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King's Dragon

(Crown of Stars #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  8,716 ratings  ·  336 reviews
Set in an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage, the first book of the Crown of Stars epic fantasy series chronicles a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity

It begins with civil war....

For though King Henry still holds the crown of Wendar, his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella. There are many eager to flock to her banner, and there are
Kindle Edition, 636 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by DAW (first published February 1st 1997)
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Morgan I don't know how to answer this except to say I ordered all 7 books (hardcover!) on They sell hardcovers for less than four dollars e…moreI don't know how to answer this except to say I ordered all 7 books (hardcover!) on They sell hardcovers for less than four dollars each, which means you can get the whole series from them for dirt cheap. I recommend!!!! (Sorry for sounding like an ad.)(less)
Pamela You asked this question a while ago, but maybe it will help others. There is very little foul language that i can think of in the series. There is sex…moreYou asked this question a while ago, but maybe it will help others. There is very little foul language that i can think of in the series. There is sex, including same-sex, but it's not graphic nor the central focus. Mostly the book is pretty clean, but if you're looking for 100% clean this wouldn't be it. Even Terry Brooks has sexual situations in his books now.

The series is based somewhat loosely upon Medieval Earth in an alternate universe, with that world's version of Catholicism/Christianity as a central theme. It's seasoned with a fair amount of magic and magical creatures as well.(less)

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Mayim de Vries
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Be bound, as I am, by the fate others have determined for you. That way you’ll remain safe.”

A book that combines Guy Gavriel Kay’s writing finesse with Jacqueline Carey’s opulent world building. And I bet you have not heard about it before. Your bad.

OK. Maybe you are not a seasoned fantasy reader and the names I mentioned do not ring a bell. Additionally, you are quite partial to dragons (welcome, welcome, here is your complimentary Who Cares About Dragons Society membership card) and the hide
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of history and epic fantasy
Shelves: favorites
I'm usually much too lazy to give reviews, but I felt obliged to write one for this series because I believe Elliott's writing is somewhat under-appreciated. Among the plethora of epic fantasy series that came out over the last 30 years, the Crown of Stars is relatively unknown, so I wanted to make it easier for people to decide whether to start on this 7-book series or not with no spoilers attached.

Language style: I guess it's comparable to George RR Martin's ASOIAF, not as intricate as that o
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I'm loving this!! The second one is even better so far!

Mel 🖤🐾🐺💕🦄
I really loved this book. It was one of those rare ones that I took my time to savor without thinking about what I was going to be reading next. As with many books that I've loved, it's hard to explain why. I really just love Kate Elliott's writing. Her world is so vivid and real, with a deep sense of history and of hidden things that will be revealed. At the same time, she also makes me care about and fear for the characters so effortlessly, and because of the characters, the world feels very i ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, garbage-shelf
I'm giving up @ 64%. I'm trying to find something to like but it's so boring. I think the only reason i held on this long is because i own three of the other books in the series. Too many characters and lordly titles and way too much silly sounding religious BS! Not for me. ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I plan to write a fuller review after reading more of the series, but really enjoyed this. As a kid I read the first couple of books in this series, and now I suspect the reason I didn’t finish is that Elliott’s adult novels are geared toward adult tastes and interests, more so than most popular fantasy, which tends to be heavy on the adolescent wish-fulfillment, action/adventure and romance. Not to say that there aren’t elements of that here, but this probably isn’t the fantasy to buy for your ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
No spoilers here.
After reading this first book of a seven book series, I must say that I wonder why it doesn't come up on more lists of finished fantasy series, perhaps for the lack of readers. Thinking it may be the covers, which do not work at all compared to the story itself. This story takes place in a medieval setting where magic looms about, and has a gritty feeling to it. The book is written in two points of view, and later on third point of view is inserted.
You do have the typical youn
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, fantasy
This book was a pleasant surprise. I had never heard of this series before and have never read anything by this author. If not for the mention of it on my updates feed by GR friend Mayim (see review), I likely would’ve remained unaware of this little gem.

