Legacy of Light by Matthew Ward – Review and Interview

Hello!  Welcome to the latest review here on the Swordsmith blog, Westu Hal to you, I hope that you are doing okay and reading something awesome! I am excited today as I am bringing you a review of the last book in one of the most rewarding, brilliant fantasy trilogies of recent times!  It is a trilogy that is truly epic in it’s world building, characters, and scope of the story.  

My post today will include an interview with the author, and I will be doing a separate giveaway of my ARC copy of the book.

I was delighted to receive an ARC copy of the book, in exchange for being on this magnificent blog tour – which I would love for you to check out if you can on Twitter.  There are some great bloggers involved with this one.

Anyway, onto the premise…

The Premise

Warfare, myth and magic collide in Legacy of Light, the spectacular conclusion to Matthew Ward’s acclaimed Legacy trilogy.

For the first time in many years, the Tressian Republic and the Hadari Empire are at peace. But war never sleeps.

In Tregard, Empress Melanna Saranal struggles to protect a throne won at great cost.

In Tressia, Lord Protector Viktor Droshna pursues forbidden power to restore all he’s lost.

As the sins of the past are once more laid bare, every road leads to war. Darkness gathers, alliances shatter and one final battle looms. What hope remains, lies within the light.

The Review

This is how you end a trilogy, this is an amazing book.  Now something that is consistently wonderful about The Legacy Trilogy as a whole is the quality and suspense of each prologue – which really hooks you in as a reader. The prologue for Legacy of Light is key for the story, it is atmospheric, action packed and mysterious.  It is the beginning of what is one of the finest endings of a trilogy I have ever read, the book as a whole has a real element of tension for the reader.  I have found throughout the trilogy, and especially this book, how characters don’t always act like you would expect, there are some surprises and the characters’ role in the payoff is brilliant.

What a journey this has been for the characters, some of my favorites such Viktor, Rosa, Josiri, Kurkas, Anastacia and many others embark on an incredible journey, which is full of surprise and is a wholly satisfying ending to a trilogy.  Matthew has really managed to keep me very alert, as this book twists and turns until the incredible ending.  Now I have said elsewhere that Matthew writes incredible battle scenes, and they only get better in each volume but in Legacy of Light they are as cinematic, dramatic, epic and brutal as they have been.  You get everything in this volume from a civil dispute which turns into a riot in Tressia, to the epic battles to decide the future of the known world.  

The magic system is dark, it is as wonderful as it is mysterious and it has had it’s part to play across the trilogy.  Within Legacy of Light it has its consequences, but is still excellent at the same time.  The magic system is influenced by many things, but divine intervention is a key aspect of the trilogy, it has certainly influenced the magic system.  It’s one of the major reasons why I love this book, and trilogy, because the gods are real and they mean business.  There is a bit of rivalry as well amongst the gods, i mean when itn’t there?  It has it’s consequences and I leave you to read and enjoy that aspect of this amazing book.

Finally, this is a brilliantly written book.  It flows so well, and is paced so brilliantly.  It is the climactic episode of this trilogy and it is a key aspect of my enjoyment of this book and the trilogy as a whole.  So there you are, my review of Legacy of Light by Matthew Ward which goes down as a book that I recommend you read, it’s epic fantasy at it’s finest and is a tragic yet heroic tale and one that I will treasure.

That’s not all quite from me here, as the author himself Matthew Ward has stopped by the blog and graciously agreed for us to have a bit of a chat – so here is my interview with Matthew as promised.

Tell me a little bit about yourself?

Oh, I always hate that question, mostly because I’m still spending a lot of time working out who I actually am. But let’s see … I’m a cat-servant, husband, occasional musician and font of knowledge on really specific topics (including, but not limited to, the London Underground, Babylon 5, and the Thunderbolts comics series).

Are you a Tea or Coffee person?

Coffee. Very much coffee. Tea generally doesn’t taste of much unless you whack a load of sugar or vanilla into it, and even then it mostly tastes of sugar or vanilla. There are exceptions – Lapsang Souchong, for example – but generally speaking I’m far happier with a halfway decent ground coffee, or a good quality instant (milk and sugar largely absent).

Do you have a Day Job?  If so, can you tell us just a little bit about it?

Depending on where I am in the writing cycle, being an author is my day job. It’s where I prioritise my time. 

As for the rest, I’m a freelance Creative Consultant, working on primarily in videogames, but with a little bit of wargaming and script consultancy on the side. I advise clients on everything from narrative and tone through to music, character development … and of course I often end up working in the nitty gritty details of scripts, as most famously seen in Vermintide and Vermintide 2. There are other projects on the way, but I can’t talk about them for a little while. Lots of fun stuff coming down the pipe, though.

What was your general inspiration for The Legacy Trilogy?

Oh, it’s been running in my head so long that it’s hard to parcel out a main influence. There are flashes of Tolkien in there, bits of Brooks, a love of classic TV, such as the 1970s adaptation of I, Claudius and the original House of Cards. It’s a real melange of things I love and things I wanted to love, but couldn’t quite get there. 

But more than anything, I wanted it to be a tragic epic – something you can re-read, even knowing the ending, and torment yourself by imaging how much better things would have been if the characters had just made their choices a little bit differently. 

Who is your favorite character from the Legacy Trilogy?

I don’t know that I really play favourites … I’m not sure I can in an ensemble cast like the Legacy Trilogy, otherwise it becomes really obvious to the reader. Everyone has their moments, good and bad, and I cheer along with the readers whenever those come up. 

But of course the answer’s Ana. Otherwise she’ll find me and hurt me.

Can you describe your books in one out of context sentence?

“I’m sure it won’t go badly if I do it.”

What can we potentially expect from you next?

At time of writing, I’m still figuring that out. I’ve a ton of projects lined up that I’d like to get to grips with, but publishing and I never quite move at the same speed – we’ll have to see what happens. I’d love to come back to Aradane and see what’s going on in the Tressian Republic and the Hadari Empire a few years down the line, but I suspect I’ll be walking fresh fields next – more evils to defeat and heroes to forge, and all that.

I understand you are a Dark Souls fan? Guess what? Me too! I was just wondering what your favourite DS game was and what build you like to play as? 

Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne share first place on sheer content alone. That said, I do love the atmosphere of the first game, and I’ve come to appreciate what Dark Souls 2 was attempting as the years have passed.

Build-wise, I like Faith in Dark Souls 3, Bloodtinge in Bloodborne and really big swords in the others. That said, I did recently start to love playing archery builds in Dark Souls 1, so maybe I should give that a try and 3, and see where I end up…?

That really is all from me! Westu hal, and i hope that you stay safe and are reading some thing awesome and thank you for checking out this review and interview.

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