Coronets and Steel

Coronets and Steel

by Sherwood Smith

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Overview

Too much imagination was tantamount to lying―that’s what my grandmother taught me. So when I first got the sense that someone was following me, I ignored it. Who’d waste time following me?

Me, being Aurelia Kim Murray, a grad student from California with a passion for ballet and fencing, and a hopelessly romantic vision of the world. I had some to Europe to track down my grandparents’ families, but so far I’d had no luck.

I couldn’t explain the sense of urgency that drove me, even to myself. It has begun that day four months ago when my grandmother lay restlessly in her bed, her eyes glittering with fever as she gripped my hand. “Your mother is too gentle,” she’s whispered in her aristocratic Parisian French. “I cannot send her to steal the breach.”

Breach? What breach? With her family? With my grandfather’s family?
Neither Mom nor I knew anything about Grandmother’s family or the handsome man in the silver-framed photo that Gran always kept on her bedside table.

“She wouldn’t talk about her life before California,” my mom has said, as we waited in yet another specialist’s office, hoping to find out why, though Gran had recovered from her fever, she had not spoken since.

Nothing had come of my search in Paris, or Vienna, and no matter how fast I walked along the grand boulevards, I knew I couldn’t outpace my sense of failure.

And that’s when I met my first ghost.

But seeing ghosts wasn’t my biggest problem. I was being followed, and I was about to find out more about my lineage than I had ever imagined possible in my wildest, most fanciful dreams…or nightmares.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756406851
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Series: Dobrenica Series , #1
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 608,799
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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 or on Twitter at twitter.com/sherwood_smith.

Customer Reviews

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Coronets and Steel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After a very favorable experience with A Posse of Princesses, I picked up Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith with some anticipation. I was looking forward to losing myself in a charming story and was interested to see Sherwood Smith tackle some urban fantasy. So, as I've learned to do at this point, I looked past that horrible cover (yes, that's a girl wearing sunglasses and sneakers wielding a sword), and dove into the story.There was less "para" than "normal" in this story, unfortunately. I don't think Smith quite got the concept. She created an interesting, background-filled story with a great, strong female lead character but the "paranormal" aspects were a bit lacking, and honestly, a little confusing.There was so much background information given in Coronets and Steel, I lost sight of what the story was actually supposed to be, a story about Aurelia Kim, a young woman on a mission to figure out who her Grandmother's family really was. When that story finally got back on track toward the end it culminated in a very unsatisfactory ending.I'm still hopeful about Sherwood Smith's other books. I intend to read the Inda series (I gave them a shot a few years ago, but it just wasn't the right time) as I've heard they are absolutely fantastic. I just don't know whether I was expecting too much when it came to urban fantasy, I actually expect some glaringly obvious fantasy elements and not just the words tossed here and there.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kim Murray is in Vienna researching family history when she is mistaken for Central European royalty and whisked away on an adventure featuring swordfights, daring escapes, charming (and not-so-charming) rogues, long-lost relatives, mistaken identities, imposters, and missing treasure. Plus a few ghosts.
rosstrowbridge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
CORONETS AND STEEL combines some of my favorite story elements. It's romantic without being sappy, features a ferociously competent and intelligent heroine, and guides me from the familiar (Southern California, where I lived for many years -- even recognize some of the places!) to actual-Europe to the borders of a special and magical kingdom. I suppose this has particular appeal since I lived in France for most of a year and loved exploring the narrow cobblestoned streets of Vieux Lyon. As our heroine had similar wanderings, those memories and that longing for wonder and history and romance woke up.The heroine, Aurelia Kim Murray, makes the story sing. She's smart but not always wise, she's both mentally and physically strong -- yay for ballet and fencing, what a wonderful combination! She's someone I would love to have as a friend, and the narrative -- witty, fast-paced, emotionally pitch-perfect -- often seemed as if we'd sat down for a chat. "What have you been up to, Kim?" "Well, let me tell you what happened next..."I should add that I didn't get to read this book when it arrived because my husband snatched it away and promptly devoured it.I can hardly wait for the next volume!
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Ancamna More than 1 year ago
I finished Coronets and Steel last night at 1 am, and the only reason I didn't finish it the night before (really, earlier that day) at 5 am was that I had had a really long day and my eyes were fuzzing out on me. As I paged toward the end I glared in horror at the meager five pages awaiting my greedy eyes. What do you mean there were only a few pages left? The story couldn't be over, could it? Luckily, there will be a sequel, which I am eagerly awaiting. Coronets and Steel begins with a Kim, a new college graduate, searching through Europe for traces of her family history*. A vague memory of her mother's and a couple theater tickets have brought her to Vienna, where she resumes her quest in a genealogy office. Leaving the office, she sees her first ghost, though she doesn't know it at the time, who leads her into an encounter with a man who swears he knows her. But she's never met him in her life. He's handsome though, and polite, so she gets a drink with him...and ends up waking up on a train. And promptly escapes out the window. A zigzag chase ensues with the handsome Alec finally apologizing and explaining his mistake. Turns out she looks just like someone named Ruli, who also happens to be Kim's cousin. A bit of Kim's family history is explained and she ends up traveling to Dobrenica, a small country in the Carpathian Mountains, where her grandmother was born. Where her grandmother was a princess. I admit to being pleasantly surprised with much of this plotline. You're not going to get Princess Diaries here. There are echoes of Once a Princess and Twice a Prince in the plotline, as well as Crown Duel, but Kim is a different character than either of those two heroines. She's more serious than Sasha and more experienced and laid back than Mel. Echoes of Sasha resounded in her speaking style, at least at first, but both of the characters are from LA, so I was able to write it off as nothing more than dialect; as the story progresses and you learn more about Kim, the echoes of Sasha disappear. I was frustrated at a few points with Kim's apparent denseness with the situation. She often assumes the best of people, which gets her into trouble in a few situations, but her escapes from those situations are clever and exciting to read. Also, her saving grace, Kim admits to her denseness when shown the real motivations behind such situations. That helps make Kim's denseness a character trait, not a plot device. At one point I remember thinking "if she gets kidnapped here I will be disappointed, because I can so see it coming" and she did get kidnapped. Almost. My irritation with being right was swept away by her ingenious escape and the resulting piece of good luck it brings. At no point was the story so predicable that I could see the ending. A few scenes were expected, but once the story got into full flow I couldn't figure out any of the turns. The few guesses I had turned out to be wrong. I like Kim. She's practical, funny, serious, and learns how to think on her feet. The ending leaves quite a few hanging threads and questions to be answered. Not to mention my panicked reading of the last chapter while thinking "there'sgottabemorethere'sgottabemore" and the shriek of "Nooooooooo!" when I got to the last page. But did I mention there's going to be a sequel? I can't wait. *If you're wondering, this is not a Sartorias-deles story.
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shortcircuit More than 1 year ago
must read from the start and not backwards like i did
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huge