Crown Duel

Crown Duel

4.7 251
by Sherwood Smith
     
 

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Meliara and her brother promised their dying father to free Renalna from a bad king's oppressive rule and to preserve the vital Covenant with Renalna's aloof, inhuman Hill People. Meliara, the stubborn barefoot countess, is determined to win or die fighting. But she not only has the evil king to contend with, there's the elegant Marquis of Shevraeth, who alway seems…  See more details below

Overview

Meliara and her brother promised their dying father to free Renalna from a bad king's oppressive rule and to preserve the vital Covenant with Renalna's aloof, inhuman Hill People. Meliara, the stubborn barefoot countess, is determined to win or die fighting. But she not only has the evil king to contend with, there's the elegant Marquis of Shevraeth, who alway seems to be one step ahead...

Brought to court by a mysterious letter, young Countess Meliara finds herself the subject of courtly intrigue, both sinister and romantic, on the part of the deposed king's sister, the enigmatic Marquis of Shevraeth, and a secret suitor. Meliara has to contend with the mysteries of politics and the mysteries of romance. Is risking your life less dangerous than risking your heart?

This special edition has been completely re-edited, with the addition of inserted outtake scenes at the end.

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - M. Jean Greenlaw
The death of their father casts young Mel and her brother Bran into the unwanted roles of Countess and Count and into being leaders of a revolution against a despotic king. Their people have fallen on hard times because of cruel taxes, and Mel has grown up gloriously free of the trappings of court. As she becomes enmeshed in war, she is captured, and her journey from captivity to freedom parallels her coming of age. Mel comes to realize that she has led a very sheltered life and that people are often not what they seem. As she travels the countryside, her world expands; and she discovers the need for the education she had previously scorned. Intrigue, romance, and rousing adventure are all part of the saga. Sherwood Smith writes good story! Her use of language and imagery and her deft plotting keep the reader glued to the pages. This book is the first of the Crown & Court Duet. Smith's previous books formed the engaging Wren trilogy. Each book stands alone in its power and satisfactory conclusion, but each makes the reader want more. What more could we want as readers?
VOYA - Bette Ammon
This is Book One of The Crown & Court Duet. Remalna is a country with magical Hill Folk and their warmth-giving Fire Sticks, as well as the poverty-stricken Countess Meliara (Mel) and her brother Branaric. A revolution is underway against a greedy king who covets Remalna and will break the Covenant-a promise to sustain and protect the remarkable colortrees in Remalna forests. Ferociously courageous and defiant, Mel proves a worthy adversary to both real and perceived enemies. Her lovely, yet smudged face on the book jacket seems peculiar until readers realized that the scratches and bruises speak truly of Mel's bold adventures. The larger theme of war and those who ultimately pay the price adds depth to an exciting fantasy featuring an endearing, exasperating heroine, her loyal brother, a mere hint of romance, and the promise of further tales. Sure to please fans of Tamora Pierce's Alanna (Macmillan, 1983-1988) and Wild Magic (Macmillan, 1992 +) series, Smith's nifty Mel is a guaranteed champion. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Kirkus Reviews
Fantasy fans will cheer this latest romp, subtitled "The Crown and Court Duet Book I," in which Smith (Wren's War, 1995, etc.) introduces the teenage Count Branaric and Countess Meliara of Tlanth. The siblings are noble-born, but there their good fortune ends; their father has died, leaving them in a cold, rundown castle, unable to pay taxes to the evil Galdran, corrupt ruler of the kingdom of Remalna. Galdran's cruelty forces the pair to lead their country in revolt: Despite some spirited fighting that leaves the king's forces scrambling, Meliara is taken hostage. Ill and threatened with torture, Meliara never lets panic overwhelm her, risking her life to be reunited with her brother and displaying admirable wit and courage in the process. Smith's lush descriptions evoke a fantastic yet credible world, where magic spells and enchanted stones are everyday facts of life. While the tale ends with the king's destruction, Smith leaves a few threads dangling for the next installment: The Count and Countess will no doubt saddle their mounts again soon.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781503181540
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
03/17/2015
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Sherwood Smith started making books out of paper towels at age six. In between stories, she studied and traveled in Europe, got a Masters degree in history, and now lives in Southern California with her spouse, two kids, and two dogs. She’s worked in jobs ranging from counter work in a smoky harbor bar to the film industry. Writing books is what she loves best. She’s the author of the high fantasy History of Sartorias-deles series as well as the modern-day fantasy adventures of Kim Murray in Coronets and Steel. Learn more at www.sherwoodsmith.net.

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