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The Crown of the Blood (Crown of the Blood #1)

3.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  149 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
He had brought his master’s Empire to the furthest reaches of the world. All had fallen before him. Now he longs for home.

But home isn’t what it was. Could it be that everything he’s fought for all those years has been a lie?

A sweeping fantasy of immense battles, demonic magic and dark politics.
Paperback, 528 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2010)
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Nov 16, 2015 Kaora rated it it was ok
It was simply the way things were; the strong got stronger and the weak did well to recognize their fate in time to survive.

The Crown of the Blood was okay for a fantasy book. The author had created an interesting world full of new creatures, races and magics that I barely got a taste of and left me wanting to read the next one to find out more.

However there were a number of issues I had with this book or more accurately, the characters.

The first was with the main character. I hated him. Ullsaa
Kate Sherrod
I remember a while ago in, I think, the 90s when it looked like the hot new genre was going to be "sandalpunk" - "punk" in the sense of cyber- and steam- but set in an alternate Roman Empire. I was pretty excited at the idea but I never got to see any examples and my interest sort of got filed away in the "coulda been cool" drawer.

Then I got my hands on this book. Or rather, its sequel, which is part of Angry Robot's big bundle of ebooks deal I subscribed to earlier this summer. A compulsive com
I was quite eager for this one when it was announced, so when Angry Robot made its e-arc available I got it on the spot and read it soon after, with a full review closer to publication date as usual.

The novel - debut of the author as original work goes and first in a trilogy - is very old fashioned mil fantasy like say Ten Thousand by P. Kearney but with modern sensibilities. While a bit on the dry side as characters go and with little surprises though there is a fundamental twist I did not see
Darrin Drader
Aug 06, 2011 Darrin Drader rated it really liked it
I love the setting for this book. I love the fact that Thorpe credits Alexander, Phillip, and Julius as the inspiration for the book (for those not in the know, it's Alexander the Great, Phillip II (Alexander's father), and Julius Caesar, the three great conquerors of the ancient world). I'm glad that he chose to set this in an age of lifelike statues, marble pillars, and bronze rather than the traditional medieval European based setting. I think medieval Europe is over-represented in fantasy wh ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Joshua rated it really liked it
This book made me feel nostalgic for my history obsessed high school days. The author clearly derives a lot of his ideas from Alexander the Great, and the Roman emperors. He says as much in the beginning of the book. The book is well written, though at times it seemed to jump unexpectedly. For example they are going to take a wall... then they are sacking a city. I had a hard time getting used to the names, but by the end of the book i got used to them. All in all, if you ever enjoyed reading a ...more
Aug 08, 2012 D.w. rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Full review coming. But wanted to remember how horrible this has been. I have fallen asleep after a few paragraphs more in this book than any I own. (And I own and read a lot) This is a sleeper. Characters that do not matter. Fantasy constructs hat do not matter. Every person on stage has to be described with traits as soon as they arrive showing the author has not perfected how to write.

But my first observation, in the morning after rested, in the afternoon, after working, at night when I want
Jun 29, 2012 Abhinav rated it it was amazing
Shelves: angry-robot, fantasy
Shadowhawk reviews the first in Gav Thorpe’s original fantasy series for Angry Robot Books, Crown of The Blood, a fast-paced novel with a world inspired by life in the Roman legions.

“Fantastic characterisation, intriguing world-building and an ending that makes your jaw drop, Crown of The Blood is an excellent novel that is a must-read for any fantasy fan.” ~The Founding Fields

Its always weird to find out that the tie-in genre fiction author you’ve been reading for years has also done some origi
Fantasy Review Barn

First things first, big props to the Goodreads reviewer who coined “sandalpunk” to describe this book. The whole punk thing should have probably stopped after cyber and steam (though to be honest, I have also used bio-punk to describe something), but really in this case it works. So that’s that.

Or rather it isn’t, because now I have started a review with a term to describe the book, without telling anyone what the term means. Stupid stupid stupid, come on man do you expect eve
David Ledeboer
Dec 12, 2012 David Ledeboer rated it it was amazing
I’m a huge fan of Gav Thorpe’s Black Library work so when I finally received a copy of The Crown of the Blood, I couldn’t wait for some free time to dig into this monster. The setting for Crown of the Blood is my forte; I love this genre of epic fantasy: a young leader, such as Ullsaard, thrown into a conflicted and hostile world of warring nations, internal intrigue, and a bit of dark magic.

The initial start of the book wasn’t exactly an info drop, but when Ullsaard’s best friend Noran arrives
Ben Washington
Aug 04, 2014 Ben Washington rated it did not like it
Ugh. Where do I begin?

Boring. Let's start with that. I gave this more than 200 painful pages and the most exciting part was when the main character returned to his home and banged one of his wives.

