Game – Tennis means life and death for the residents of the magical kingdom of 415dVbWQIdL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgNova, and for twelve-year-old Legacy, it’s the only thing getting her through the long days taking care of the other kids at the orphanage. That’s all about to change when she hears about Silla’s tournament.

Set – Silla, the ruler of Nova, hosts an annual tournament for the less fortunate of her citizens to come and prove themselves and win entrance to the Academy, where they can train to compete at nationals. The prize is Silla’s favor and enough cash to keep open the orphanage, and Legacy has her heart set on both.

Magic – What Legacy has yet to know is that the other players have something besides better skills and more money than she does. In Nova, tennis can unlock magic. Magic that Silla used to save the kingdom long ago and magic that her competitors have been training in for months already.

Now, with the world turned against her and the orphanage at stake, Legacy has to learn to use her passion for the game to rise above those around her and shine.


MY THOUGHTS: The sport of tennis is not one I’ve come across recently in middle grade books. Set in the magical world of Nova, Legacy is a tennis prodigy who lives in the lower class. Reaching the top rankings will not be an easy task.

Legacy has to leave her home and father at the orphanage he manages in order to join the tournament. She finds new friends in Pippa (a so called Stringer who takes care of the racket with the right balance of elements) and Javi who helps train her to be the best.

But these are not normal tennis matches. More experienced players have a magic they can inflict on their opposition with changes in the weather, effecting the play of those less fortunate. Try playing your best when a sudden thunderstorm is raining balls of hail on your side of the court.

In the end it’s Queen Silla who holds the secrets and connection to Legacy’s past. It’s a plot twist that makes everything come together and hints at a possible sequel. Fantasy lovers will enjoy serving this one up as their next read.


Legacy and the Queen by Annie Matthew

  1. The training methods are both real life and fantasy. The fantasy comes as a winged creature delivers some dangerous volleys.
  2. Legacy goes through a transformation not only in character but with the clothes and new racket that replaces her beloved wooden one.
  3. The dangers and harm of class structure is brought forth in all of its greed. Legacy though gets in the final word .
  4. Gus is a winged character you’ll remember. I’d like him to drop by and give me a ride during rush hour!
  5. Perhaps we’ll see more of friend Van and other kids at the orphanage. They were present  just enough to wish there might be more about their lives in future books.


Annie Matthew is a novelist and a poet. In a former life, she was a professional squash player. She now lives in Iowa with her gray furry dog, Gus.


I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. A perfect book for this week with the US Open happening.

  2. I have loved watching tennis since I was a middle-grade student myself . . . This story sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing it with us for MMGM, Greg.

  3. This one sounds like a fun blend of real tennis with fantasy. Thanks for your review!

  4. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I’ve never seen a book that uses tennis in a fantasy series. Sounds interesting. Thanks!

  5. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Magic and tennis-an intriguing combo.

  6. Pingback: EPOCA—THE TREE OF ECROF | Always in the Middle…

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