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King's Shield

(Inda #3)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,985 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Inda, on the verge of adulthood, is at last coming home. At age eleven he'd been exiled from his kingdom, but when he learns that his homeland is about to be invaded, he ends his exile to report the imminent attack. Pressed into service as the king's "royal shield arm," Inda must now defend the kingdom; for his reputation as the captain who defeated the most dangerous pira ...more
Hardcover, 594 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Daw Books
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Mayim de Vries
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love was Inda’s natural state. Love - loyalty - was like air to him.”

This is the weakest book in the series. Still, an enjoyable novel with all the hallmark’s of Inda: dense plotting, superb characterisation and emotional moments that shred the reader to smithereens (view spoiler).

It is always hard to review a penultimate book in the series due to the inevitability of spoilers. In order to avoid those, let me just say that at this point in the story, the
Scott  Hitchcock
Book 1: 4*
Book 2: 4.25*
Book 3: 3.5*

At 20% through this book I thought it was definitely going to be a 5* effort. There was so much going on, so much intrigue, plots within plots, chemistry between characters. And then the author made in my mind a fatal mistake. She left the women at home.

Smith writes amazing female characters. Tdor and Hadand rank among the best ever. When she sent the men to confront the Venn and put Jeje to the side it sucked the life out of the story. Many of the boys of the
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I preferred the first two instalments in this series, but while King's Shield was slower, I still enjoyed myself.

Inda is definitely an underrated fantasy series which deserves more readers. Especially readers who enjoy strong female characters who defend castles. If it weren't for Reddit's r/fantasy, I probably wouldn't have known about Inda for a very long time.

To get into Inda you have to be willing to learn the names of a huge cast of characters and to make it even more difficult most of them
Aug 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Dear Evred,

Your douchiness in this volume is totally hindering my ability to ship you with Inda. Please look into this.

Yours, Betty.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another great entry in this series. This really stirred up a broad range of emotions: plenty of happiness, plenty of sorrow, and a whole lot of tension.

The book ended on an extremely satisfying note that left me really looking forward to #4, and also dreading the next shoe dropping (I have no idea how many shoes have dropped over the course of this trilogy. Lots of them.)
Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grownup fans of Smith's YA, lovers of epic fantasy
A great continuation of the story begun in Inda--I'm glad that she's now planning one more volume, because it seems like there's a lot still left to tie together.

One of the things I like about Sherwood Smith's books is that you really get a sense of peeking into someone else's personal universe--although I'm sure the author cares about her readers, I often get the feeling of "this wasn't entirely written for you". Sometimes I think that's awesome, sometimes it drives me a little crazy.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wawo I can almost see the smug face of the author on that last teaser chapter!
This is one of those books that will stay in my mind and will always have fanfiction fantasies about certain characters that the author deliberately keeps teasing me with :/
I'm going to take a short break before book four but I'm already dreading what yet to come..
Text Addict
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, glbt
It’s not fair, I know, to review just the third book in a series of four – especially when it’s a positive review! – but between one thing and another I never got around to posting reviews of the first two. Sorry about that. The good news is, they’re all still in print (I was actually able to pluck all the first three off the shelves in bookstores).

These are long, dense novels that primarily follow the career of Indevan Algara-Vayir (known to friends as Inda) from early adolescence to some time
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Several times while reading this book I had to take short breaks because I was afraid horrible things would happen to all my favorite characters. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as I feared. There were even some good things! Though the book did a good job never letting me forget that war is terrible and has a high cost.
While not as gripping as book 2, I enjoyed this one too, especially the character interactions. They're all learning a lot and adjusting.
Aurora Dimitre
I have never really fallen in love with this series. The first two books, I enjoyed - once I got into them, once I got past the writing I wasn't really a fan of, once I figured out who was who. They were a lot of fun. I... liked them.

I... loved this one.

