Book Review: Legacy Of Steel (The Legacy Trilogy #2), by Matthew Ward

Netgalley eARC | An Epic Fantasy Sequel | Publisher: Orbit | Published: November 2020 | Kindle Pages: 704

Rating: 5 out of 5.

4.75 Stars

Synopsis: The Dark was defeated, or so it seems, Viktor has disappeared, Malachi is the Crowmarket’s puppet and Josiri has to fight the Council at every turn. If internal battles weren’t enough, the the upcoming war is. Tressia face another wave of Hadari threat, and this time the Gods and Goddesses have chosen sides. The Gods are playing war and Tressia is caught in the crossfire – can Tressia be saved yet again?

CW/TW: violence/death/gore/murder/grief/ others associated with epic fantasy may be present.

Spoiler Warning: This review may contain spoilers for book 1 in the Legacy Trilogy. Book 1 review:Book Review: Legacy Of Ash (Legacy Trilogy #1), by Matthew Ward.

Another belated review- I know *Sighh* BUT I finally read this AMAZING sequel and yes finally a review to follow!

So Book 1 in the series introduced us to an EPIC wold with a broad scope, rich history, and complex system of magic and Gods/Goddesses and I did not think the scope could go any further but Book 2 came along and blew it out of the water! We get more scope, more history, more magic and more mysteries. Everything I loved from book 1 is done as brilliantly here, and somehow we get even more on top of that.

Now this review is going to be rambly and brief because this series is far too easy to spoil but hopefully it gets how awesome I think this book was across.

So, Book 2 focuses on a few things; The Hadari and Melanna’s right to the throne, the Hadari’s war with Tressia, Tressia’s council conflict and the Crowmarket, and finally the God’s and Goddessess meddling – in between these larger issues we also have characters personal issues and obstacles that we see faced.

Firstly, Matthew Ward’s writing is as brilliant as it was in book 1. This is a chunky and dense read but the prose is easy to handle due to the mix of extraordinary descriptions, key details, emotional conversations and witty dialogue. The multiple POVs and extensive cast of characters keeps the book flowing at a good pace, and gives a great insight into every aspect of the story both from the Hadari’s view and the Tressian’s view. Ward weaves an intricate, unique and epic tale with a broad scope imbued with incredible depth.

Secondly, the plot is phenomenal yet again. Book 2 continues where book 1 left off and takes us on a WILD ride! I loved how each plot thread came together to create a wider web, a complex story. There are multiple plots running through that all come together but at the center is the Crowmarket and the Deities of this fantastic world. Book 1 ends with Viktor wiping out Malatriant, the Darkness threatening Tressia, but he takes a little of it into himself and disappears in fear of what he’ll become if it is used. Book 2 again sees the Dark as a threat, the Hadari going to war with Tressia in an attempt to free them of it – this also opens us up to Viktor’s personal struggle with his power, which is heartbreaking to watch. The war between Tressia and the Hadari is brutal – full of epic fight scenes, shifting beliefs and loyalties and will keep you on your toes and rushing through the pages. At the forefront of the war we get Rosa and Sevaka, a brilliant and deadly pairing, and watching them navigate the war, along with their new found statuses (Psanneque and the Reaper) – their part of the story is full of twists, is gut-wrenching and brutal from start to finish.

Alongside the Hadari war, we have Josiri, again protecting and fighting for his people but this time he has power and allies in Tressia and isn’t seen solely as an outcast. His people are going missing, and Josiri blames the Crowmarket. Watching him attempt to navigate the through the Council to save his people was thrilling, Ebigail may be gone but the council is just as tricky to navigate as ever before, espeially with Malachi under the Crowmarkets thumb. Josiri is bolder and more impulsive in this installment and it was incredible to see, watching him do everything he can to save his people, and even the Republic was dynamic and engaging. Josiri may be playing with tricky politics, but Malachi is dealing with death. Malachi, as First Councillor, is in a battle of his own, attempting to appease the Crowmarket but also rein them in. Watching him navigate this deadly tangle of loyalties added tension and suspense to the story – especially with Apara being the messenger and leashed by Viktor. I loved the political side of this book, as I did with book 1, and loved how the Crowmarket tied into the wider story of war.