Do you like flat characters? Hey, here's a great book for you. The protagonist is your typical tough-guy; such a total badass that nothing can touch him. He's oblivious to everything going on around him and yet somehow... wait, that's a spoiler if I go further.

Hey look, a new character entered the roo
Guy Haley
Apr 11, 2012 Guy Haley rated it it was amazing
One of the best fantasies I've read in a long time. Gav is a friend of mine, but that does not make this praise any less valid. His world is complex, well-thought out and therefore believable, his characters neither wholly good nor bad. Awesome stuff.
Mark D
May 29, 2014 Mark D rated it liked it
I wanted to give this a 4...but I just couldn't - alright book, the world is very Roman Empire like, which I love, but after reading the first chapter where the MC fights a giant mounted lizard and seeing the action that I thought would be common place in the book I was disappointing when later on in the book some battles were skipped over entirely.

Other then the battles being missed, it was a good book. About the rise of a General in a time when Nobles ruled, if you didn't have noble blood - yo
Feb 06, 2012 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, abandoned
I wanted to like this book as it had a lot of good points but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.

On the plus side, the world building was well done and an interesting change from your standard medieval world. The characters seemed to belong to their time rather than being transplanted modern people.

On the minus side, the main character, Ullsaard is a humourless bore and so much of the story is told from his POV. Things picked up when the second major viewpoint character (the merchant/slav
Oct 28, 2012 Leon rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-great
I bought this book based on some raving reviews and I must admit I was disappointed.
I liked the idea behind the book, as well as the setting (Roman empire inspired) The overall storyline has potential as well, but the characters, oh my god, the characters. I've read books with a paper thin story line that came alive because of gripping an interesting characters, this book is the exact opposite. The characters are flat and predictable to the point of stupid, completely killing the story for me.
Girl Underground
Mar 10, 2015 Girl Underground rated it it was ok
First of all, this book needs a good copyedit--I found typos and grammatical errors all the way through. Mainly, though, I just didn't like any of the characters, found no causes to root for, and didn't find the story intriguing enough to want to return to it. I finished it out of some horrible sense of duty to see it through to the end. I guess Ullsaard and I have that in common. I'm probably also spoiled by having recently binge-read the existing Song of Fire and Ice novels in the past few mon ...more
May 19, 2012 Ondrej rated it liked it
Military fantasy, aneb co se stane kdyz odstavite apolitickeho, avsak schopneho, generala na samy okraj civilizovaneho sveta.

Postavy byly hodne neverohodne a nekonzistentni, pribeh byl taky dost pritazeny za vlasy. Kdo me zna, vi, ze jsem ohledne techto veci hrozny hnidopich, a sam se divim, ze jsem to nedropnul. Ale napsane je to ctive, postavy jsou zajimave, zanr mam docela rad, a tak jsem to dorazil a chystam se na pokracovani.

Dal bych tomu 2 a pul, ale ze to nejde, dam 3, at nezeru.
Jan 02, 2011 Tbloxham rated it really liked it
Exciting military fantasy in an interesting world. I like how the setting was kept very low magic, but how you could tell that there was something more than normal going on. The characters also were quite realistic and did a good job avoiding the more obvious characterizations you might expect. Definately worth a read and shows that Gav Thorpe can produce a strong book in a setting he creates himself.
Mar 25, 2011 Rodolfo rated it did not like it
I tried to like this book. but I just couldn't get into it. I didn't like the language, I felt that the characters were paper thin. After 200 pages I still didn't care about what was going on. I hate not finishing a book but I also hate moving along at a snails pace.....Going to put this one down and pick up another one.
Gary Butler
Dec 31, 2011 Gary Butler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
27th book read in 2011.

number 72 out of 231 on my all time book list.

Follow the link below to see my video review:
Gerald Black
Apr 12, 2012 Gerald Black rated it it was amazing
Epic battles, believable characters and great narrative, I have been a fan of Gav Thorpes' Warhammer novels, but this was the start of something greater. I am hooked.
Robert Sanchez
Just started this one, old Gav Thorpe is weaving a pretty grand tale, I really like the pacing of his writing.
Zach marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2016
Mr David Crank
Mr David Crank rated it it was ok
Jul 19, 2016
Karen H
Karen H marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
Madalina Iuliana Mocanu
Madalina Iuliana Mocanu marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2016
Benjamin marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2016
Rochelle marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2016
Matty Cee
Matty Cee marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2016
Jennifer Keeter
Jennifer Keeter rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2016
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Gav spent 14 years as a developer for Games Workshop, and started writing novels and short stories in the worlds of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 when the Black Library imprint was launched in 1997.

He continues to write for Black Library, and his first 'homegrown' novel series The Crown of the Blood has been released via Angry Robot.

Currently living in Nottingham, Gav shares his home with his lo
More about Gav Thorpe...

Other Books in the Series

Crown of the Blood (3 books)
  • The Crown of the Conqueror
  • The Crown of the Usurper

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