The Trouble with Kings
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The Trouble with Kings

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,128 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Princess Flian finds herself the unwilling object of desire of three royals. Is the one she wants a villain--or a hero?

Waking up in a strange place, Flian Elandersi at first doesn't know who she is. One wicked prince tells her she is secretly engaged to an even more wicked king who wants to marry her right away. But before that happens, yet another wicked prince crashes th...more
ebook, 348 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd
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Sherwood Smith
Jun 17, 2009 Sherwood Smith added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Wrote this one in my early twenties, around the time I wrote Crown Duel.

The initial idea was to write up what happened to an ordinary princess (back in those days they all had raven locks (never black, always raven) and gemstone eyes (emerald, topaz, sapphire) so I'd put this totally ordinary princess in the biggest set of adventures I could contrive. Abductions? Two, no three! Sword fights and chases? Bring 'em on!

But as I wrote it, and thought about how an ordinary person would deal with extra...more
Angie
First published in ebook format by Samhain Publishing, The Trouble with Kings was just recently released in print format. I read and loved Crown Duel several years ago and this one caught my eye because it sounded similar in a delightfully swashbuckling sort of way. This book is also being billed as a fantasy romance--a genre I'm beginning to feel is a bit finicky (for me at least). It seems very difficult to strike just the right chord.

Flian is a princess. Though when we first meet her she do...more
Wealhtheow
Flian is rich and a princess, but she takes no pleasure in the sycophants or court politics she's known all her life. Being kidnapped by three royals in short succession (the sarcastic Garion, the dour Jason, and the swashbuckling Jaim) shakes up her staid routine. She begins to rethink her life, and how she wants to spend it. Annoyed at the numerous kidnappings, Flian takes up self-defense lessons (but in a twist on the trope, she doesn't become a super-ninja, but instead just slightly more com...more
Hallie
Feeling a bit too indecisive to choose number of stars for this. It wasn't Crown Duel, but had so many similarities in ways that it was a bit hard not to measure it against that, which isn't really fair. It certainly wouldn't be one to give someone who'd never read Sherwood Smith before, but devoted fans might have the problem I had of comparing it to the Crown & Court Duet. I did find the characters grew on me, and the heroine was far from the passive victim of fate the back-cover blurb, wi...more
Sbuchler
Genre: Young Adult (maybe), High Fantasy, Romance

This book is a romance more then anything else. The principal characters are all royalty (mostly from differing kingdoms) and politics plays a role, but I don't think the politics are very realistic; Moral and ethical behavior (while highly desirable in a hero or heroine) when it's combined with a huge amount of naiveté sounds like a recipe for getting your kingdom conquered, in a world of realpolitik. Luckily for the hero and heroine, it doesn't...more
Cassie
This was a very enjoyable ebook for those of us who love Sherwood Smith’s writing, her romance and politics, and who have read Crown Duel so many times we own a second copy. It’s hard for me to say what someone who isn’t familiar with her work would think, except that I worry this book might confuse them in parts and wouldn’t keep their interest long enough to get to all the great parts. Because I’ve loved her other books, I slogged through my format problems with it being an ebook, but with ano...more
Angélica
I re-read this last night, and everything is so much clearer now. My previous confusion over the story--and the characters--is probably due to my desperation then to finish reading it in one seating and so foregoing sleep. The pacing won't set you on your toes, but the unspoken dialogue between the characters make me think twice about what they're really saying. And despite the spare details, the build-up of the romance made me go kilig (butterflies in the stomach?) more than the slew of HRs I'v...more
Debbie
In many ways, this book seemed like a trial run for Crown Duel. There were many similarities, yet this book just didn't measure up in comparison. Even taken on it's own, it had a major flaw.

I did like many of the characters and the pacing was good. The world-building was pretty good, but I sometimes felt like the author assumed I understood things that this story didn't fully explain. She also occasionally and randomly threw in archaic words or phrasings that weren't needed. Despite this, I prob...more
Valerie
I started and finished this book the same day. When I finished it, I wanted to turn back to page one and start all over again.

