Sherwood Smith is the author of a number of science fiction and fantasy novels, including the "Wren "series for Young Adults, the Exordium novels (with Dave Trowbridge), the recent "Atlantis Endgame," a novel of the Time Traders series (with Andre Norton), Solar Queen novels (also with Andre Norton), and many others. She lives south of Los Angeles.
Trouble with Kingsby Sherwood Smith
Waking up in a strange place, Flian Elandersi at first doesn’t know who she is. One wicked prince tells her she is secretly engaged to an even more wicked king who wants to marry her right away. But before that happens, yet another
Princess Flian finds herself the unwilling object of desire of three royals. Is the one she wants a villain—or a hero?
Waking up in a strange place, Flian Elandersi at first doesn’t know who she is. One wicked prince tells her she is secretly engaged to an even more wicked king who wants to marry her right away. But before that happens, yet another wicked prince crashes through a window on horseback to sweep her off her feet.
Memory returns, and Flian realizes that all any of them seem to want is her considerable wealth, not her pleasant-but-ordinary self. She longs to escape the barracks-like, military atmosphere and return to civilization and her musical studies.
Flian endures another abduction, this time in the middle of a poetry reading. Who is the villain? Prince Garian Herlester—languid, elegant, sarcastic? Prince Jaim—he of the dashing horsemanship? Or King Jason Szinzar, whose ambiguous warning might be a threat?
Flian decides it’s time to throw off civilization and take action. The problem with action is that duels of wit turn into duels of steel—and love can’t be grabbed and galloped away.
- Samhain Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
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Flian is an ordinary princess who gets swept into extraordinary adventures. Amnesia--abduction--galloping horses--swordfights--though she'd rather just play her harp. Some scenes are quite funny, some tense, others reflective. While this novel does not show the world building and complexity of INDA (Smith states on her website she was in college when she wrote this novel) it engages with certain character types--the quiet heroine, the war-like hero--and examines their motivating emotions. How could two so dissimilar personalities come together? The supporting characters are entertaining contrasts to the meditative heroine and hero.
The product description does a very good job of telling the story line. This is a great story about an unusual princess who gets thrown into exciting circumstances. Very much in the style of "Crown Duel" by the same author.
Trouble with Kings has all the halmarks of a great story. Mystery, humor, adventure, and a dash of romance. The silent Jasan and musical Flian will keep you entertained with their deep discussions and witty reportiore. This is a great book to delve into.
First published in ebook format by Samhain Publishing, THE TROUBLE WITH KINGS was just recently released in print format. I read and loved CROWN DUEL several years ago and this one caught my eye because it sounded similar in a delightfully swashbuckling sort of way. This book is also being billed as a fantasy romance--a genre I'm beginning to feel is a bit finicky (for me at least). It seems very difficult to strike just the right chord.
Flian is a princess. Though when we first meet her she does not recall that rather important fact about herself. She does not, in fact, recall anything about herself as she apparently took a fall off a horse, a bump on the head, and lost her memory. She awakes in an old woman's cabin and is soon whisked off to a castle by her "cousin" Garian. Garian seems very keen to let Flian know she was on her way to see him when she took the fall. Oh, and she was also on her way to her marriage to a dour king named Jason who is also in residence at the castle. Despite the fact that she feels nothing for Jason (and is pretty sure Garian is drugging her drinks) Flian goes along with the plan. That is until another overbearing prince crashes through the window on horseback and whisks her off to a cave in the back of beyond. This prince turns out to be Dour King Jason's brother who is very intent on selling his version of events. Naturally. Eventually Flian manages to remember herself and get home. She even has a loving father and pretty awesome brother waiting for her there. Not that she gets to enjoy them long. Dour King Jason swoops in in the middle of a poetry reading and carries her off once more.
Okay. Enough with the plotliness. I had a problem with this book. For one thing, it was very light on the fantasy and even lighter on the romance. I kept waiting for something magical to happen or for there to be some semblance of chemistry between characters (in any sense), but it never came. I really wanted to like it. And parts of it I liked very much. It has a great premise: the amnesiac princess who gets carried off not once but thrice (it's actually even more than that) and has to determine which prince/dour king is lying to her and who to trust, etc. The thing is the abductions got to be too much. And Flian wasn't compelling enough to carry the whole thing off. If she was just so freaking awesome that it was clear why these nutjobs wanted her and you wanted to stick with her and watch her be awesome and figure out which nutjob was actually a cool cat, then that would be one thing. But Flian is just. so. boring. And the princes three? Turns out they're just nutjobs. Pretty creepy ones, in fact. Nothing more. None of the characters get any decent development and when you do find out which one has been telling the truth the whole time (even though he SO has not) he doesn't get any cooler. He's just no longer the one who wants to marry her for her money then kill her. Hardly my idea of The One. Now it did keep me reading all the way through because I kept hoping at some point the story would delve beneath the surface and I'd get to know these perplexing characters in some more profound way. But satisfacton was not in the cards this time.