King's Dragon (Crown of Stars, Book 1) Paperback – 2 Apr 1998
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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)
The first book in what promises to be a gripping and enthralling fantasy epic' - THE TIMESSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
First, there was the arcane Shakesperian dialogue. At first this was a neat touch. By the end it was looking like a howling blunder. What it did was it made the book a struggle to read. Contrast this with (say) David Gemmell, Geroge Martin or (outside fantasy) Paul Auster. They're authors whose work glides down like honey. I can get through pages and pages of their work without getting tired. without finding my mind drifting onto other things.
Second, I don't have a brain the size of a planet. My paranoia is where the Marvin resemblance ends. With a series as big as this, I expect to have a cast list at the back of every volume (not just volume 6!) and I expect a recap at the start of volumes 2-7. Even if I'm reading the novels in succession, because of the way my mind's drifting, it's comforting just to have the author confirm to you that you took in the whole story and didn't miss something important.
Third, with multiple story lines, it's good to make it more clear to the reder who we're talking about. George Marin had the great idea of having the name of the viewpoint character in big letters at the start of each chapter and it would have been great if Kate could have copied this. That's a WIBNI - "wouldn't it be nice if". Not a big issue. What I found unforgivable was when the first couple of pages of a chapter didn't mention the names of the people involved. He did this, she did that, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a cut above a lot of fantasy fiction, with believable characterisation, tight plotting and a great narrative. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Stephen Myers
I read this series a few years ago. I am re-reading it and I still find it well written.Published 16 months ago by Millicent Cryne
very enjoyable easy reading. Good storyline. looking forward to reading the next book. would recommend this book and hope the rest of the series is as good.Published 20 months ago by anonymous
I have read this series of books in paperback. A really good read. Liked them that much am now getting them on my kindlePublished 22 months ago by sandra59
did not enjoy this book as much as the other series I read, seemed to drag on to long and jumped about a lotPublished on 21 April 2014 by Mrs. J R Brockman
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 on 16 Jan. 2014 by S Simmons