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The Broken Crown

(The Sun Sword #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,880 ratings  ·  130 reviews
The Dominion, once divided by savage clan wars, has kept an uneasy peace within its border since that long-ago time when the clan Leonne was gifted with the magic of the Sun Sword and was raised up to reign over the five noble clans. But now treachery strikes at the very heart of the Dominion as two never meant to rule--one a highly skilled General, the other a master of t ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 764 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by DAW Fantasy
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William You can, yes, but you'll have a better sense of what's going on if you read Sacred Hunt first. This one takes place after the events in The Sacred Hun…moreYou can, yes, but you'll have a better sense of what's going on if you read Sacred Hunt first. This one takes place after the events in The Sacred Hunt, and in a different part of the world Some of the characters make appearances and a few plot points are refenced. (less)
Nevada If your asking does a pretty-but-no-one-sees-it teenage girl fall in love with the handsome-but-misunderstood-boy, no, that doesn't happen.

If you're …more
If your asking does a pretty-but-no-one-sees-it teenage girl fall in love with the handsome-but-misunderstood-boy, no, that doesn't happen.

If you're asking if this book has heart and emotion, familial love, friendship, sorrow and promise, yes, this book has that. Falling in love is not the point of this story, but love permeates it.(less)

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 ·  2,880 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Last year, there was a student who sat outside the prep room reading. She read Michelle West, but she had yet to read this series. This is a shame because while the Sun Sword series is sprawling, it is a beautiful work.

This book is the first volume in the Sun Sword series and focuses on the shifts of power in a country that resembles an Arabia from the 1001 Nights (yes, I know the Nights are really from India). One of the central characters, Dio, is the most beautiful woman in the world. She als
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judith Carney
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This series was really gorgeous. I found the first book a little difficult to follow early on, as the author starts the book with a few chapters that seem entirely unrelated to the rest of the story. The switch back and forth between perspectives of characters in vastly different cultures can also be jarring. The ending of the first book was so powerful however, that it more than made up for the rocky start. The writing was beautiful, the world fascinating, and the women in the book were amazing ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it liked it
- I can't tell if the Annagarians are white or not, since they keep being described as "ivory" even though the culture trappings are a mixture of assorted Asian cultures
- Bored by the Empire
- Love that girl is the kid of a prophecy, love the intergenerational and inter-women relationships
- Teresa too. But mostly Diora
- Interesting reading of harems
- Chewy stuff on women and indirect power
Allison Hurd
Time of death: 12% (100 pages)

I don't remember the names of anyone I've met so far and I'm not interested enough to be reminded. I really, really wanted to love this book, and I think it will likely be incredibly epic, but this far along we still have no forward momentum and no explanations for any of the key ideas. So, while I might try again in the future, it's time to pull the plug.

My major takeaway so far:

-This world is very complex. I think that once things fall into place, it will be very
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Trigger warning for sexual assault

The Broken Crown is the start of a six book epic fantasy series by Canadian author Michelle Sagara West. While The Broken Crown does have some sword fights and so on, the majority of it is political intrigue. It might appeal to the same audience as Game of Thrones, although it is less grimdark and more traditional. However, what really made me love The Broken Crown was the strength and presence of the female characters, of which there are many.

The Broken Crown
Megan Baxter
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of things I liked about this book. I can be seduced by sprawling fantasies (more so if they're not a quest narrative), strange lands with political intrigues, magic that is secondary to politics but not irrelevant, and interesting gender politics. The Broken Crown has that, in abundance. And yet, at the same time, I don't know if I'm running right out to get the next one. I haven't quite been convinced to add Michelle West to my list of authors I need to follow fervently. That mi ...more
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read, read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
I read West's first SUNSWORD book up to about 40 or 50 pages. It had promise but it was waaaay too much effort to wade through. Very heavy on details and context but poor in pacing and keeping the reader focused and understanding of the world.
Oct 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
A good plot spoiled by verbose writing and repetitive phrases. These were two distracting components of the book:

