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Crown Of Shadows (The Coldfire Trilogy #3)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  10,579 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
Despite opposition by his Patriarch, warrior priest Damien Vryce again seeks the assistance of the immortal sorcerer Gerald Tarrant. While racing against time to prevent the enslavement of their world, the two men find themselves trapped between justice and retribution. Betrayal and loyalty assume ironic forms in this conclusion to Friedman's complex and compelling Cold Fi ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 2007 by Orbit (first published October 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
Crown of Shadows; Or: Sorry, Priest, He's Just Not That Into You (Because He's an Undead Vampire and also Heterosexual.)

all the standards established by the prior two novels are in place for the grand finale of this fitfully entertaining trilogy.

at times amazing ideas and a compellingly realized world? check!

fascinating 200 page novel filled with those amazing ideas but force-fed nonsense until it bloats into a 500+ page novel? check!

all the things a goth teenager would love in a genre novel: ro
Jan 19, 2017 Ivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
4.5 stars for this book but I'm reducing rating of previus books from 5 to 4 stars.

More detailed impressions to come.

5 stars.

This is the third, last and best book of the series.

There were aspects that I didn't like due to personal perference of content and not writing, but I cannot in good faith, lower the stars because of that.

The writing:

Technically speaking was excellent. The beginning drew me right in and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire 500+ pages. There was good conflict from start to finish which kept the pace steady. I did not skim. I felt connected to all the characters
May 14, 2009 Cynth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*****Spoiler Alert****The first book was good, the next not bad, and the last was horrible and filled with information that had no business being there. Not to mention the timeline at the end of the book was off.

My first issue with the book was the romance between Andrys and Narilka. The book could have done without it. This author sucks at making the romance between characters natural and believable. She did a bad job with Damian and Ciani and worse with Andrys and Narilka. The romance between
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Very satisfying conclusion to the Coldfire Trilogy after the excellent Black Sun Rising and When True Night Falls. I am a big fan of C. S. Friedman and this trilogy is a big reason why.
Molly Amory
Apr 14, 2011 Molly Amory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: and, fantasy, sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat  Hooper
Jun 15, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars

Crown of Shadows brings C.S. Friedman’s COLDFIRE trilogy to a close. (This review may contain spoilers for the previous books, which you really must read before beginning Crown of Shadows.)

In the previous book, When True Night Falls, the unlikely allies Reverend Damien Vryce and undead vampire Gerald Tarrant battled their way across hostile foreign countries to combat the evil force that was threatening humanity. Just when they thought they were finished, they were essentially told: “Bu
Aug 12, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Damien Vryce, the knight/priest of the One God, and Gerald Tarrant, the founder of Vryce's church who sold his soul for immortality, comes to a satisfying ending. These companions, who have become friends (due to their working together in common interests in the previous books) despite the fact that they should be mortal enemies, along with the help of Karril work to stop Calesta from dooming humankind on Erna. While this is all happening, the Patriarch leads Tarrant's only survivin ...more
Mar 30, 2010 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, I'm on the last book of this C.S. Friedman series, although now I'll be sad to leave this world and all of its compelling characters. Gerald Tarrent is one of the best and one of the more complex villains I've yet to encounter, even more so than the Shrike (from Dan Simmon's brilliant hyperion series). The Shrike was ultimately servile to a mysterious evil force and not necessarily autonomous, unlike Tarrent who is completely in charge of his awful destiny. The choices he makes are so h ...more
Eric Allen
Aug 07, 2012 Eric Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crown of Shadows
Book 3 of The Coldfire Trilogy
By C.S. Friedman

A Retroview by Eric Allen

I still can't believe that I had never heard of this trilogy until recently. It has been around for twenty years and I only just discovered it. Although, I do have to admit, that my younger self would probably not have been wise enough to pick up on a lot of the themes and subtlety involved, and may have come away bored by them.

Crown of Shadows picks up several months after the previous book. Damien and Terran
Jan 16, 2009 Chy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Quick! Gut reaction: Well, I like the cover art.

Short Summation

This is third in a trilogy. My reviews for the first two are around here somewhere.

We have to stop the Iezu, Calesta. That’s kinda like a demon. The Church is heavily involved, working separately from our main characters, Gerald and Damien. Also, we get to meet Gerald’s descendant, Andrys.


Why this book?

I read the first two. I was hoping for more entertaining exchanges between Damien and Gerald. I wanted to see Damien help Ge
May 04, 2015 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-series
It's been a really long time since I last finished a fantasy book. I managed to read all 500+ pages of this book in a matter of weeks. I haven't read a trilogy with books this long since the Night Angel books I read in college. Gotta say that I was pleasantly surprised with Crown of Shadows.

Like its predecessors, Crown of Shadows is primarily an adventure book with the two main characters, Damien and Tarrant, both trying to vanquish an evil enemy. This time, the enemy is Calesta, the demon who
Dec 19, 2011 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(This review is for the whole Coldfire trilogy, including Black Sun Rising and When True Night Falls).

When I started this trilogy I was in the mood for some science fiction, as someone had recommended this to be. Well, while it turns out these books have some SF background they are mostly sword & sorcery fantasy but quite good enough to keep me reading through all three books in no time.

The world building here is intriguing: Being descendants of an Earth colony, the protagonists have quite
Mar 03, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This trilogy is beautifully written, and is emotionally compelling. What I loved the most about this series is the astonishing amount of self sacrifice and the reflection of the consequences by Damien. Usually in novels I read about the hero doing acts that might not be entirely noble, but still for the greater good, and it is taken in stride by the hero and cast. A little frown or solemn look off in the distance, but not much else. Not these characters.