The next key part of the story is the Gods/Goddesses involvement. This had to be my absolute favourite part of the plot because how often do we get a fantasy series where the Gods/Goddesses actually take part in the wars of humans? Not very often! So what happens when the Gods/Goddesses play war with humans? Well, this book is what. Firstly, the deities in this book are on another level, they are flawed and make mistakes, the are cruel and selfish, and they make binding deals that cause absolute chaos – and I loved it because chaotic Gods are the best!

Ashana, Jack, and The Raven are the three key Gods/Goddess we get to see in this war. Ashana, of course falling into place by Melanna, is crucial to this element of the story and is incredibly complex – a fascinating character that I don’t know whether to love or hate. She initially aids the Hadari, but her loyalties are with Melanna. Jack, I won’t say how he comes into play but, he is honestly the embodiment of chaos and I hated him but I also loved him because of his chaos. Jack, his story and his minions were really interesting, horrifying and comical – his bickering with the Raven had me chuckling. His introduction added a whole new layer to the story. Finally, my personal favourite, The Raven! The Raven, who never gets involved, chooses his side in the war for his Pale Queen – I loved this twisty storyline, the Raven is witty, sharp and complex – but beneath it all seems to be something more, something genuine and I loved watching his character in this book. The Raven is, by far, the most alluring of all the Gods/Goddesses in the book, and one I love! It was interesting seeing the God’s choose their sides in the war, we also get a glimpse into some other Gods/Goddesses as well as into a prophecy which – if it were to pass- would have drastic consequences for all characters deity or not. this added more to the history, lore and fabric of the world, and opens up a lot of possibilities for book 3!

From Melanna trying to prove herself worthy to be heir and Empress, to Apara’s internal struggles with the changing ways of the Crowmarket, to the Gods chaotic war, every element of this story, of the plot fell together perfectly aiding by the narrative and multiple POV’s creating one brilliantly epic story.

Every character goes through their own brilliant arc over the course of the story, developing in skill, power, personality and fighting their own demons. It was excellent watching these characters we had grown to love in Book 1 grow into themselves more and challenge previous traditions, as well as break the boundaries of who they are. Every single one of them goes through extraordinary changes and makes them more real, complex and flawed. – I love the cast of characters and cannot wait to see what happens with them next. Also, I love the character diversity, have to shout it out, we have disabled (and capable!) and LGBTQ+ characters naturally woven into the story and narrative which I highly appreciated.

Not only do we get incredibly character development we also get risks! This is a war, and war means loss – now while the risks could be more brutal they do exists and characters are not necessarily safe simply because they appear multiple times. We get loss and grief and it adds a lot to the story, and even those who may survive, perhaps do not actually do so, or at least they do not tend to do so without a cost – I really liked this. Have to shout out these three characters – Kurkas, oh how I love this witty man who calls the Serathi ‘plant pot’. Kurkas is one of those characters who you cannot help but adore, he is clever, kind and sarcastic, and his dialogue was always entertaining. Ana, has to be given recognition because this sassy, witty Serathi is hands down brilliant. I honestly love her, flaws and all, and her development was some of the best in the book. Sidara, a character to keep your eye on because she seriously comes into her own in this book. I loved how her character was explored in this book and I will be keeping my eye on her in book 3!

Now we have had wars, the Dark, the Gods themselves causing chaos, and yet Book 2 ends with big promises for book 3. Big changes seem to be coming, the ending of Book 2 sets up for something interesting, and also leaves Ana and Josiri with some newfound responsibilities. I cannot wait to see what happens in Book 3!

Honestly I could go on and write an essay about this book, there is just so much to it! But I will leave it here for now because spoilers. Ward truly breaks the fantasy barriers with this series, he has created something epic and phenomenal.

Overall Legacy Of Steel was just as epic as Legacy Of Ash, delivering on the epic platform book 1 created, and acting as the perfect sequel filled with twists, turns, and chaos.

I would highly recommend this to those who loved book 1, those who adore epic fantasy, and anyone who loves chaotic, bickering Gods/Goddesses!

*I received an eARC from #Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – thank you!!*


  1. […] Book Review: Legacy Of Steel (Legacy Trilogy #2), by Matthew Ward – ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨(4.75 Stars_ – Malatriant is vanquished, Viktor has disappeared and Josiri and Malachi must navigate the Councils political wars. But Josiri’s people are going misisng, the Crowmarket are getting braver, and the Hadari want war – and this time even the God’s are choosing sides. […]


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