Bryn Roth has waited her whole life for the letter that arrives on her eighteenth birthday from her uncle Henrik. Now, finally, she can return to Bastian and take her rightful place in the family. But the Roths play a dangerous game, creating fake gemstones for trade, and they have many enemies in the city and abroad. If Bryn wants to survive, she will have to create her own stake to bring in money for the family. She just didn’t count on losing her heart in the process.
After reading the Fable duology, I was thrilled to be able to return with Adrienne Young to the dangerous world of the Unnamed Sea. The Last Legacy mentions characters readers have seen before, but works as a standalone, exploring the Roth family, their trade in fake gems, and their new desire to be accepted by respectable society as part of the merchant class. The stakes are high as Bryn attempts to navigate this new world. Readers who love their YA fantasy filled with dark secrets and intrigue will devour The Last Legacy.
The Last Legacy has the opportunity to expand on the world of the Unnamed Sea, as readers learn more about the city of Bastian, and the traders and merchants who vie for supremacy there. Unfortunately, however, much of Young’s vivid worldbuilding is lost in this story, as it focuses more on Bryn’s budding romance than it does on anything else. Even Bryn’s concerns about finding her stake in the family and being accepted by the Roths feel like a bit of an afterthought, as if the story exists mainly to give readers more Ezra (a character from the former duology)–and to maybe give Ezra his chance at happiness.
The romance, however, feels very lackluster, just as it does in the Fable duology. The timeline here is very fast and the story slim, so Bryn and Ezra do not actually know each other–or anything about each other. They are inexplicably drawn to each other, and I guess readers are supposed to accept that passion or lust for someone they just met is enough for the two to risk their lives to be together. Personally, however, I could not buy into this, so I felt no real emotional pull for the pair.
The actual intrigue also proves a little disappointing. The story does have its twist and turns, with Bryn trying to figure out whom she can trust and whom she cannot. Savvy readers, however, will know when Bryn is being played long before she does, which makes the story somewhat less gripping. Furthermore, the book is so short that the drama feels underdeveloped. Perhaps it would have been less of a problem had I not had higher expectations based on Fable and Namesake.
Still, despite its flaws, The Last Legacy still manages to entertain. I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen next and because I wanted to see Bryn succeed and free herself from her family. The book may not quite live up to its predecessors, but it likely will still please fans who wish to return to the Unnamed Sea.