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

Kate Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 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 (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,759 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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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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Crown of Stars Series 25 May 2003
Format:Paperback
This is another one of my faves. The story spans 6 huge books-the last of whch has not yet been published. King's Dragon was extremely good and the only reason it didn't get 5 stars from me was because it was so long and descriptive that it was hard to read for long peiods of time. However if you like a series where the author manages to write a large number of subplots and lets you make the links between them to realise what is happening-then Elliot is the author for you. I have actually been awed at her prowess at being able to link everything in so many subtle ways to ultimately form an intricate story that keeps you on your toes. Not for the lazy minded readers who like to have the story spelled out for them-this one makes you think
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Start to the series.... 8 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
....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 secondary characters weave and intertwine throughout the books to create an intricate and detailed story. However there comes a point when all the detail is adding too much unnecessary filling which is getting in the way. I sometimes found myself reading a chapter and thinking, out of the 20-30 pages all I needed to know to move the story on was that one paragraph in the middle. I understand that setting the scene is an integral part of storytelling but at times it just seemed over the top.

A good start to a series which builds as it goes, but be prepared to invest some time getting to the heart of it. (***1/2)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 3 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 4 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 8 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 9 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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars doorstop epic
If you like robert jordan, or george r r martin, etc, try this as the next saga to suck your life in. Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2006 by genejoke
1.0 out of 5 stars Aahhh
The first book is actually okay. The reason i gave it only one star is because by the time i got to book 3 i had lost the will to live. There is too many characters. Read more
Published on 14 Nov 2004 by "linziwatson"
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