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The Trouble with Kings

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,722 Ratings  ·  151 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
ebook, second, 309 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Book View Cafe (first published February 1st 2008)
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Regina Krus PG, maybe PG-13 for occasional violence it really depends of what generation of movie rating you are thinking of. Nowadays it would get a PG for sure.…morePG, maybe PG-13 for occasional violence it really depends of what generation of movie rating you are thinking of. Nowadays it would get a PG for sure. Is my opinion anyway...(less)
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Community Reviews

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Sherwood Smith
Mar 10, 2015 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
Rachel Carter
May 27, 2016 Rachel Carter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-paperback
Read this book two years back and finally writing a short review! Confession: I loved Crown Duel by the same author & so I read this hoping for similar feels. This book gave me everything I asked for, and I would not hesitate to recommend to any of my YA fantasy friends with a quick warning:

The first 100 pages bored me to tears. No action, no drama (at least for me), the dialogue was lacking its luster and I was tired of all the girly, frilly details and the lack of an interesting male lead.
In order to truly enjoy this book, you'll need to:

(1) Forgive the author for naming the heroine "Princess Flian"

(2) Be patient when the storytelling gets weighed down by seemingly unimportant details (and when you realize later that YES, they really were totally unimportant. I suppose you could say all that extra crap was part of the 'world-building', but eh, whatever - I could've done without it.)

(3) Be cool with extremely vague magic (that honestly, felt a bit half-assed)

I enjoyed this overall
Dec 30, 2008 Angie rated it did not like it
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
Jun 29, 2016 Alissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
A solid YA story, very funny and full of royal politics (or social carriage races, depending on where you stand). I particularly appreciated the no-nonsense narrator and the absorbing mix of action and inner struggles. Straightforward, but oh so very smart and unlike what I've come to expect from YA literature. 4.5 stars, rounded up with glee.

Passivity without strength created victims. Only where did strength cross over into evil?
Jan 12, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
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 ...more
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
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
The Trouble with Kings was on my radar for a while. Mostly because it's a standalone fantasy novel - a rare thing to find.

The good: It was easy to read and has a heroine to whom you could easily relate to. Although she is a princess, Flian seemed like an ordinary girl. And I liked how she grew up in the end.

The meh: Story had a couple of very boring parts..

The bad: I was very disappointed with the amount of magic this book had - almost none. Basically it's labeled fantasy because countries are
Aug 07, 2008 Cassie rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Talltree rated it liked it
Shelves: genre-fantasy
I'm marking this down after the reread from 4 stars to 3.
It was an enjoyable fantasy romance with rich worldbuilding and an interesting plot but I wished the OW, Eleandra didn't have so much presence in the book and found it hard to believe the h didn't mind that the H had loved/wanted to marry the OW.
Apr 24, 2013 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, addicting
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
Sep 19, 2010 Estara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010, re-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2013 Angélica rated it really liked it
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
Nov 12, 2011 Kelli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
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
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
Clare Cannon
Nov 02, 2011 Clare Cannon rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 30, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I think I might have liked this one even more than Crown Duel, which has been a favorite for years! I've been loving reading more of Sherwood Smith's books.
Nov 08, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This book is so fun and surprisingly sweet. I love this author and these characters were just a pleasant surprise.
Dec 30, 2008 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, romance
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
Mar 15, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Osterlund
Mar 12, 2012 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it
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.

Oct 02, 2011 Sho rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
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!
Dec 31, 2012 Estara rated it really liked it
Recommended to Estara by: my frustrations with Heart of the Dragon's Realm
I need to review all my notes on this review but I should point out that I finished reading the book :P
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2016 Vilya rated it it was ok
Again one of those books where I really wanted to give it a higher rating, but just couldn't.

Loved the dialogue and the characters (for the most part). Loved how you couldn't really tell who was the villain and who was a good guy, and the twists and turns on that matter as the story progressed. Also loved how the love interest went through such a transformation, simply by the main character understanding him better.

This book was the best in the middle, and I truly wish it had been a lot shorte
David Rose
Nov 27, 2016 David Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holding me to my ereader until 01:15 in the morning will get you five stars, maybe. If the plot is that intriguing (pause to admire word choice), the world-building that understatedly beautiful, if the characters are that fascinating and the play of relationships that complex and yet easy to follow, if I'm really dying to find out whether they do get together in the end. And, of course, they are all just that superb. Even the castles have individual character. Exemplary fantasy romance with a ...more
Mar 26, 2012 Jacey rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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.

Sarah Goad
May 14, 2011 Sarah Goad rated it liked it
[[ 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
Anoush Emrazian
Aug 29, 2015 Anoush Emrazian rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, princess, ebook, magic
Flian is a princess of a wealthy kingdom. As such her entire life she's felt only valued for her money and position. No one cares what her interests are, nor is she particularly pretty. She prefers to blend into the edges of society and play her music.

Politics in the region are chaotic, with the threat of war on several sides. Humorously Flian finds herself abducted by person after person, each with their own aim for her wealth and position. As she gets tossed around, she gets to know more about
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“Everyone is an idiot," I stated. "Except me.” 24 likes
“Why did I laugh at his sorry, bedraggled appearance? Because ridiculousness made a repellant situation more bearable.” 10 likes
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