It's hard to say what I liked most about The Trouble with Kings, so I've made a list.

1. The main character is more passive than your average protagonist, but wants to become active. She doesn't always succeed, but I could feel her effort to do more. As an incurably lazy person, I loved this.

2. Secondary characters are interesting and enjoyable.

3. The world is more accepti...more
Kelli
Adored this story. I really loved the arch the main character, Flian, takes. Her growth seems real to me, somehow. Though this story shares Crown Duel like qualities, it is a different story as well. It does seem that this should be read before Crown Duel, like a teaser. Crown Duel is the big times, Trouble with Kings gets you hooked.

I did, however, feel that a few bits could have been left out. I was very much confused at the start of the story, where Garian appears with Jason, saying she is to...more
Estara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ria
Update in April 2012: Had to change my rating to 5 stars as I have re-read this book twice, I love it so...

Oh Sherwood Smith, you never disappoint. The Trouble With Kings is an absolutely delightful tale of princesses, myriad suitors, kidnappings, court politics and unexpected love. It definitely follows a pattern established in Crown Duel and echoed in A Posse of Princesses and (to a lesser extent) Coronets and Steel, but you know what? I was having way too much fun to care about some of the mo...more
Clare Cannon
An absorbing romance that's impossible to put down. The heroine is characteristic of Sherwood Smith's best works: independent, humble, interesting and warm, and the 'hero' somehow manages to be irresistable precisely because he is down-to-earth and full of common sense. Several themes are introduced through secondary characters that require maturity, making it inappropriate for younger teens.
Sho
An excellent comfortable read.. Somewhat predictable but that's what it makes it so comfortable and nice to read. I loved, well enjoyed the all the bungled abductions and how through all the ordeals the heroine grows up!
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
Princess Flian is a very austere, civilized princess. She knows the rules of- and her role within- the royal court. She knows that she will someday marry for the good of her country. She also knows that her kingdom’s vast wealth, and her rather large dowry are her most attractive features, as she is otherwise quite ordinary. So when she finds herself being pursued by two kings and a prince, she has no doubt about what they are after– it’s certainly not her heart. However, Flian finds herself emb...more
Jessica
Given my enjoyment of previous Sherwood Smith books, I was actually pretty disappointed in this new book, set in the same world as that of Crown Duel. Primarily, my problem is the lack of new and engaging characters -- the book smacks of the characters, personalities, mannerisms, settings of Crown Duel. Certainly, as this story takes place on the other side of the same world, I would have loved to either (1) seen some of the differences between the cultures or (2) get a sense for how it all ties...more
R.K. Ryals
I was on a fairy tale kick recently and decided to purchase The Trouble with Kings by Sherwood Smith for my kindle. Aside from the recently finished A Posse of Princesses (Which I also enjoyed), this is one of the first books I have read by Sherwood smith. I was quickly impressed. Her dialogue is smooth and never awkward. That is always the first thing I look for in a book. If the characters don't communicate well, I am immediately turned off. Also, I really enjoyed the main character, Flian. Sh...more
Yuks
*Spoilers*

I dont know why people seem to be comparing this book to Crown Duel (one of my favourites, by the way).

I see little similarity.
Mel is socially awkward girl who always seems in over her head.

The only similarities between Flian and Mel are that they both act on instinct.
Mel is an outsider looking into court politics, while Flian is an insider looking out.

I give tho thumbs up to this book.


EDIT:
One this I wanted to mention is that I DESPISE Jewel.

I don't know why Flian finds her amusing...more
Laura
This was one of those fun adventure/fantasy/romances that Sherwood is so famous for. I have only read one other series from her. She is a great writer, and her characters are enjoyably human. This book is better understood on the second read because you spend SO MUCH time in the first part of the book TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON! That was a little frustrating, but also fun to wonder.

