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The Broken Crown

(The Sun Sword #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,986 ratings  ·  145 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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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)
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)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  2,986 ratings  ·  145 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
Dnf ~ This one was just not something that starts well. There’s a big rape scene straight away and the story feels muddled and messy and like it’s a bit directionless at first. I certainly wanted to enjoy this author, as I own one of the other books by her, but I just couldn’t get motivated to carry on after the first section.
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
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.
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
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. ...more
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.
Sarah Wynker
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
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. ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2021
This book ends really strongly. For readers like me who are reading the entire Essalieyan series, this book might feel a bit jarring after Hidden City due to the total change in setting, but things definitely get better after the midway point.

This book is about the people living to the south of the Empire depicted in Hidden City. Its a very different culture, with clans and families, a strongly patriarchal system, harems etc. This can be a bit of an adjustment for readers as instead of the very
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
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
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
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
Kevin James
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4-half-star
4.5 stars, another great Michelle West book

At this point, what can I even say about Michelle West's books that I haven't already? Is this a well-written tapestry of a book that introduces dozens of arresting characters? Check. Does the plot start out slow but is filled with such insightful and thoughtful worldbuilding that it reads much quicker than it feels like it should? Check. Is Jewell ATerafin in this one as well continuing to gain power and influence that you marvel at how much she has gr
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, canadian, 1990s
Political fantasy. Long and at times a bit tedious and repetitive, but I've read later books and they seem more accomplished so I will continue at some point with this series. I think the problem for me is the structure and pace, it's all rather ponderous and slow and also I feel it needs to be heavily edited!? ...more
How the fuck can Michelle West write so many interconnected epic fantasy books over the span of 30 years, where none of the books feel padded with useless information, and the characters are super compelling and the driving action of the book? I read over 600 pages and just want more. Why have these books not won awards? Why are people not reading and weeping over them? Why is Michelle West not a household name for epic fantasy? The more I ponder about this, the more upset I get.
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
Sep 17, 2021 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: fantasy
Not bad but didn't really pull me in enough to give over weeks of my life to finishing it. DNF at 20% ...more
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
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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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