As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

October 20, 2010

CROWN DUEL by Sherwood Smith, 2002

Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court Duel)Young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances. In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one. (Amazon product description)

Review by Michelle Witte, bookstore owner

I’ve always been a girl—a very girly girl—but there’s also a part of me that wants to take on the bad guys and kick butt. At the end of long, hard, butt-kicking day, though, I want some romance, too. I imagine that’s the biggest reason why I adore Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. I related to Meliara, the young Countess of a backwater province who fights a lopsided war against a tyrannical king.

The thing about Mel, though, is that she gets nearly everything wrong when it comes to fighting and politics. Her courage keeps her going and impresses the right people in the end, but it’s not an easy road.

I won’t say much plot-wise since Crown Duel is actually a combination of two books: Crown Duel and Court Duel. The publisher was nice enough to print a newer edition with both in one book, saving readers some money, as well as from a night tossing in bed itching for that next book.

I loved this book from the moment I read it, not just because it’s a fun read filled with adventure, romance, a bit of magic, fancy parties, and a kick-butt heroine . . . Okay, that is why I loved it. Honestly, that’s what I want from my life, so to see someone else—even fictional—stumble through and make a mess of it while actually doing the right thing . . . that’s me in a nutshell.

Good fiction = stories we can place ourselves in. I’d say this is excellent fiction, because in many ways I was Mel. Now where’s my smart, handsome, dashing hero?

Market: Young Adult
Language: Very mild, if any
Sensuality: Very chaste
Violence: References to war/torture, nothing violent ever described in detail
Mature Themes: Considers implications of war/politics and how people act/react to it

Book formats:

To learn more about the author, visit: Sherwood Smith


LucindaF said...

I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am actually reading this book for the second time. This one is going on my Amazon wish list.