The Broken Crown (Sun Sword Series #1)

( 9 )

Overview

The Dominion, once divided by savage clan wars, has kept an uneasy peace within its border since that long-ago time when the clan Leonne was gifted with the magic of the Sun Sword and was raised up to reign over the five noble clans. But now treachery strikes at the very heart of the Dominion as two never meant to rule--one a highly skilled General, the other a master of the magical arts--seek to seize the crown by slaughtering all of clan Leonne blood.
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The Broken Crown: The Sun Sword #1

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Overview

The Dominion, once divided by savage clan wars, has kept an uneasy peace within its border since that long-ago time when the clan Leonne was gifted with the magic of the Sun Sword and was raised up to reign over the five noble clans. But now treachery strikes at the very heart of the Dominion as two never meant to rule--one a highly skilled General, the other a master of the magical arts--seek to seize the crown by slaughtering all of clan Leonne blood.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Michelle West writes in a strong, compelling voice unique in the fields of science fiction and fantasy. This book, the story of Serra Diora Maria di'Marano, the most beautiful woman in the Dominion of Annagar, who is caught up in a power struggle to control the land's destiny, is no exception. Richly detailed, wonderfully told, it is both a multilayered portrait of a woman of conscience caught in circumstances beyond her control and a study of the Byzantine politics of the Imperial Court. A strong story, stronger characters, and a richly realized and detailed world combine to make this a powerful novel. For many writers, this book could easily serve as their magnum opus, their crowning achievement. For West, however, I suspect that it's only an indication of things to come.
—Larry Segriff
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This first volume of West's second duo (her first being The Sacred Hunt) offers all the challenges but few of the rewards of a standard good-versus-evil epic. More buildup than action, more scene setting and character description than aptly placed exposition, West's narrative puts the burden on the reader to distinguish between important and irrelevant details while trying not to trip over awkward prose ("she wished to see the lines of his face as he somehow skirted the edge of the who that she was"). West does a good job of creating sympathetic characters, but unfortunately nothing much happens to them. Momentum builds in fits and starts right up to the end, making the book merely a long-winded introduction to the next volume, The Shining Court, due soon. (July)
VOYA - Rayna Patton
In the complicated world of The Broken Crown, humans are divided into two rival kingdoms: the Annagar Dominion and the Empire. The Dominion is a feudal state made up of rival clans, with a titular head called the Tyr'agar. Slavery is practiced and women of the clans are chattels, to be married off or given in concubinage. Both slaves and women can be, and frequently are, killed at a whim. The Empire is no less militaristic, but does not practice slavery, and women and men are considered equally qualified to compete for honors as warriors. The rulers of the Empire are the God-born, carrying the blood of both gods and humans. Both the Empire and the Dominion are uneasily aware of the Kin, demon lords who inhabit the Hells. Led by the Lord of the Night, the Kin have their own agenda to increase their power in the kingdoms. Dominion-born Diora, beautiful and much-loved daughter of a powerful Annagarian aristocrat, cannot escape her destiny. Married young to the unpromising heir of the Tyr'agar, she is a helpless witness when he, his concubines, and his family are slaughtered in a coup led by an ambitious General allied with her father. Diora, deeply attached to the women in her husband's harem, can only mask her rage and grief as she resumes her place in her father's house. Meanwhile, one hitherto insignificant young member of her husband's clan has survived the massacre. Valedan, son of a concubine, has long been a hostage at the court of the Empire. While he lives he is legal heir to the dead Tyr'agar and focus of a dissident movement that forges an alliance with the Empire. As the book ends, war between the Empire and the Dominion is imminent, with the Kin temporarily supporting the Dominion. Modern fantasy is increasingly written to a formula. Set in a recognizably "medieval" world, with magic critical in directing the action, it tends to be wordy and self-indulgent. The story unfolds in a leisurely and intricate way. The reader must enjoy the trip: The ending, though never in doubt, might be thousands of pages away. West's strength is in creating a cast of complex characters who, good or bad, engage the reader's interest and sympathy. The two kingdoms are brought to life with colorful detail. This will be an appealing book for those who love to immerse themselves in the intrigues of a safely distant world. Plan on buying the next volume if you decide on this one; The Shining Court is currently in preparation. VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P S (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780886777401
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Series: Sun Sword Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 768
  • Sales rank: 435,046
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle West is the author of three interconnected series: The Sacred Hunt duology, the six-volume Sun Sword series, and The House War novels. She has published numerous short stories, as well as fantasty novels, under her maiden name, Michelle Sagara. She was a two-time nominee for the Campbell Award. She works part-time at BAKKA Books, one of Toronto's larger bookstores, and writes a column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. She can contacted via her website, michellesagara.com. 
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    An all-time favorite...

    If you're looking for an immersive, intricate, well-crafted story with engaging charaters in a fascinating and mysterious world - you've found the right book/series. I've been a fan since the first time I picked up The Broken Crown - and I reread all six books of The Sun Sword series at least once a year. The exquisite detail and unique style West uses to create her world and paint her characters will draw you in - I find it very difficult to put down; even after multiple rereads, the Serra Diora, Lord Isladar, Jay Markess ATerafin and Kiriel Di'Ashaf still find ways to surprise me. It's true, the books are dense - but it's worth every minute.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome series!

    Ms. West's skill and facility with words is truly awesome. I bought all six of the Sun Sword series books at once, and couldn't put them down until I'd read them all. With an average of about 800 pages for each (in paperback), they provided me with many hours of joy due to the skill of the author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just Aweful!

    I have read quite a few books in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, and I must say that this is absolutely the most boring book I have ever read! I literally had to force myself through it, and I think I deserve a medal because I actually finished it. West had a wonderful concept for the story, but she just does not know how to entertain a reader.<BR/><BR/>I strongly recommend that you try a different series!

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2003

    Overly Descriptive..?? Yes, but....

    a damn fine book nonetheless. This is a book that if you can pick your way through the flowery condiments you'll find the meat and potatoes. In this day of rather simple minded plots and characters, I found this book refreshing. I certainly am moving on to the rest of the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 17, 2012

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    Posted October 9, 2013

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    Posted October 22, 2013

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    Posted September 11, 2010

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