Blog Tour, Review + Giveaway: Legacy in Legend (#0.5, 1 and 2) by Barbara Pietron

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Have you ever had that feeling where you're just inexplicably drawn to something before even reading it? After reading the blurb on the first book in Barbara Pietron's YA Urban Fantasy series, there was something bubbling in my mind over the concept. Which is why I jumped on the chance to participate in the blog tour for it--and I am glad I did! Get ready, YA fans, because Legacy in Legend will blow your mind. 

Here we go!


ABOUT  

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.

REVIEWS
Thunderstone (Legacy in Legend, #1)
★★★★☆
Veiled Existence (Legacy in Legend, #2) ★★★★☆
Heart of Ice (Legacy in Legend, #0.5) ★★★★☆

Because of my participation in the blog tour, my review will be a composite of Thunderstone, Veiled Existence and Heart of Ice. Mostly to save space. As a note, I read them in order of publication--not in order of timeline, to get the full experience as if I'd been reading them from the start which was a lot of fun! 

As a second note, a copy of the novels, in the form of a bundle, was sent to me for reviewing purposes and in participation with the tour. This does not effect my review in any way.

First, let's talk about Thunderstone. Wow. This book was breathtakingly unique and thrilling. 

I was in the midst of a book hangover when I picked up the bundle (thanks, Legendary by Stephanie Garber) and I had my reservations about it at first because of this. I am always hesitant in giving a book a shot after I've read something that was left lingering in the back of my mind. But, Pietron's first installment to Legacy in Legend really sold me from the start due to its deeply imaginative plot and pacing. 

When I say I couldn't get enough, I mean I couldn't get enough of Thunderstone. I really appreciated how we are introduced to everything--from the characters, to the mythology. Further, I loved that the characters felt utterly real and distinctly like teenagers. Most importantly, they are easy to read and don't drive you up the wall in frustration. 

I will say that the two we get to know the best are undeniably like teenagers in a way that is different to every person. We all grow into ourselves differently and I appreciate every angle of coming-of-age. I especially appreciate the tone it takes when we're thrust into different settings--and the pacing, the mythology of Thunderstone makes the experience all the more unique to the story that Pietron tells.  

You know you are reading a good book when you pause to reread specific scenes. There's one scene in particular that I could hear nothing of my surroundings and felt glued to the pages. 

Jeni and Ice are both extremely likable and their bond is interesting. I say interesting in the best possible way because it truly doesn't feel like your standard YA romance. Again, I loved the tone that this story takes on. I find the mythology to be refreshing--especially when we get into the thick of things and Jeni begins to believe, and understand, what is happening around her.

There's something very organic about the relationships in this book. But it is merely a backdrop to an exceptionally vivid, suspenseful story that keeps readers on their feet. Thunderstone is a triumph in its thrilling tone and action-packed moments. I can't say I've ever read anything quite like it and I am so glad to have read it. 

It'll come as no shock to you that I had two thoughts upon finishing book one. Thought #1: I need a physical copy of this book. Thought #2: It is time to read book two. Veiled Existence felt both un-necessary and necessary at first glance. 

Necessary because I am a greedy person yet at the same, given the ending to Thunderstone, it also felt a little less than necessary. Oh, who am I kidding? It was totally necessary and again, Pietron had me glued to the story and owned me for an entire day. Veiled Existence was so very engaging, I did not want it to end. 

Both books in the series have a certain sort of darkness to its mythology. I found that Veiled Existence fed on that moreso than Thunderstone. Which led the experience of reading Veiled Existence new and exciting, while still being familiar. Sequels are not an easy task to accomplish but Pietron is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to her prose and the often spine-tingling way she paints the story for us. 

I enjoyed that Veiled Existence played on more variations of folklore in addition to the already known mythological aspects of Thunderstone. All of these themes are presented in a mysterious way and are handled with care. Pietron doesn't make things out to be this muddled mess of offense; instead, she is able to tie them into the story in a way that makes them true-to-their-tone and fresh. I can't explain it other than this. 

Without spoiling the plotline of the novel, I will say that I enjoyed Veiled Existence just a bit more than its predecessor. There were so many good qualities to the book itself that I can't pinpoint what it is that made me so engrossed with this one but I will add that this installment was a bit more angsty due to a curse (without being painfully bland and irritating) and it opened a lot of different doors. 

Jeni and Ice still remain fascinating characters. Although each story is tangled with a significant amount of mythology, getting to know them is intriguing and definitely their show. I liked that their bond adjusts to fit the new issues they are struggling with in Veiled Existence. Once more, the story ends in a conclusive way that ties up loose ends but still leaves the door open, should Pietron ever return to the series.

Lastly, the prequel to the Legacy in Legend series: Heart of Ice. As you've already guessed, this little story is Ice's to tell and it matches the two other books wonderfully in tone and in pacing. I loved that we got to know him before Jeni arrived, what life was like before the story began, and the exploration of the mythology is from a completely different angle. 

Ice is very much so like we already know him and the prequel is fun, but it is my least favourite of the bundle. I liked that Heart of Ice didn't take the path of retelling Thunderstone and instead, was a true prequel that told a different story.

Overall, I really enjoyed these books and cannot recommend them enough for YA readers looking for something out of the ordinary. Barbara Pietron keeps readers wondering what will come next--and will spark an interest in younger readers when it comes to the mythology she ties into her story. I really enjoyed these stories!

       



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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