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The Crown Jewels (Maijstral, #1)
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The Crown Jewels (Maijstral #1)

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3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  294 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In this light-hearted romp through a decadent interstellar empire, an aristocratic thief is commissioned to steal a jeweled box. Everyone wants the box. And the person who has it is in for a whole lot of trouble. By the author of Hardwired and Voice of the Whirlwind.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 15th 1987 by Tor Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Rosalind M
Apr 18, 2012 Rosalind M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I spent part of my reading time imagining this as a movie, with Peter Sellers, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, and Rosalind Russell among the cast members. I can understand why Walter Jon Williams's regular reading audience might not have embraced this series when it was first introduced. Too bad; the juxtaposition of farce and elegance made for a delightful ride.
Al Chang
Jun 10, 2010 Al Chang rated it really liked it
A surprising gem. Brilliant, witty and amusing.

I fell in love with this world in which nobility live off of their media popularity and Allowed Burglary is less about stealing things as it is about pulling off the crime and selling the rights.
Nicolas
Quelle histoire, non mais quelle histoire !
Avant tout, un petit aperçu de la dite histoire. Drake Maijstral est un cambrioleur patenté, c'est-à-dire un voleur reconnu dans cette société galactique qui s'est émancipée d'un empire qui l'avait conquis. Dans cette société, en tant que cambrioleur patenté, il faut avoir du style. Et Drake en a. Il faut avoir des relations. Et Drake en a aussi. Il faut enfin envisager les bons larcins. Et c'est générallement le cas de Drake. Jusqu'à ce qu'on lui deman
...more
Kate Fall
Jul 27, 2016 Kate Fall rated it liked it
I liked this book but it was too short. By the time the worldbuilding is done and I could get immersed in the story, the book was over.

This novel takes place in the far future in a human solar system that was formerly ruled by an alien race. The Earthlings have just won a war of independence, but their social structures are still based on alien customs. So there are a lot of great ideas to mine here. The setting overwhelmed the plotting and characterization somewhat. The main character, Maijstr
...more
Glen Engel-Cox
This is a quick read. Luckily.

My guess is that Williams saw the void that is SF Humor and thought to himself, "God, I could make a killing!" and rushed off to write this "Divertimenti" in one draft, then sat back waiting to laugh his way to the bank. Of course, God must have been out to lunch or he would have sent Walter Jon a sign for his brain saying, "No humor aptitude here. Bank closed."

I'm being rough on Williams, and I'm doing it mainly because I'm afraid he might prove this whole article
...more
Helen
Oct 23, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humour
Did you know that Elvis' great good friend was Jesse James, who chose a life of crime because he was madly in love with Elvis' wife, Pamela, and Bat Masterson was out to get Jesse but Elvis had promised not to tell Jesse? That is the plot of Drake Maijstral's favourite western vid and he is sure it is a biography. Earth's galaxy has successfully broken away from the Khosali empire but there are still groups on both sides of the border who would like to turn back time. Maijstral, as an Allowed Bu ...more
Jay S
Feb 02, 2016 Jay S rated it liked it
The title of the book is a pun - I was slightly disappointed when I discovered that. The main character is described so well I could know him. (However, I probably would not like him as a person. It doesn't matter, since he is a fictional character.)

Set in the future, Drake Maijstral is a titled person with little money or property. He has the "profession" of being a burglar - where his exploits are recorded and sold for entertainment purposes. He is expected not to cause personal damage, and i
...more
Nicole Luiken
Apr 01, 2016 Nicole Luiken rated it really liked it
Shelves: sfantasy, ebook, heist
Amusing SF novel about Maijstral, an Allowed Burglar. Detailed world-building, with several alien species, the Diadem (a type of high society with peculiar rituals like ear-sniffing), fancy burglar tech and dead people who still somehow send letters... I very much enjoyed the partner-swapping dance in the beginning and ending chapters and the mid-book rescue was hilarious.
Karen
Sep 17, 2011 Karen rated it liked it
This book attempts to be more clever than it should. It has some potential but it is a bit superficial and overly glib which leads to confusion about what is even happening in some scenes. It reads a bit like a screenplay actually, where some things would make sense if you could actually see what was happening but was confusing when it was just snippets of conversation.
Barbara
Jul 24, 2013 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
A entertaining romp, with extra points for style. I greatly enjoyed it although I'm still not entirely sure what happened at the end. Too many vials being passed between too many people.

Even though it is almost 20 years old, it has aged well like a fine wine. About the only way it betrays its age is that the sex is low key and off-stage.

Clyde
Jul 11, 2011 Clyde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Crown Jewels, the first Drake Maijstral adventure, is a quite enjoyable romp.
My thanks to Walter Jon Williams for re-releasing the series. I somehow quite missed them when they were originally published.
Traci
Sep 06, 2015 Traci rated it really liked it
It's such a shame that this book didn't gain a wider audience. Well-written, witty, clever, and highly entertaining---this is the sort of book you curl up with on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

And it took me much longer than it should have to realize the, um . . . pun in the title.
Deathburst
Mar 14, 2015 Deathburst rated it really liked it
(Lu en édition française chez Rivage, édition pas référencée sur GoodReads)

Très drôle, univers original, plein de sarcasme et de parodie. Écriture intéressante mais pas toujours évidente à suivre. M'a donné envie de lire la suite de la série.
John
Sep 03, 2016 John rated it really liked it
WJW straps on his Keith Laumer suit to tell this tale of scifi hijinks, burglary and farce. Compared to his more serious cyber punk thrillers this may be a little too light and frothy for some readers, but it works on its own merits.
Mike
Oct 03, 2012 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this series a lot. Too bad there are only three books in the series, apparently they didn't sell very well. They remind me a lot of Alexei Panshin's Villier series, which also had a short run.
Elentarri
Oct 13, 2015 Elentarri rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-and-sf
Very funny and entertaining read.
Dan Walls
Nov 27, 2012 Dan Walls rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Just ok, slow parts, premise is interesting. Master thief is allowed in the future, as long as they perform with panache.
Grimgrin
Aug 28, 2012 Grimgrin rated it it was amazing
Hilarious. If you like Stainless Steel Rat you will like this book and its sequel House of Shards.
Trinette
Jul 31, 2011 Trinette rated it it was amazing
Very funny.
Andy S
Dec 12, 2007 Andy S rated it it was amazing
Ha! Hillarious and involving at the same time. Williams demonstrates the heights (well, lows) to which he can take farce.
Henry
Henry rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2011
Charles
Charles rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2010
Loki
Loki rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2014
Robert
Robert rated it really liked it
May 17, 2012
John Simon
John Simon rated it it was amazing
Oct 03, 2015
Bogdan
Bogdan rated it liked it
Dec 02, 2015
Brennan Griffin
Brennan Griffin rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2011
Lisa
Lisa rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2012
Teresa
Teresa rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2010
Kamil
Kamil rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2015
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Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy -Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few - a few are historical adventures, and the most recent, The Rift, is a disaster novel in which "I just basically pound a part of the planet down to bedrock." And that's just the opening chapters ...more
More about Walter Jon Williams...

Other Books in the Series

Maijstral (3 books)
  • House of Shards (Maijstral #2)
  • Rock of Ages (Maijstral, #3)

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