Series Review - Legacy in Legend: New from award-winning YA author Barbara Pietron, an ebook bundle of the prequel and first two books in the Legacy in Legend series. **Giveaway**

Legacy in Legend
Barbara Pietron
(Legacy in Legend #0.5, 1, 2)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult


New from award-winning YA author Barbara Pietron, an ebook bundle of the prequel and first two books in the Legacy in Legend series.

About the series: In Thunderstone, Jeni and her family gather at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to spread her grandfather’s ashes in the Mississippi Headwaters. While they are there, they agree to meet again at various locations along the Mississippi River to remember him as they trace his journey to the Gulf of Mexico. These gatherings set the foundation for the Legacy in Legend series. Every time the family assembles, Jeni comes in contact with a malicious otherworldly element. These frightening and perilous encounters are no help in Jeni’s search for her spiritual heritage, as the supernatural entities come from a variety of mythologies and lore. Yet each vengeful confrontation makes it more important that she discover and harness whatever power she possesses so she can protect herself and her loved ones and, ultimately, end the deadly attacks.

The Legacy in Legend Series brings together mythology and suspense along with a little bit of romance when Jeni meets Shattered Ice, an apprentice medicine man. The prequel, Heart of Ice, is about Ice before he meets Jeni. Thunderstone and Veiled Existence are told from both Jeni’s and Ice’s point of view.





My Review
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Musings

I’ve critiqued, judged, and reviewed books and screenplays for more than ten years, but this is the first time I’m reviewing a complete series all at once. It is my preferred method of reading a series however, so I wondered why not? My only concern was whether I had enough time since there was a schedule involved. The good news is that book one moved so consistently, that I read it in a day.

So why did I choose Legacy in Legend to be the first 'series' review?

This story is based in Minnesota, but I spent eight years in Sedona, Arizona. It’s a wonderful place that looks kind of like an alternate dimension with red rocks and dirt mountains that look like various things, such as a cathedral, coffee pot, or bell. Historically, Native Americans have believed the area to be a holy site, and I have to admit, I can agree with their assessment. The place and people are magical. On the weekends my friends and I liked to go see a local Native American Storyteller. I loved the way he recited the stories, every lesson brought to life with a serious sense of awe released in the animation of his voice. His name was Patrick, and while I never personally knew him, I gained a respect for those that came before us in this great land, through the stories Patrick told. So, when I saw Legacy and Legends and the Native American nature of the stories, I knew that if the Author captured even half the creativity, I would love it. AND SHE DID.

So, here is my review.
All three books received 5 stars.


Book One: Heart of Ice


Book one starts with our main character Ice, battling the spirit of the North Wind, a Manitou with a taste for possession and human blood. Someone has summoned this spirit, and its Ice’s and his Medicine Man mentor’s responsibility to find out who did it, why, and to keep the creature from harming more people. This proves to be a huge task with a twist at every turn. In the process we meet Corey, Ice’s best friend, Lynn, a beautiful girl trying to win his affection, and Dale, a disgruntled old friend with a grudge.

My take on the characters. Before I comment I will say that my thoughts in no way hinder the storyline. These are simply my opinions where I think characterization could have been better, or worse. The storyline is tight, and I found no holes in the plot.

Nik: I found him to be a great friend, but as a mentor, I felt like he could have shown a little more mysticism. He knows about the spirit world and how to handle it, but it would have been fun to see him do a little more in the way of spiritual battle, or simply using the spiritual realm to find more information on how to proceed. Sometimes he felt more like an investigator, than a Medicine Man. As a mentor, he’s supportive though, and that’s what Ice needs most.

Corey: He doesn’t have a strong presence in this book, but I loved him because seriously, everyone has a best friend, especially teenagers. I hope to see more of him in books two and three.

Lynn: She was an okay character, but I had the impression the Author used her only to make a point. Aside from that point, I didn’t feel like the girl had many redeeming qualities, except for being pretty. That made her pretty one dimensional, since we don’t know what the root is for the things she does. I guess I expected more where she and their relationship were concerned.

Dale: I won’t give details here because that would create spoilers, but I loved him. He’s multi-dimensional, well thought out, he has good and bad qualities, backstory, and I would like to have known more about him and his history with and without Ice earlier in the story. Hopefully we’ll see more of him in the books to come, but I don’t know if that will be the case or not; I’m writing this review having just finished book one, so the three books won’t get intermingled in my mind before I want them to be.

