King's Dragon (Crown of Stars #1)

King's Dragon (Crown of Stars #1)

4.5 27
by Kate Elliott

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Set in an alternate Europe, a world where bloody conflicts rage and sorcery holds sway, both human and other-than-human forces vie for supremacy. In this land, Alain, a young man seeking the destiny promised him by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman gifted with a power that can alter the course of history, are about to be swept up in a world-shaking…  See more details below


Set in an alternate Europe, a world where bloody conflicts rage and sorcery holds sway, both human and other-than-human forces vie for supremacy. In this land, Alain, a young man seeking the destiny promised him by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman gifted with a power that can alter the course of history, are about to be swept up in a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity. In the New York TImes bestselling tradition of Tad Williams' epic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series.

  • Beautiful cover art by Jody Lee
  • Over 300,000 copies of Kate Elliott's books in print!
  • The Crown of Stars series is a powerful blend of fantasy and political intrigue

Editorial Reviews
This is the first in a new fantasy series (now in paperback), and as there are so many new fantasy series, it takes something special to give a book that bump above the ordinary -- and this book definitely has it. Elliott creates such an authentic sense of place and religion in her kingdom of Wendar, the political landscape comes to life, giving the book an edge of reality that even Martin's Game of Thrones doesn't possess. Instead of starting at the top, Elliott starts at the bottom, with the story of Liath and Alain, two young people who are thrust into the upper echelons of a power that they can't begin to understand -- but had better learn to.

—Michelle West

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hard on the heels of her intriguing collaboration with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson, The Golden Key (Forecasts, Aug. 19), comes the first volume of Elliott's new high fantasy trilogy-and it proves an entirely captivating affair. Elliott works staple fantasy elements of battle, quest and loss into a resounding narrative revolving around three appealing protagonists. Alain is an adopted youth of unknown parentage, gentle with men and beasts, now intended for the monastery. He experiences a vision from the Lady of Battles, drawing him into the civil war between Wendar's King Henry and the king's sister Sabella, who claims the throne. Meanwhile, Liath is left an orphan incapable of realizing her considerable magical powers when the Aoi, enigmatic beings from a shadowy Otherworld, murder her father. She must escape from her eerily magnetic but sadistic human captor to join King Henry's messenger Eagles, witnessing savage battles against the nonhuman Eika fearfully ravaging Wendar's northern coasts. Dominating the novel, though, is a shining hero to haunt one's dreams-Sanglant, captain of the Dragons, Henry's elite heavy cavalry, and Henry's son by an Aoi woman who stole the king's heart when she vanished from human sight. Elliott models her world from a thorough understanding of medieval European history, leavened with imaginative twists of perspective, such as a monolithic church that recognizes a Lady as well as a Lord of Creation and is dominated by a female hierarchy. She skews language, too, just enough to make it both satisfyingly familiar and tangily other-an indispensable technique in conjuring convincing fictional worlds that never were, but that we, whether young or young in heart, wish could be. (Feb.)
VOYA - Sylvia C. Mitchell
Three young protagonists will win teen interest in this multi-layered fantasy. The strongest is Liath, sixteen, who has inherited gifts of magic she has yet to fully realize. Her father has tutored her in ancient knowledge and taught her to read in several languages. Unfortunately, "Da" is murdered and daughter is put into bondage. Later, after much pain and humiliation, she is set free to become a member of the King's Dragons. As is fitting the feminist slant of the telling, the men are good but not better. Prince Sanglant, twenty-four, is the fearless leader of the guard. In the opening pages that read like a fairy tale, his non-human mother abandoned the Prince as a babe in arms, giving two special gifts. "No disease will attack him and no wound can cause him death." Alain, age seventeen, thought to be the bastard son of a noble, but raised to be honest and courageous by his step-parents, was destined to enter the service of the church. Fate had other plans. Each of the young people is helped and hindered by their true parentage, and thus a bond is established with teen readers. The story veers from fantasy's usual lack of sexual details with a strong portrayal of Liath's physical and sexual abuse from evil church cleric Hugh. He "acquires" her as a bond servant and gives her the choice of sleeping with him or with the pigs. In the depth of winter she reneges and later has a miscarriage without knowing how she got pregnant. Even when she is free of him, his vile presence haunts her and stays with the reader as well. The attractive cover depicts a charging knight in full dragon dress. The reverse side features an inaccurate sketch of the dragon constellation. Detail borrowed from medieval history and church structure paint a vivid background, but also tend to blunt the action. The tale stops with no satisfactory conclusion. This first volume of Crown of Stars is not a stand-alone read. It will be loved by die-hard, dedicated fantasy fans who liked the lengthy Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy (DAW, 1988-93) by Tad Williams. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Will appeal with pushing, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Kirkus Reviews
From the author of The Golden Key (with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson, p. 1108), the first entry in a projected fantasy series. In a Europe-flavored fantasy world, King Henry of Wendar is beset by two powerful enemies: the invading nonhuman Eika and their huge, terrible dogs; and by his half-sister Sabella of Varre, who denies Henry's right to name as his heir his bastard son Sanglant. Young, parentless Alain, seemingly destined for the church, is granted a vision of the Lady of Battles and eventually attaches himself to Count Lavastine—who also keeps large, vicious dogs that, other than the Count himself, only Alain can control. At this point, however, Lavastine, a neutral in the struggle for power, is ensorcelled by Sabella's allies and marches to war against Henry. Meanwhile, Liath, having spent most of her young life with her beloved Da fleeing unknown enemies, is enslaved by churchman Hugh when Da is murdered, leaving Liath unable to pay his debuts. Hugh hopes to grab the book of magic that Da left Liath, but just in time she's recruited by Wolfhere of the King's Eagles. Wolfhere knew Da and suspects Liath has magic abilities; both Alain and Liath will play important parts in the showdown between Sabella and Henry.