1. Surprising interjections in a conversation between two characters, when they (and the reader) thought they were speaking alone and privately. Lo! a different character interrupts with a line of dialogue, then "steps in from the shadows." Michelle used this device far too often. It was hard to imagine this actually taking place as often as it did, and equally difficult to take into
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jane by: starlady
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelley Ceccato
There's an element of grimdark about this epic fantasy, with ethically gray "good guys" (who nonetheless can manage to be sympathetic, though perhaps not quite admirable) contrasted with truly despicable bad guys. Characters routinely abuse and betray one another, and the whole thing kicks off with a horrific rape. (Fortunately it is treated with the horror it deserves.) The author presents the reader with a complex, often confusing world and a multitude of characters and situations to keep trac ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Some day I will reread all the books in the Sun Sword series and give them a real reviews. For now, let me just say that this is one of my favorite fantasy series ever. I love West's prose which is lyrical and descriptive. But for me the best part of these books by far are the outstanding characters. These books are told from multiple view points -- and they all come across as genuine. In some ways I am reminded some of GRR Martin, however West is both better able to keep the characters under co ...more
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I love world building series but the first half of this book is almost unbearable with the numerous names, hierarchical structure and long winded descriptions. It would behoove the author to provide a type of diagram or tree to better explain the structure of the Clans and Tyrs in the Dominion vs. constantly throwing names at the readers and half descriptions of what is going on. A simply glossary and diagram/tree would have made this book so much better in that such needless chapters c
Feb 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Unfortunately I could not finish this. Normally I am undaunted by length of book and amount of politics, but while I could understand what was going on WHY it was going on was beyond me. The amount of idiot ball holding put me off, too, but my biggest gripe is the way the book deals with women and how expendable all but the super special ones are. Maybe it gets better later on. Maybe it doesn't. I can't slog through to find out.
The Broken Crown Star Rating: 5 Stars, Buy it
Self Purchase for Kindle, Re-read review
If you haven't read this series, you really have no idea of what you are missing. The writing style is so unique and superb and adds so much to the series. I must admit though sometimes the writing can be hard to follow. Also, there is so much politics in this series, that sometimes I just can’t follow it all. That being said though, it’s still an incredibly original and unique series.   This is a reread for m
Sarah (A French Girl)
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Why is this author not more well known? This was an excellent book. BUT...yes there is a but I didn't like how the South, inhabited by POC was sexist, harsh and enforced slavery while the North recognized equality of the sex, its culture was simpler and easier of the people and there was no slavery. It is especially puzzling because the author is Asian. Besides, sure it is fiction, but I must say that historically, the West was as sexist as the South. For a long time, in most countries in Europe ...more
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
I found this book confusing and disappointing. When I started it, it felt like I was reading from the middle. So little is explained and the jumps between characters is jarring.
Halfway through the book and I still have no idea where the main element from the prologue comes in. Things are referred to in a very veiled way and I felt like I was missing a chapter where things were explained. I guess I expected some explanation because there was so much detail and scene overlaps from different charac
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epic
This book was hard for me to read.

Firstly - and honestly, the smallest reason - is that it had all the unwieldy bulk of the first book in an epic fantasy series, as you meet a very large cast of characters and establish the world of the Dominion. Frankly, it was a relief to get back to the Northern city, because I'm reading this series in the order suggested on The House War series page - the first 3 books of that series, and then all 6 of this series - and it was great to get back to characters
B.J. Richardson
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A while back I was listening to the House War series by this same author on audible. I stopped that series so I could dig up "The Sacred Hunt" books that take place in the same universe and keep the right chronology. Unfortunately, I never did manage to get them as audiobooks (Shame on you, Audible).

Anyways, I decided on a whim to start this series even though I never did read the Sacred Hunt books. The first 20-30% seemed very complex and slow but I am guessing it would not be so much so for t
Maggie K
Oct 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I think this story COULD have been good, and I really, really tried, but I was about 200 pages in and it still wasnt going anywhere, and I started dreading picking it up.

Life is too short
Sarah Mac
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (i.e., my tender youth), I read this series. Please be aware that my rating for each book reflects my feelings at that time -- I haven't had the stomach to reread & test my memories.

