of pairing up suitable men and women with little consideration of their feelings, and of course, they are paired up early in their lives. Inside the biodome, there is little to no notion of technology and they appear to live fairly peaceful lives, oblivious to the dystopian world outside.
The outside world is set in in the 2050s and has been ravaged by decades of industrial and technological advancements at the expense of the environment. I loved the parallels between the future and our present, especially when seen through Fillion’s perspective. Grown adults encourage their children’s generation to change the world and make it a greener, more liveable place, while simultaneously making higher education worthless, and continuing to destroy the planet anyway. In some ways, it feels like a depressing snapshot of what we can expect on our world if we continue the way we do.
Both worlds are incredibly vivid and they suck you in quite effectively. They are easy to imagine, as are the characters, and the characters themselves are well represented. I connected with Willow a great deal, who is struggling with the loss of her father, pressured to marry, and is constantly belittled by the men around her for her “emotional tendencies”. I’ve got hope that at some point in future books, Willow will come in to her own and show everyone just how strong she is. Because she is strong and smart, just fifteen years old and going through a hard time, give the girl a break!
I had one major struggle with Legacy and that was the combination of length and slow progress. The story, settings and characters are absolutely great, but the time it takes to reach the next plot point or development event is often incredibly lengthy. There are lots of snippets of characters doing mundane tasks and getting lost in their inner monologues, which sometimes overlap a great deal with previous monologues they’ve already had.
Maybe I’m used to faster paced books, but Legacy read too slowly for me and sometimes it was a struggle to maintain focus.
I’d like to clarify that I did enjoy this book, it’s got some great gems, but it was a challenge to read. If you’d like to check out Legacy for yourself, here’s the Amazon link.
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!