The North Wind: He was the perfect antagonist, and exactly the way I would expect such a spirit to be. Although I wouldn’t have minded more of a spiritual battle between him, Nik and Ice, as the story progressed.

Again, these are just thoughts, and while they may or may not have made the story better, they take nothing away from the story as it is.

The prose and voice are tight. I saw a typo early on, but it didn’t take me out of the story so no big deal there. The author’s descriptive talents were in-depth, but still to the point, so they add richness to the story, and don’t slow it down.

My final thought: This book hit the ground running, and it didn’t stop to fill up with gas. I loved it.


Book Two: Thunderstone


In this book the Manitou Mishebeshu has escaped his underground prison and is drowning people. He’s also set his mind on the girl that made his escape possible, Ice’s new love interest; Jeni. While Nik and Ice try to keep her out of the mix, she knows she is a part and will not be dissuaded, no matter the danger involved. Her cousin Tyler doesn’t believe in any of it, but he trails after Jeni, bent on keeping her safe to her dismay. 

The tension is high, and the storyline is tight. So, here is my take on the new characters.
Jeni: I loved her ‘I’m not going to sit back and do-nothing attitude’. She is a go after it sort of girl, and the chemistry between her and Ice blossoms naturally, and is a lot of fun.

Tyler: While I would have liked to see a little more of his own personality when he’s not chasing after Jeni, I liked his loyalty and commitment to family, and especially Jeni. His non-believing side adds spice to the tale.

Jeni’s parents: They made it too easy for Jeni to do her own thing most times. Not enough questions I felt a parent would ask, since they are away from home.

My final thought: Having said all that, book two was my favorite.


Book Three: Veiled Existence


While the book deserves five stars, the story shifted to be more about Jeni than Ice. That’s okay, but the series is about Ice, so I was a little disappointed; not that he isn’t still a strong piece of the story. We see much less of Nik, and while I get that, following book two, I missed the Medicine Man. Jeni explores her own spiritualism in book three. She discovered it in book two and opens herself up to it more in book three. The story shifts a little bit from Native American to Celtic, but that was sort of set-up in book one with Dale.

The characters in this book are great, and Jeni has a mind of her own, empowering her. It starts with Jeni visiting a graveyard, to Ice’s dismay, because he’s certain she’ll run into trouble, and of course, she does, and it makes things difficult to figure out because the characters are apart, and even cell-phone service is iffy at times. The storyline is tight, and I didn’t find any plot holes. 

More on the characters.

Nik: While he is part of the story, as I said earlier, we don’t see too much of him in this book. It would have been nice to use him a little bit more because medicine men are cool, but the characters did okay without him, so no big deal I guess.

Jeni: She is well thought out and will find a way to do what needs to be done. She’s also not afraid to call for help on occasion, since her supernatural senses are still developing throughout this book. While she is the heroine, I expect more from her in books to come. It’s nice to see a strong female part.

Dale: He is back, and stronger than before, having learned about his own spiritual roots from family members. He is a critical piece of the puzzle in this story.

Elletre: What supernatural book would be complete without a sexy young witch. She is another strong character and plays her part well. I would like to have seen more confrontation between her and Jeni, but the tension is strong enough to keep us at the edge of our seats.

Tyler: Jeni’s cousin is back too. He’s a bit of a player, but the kind we females have a love/hate relationship with. His loyalty to his cousin is strong as ever.

While the end is satisfying, I felt like some of the description toward the end was excessive. On the flip side, I was a smidge disappointed that there wasn’t more one on one involvement with the antagonist and Jeni at the end. While I’d love to go into detail, I don’t dare. Even with those issues, I loved the historical and supernatural value, and how it crosses with different cultures. 

My final take: This book and series is a great read



Author Bio


Having a love for witches and vampires before they were trendy, Barbara gravitates toward stories with supernatural elements both when she reads and when she writes. Although classified as young adult, her books are enjoyed by a wide audience—pre-teen through adult.

Barbara’s novel Thunderstone was awarded 2013 Book of the Year Finalist status by Forward Reviews and before it was published, Thunderstone was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest, winning a review by Publisher’s Weekly.

When she’s not writing, Barbara works in a library where she’s tortured by all the books she has yet to read. She’s a cult fan of the movies Labyrinth and Nightmare Before Christmas and a fan of all things Tim Burton. Barbara lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter and a cat that often acts like a dog.



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