A creditably self-contained and appealing, modestly engrossing opener, though without much originality or bite.

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Product Details

Publication date:
Crown of Stars , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Kate Elliott’s credits include the Nebula finalist novel, King’s Dragon, its sequels, Prince of Dogs, The Burning Stone, Child of Flame, and The Gathering Storm; her groundbreaking DAW science fiction series, The Novels of JaranJaran, An Earthly Crown, His Conquering Sword, and The Law of Becoming; and her magnificent fantasy collaboration with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson, The Golden Key. She now lives in Hawaii with her husband, three children, and a dog. She can be found at

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King's Dragon 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am a constant reader and i needed a good long book that would at least last me a few days... ive always been a fantasy junkie so i found the title 'King's Dragon' and decided it might be what i was looking for! especially since its a series! the first part of the book was a little bit dull (well... compared to the last part) so i had a little trouble getting into it... but by the time i was half way through i was engrossed! the plot twist at the end was fantastic! yay! i definantly recommend this book and i cant wait to go get the next one (tomorrow)i am off to go read this one again! or at least choice parts of it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading the King's Dragon, and I must say, this is most likely the best novel I have ever read! The plot is brilliant, and the characters stay true to their realistic personalities. I love the way Kate Elliot described how Alain was not very skilled in combat, and is suddenly thrust into an ancient battle. And Liath's story was very agonizing, yet beautiful. The whole Crown of Stars Series is a force to be reckoned with. This book was seriously amazing, and the whole plot includes sadness,anger,fear,danger, political intrigue, and war concepts. I highly reccomend the King's Dragon.
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allychan More than 1 year ago
A meaty book, good for a long vacation or traveling. Centers around 2 main characters, Liath and Alain, in the imagined countries of Wendar and Varre. Centers around magic and a king struggling to keep his throne away from his power-hungry sister.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
the book has a good plot begging in this book. Yet i think that it has too many Characters in the book. I doesnt seem to grasp my attention as much as other books do. Still it has a Beautiful setting where sorcercy is forbbiden and young unborn heros set out in their life turning adventures. The hidden secrets are so cleverly written that you dont notice it until a certin clue slips out. The books following this are equally great (:
Guest More than 1 year ago
This series and this book was and is probably the best I have ever read. The story comes alive in the writing so that it is no longer a story that is being read, but rather, a story being lived.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great, i didn't think that it would get my attention but after the first page i couldn't put it down. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My #1 favorite book ever. Elliott is at her prime, here. Here character development is at its best, much better than in later novels. The tension is kept high, the world creation is flawless. I want to be her when I grow up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, it portrays a world of fantasy that is totally unique from other books.The plot sweeps you away immediately, and never does slow down. I recommend this book to everybody who likes fantasy novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
excellent book...couldnt put it down.....romance,adventure, pure medevil times.....mystery
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kate Elliott's 'King's Dragon' is a fascinating story that drags you into a world of magic, romance, action, and battle. When I read 'King's Dragon' I found myself relating to certain characters in certain parts of the story. K.E. is so good at giving details that makes you feel like you are right there when enerything happens. When Laith was released from Hugh I felt her relief, when the battle at Gent went underway i felt like i was there watching everthing. 'King's Dragon' is a great book that I highly recommend.