Told in third person, it mostly follows the experiences of two main protagonists, Alain and Liath. Both are sixteen at the start of the book but if you’re worried that this is another YA book, don’t be. Take it from someone who mostly avoids th
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished this in a day! The whole series of The Crown of Starts was a gift from my boyfriend, and I was eager to start in on this. There is so much going on already in this book. It seems a typical fantasy at first, lost elvish nations, scary lizard-ish bad guys, a brother and sister fighting for the thrown, and a couple of kids caught up in the middle. Mostly, I'm intrigued by the religion Elliot creates in it. Clearly, there is a lot of traditional, Medieval basis in it. Fathers and "biscops" ...more
*Trigger warning for: Rape, Abuse, Violence, War*

This is the start of a promising Fantasy series in the classic style of LotR or WoT but the nice difference here is that this is firmly rooted in medieval society and Elliott has clearly spent time researching and fleshing out the world.
The other thing I liked about this is that this society is very much gender-balanced. Just as many women are in positions of power as men and it's a nice thing to see the eve split across the book.

We're following
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fantasy
I had a really, really hard time getting into this book. I probably would have neither started nor finished it if it weren't a book of the month for a reading group I belong to. I just hate getting into multi-volume (7) epic fantasies. This one took about 200 pages (out of 600+) to get interesting. I was never able to pinpoint quite why it was so hard to get into. For the record, I'm going to list some positives and negatives of this book.

On the positive side:

1. There aren't too many central cha
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up for a book club in July and I'm glad I did. It's a bit of a chonkster, weighing in at a hefty 636 pages for this first volume in a (completed!!) seven book series. Despite the high page count, I thought the book read pretty quickly despite being a bit slow in developing the plot.

Our story unfolds through the eyes of two main characters, both adolescents and roughly the same age (around 16). Until I reviewed my notes for this review though, I thought Alain (the boy) was youn
Kat  Hooper
The Crown of Stars series is well-thought out and obviously well-planned. It's epic in scope and it's got a lot of texture. There are many complex characters who we follow in parallel, as in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Some of them are very likable, and there are some really excellent villains (e.g., Hugh). Ms. Elliott's creatures are imaginative and enjoyable, and I especially liked the way they interact with the humans. Ms. Elliott uses a lot of description and therefore her plot moves very ...more
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate Elliott's "Crown of Stars" series -- 5,200 pages or so, through seven volumes -- sure is a monster, but it's worth the undertaking. Really, I'd call this one of the most underrated fantasy series ever. Don't be deceived by the generally weak cover art for all these volumes. Elliott's writing, too, is more than it seems at first glance. She writes very, very well. It's sneaks-up-on-you prose, but after you read quite a bit you realize she's very talented.

I won't even begin to try to provide
May 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy, war
For what started out as a fairly standard entrence into an epic fantasy series, I was quickly surprised.

Elliott spends a lot of time world building and the result is impressive. This book is thick with history, politics and religion which has been a negative to several reviewers I have read online. In my opinion, I enjoyed reading the history, politics and the religion because it made the world so much more vivid and set the foundation for an incredibly complex, realistic series. It really help
Jul 16, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I want to read this because of what Orson Scott Card said about it:

"Kate Elliott joins my very small pantheon of great living fantasy writers.

"[She is] one of the best world creators in fantasy literature.

"[The readers] are so fully immersed in this world, and its details are created so convincingly and richly, that it's a pleasure to simply live there with these characters.

"[It has] the most wonderfully frustrating villain you have ever experienced in literature. If Dickens had read these books
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
It was good, but it took a while to warm up. Based on reading Kate Elliott's later Crossroads trilogy and now this, she appears to spend a lot of time setting up what end up as rich, complex, adult worlds before her characters and plot run free.

The story takes place in a generally European-type medieval landscape currently united by a single king but perhaps not for long given internal unrest and external assaults by a non-human race. Religion and faith are a strong component of daily life, and
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leading up to our wedding, Bethany and I both blazed through Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series as fast as we could We both adored it. At long last, after five years, I'm returning to it. Prior to this, neither of us had been voracious readers of speculative fiction. So, my reread is for two purposes: 1. Refresh the great characters in my mind; and 2. See if it holds up. The first volume definitely did. King's Dragon shifts the narrative perspective frequently, relying on the observations of a ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Sep 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
written a month ago). I do not even know where to begin. I was so booored, but read on, skimmed, and read on. I came to the conclusion that "swears some" I will read this book. I got it, I will read it, not put it back on that darn TBR pile. So I read it, half way through I read reviews for book 7 so I could see what would happen.

