Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

“In a cold and shabby tower room, in a cold and shabby castle, young Countess Meliara and her brother, Branaric, swear to their dying father that they will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. But that promise may cost them everything they cherish. It leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, a war that threatens the homes and lives of the very people they are trying to protect. Worse still, it lands one of the pair in a torture chamber and leaves the other with an arrow in the back.”

Okay, I think the first thing I can say is that you really should have the second book on hand before reading the first. I unfortunately only had book one checked out and now I am impatiently waiting for the second. Book one follows Meliara, the countess of a very poor area. The king has continued to raise taxes to the point where even the upper-class are struggling. When he threatens to overtake all their land and their people, not to mention breaking a sacred covenant with the wood people, Meliara and her brother Branaric are furious and decide they must fight. Mel, is soon captured by the enemy camp and then the real adventure begins. We follow Mel as she is captured, imprisoned, escapes, on the run, still on the run, captured again, escapes again, on the run again, and so on. I did enjoy the story and the hint of a romantic relationship with one of her captures. However, the book kind of just ends and there isn’t much resolution. I look forward to reading the second book.

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