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Cayla Kluver: Building the Kingdom

young local’s fantasy series is an empire in the making

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by Brittni Straseske photos by Andrea Paulseth

IN A FIELD ALL HER OWN. Since publishing her first fantasy novel at age 14, Cayla Kluver (now 19) has been picked up by Harlequin Teen and published in 16 countries.
 
IN A FIELD ALL HER OWN. Since publishing her first fantasy novel at age 14, Cayla Kluver (now 19) has been picked up by Harlequin Teen and published in 16 countries.

As a 14 year-old, Cayla Kluver began a journey. Along with her on this journey were Princess Alera, Narian, Steldor, and London – characters of her novel Legacy. Now, at 19, Kluver is anxiously awaiting Feb. 28, the day Legacy’s sequel and second book of the trilogy, Allegiance, is released globally through Harlequin Teen.

“It was a crazy up-and-down roller coaster.” – Cayla Kluver, on getting famous for her fantasy novel at 14

Allegiance picks up right where Legacy left readers, with Alera married to a man she does not love and her kingdom headed for war. While Kluver agreed that Legacy was very much a tale of romance, she said her own political interests can be seen at a greater depth in this sequel.

“The kingdom’s at war and there’s death,” Kluver said. “The love that kept Alera going in the first book is suddenly absent and she feels very lost.”

Just as Princess Alera faces struggles throughout the tale, Kluver admitted to a few struggles of her own in writing the story. Most revolved around being criticized at such a young age.

“It was a crazy up-and-down roller coaster,” Kluver said, “trying to figure out that people who hate your book don’t necessarily hate you.”

At this point, Kluver’s mother and first publisher of Legacy, Kimberly Phifer, chimed in. “The faith we had in it was well-founded and proven over and over again,” she said.

Kluver claimed it was just as hard having a piece of herself exposed to the world (as Legacy has been published in 16 different countries).

“It was the strangest thing to imagine that Legacy was no longer in my house – that there were copies of it in other people’s houses.”

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