When a letter from her uncle Henrick arrives on Bryn Roth’s eighteenth birthday, summoning her back to Bastian, Bryn is eager to prove herself and finally take her place in her long-lost family.
Henrik has plans for Bryn, but she must win everyone’s trust if she wants to hold any power in the delicate architecture of the family. It doesn’t take long for her to see that the Roths are entangled in shadows. Despite their growing influence in upscale Bastian, their hands are still in the kind of dirty business that got Bryn’s parents killed years ago. With a forbidden romance to contend with and dangerous work ahead, the cost of being accepted into the Roths may be more than Bryn can pay.
I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion, but The Last Legacy is much better than Fable or Namesake.
In Nimsmire, I’d always felt like a roughly cut jewel set into a shining brooch. My edges were too sharp. My anger too swift. Sariah had done her best to make me into one of the girls from prominent merchant families who would be matched like shoes to a handsome frock, but I’d never fit seamlessly among them. I’d never wanted to.
Bryn is the best female character I’ve read written by Young so far. Her strength of character is admirable as she navigates this dangerous world with no protection. In fact, her only family seems to be working against her, setting her up to be hurt physically and emotionally at every turn. But she claws back little pieces of herself to become the person she knows herself to be, and in the process, saves someone else trying to do the same thing.
Every character in The Last Legacy is complex and comes with a rich history that we only get a hint of here. It helps to have had a quick introduction to Henrik and Ezra in Namesake. And while Auster is more well known, as he appears in both previous books, his connection to the Roths is just as secretive. There’s a richness to this family that comes through this time that has been missing with characters in Young’s other books. The fact that everyone is saying one thing and doing another, laying traps and spying and plotting futures, adds depth to a fairly simple storyline.
There was no decorum about these people. No apparent order. They were smartly dressed and groomed, but something about them had the look of feral creatures who’d been tamed. The only thing that seemed clear was Henrik’s leadership over the rest of them.
I’m not totally sold on Bryn and Ezra’s chemistry – they fall a little too fast with limited knowledge, and I honestly wish Bryn’s desire to remain unmatched and wear suits had a more LGBTQIA+ motive (although I guess that would be following in Auster’s footsteps too closely). But I do like how they come together after denying their feelings or potential for any future.
I looked like a Roth, it was true. But the thing that made my boots feel glued to the floorboards was that I looked like … I looked like myself. Maybe for the first time ever.
There would be no more gowns for dinners and jewels to catch the eyes of men. There would be no more rouged cheeks and bashful smiles. I was tired of pretending.
At the end of my review of Namesake, I said that a third book in this series was unnecessary, and there was nothing left of this story to tell. I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong. Apparently, another book is coming with Saint’s backstory, and I’m so keen to get my hands on it now. If it’s anything like The Last Legacy, it will be totally worth the read.