Back then, the first 3 volumes blew me away. I was in awe of the settings, the voices, the personages. I could hardly stand to be away from them long enough to shower, eat, & do my homework (which probably suffered -- screw you, Virginia Woolf). The final 3 books, in contras
I first tried to read this book some years ago, but I didn’t manage to finish it without skimming a great part of the second half. As I am otherwise a great fan of Michelle Sagara/Michelle West’s writing, I tried to come back to this universe but by a different entry: the first three books of the House War series as recommended by other fans. Then I read the Sacred Hunt duology and the short stories set in the same universe. As a result, when the POV shift from the Dominion to the Empire around ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
(I'm currently re-reading this EPIC book series.)

I read in order to experience someone else's fantasy world, primarily to delve into the complexities that underlay various cultural clashes and the characters who represent these cultures. Here a few things I love about this series starting in The Broken Crown:

-The complexity and world-building are truly outstanding. Michelle West poured an amazing amount of resources into developing an unique set of cultures and personalities. The Broken Crown is
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Highly highly recommend it. This is high fantasy at its best. And if you like strong female characters (and I don't mean only the sword wielding kind), this book had them galore.
However, I found the pacing very slow and the Dominion and it's habitants hard to relate to. My problem is that I started with reading the House Wars series first 3 books which focus on Jewel Aterafin and the city of Averalaan.
While reading a Broken Crown, I am only waiting for my favourite character Jewel to appear.
Marc W. Gilbertson
This is for the entire series.

The first book was great, and I really enjoyed the development of the characters. From the 2nd book on, it went a bit downhill from a 5 to a 3 star. It's a good story that spans a large territory. Entire books are dedicated to different facets of the story virtually completely. This book is not light reading and you're gonna have to pay attention, or you'll definitely begin to lose the threads.

One major complication in the kindle version is the formatting. There a
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
A great plot obscured by schizophrenic character shifts (often just one page each) & painfully detailed descriptions spanning pages. I started skimming this laborious book halfway through, I was so frustrated with the lack of plot advancement. The (usually ridiculously short) point-of-view shifts were akin to a movie where a scene is filmed and shown by six cameras. I do NOT need to know how absolutely everyone perceived the same event, especially between unimportant/unnecessary characters. Thes ...more
Diana Thayer
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found it VERY difficult to get into and very difficult to follow all the characters until ~260 pages into the book; it was also a very difficult introduction with the initial abuse. Very different in character treatments in some respects from the Chronicles of Elantra series which I read (and very much enjoyed) before tackling this series. However, that being said, I became very attached to the characters and the style of narrative grew on me.

The book also presents some very interesting juxtap
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
If only some dramatic stuff would happen every once in a while here ... #joke

This was at least the third re-read for me. I found myself frequently comparing the Dominion to Krasia in Peter Brett's Demon Cycle, and it highlighted how important the Lady and the night are in broadening the culture of the Dominion, and making it more plausible to find yourself sympathizing with even some of the men there. The very seat of power is based at, and made possible by, the lake of the Lady. It's still a sc
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wrote a truly complicated review that I managed to erase so I will summarize in three sentences.
1. There are creepy demons that want to fight the anti-demon Northern kingdom
2. There is a hot girl- the Flower of the Dominion- that stops the demon plans with her hotness and a bunch of other shit
3. Lots and lots of other complicated shit that you will never understand but sounds good when you read it.
Um- There's five books of this going on.
4. When you get to the end of the last book- Still have h
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See also:

Michelle Sagara West
Michelle Sagara

Michelle is an author, book­seller, and lover of liter­ature based in Toronto. She writes fantasy novels as both Michelle Sagara and Michelle West (and some­times as Michelle Sagara West). You can find her books at fine booksellers.

She lives in Toronto with her long-suffering husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs.

Reading is one of h

Other books in the series

The Sun Sword (6 books)
  • The Uncrowned King (The Sun Sword, #2)
  • The Shining Court (The Sun Sword, #3)
  • Sea of Sorrows (The Sun Sword, #4)
  • The Riven Shield (The Sun Sword, #5)
  • The Sun Sword (The Sun Sword, #6)

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