A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Insight into how trade was conducted in a port city around the Victorian era and how corruption and legitimate business often mingled. Bryn explains the difference between what a tailor and a couturier offer. Reminders about company-worthy table manners. How to pick a lock with two hairpins.
Self-discovery and finding a place in the world. Loyalty to family is paramount until it becomes oppressive and controlling and infringes on individual rights. Corruption is shown as the norm, and though this crime family claims it's trying to legitimize their business, they go about it ruthlessly.
Positive Role Models
Bryn desperately wants to find her place in her family and in the world. Unfortunately, she's part of a crime family and learns some hard lessons about how they operate and how hard it is to be anything but what her uncle has decided she should be. She persists, and uses her skills to begin to make her own choices, even though it's a dangerous thing to do with her uncle around.
Shows a woman of 18 becoming her own person despite how controlling her family is. Even though this has a Victorian era-style setting, a few other women have positions of power and influence and they all find subtle ways of helping one another. The characters cue as White.
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Violence & Scariness
Abusive, controlling behavior of a patriarch that affects his whole extended family and accounts for much of the violence in the story. Someone's beaten while someone else is forced to watch as punishment. People are slapped hard enough to bleed and bruise, including a 10-year-old boy. Much talk about the murders of Bryn's parents when they are caught stealing and how she can't remember them. Talk of a crime family dumping bodies in the water and painting their door with an enemy's blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex once between a man and woman with kissing and undressing and few other details described.
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"Bastard" used the most as an insult with rare uses of "damn," "hell," "asses," and one use of "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Bryn is 18 and engages in the drinking of rye at family meals and other engagements. Excessive drinking as a numbing agent when she gets a tattoo. A man regularly smokes a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Legacy is a coming-of-age romance by Adrienne Young, author of the popular Sky in the Deep, which also stars a formidable female hero. Here, our hero is 18-year-old Bryn, who instead of warrior garb, dons high fashion of the time (probably Victorian era, though it doesn't say) and works to make her crime family more reputable. She's constantly at odds with her controlling Uncle Henrik, who's responsible, either directly or indirectly, for most of the violence in this story. Someone's beaten while someone else is forced to watch as punishment. People are slapped hard enough to bleed and bruise, including a 10-year-old boy. There's much talk about the murders of Bryn's parents when they are caught stealing and how she can't remember them, along with talk of past crimes of the family including the dumping of bodies in the harbor. Other mature content includes one scene of heterosexual sex with just undressing and kissing described, the regular drinking of rye -- excessively as a numbing agent when Bryn gets a tattoo -- and some minor swearing. At first Bryn tries to find her place within her complicated and abusive family, but she eventually learns how it's more important for her to stay true to herself.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of coming-of-age stories, forbidden romance, complex characters, and a suspenseful narrative will enjoy this outing with the Roth crime family. Readers disembark with 18-year-old Bryn at the port of Bastian just as naive as our hero about what's to come. Well, almost as naive because readers are aware from the beginning that the Roths aren't all that reputable, and are bound to wonder why Bryn, raised to be a fine lady by her uppity aunt, is OK with this abrupt change in situation. Bryn receives quite an education from there. When her controlling Uncle Henrik gets her deliberately hurt to rile up gossip and make his enemy look bad, it's clear that she'll need all her cunning to outmaneuver him.
The suspense ratchets up from there. Throw in a love interest full of mystery that Henrik would never approve of, and the pages fly by. The love interest, Uncle Henrik, and the man they are begging patronage from will keep readers guessing about what they are willing to do to get what they want. And Bryn's caught in the middle, unwilling to compromise on who she will become. The untangling revelations of these competing desires makes this coming-of-age story stand out.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.