In the first book each character is set i
Bryan Stevenson
Oct 27, 2009 Bryan Stevenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Crown of Shadows" is an excellent conclusion to a solid fantasy series by C.S. Friedman. I kept waiting for some of the elements from the 2nd book to show up in the 3rd, but they never did. Other pieces, however, were woven together nicely. I was afraid that the ending was going to be rushed, but it turned out great. All of the loose ends were tied up succinctly.

Friedman's writing style reminds me a bit of Frank Herbert. She gives you just enough detail to imagine the world for yourself, and th
Rob Towell
Apr 04, 2008 Rob Towell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read
This is by far the best series I have ever read. From the start I was a little mixed about the idea of mixing Sci-Fi with my fantasy -although they are my two favorite genre’s and Sci-Fi usually has fantasy mixed in I prefer it to be a one way street.

By the time Damian was in town and the Hunter was introduced I was completely convinced this lady has skills. I enjoyed everything from the basic background elements and the implied and actual politics, down to the actual physics of the magic. In th
Xara Niouraki
A fine ending to the trilogy.

I think the book drags a lot and it could have been a lot shorter. The moral pangs the Reverend faces are totally useless here. He had two books to come to terms with the Hunter and his ways. I don't need to read again and again about his spiritual agony.

Generally, I liked the ending and I believe that the author resolved everything nicely. I can't help but feel that the world emerging after that is not one I would like as much. Magic dies and the world becomes ordi
James Maxon
Apr 02, 2014 James Maxon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-shelf
This is a great ending to the series; everything wrapped up well and concluded satisfactorily. While tragic, there is also a positive spin. The strongest message centers on the power of sacrifice. I have read many series in my day, and while I wouldn’t rate The Coldfire Trilogy as the best of the best, I will say it leaves a lasting impression. One that both haunts and edifies. This series speaks not only to the mind, but to the depths of spirituality. There are books I’ve read like eating candy ...more
Mae Clair
Apr 28, 2013 Mae Clair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is freaking awesome! The entire Colfire Series held me riveted, but book three is by far my favorite. Both Damien Vryce and Gerald Tarrant have reached turning points in their personal viewpoints and the way they relate to each other. I don’t think I’ve ever read a series with an enemy/friend relationship that was developed so believably or so satisfyingly. My only regret is that the series ended. If I could give it more than five stars I would!
Tammy Witzens
Jun 12, 2014 Tammy Witzens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books that made me sit very still for a long time and just reflect on the journey I had just completed with the characters of this story. Of course I had already fallen in love with them, and their journey had gotten extraordinarily complex. The climax definitely delivered.
Jun 27, 2011 Meru rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reasonable end to the story. It's an unremarkable series, but well done for what it is. The storyline with Tarrant is essentially the only part of the series that is consistently intriguing, but I don't regret having read it.
Oct 16, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of the three. The ending is worth all the effort of reading the three books.

I'm not sure how Friedman does it. But he makes a bad guy (Tarrant) so darn likable I end up rooting for him through the whole thing.
May 25, 2017 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best series out there.
Dec 04, 2016 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Loved this. I did not want this story to end.
Thoroughly enjoyably 1990's fantasy. Ties everything up. That's not always a good thing.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Newton Nitro
Oct 29, 2013 Newton Nitro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Crown of Shadows é uma ótima conclusão da  trilogia Coldfire. Nesse último volume temos muitas revelações sobre a natureza do mundo de Erna e descobrimos mais sobre a alma do Neoconde Gerald Tarrant. Assim como em toda a trilogial, o tema da religião, da visão messiânica e de como essa visão pode gerar destruição, é tratado com mais profundidade.

Vendo a trilogia de uma maneira completa, observo que o segredo de sua popularidade está em focar no desenvolvimento pessoal dos dois protagonistas, Dam
Jun 02, 2010 Sbuchler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this trilogy close to 15 years ago, before the concluding Crown of Shadows was published. I remember liking the series but for some reason never got around to the final book, which meant when I started Crown of Shadows I had forgotten everything that came before. This actually didn’t matter as much as you’d think since the trilogy is not one story split into three books but instead each is a separate (although linked) story.

Crown of Shadows focuses on 4 people:

Andrys Tarrant
Alex Andrasik
Oddly for a third book in a series I'd been enjoying, I had trouble getting into and through this volume. I found the plot somewhat preposterous, with digressions to new plotlines and characters that I cared little for. It felt like the beats that Friedman planned for Damien and Tarrant weren't enough to sustain a full novel, so there was this whole other thing going on that didn't connect to the main action until late in the book...

But more than that, my big disappointments: Friedman did some c
Jan 19, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite of the three. It had a faster pace and more interesting events. There were points in the first two where the book sort of dragged on the travel details, but because there was only a little bit of travel in this one, there wasn't really enough to drag.

I loved learning more about the Hunter and his mind and soul. I loved what happened to him overall as well. I also thoroughly enjoyed revisiting past characters like Karril and the Patriarch as well as Narilka ((who I don't think
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Celia S. Friedman is a science fiction and fantasy author. She has also been credited Celia S. Friedman and Celia Friedman.
More about C.S. Friedman...

Other Books in the Series

The Coldfire Trilogy (3 books)
  • Black Sun Rising (The Coldfire Trilogy, #1)
  • When True Night Falls (The Coldfire Trilogy, #2)

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