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The Broken Crown (Sun Sword, volume 1) Mass Market Paperback – 17 Feb 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton / Signet; Reprint edition (17 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886777402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886777401
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 4.6 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 985,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
_The Broken Crown_ is a very successful high fantasy of the courtly politicking variety. A sizeable cast of socially-significant characters across a pair of neighbouring - and, natually, rivalrous - polities scheme, plot and exchanged slightly too clever politically-nuanced banter. No farmboys leading quests and becoming kings here; the tale is firmly planted in the upper echelons of two sophisticated, but very different, societies. You know the type - and if you enjoy the genre, West's novel has much to recommend it.
The book is set in the same world as the Sacred Hunt duology; certain characters and the legacy of events in those novels do carry over, but my impression is that reading the prequels isn't vital to the enjoyment or understanding of _The Broken Crown_. Indeed, if anything I would recommend that a new reader begins here, as (to me) the quality of the prose and the control/pacing of the plot are both far superior to that in the Sacred Hunt novels.
West doesn't rush things in this first volume, introducing characters, indulging in lengthy dialogue scenes, luxuriating in her settings and set-pieces to the tune of 760 pages (which perhaps explains why the series eventually ran to six books...). The luxuriation is entirely justified, however, particularly when it comes to the chapters set in the Dominion (an intriguing culture with Indian and Japanese overtones) - specifically, those centred around Diora, Teresa, and the women of the harems. Surprisingly, there are few real subplots amid all this; virtually everything that happens contributes to the main thread of the story, even if the connection is not immediately obvious.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The characters and the plot are excellent. The cultures, traditions, rules etc are well thought out. The book starts out a bit confusing, but that becomes clear later on, even though you still have hundreds of questions at the end of this book. The way the demons are shown have been just right, there hasn't been too much magic, so the magic capabilities will most likely been shown later in the series. The characters where well rounded, and some mysterious. There are plenty of plots, and twists.
The only bad thing I found was that is was quite a bit hard work to get through the book. There was just too much detail and thoughts. I beleive that if this book was edited to maker it smaller it could be only 400 pages. The story is slow, though there are parts where it picks up and at the end. The dialogue was superb, fiting well with the characters, the society for the north and south very different, where in south women have very little power, though in the north quite a bit.
I will most likely buy the 2nd in the series as the plot is very interesting. I will recommend to readers who like well detail books and who has the will to read thick books.
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By A Customer on 17 Nov. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm REALLY pleased to have discovered this author! The depth and detail of her characterisation and plotting in this novel is impressive, and the complete authority with which she handles this fascinating world utterly convincing. The world has an aura of mystery and many characters have different sorts of power, but the story doesn't lose sight of the grittier realities of human life. This is EXACTLY the sort of fantasy I most enjoy. I loved it, and it is great to read a second and probably many more times, since there is always something more to notice that you missed before. I'm looking forward to the sequels very much.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This almost but not quite standalone first volume (of two? three? or more to be written and published, one hopes) stands out in the crowd of fantasy adventure series. Ms. West elaborates characters, cultures and themes already presented in her Hunter's Oath and Hunter's Death duology plus introduces new ones. In her latest, and longest, fantasy novel, Ms. West deftly weaves interrelated plotlines across time and space in a unique, vividly described pre-industrial world of humans and humanlike powers (gods and demons) struggling for dominance, subject to certain rules and restraints. You can read this book as a straight action adventure, read it again as a character study, and yet again as a discussion of philosophy, ethics and social structure. While one of the four main societies (the Domain) displays strong elements of traditional Japan, on the whole Ms. West's cultures and religions are not copycat or derivative of either historical settings or other authors. The supporting descriptions of costume, architecture, custom and scenery enhance but do not overwhelm the tension and actions of the main players, as do the carefully crafted exoressions of each character's words and thoughts, which reflect the differing cultural backgrounds and individual thought patterns of each person. Her plots show novel twists which usually are internally consistent, although she sometimes resorts to a deux ex machina. Ms. West continues to explore themes of polarized powers acting out apparent conflicts through and with humans as first seen in her 4 (or was it 5) volume Dark/Light series (written as Michelle Sagara).Read more ›
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