It was the characters, I should have felt for Liath's plight. But I just did not. She felt whiny. I should have liked Alain but he was a wooden figure. The Eika prince
Nov 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, owned
Goodreads keeps crashing on me, this is my 89678 attempt to post this review, but here we go again.

This, I think, is the only Kate Elliott series that has been translated into Polish (I might be wrong about some of her early sf, but her later - and to me, the most interesting - novels are sadly unavailable). In fact, I distinctly remember seeing them in bookshops, and on occasion, in a private fee-for-book library, and thinking - this looks just like what I'm not into, fantasy-wise. There were k
I wonder if I'll like this book better when if I read the others. Because there are a lot of lose ends left untied.

There is a story A and a story B, and at times a little A.1 and B.1 as minor characters go off and have noteworthy adventures without the main characters. I expected Story A & B would ultimately converge and am left wondering if they will?

At the beginning of the book, it tended towards a bit of melodramatic use of metaphors, but further into the book it settles down into an easily r
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
5 stars.

I loved this book. I loved everything about it. It’s very much epic fantasy, so if that’s not your bag than you are not going to like this book at all.

Maybe I’ll write a full review in the future, but don’t hold your breath.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is really engaging high fantasy. Lots of characterization and world building from the very start. No infodumps. Just good, solid fantasy, complete with doomed loves and huge batttles.
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I admit that Kate Elliott kind of slipped under my radar back in the day -- in the 90s, when her books first started appearing, DAW was publishing lots of multivolume really big fantasy series, and they all kind of blurred together and didn't jump out to me at the time. Which on the one hand was unfortunate because it turns out that she's really, really good and I could've been reading her books for 20+ years, but on the other hand, it means that I now have a big, meaty, completed seven-volume e ...more
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maps, fantasy, ebook
“Face your weakness and it can become your strength.”

Engaging opening to what promises to be an epic saga. Elliott does lots of world and character building, mostly without being obvious. A slow start.

“It is not my part in life to involve myself with the worldly disputes that tempt those who have been seduced by the glamour of earthly power and pleasures.” “Then why are you here?” “I was summoned against my will.”

Because there are so many “main” characters, the opening chapters are disjointed an
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Swank 90s woman-authored fantasy on sale for $2.99????

Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading two of Kate Elliott’s Crossroads books, and then going onto reading Traitor’s Gate, I thought I would have a look at this series at the same time. I have to say I really liked the first novel. Such a shame I could not get a physical copy but I was happy enough with an ebook.

The Crown of Stars series was I think based on a medieval Europe, making it a nice contrast to her Crossroads series, which has a more Asian feel to it. In some ways this was a historical fiction and fantasy hyb
May 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iown
It's okay. This is your basic sprawling fantasy story that happens to be set in a world where there is some war and some invasion but without the single hero that kills everything and wins the lady. No, things are a tad more complicated than that. However, this story does fall to some of the most obnoxious clichés found in fantasy - specifically the love at first site between people that shouldn't have anything to do with each other. Oh, and the death of a family member causes heroine to be sold ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've recently started tipping my toe into the fantasy waters to see what I've missed. (Kudos to the people over at Fantasy Buddy Reads!)

This book is exceptional. The world-building is fascinating. A slightly different medieval Europe, a slightly different Catholic church. A system where the mother's line is more important, more religious than our world appeals.

This story has magic and intrigue, fantastic monsters, possession and otherworldly dogs. And characters you can hiss at and root for. C
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: July 2020: King's Dragon 3 63 Aug 13, 2020 06:32AM  
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Sounds like Game Of Thrones? 2 7 Mar 17, 2019 02:42PM  

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As a child in rural Oregon, Kate Elliott made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, often with a romantic edge. She currently lives in Hawaii, where she paddles outrigger canoes and spoils her schnauzer.

Other books in the series

Crown of Stars (7 books)
  • Prince of Dogs (Crown of Stars, #2)
  • The Burning Stone (Crown of Stars, #3)
  • Child of Flame (Crown of Stars, #4)
  • The Gathering Storm (Crown of Stars, #5)
  • In the Ruins (Crown of Stars, #6)
  • Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars, #7)

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“I am like you, Bloodheart,” he said, his voice hoarse; but his voice always was hoarse now, for he had survived worse injuries than these. The iron collar, and his chains, weighed heavily on his neck. “My heart rests not within me but with another, and she is far away from here. That is why you will never defeat me.” 0 likes
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