A princess wakes up from a bad injury with amnesia, told she is about to Marry the King of the country s...more
Bobbi
This is the first book of Smith's I've read aside from the (beyond amazing) Inda series. I was a bit cautious, since many of her books seem to straddle the border between juvenile fiction and adult fantasy. When I started this one, I was prepared at any second to put it down - the heroine is weak, shy, ineffectual and constantly swept into other people's politics. I didn't like her; I barely even felt sorry for her. As for all the male characters, they all seemed to be playing their own games.

B...more
Sarah Goad
[[ There are what could be considered SPOILERS in this review. ]]

I was quite excited when I received this Sherwood Smith novel last Christmas because I adored the Crown Duel novels and was interested in reading more of Smith's writing. I have to say, I'm a little disappointed in a few things about The Trouble with Kings:

1. The amnesia at the beginning of it all was absolutely unnecessary. It seemed, for me, a ploy for the author to get away with summarizing the backgrounds of certain characters...more
Becky
Such a good little book. How I like you, little book. I love when I am in the perfect mood for a fantasy read, and I can always depend on Sherwood Smith because she is really good at writing them, thankfully.

The writing, of course, was great and Smith has a way of making her characters' personalities pop from the pages. I think it's because she writes really funny dialogue. She also is really good at explaining all the political intrigue and weaving it through the plot so that every decision is...more
Laurie
Such a disappointment! I try to read everything of Sherwood Smith that I can get my hands on - I think she's a brilliant writer - but this book was excruciating to read. I couldn't even finish it.
One thing that drives me crazy about so many "fantasy" books that I pick up these days is all the political intrigue and speculation. Well this book is 95 percent of that: the characters sit around talk about "oh so-and-so did this because of this..." and "he wants this for this reason but he wants you...more
Alexa
The Trouble With Kings is told from the first person perspective. If you don't like not knowing how other characters think or what they do when not with the main character, then skip this one!

The story is interesting and I enjoyed trying to figure out all the motivation behind each person's actions, but I was unconvinced with the end result. Flian and *ahem* the-guy-she-ends-up-with didn't have very good interaction. The reader is told that they have conversations, but we are not allowed to read...more
Jacey
Set in Sherwood Smith's fantasy world of Sartorias-deles, The Trouble With Kings seems to be a one-off (so far) although there are enough loose ends to wonder if there's a follow-on planned. I haven't read all of Sherwood's books yet, though I am working my way through them. I like to read chronologically when an author has a lot of books in the same world, but I think I may well have skipped ahead on this one, so pardon me if there's some earlier tie-in with this book that I'm not aware of.

Flia...more
Anne Osterlund
Flian has a reputation at court as being rather . . . boring. But she knows well the inconveniences of being a princess. She is abducted, not once, but three times in a matter of weeks. By men with a great deal of interest in her wealth. And absolutely no interest in her welfare.

When her third abductor, Jason Szinsar, finds himself the victim of an ambush, he really doesn’t deserve Flian’s help. She knows she should leave him, strike out on her own, and find her way back to her brother’s court.

U...more
Julia
I can definitely see the similarities drawn between this and the Crown Duel book. She tends to use the misunderstandings between the main couple to heighten tension. It worked better in the other series. I felt like there were too many times when someone would tell Flian how amazing she really was and she just couldn't see it - that got old real quick. The other BIG problem was the beginning. Man I struggled just to get past the part where she has amnesia. It just wasn't done well. It felt so th...more
Melissa
I have really liked the books I have read by Smith but this one was frustrating! I felt like it was just a lot of the other books shoved into one. There were parts like riding on a horse together where she was injured just like in the other Smith book I read. There are just too many similarities. I am tired of the Prince in disguise bit. I am going to have to wait a long while before reading another Smith book so I can forget all that I know about these books so I don't feel like she is running...more
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12350
I am a writer, but I'm here on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.

I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.

More about Sherwood Smith...
Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2) Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2) Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1) A Posse of Princesses Inda (Inda, #1)

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“Everyone is an idiot," I stated. "Except me.” 18 likes
“Why did I laugh at his sorry, bedraggled appearance? Because ridiculousness made a repellant situation more bearable.” 10 likes
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