From the start, I was basically captivated. I loved it. I didn't notice anything that I hadn't liked before (namely, the writing - in previous installments that had taken away from the story, but in this one I didn't even notice.) I think it r
Jul 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Inda fans
Just released in paperback so I reread it.

Its A good fantasy novel as Inda travels back to his homeland to take up his responsibilities as the new War Commander to the King. Can Inda, who is a great naval tactician and fighter aid his people to defeat the Venn. The story is told through various stories of all of Inda childhood friends who have grown up to be the leaders of their various homes. We lose Jeje early on and Fox on the water, but gain all of the other characters. I think the story bog
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Well, what to say. The characters are the best part of this and therefore a lot of the story is about their actions and interactions. Unfortunately, this gives this book a broken sort of reading where the overall storyline is sort of a hindrance for the character development, since all preparations are about war like in book 1. If that makes sense.

Overall plot
(view spoiler)
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The action and politics in this book dragged more than the others, but the emotional impact was pretty high. I do love how realistic the characters are, each different, each with inner turmoil. It was a little difficult to handle all of the shifts in POV because there were no markers indicating changes (I don't know if this is just for Kindle or what.) Overall I liked this book the least so far (though obviously still liked it enough to give it 4 stars), but am really ready for the final install ...more
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Up until now I thought this series was about Inda and his strugles. In this book there was a shift from Inda, to those obsessed with him. I found the characters that I liked before -Tau & Evered - became controlling, manipulative and wrong somehow. I also had a hard time believing that relationships were that open - it was like a big 60's revival - wrong on so many levels!
With all that mess, Inda came away the hero (again) but it was not the same as in other books.
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-f
I thought this series was a trilogy, so I was a bit disappointed when I finished the third book and there was more to go. These books are fun, but have too much sexual content. They would be better if they were cleaner.
Sabrina Rourke
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My only complaint is that it ended.

There is so much going on in this book and I loved every bit of it!
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book covers Inda back in Morlova, fighting off the Venn invasion.

(view spoiler)
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
The third part of the Inda quartet following on from Inda and The Fox. A mighty book in many ways. Long, yes, all 687 ages of it. Complex in depth and far-reaching in scope this is still Inda's story, but the other characters aren't forgotten and we spend a lot of this book seeing Inda through other eyes.. When Inda returns home from the sea to warn his once best friend and now king, Evred, of an impending attack by the Venn he's accompanied by shipmates, the beautiful Tau and his (to her own th ...more
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, inda, series
After captaining a pirate-sacking fleet for more than 1000 pages, we finally get Inda back on land in this book. His name is cleared, and he comes home. He has an urgent reason for doing so, which results in his homeland going off to war.

This book is quite good, though not as strong as the first two. Smith delves more deeply into the inter-personal relationships as folks love, love back, and sometimes don't. Evred, Inda's king and best friend is a very interesting character, and we get to know h
Oct 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
These are really wonderful fantasy novels. Smith has created this world that is so thoroughly envisioned, a culture that is so complete and feels so real. The weird thing to me is the way she writes dialogue and the way that characters think... They speak in halting sentences, don't always seem to know exactly what they want to say, don't always answer questions clearly - and this all makes the dialogue very "real", but sometimes frustratingly obscure. In this third book this seems to happen eve ...more
Sylvia McIvers
An old book – but so much fun. I love the characters and the one-to-one fight scenes. I love the way ‘the women left home to defend the castle’ are smart & strong – but mostly smart & fast. And smart, did I mention the smart women? And the horrible women have their horrible men counterparts. I love all the slang phrases for smugness.

I love the way Inda thinks & sees how to use everyone to the best of their ability. I love the way the King and Queen love each other, even though they h
Coucher de soleil
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-read
I enjoyed this book. It was an improvement on the second book in the series, probably because the most important problem with the second book in this series, namely the author's tendency to try to follow too many situations and characters simultaneously, was not a problem here. My impression was that this may have been the case as a result of the fact that while the previous book served partly as setup for later events, this one was mostly spent in 'payoff' if you will, where the author spent mo ...more
Matt S
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up. Greatly enjoyed this third novel in the Inda series.

