Sunday, August 9, 2009

Crown Duel

Crown Duel (Contains Crown Duel & Court Duel) Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Book 88 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 20 of 50 for the New Author Challenge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think if I had read this book when it came out 12 years ago, I would have loved it. The problem is that I've read Graceling and Poison Study this year and liked them much better. I know that isn't really fair because this one came out first and Sherwood Smith deserves credit for that. But, I couldn't help compare this book to the others, so it is what it is. I enjoyed it, just not as much as the others.

This is a medieval tale, light on the fantasy and magic, and I thought the storytelling was great. Meliara and her brother Bran are lesser royals who pick up the fight against the evil king when their father dies. They have information that the king, who is taxing them beyond all reason for his personal benefit, is going to break a covenant with the magical Hill Folk who live near their mountain home. Meliara is brave, smart and well-intentioned, but she seemed to pass out whenever the fight really got going. I liked the political intrigue and court drama aspects of the book, but Meliara's naivete and poor people skills were frustrating to me. The romance side is predictable and it really only gets good at the very end.

To thoroughly confuse potential readers, this book comes in either a two-book format (called Crown Duel and Court Duel) or the one-book format I read (called Crown Duel). Personally, this really should be packaged as one book. I think if I had just read the first one, I would have been sorely disappointed. As it is, this was a fun and entertaining read, but not without its flaws. I liked that the book was very clean, and I would recommend it for fantasy-lovers and teenage girls.

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Source: Library

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Ah, and I read it the other way around, with a significant amount of time between this and the other two. So, yeah, I can see that there would be comparisons between them, and Graceling and Poison Study are both WAY awesome...