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on 7 January 2007
Like the other reviewer I too have been reading this series for eight years but not with the eager anticipation that reviewer felt. It's been more a case of wanting to get to the end to find out if I wasted as much time as I thought I had. The first two books- The Kings Dragon and Prince of Dogs were original and evey bit as enthralling as they promised but then followed three of the longest most confusing and obtuse novels I've ever read and I read a lot(on average a book a week). Mulitple plot lines, far too many characters seemingly out of nowhere and a whole load of religious /mythical mumbo jumbo that at times I just wanted to scream in frustratrion.Only with this last one has the fog slowly cleared and some( but not all ) of the mulitple threads have come together to make some kind of sense and then just when you think finally I get it Ms Eliot adds an epilogue that is both pointless and leaves yet more questions unresolved- please promise me that doesn't mean there's an another of this interminable saga to come! If you have patience, a lot of time to kill - like a long long hospital stay or several long haul flights and you like your fantasy writing to be onscure dense and puzzelling then knock yourself out. Otherwise read Tolkien,Frank Herbert's Dune,George R.R Martin or Diana Gabaldon. They really can tell a massive story and keep you hooked from page to page.
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on 2 March 2007
Its hard to say much about this without spoiling it for those who are yet to read it. It is the final chapter in the crown of stars saga, and it ends the story neatly, the heroes win the bad guys lose.Characters pasts are finally revealed and well you get the idea.

Crown of stars is as well written as the rest of the series, but offers no major suprises, it just brings it all to a neat close.

If you have read the rest, you will no doubt read and enjoy this. Then feel ambivilent about it. Getting to the end of a long series of books usually has that effect.
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on 23 May 2006
I have just realised that I have been reading this series of books for 8 years! And boy was it worth the wait...Frankly I usually get bored with these long, rambling, seemingly unending fantasy series' but not this one. Starting with King's Dragon in 1998 Elliott builds and sustains a hugely impressive net of interlocking grand themes which come to a final reckoning in this the final book - Crown of Stars. In a nutshell: Complex, fascinating characters; deftly described cultures and landscapes; religion in freefall; conspiracy and lots of really bloody warfare; sorcery on an epic scale; the most maddening central mystery rather like a chinese puzzle and finally a love story to die for. I don't usually write reviews but honestly more of you out there need to read these books - and hopefully inspire Kate to write more!
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on 12 April 2014
After reading this huge epic series over and over during the past ten years or so, finally made it to the end. It is worth the effort. All of the complex plot strands are finally resolved in a truly satisfying manner but all within the last 200 pages or so! I found my self reduced to tears by the fate of one particular character so brilliantly done there, Ms Elliott. As with the previous books in the series I found there was a little too much padding description for my taste (I was skimming long paragraphs frequently) and I really just wished she could get on with the storyline with a bit more focus. Rambling overlong discussions, dialogue leading nowhere much were offset by exciting and gripping action sequences. Perhaps about half as long would have been a more than adequate length? Having said all that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series and it says a great deal for the author's storytelling abilities that the central 'identity' mystery and cataclysm mytharc was enough to keep me going to the end on its own. Realistic, sympathetically drawn figures, portrayed with real humanity. A variety of creatures scary, fantastic and awe-inspiring do credit the her imaginative flair. I would recommend this series to anyone who has the stamina to stay with a long but essentially satisfying creation.
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on 28 August 2011
Fascinating read of the land of Novaria which now looks like what Europe may have appeared to be when the ice age was receding.

Very good idea to use past geography to create a fantasy land to enhance an epic tale such as this, and how the inhabitants managed to cope with the stresses of changing climate and changes to the coasts as sea levels changed.

The final book in the series is more of how the characters from the earlier books managed to cope with the changes and how they cope with other races. A pleasant read to finish the series.
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Crown of Stars delivers a reasonably strong conclusion to this series. Elliott addresses every plot point and storyline raised from the earlier novels and gives a mostly satisfactory resolution to the story, tying everything up but not necessarily very neatly. The world is left a much more murky, dangerous place then we found in King's Dragon and there are hints of greater struggles to come in the future. This is as it should be: the sense of life continuing after you close the page is an important factor in whether a book's conclusion is convincing or not. That said, there are also many plot points left unclear towards the end, and the discovery that Elliott plans to write sequel novels and series (although she has an unrelated new seven-volume series called Crossroads to complete first) is mildly disconcerting. The novel itself ends with a somewhat pointless coda set 50 years after the rest of the series which seems to bring nothing to the story except reinforcing the point that life carries on. I also felt the conclusion to both the Hugh/Liath storyline and the return of the Ashioi were handled very curtly and lacked the sense of drama and tension that thousands of pages of build-up beforehand really deserved.

That said, the character of Alain was handled quite nicely in the conclusion of the series. What or who he is or represents is question Elliott leaves for the reader to work out, and it is satisfying that she trusts the audience enough to work out what should be painfully obvious after reading the last few books in the series.

Overall, I would say that the Crown of Stars series is needlessly overlong and could have handled having a couple of volumes shaved off from it. It also suffers from the occasional bland turn of phrase, and the characters do seem to engage in a lot of repetitive getting captured, escaping, getting captured again stories, which occasionally has the disconcerting effect of making the reader think he's watching a late 1970s episode of Doctor Who.

On the other hand, I would also say that Crown of Stars features some excellent worldbuilding. Elliott has researched the historical period very well and, for everything she has changed, she's left enough alone that the series actually becomes mildly educational (her realistic use of the hierarchy of medieval power is very satisfying). Many of the characters are intriguing and their storylines worth persevering with (namely Alain and Stronghand), whilst others are a bit flat and tedious (Liath's, mainly).

Among epic fantasy series, there are certainly far worse available, but also ones that are far better. If you are looking for an already-completed, entertaining epic fantasy series, then Crown of Stars is worth a look.

Series rating: ***½
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on 7 October 2008
I have enjoyed this series and it's taken a while to get to book 7.

'King Henry's kingdom has been ravaged by internecine warfare, in a conflict that has been both long and bloody. The bitter in-fighting within King Henry's court and the ceaseless attrition of raiders has weakened his reign and saps his strength. Yet brute force alone will not be enough to stay the darkness that has been foretold as the shadow of the Cursed Ones has fallen. The spell holding the exiled from the land is failing fast and Liath's wild sorcery may not be enough to stay the greatest threat this world has ever seen.'

I felt the ending was a bit too easy, but the book was great.
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on 9 June 2016
A fitting finale to an excellent series However, the epilogue is a little wordy nd I'm not sure what it achieves.
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on 2 February 2013
Crown of Stars, written by Kate Elliot is a great science fiction genre read that I have fully enjoyed reading
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on 21 April 2014
did not enjoy this book as much as the other series I read, seemed to drag on to long and jumped about a lot
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