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King's Dragon (Crown of Stars, Book 1) [Paperback]

Kate Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 April 1998

The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her banner. Internal conflict weakens Wendar's defences, drawing raiders, human and inhuman, across its borders. Terrifying portents abound and dark spirits walk the land in broad daylight.

Suddenly two innocents are thrust into the midst of the conflict. Alain, a young man granted a vision by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman with the power to change the course of history. Both must discover the truth about themselves before they can accept their fates. For in a war where sorcery, not swords, may determine the final outcome, the price of failure may be more than their own lives.


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King's Dragon (Crown of Stars, Book 1) + Prince of Dogs (Crown of Stars, Book 2) + The Burning Stone (Crown of Stars, Book 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (2 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857236092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857236095
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

This could be the breakout book for Kate Elliott . . . what really counts are her characters. Well-drawn and vivid, they come alive as both people from a very foreign place and people we care about. They keep the plot irresistibly moving forward and draw us into her work. The book is solid, exciting and engrossing - a grand and powerful piece of writing all in all. (Katharine Kerr, author of DAGGERSPELL)

Entirely captivating... an indispensible technique in conjuring convincing fictional worlds. (PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY)

enough adventure, suspense, and character development here to reward most readers. (STARBURST)

I look forward avidly to the next volume. (INTERZONE)

Book Description

The first book in what promises to be a gripping and enthralling fantasy epic' - THE TIMES

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has potential 12 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I'm still not sure about this book, though I will probably try the second in the series to see how it progresses.
On the one hand, traditional fantasy fare; a pair of teenagers thrown into events that they would never have dreamt of being involved in a year before, largely seeing the world through their innocent eyes. In other words, derivative of most other fantasy novels, and therefore, as a basis for a book, frankly now rather boring.
On the other hand, it is well written, there are a number of subplots surrounding the central theme, not to mention hints of plots that have yet to be uncovered - presumably in later novels. And above all, a rather more realistic portrayal of such a world than you traditionally get.
But my biggest problem with the novel, and what most discourages me about reading it, and further entries in the series, stems from that realism. The author acknowledges at the front the role various experts on medieval Europe have played in her writing of the series. Which is just the problem - to a large extent the novel is SET in medieval Europe. The Church, in particular, is blatantly the Catholic Church anytime up to around the reformation. She's even hardly bothered to change the names - the pope has become the scopos, bishops are now biscops and so on. The Emperor that people keep referring to is Charlemagne. Frankly, in my fantasy novels, although I like realism, I also like the author to have put a little effort into creating something unique. Kate Elliot hasn't, she's merely changed the names, and introduced references (medieval Europe references, at that) to sorcery. Oh, and she's made women more politically powerful. Much as I think this has potential, I can't get over the feeling that it should really be in the historical fiction section.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing opening to a huge series. 3 Sep 2007
By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Kate Elliott (the pen-name of American writer Alis A. Ramussen) sensibly starts things off on a small scale with the opening book in the Crown of Stars series. The setting is the continent of Novaria, a fantasised version of Europe in the early medieval period. The opening volume takes place in the unified kingdoms of Wendar and Varre (Germanic states by other names), which through dynastic marriage are now ruled jointly by King Henry. However, his elder half-sister Sabella plots rebellion against him and mobilises the Varren nobles to war. At the same time, the savage nonhuman Eika are heavily raiding the northern coast of the kingdom and besieging the city of Gent, and King Henry's court is involved in intrigue as Henry plots to make his bastard son Sanglant (the result of a union between Henry and an Aoi or elf woman in his youth), his heir, to the displeasure of his eldest legitimate daughter Sapentia.

This opening novel follows three principal characters. Alain is a foundling, raised by his foster-family and promised to the Church. However, the destruction of the local monastary by Eika raiders sets Alain on a new path as his destiny intersects with that of Count Lavastine, who coincidentally once had a bastard son sent to be raised by freeholding family, a decision he now regrets. Readers may groan at this cliche and it is rather predictable in this opening volume. However, Elliott cleverly subverts this expectation in later volumes in the series.

The second POV character is Liath, a beautiful young woman who has spent much of her life on the run with her father, fleeing from unseen, unknown enemies who desire her father's immense knowledge of astrological magic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Set in an alter- mediaeval middle europe, this book carefully, clearly (and slowly!) crafts a society on the cusp of profound change, beset by sinister external forces, schism and the dark shadows of a long fallen golden empire.
Into this volatile setting are pitched a trio of young protaganists , each in turn wrestling with their inheritances, characters and destinies. Their struggles to come to terms with themselves mirror, and influence, the unfolding disintegration of their kingdom and the unfolding of a new order.
Well, OK, pretty standard fantasy fodder in outline. But, the leading characters are rounded out and well differentiated, the supporting cast crisply portrayed, the matriachal society and religion lovingly (if a little too, sometimes) detailed and the monsters, magic and violence sparingly and effectively deployed.
What it all adds up to is a book, like early Modesitt, Donaldson, or perhaps most closely, the Fionovar trilogy, that portrays an almost tactile sense of living in a profoundly different world; it draws you in and leaves you craving more. In fact, I'm off the buy the follow up (Prince of Dogs) on Amazon right now.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Liked Fantasy? Read This 19 April 2002
Format:Paperback
An unlikely choice for me, Kings Dragon proved to be a good one. I have never read fantasy and was given this book but have to say it was spell-binding. I was on Liath's side from the beginning, hated Hugh, fell in love with Sanglant, hoped for Alain and was intrigued by Wolfhere, Rosvita and many others. The politics and infighting in this story gave it a realistic feel and the number and calibre of characters give it good pace. Bit too much scripture for my liking but I have gone on to read the 2nd and 3rd in the series aswell as Jaran (which I also consider to be excellent) ... Not bad for a Fantasy Virgin.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
did not enjoy this book as much as the other series I read, seemed to drag on to long and jumped about a lot
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. J R Brockman
5.0 out of 5 stars Crown of Stars Series
Great books, especially the 2nd one. I have hard copies of them all, but it is sooo much easier to carry them around on my kindle. Read the whole series every couple of years.
Published 6 months ago by S Simmons
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good this book is!
This was recommended to me by a friend, I started reading it and it is ace. Usual fantasy sort of thing, over 7 books or so, no brainer
Published 8 months ago by Ms. J. Ashton
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!
Again, I love Kate Elliott's books and like i said before, i'm hoping she's on Kindle books, so thank you!!
Published 11 months ago by Patricia Mordue
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Thought I had read this before, hadn't & thoroughly enjoyed this book. Can't wait to read the next one. Brilliant!
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars i'm torn!
Well, I have to say that this was a really good read in general. The characters are likeable, full of life and relatable! Everything I look for in a good book! Read more
Published on 20 July 2010 by Larewen Evenstar
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Start to the series....
....But room (rather no room) for improvement.

What I mean by that is this book (and series) on a whole is very good, the two protagonists Liath and Alain, and the... Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2010 by M. Bowes
4.0 out of 5 stars My review for the whole series
I think that there was a good story underlying this series, but I can't say that I enjoyed reading it. Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2008 by dangermash
4.0 out of 5 stars Potential for a good series
This book revolves around two main character, Alain and Liath both unknown to the other and throughout this book there is no understanding why they might be linked together. Read more
Published on 1 Dec 2008 by Simon Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars From the cover.......
From one of Fantasy's shining new lights comes this first volume in a magnificent epic set in a richly realised land and culture. Read more
Published on 9 April 2007 by Angel Silver
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