We get to see a more of Inda's old friends here (now grown up - in particular I enjoy Cama, Noddy and Tdor) as well as favourites such as Tau, Hadand and oh yes Evred. This entry contains quite a bit of build up and strategy and then a rollercoaster 2nd half full of tension and serious feels..for me the 2nd half and emotional impact made up for what I felt was a little bit too-much in the Evred relationship struggle depart
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the 3rd book in this series. Once again, the action takes up right where the last book ends. Inda escapes captivity with the Venn and starts to formulate a plan to fight them. When he learns that the Venn's invasion of his homeland is imminent, Inda leaves Fox in charge of his pirate fleet, with orders to strike around the coast to give the illusion that Inda is everywhere. Inda then finally returns home, after 9 long years away.

Evred, now the King, makes him his War Commander and 2nd i
Jenn "Awww Yeaaahhh"
Quick review of Inda, The Fox and King's Shield by Sherwood Smith.

I have to say that I am loving this epic fantasy series, really loving it. A lot of world-building, plotting, and complex characterization despite the many, many characters involved. Books 1-3 deal with Inda ages 10-20, so A LOT of things are going on, beginning with his entry into the military academy. Smith describes warfare and battle, both on land and on sea (PIRATES!), in an interesting and exciting way and all the political
Constance Griffith
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Still enjoying the Inda series, an enjoyment which derives from a combination of Sherwood Smith's writing style, which I love, and the absolutely incredible world she's created. I think I've picked up almost every novel that she's written that has to deal with the whole Sartor/Colend/Marlovan universe.

The pace has slowed down by this third book, but the depiction of the Marlovans at war and the heartbreak and heroism that accompanies it is well worth investing the time to read this slowing seri
This is my least favorite book in the series so far.

Inda is returning home from exile to warn his country of an impending war with the Venn. He is barely given time to greet his friends or family before he's put in charge of defending the kingdom from the Venn invaders.

There was less action in this book and the pace of the story seemed to drag, especially for the first half. There was little time spent with Inda's fleet and what few tidbit's were thrown in didn't feel necessary. The interaction
I did not enjoy this one nearly as much as The Fox, but it was good (and part of a larger story that I've found really engrossing, and apparently intended to be the first half of Treason's Shore). I do know that I enjoyed it less partially because the violence was portrayed as more ugly, less swash-buckly, than in the previous book. (Certain events aside.) Which is the point. This is Inda growing up, learning the ambiguity of a net-maker who burns ships.

Also, prolonged, undiscussed awkwardness b
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The third book in the excellent Inda series. This book continues in the same vein of top-notch fantasy as the first two. This book focuses on war as the Venn have finally come for the Marlovans, now led by Inda's childhood best friend Evred. But Inda's home has changed in the years he's been away, while he maintains much of his childhood naivete and blind trust from when he was a boy. This trust comes into conflict with the harsh realities of war and politics, but much of this conflict between t ...more
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Play Book Tag: King's Shield by Sherwood Smith - 4 stars 1 9 Jan 18, 2019 05:19PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: King's Shield [Jul 20, 2018] 121 46 Jul 31, 2018 11:58PM  
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I am a writer, but I'm here on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.

I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.

Other books in the series

Inda (4 books)
  • Inda (Inda, #1)
  • The Fox (Inda, #2)
  • Treason's Shore (Inda, #4)
“Angry men with pointy things sent to secure a foreign city are pretty much alike anywhere. That's what I've heard. So far nothing's convinced me different.” 32 likes
“It is a shame when we must regard a people as an enemy. It is a shame and a regret when the two peoples share so much. And it is a shame, a regret, and a tragedy when those peoples meet as individuals and find much to admire.” 6 likes
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