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The Legends of Ansu #4

The Shattered Crown

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Corin an Fol, Longswordsman and ex mercenary has but one objective: retire early and settle down. Unfortunately the gods have other ideas. When Corin arrives home after many years fighting foreign wars, he finds bad news waiting for him. The High King has been murdered and his crystal crown, the Tekara, destroyed.
The Tekara is no ordinary crown. Wrought of solid crystal it contains a charm of strength that has protected the Four Kingdoms for millennia. But the Tekara is vulnerable to one thing: treachery. So when Caswallon the schemer secretly places the crown on Prince Tarin's head he knows it will shatter, causing the realms to fall apart. He stands to gain as soon as it breaks.
Though many suspect Caswallon, who is known as a sorcerer, only one dares stand against him: Queen Ariane of Kelwyn. She is visited by her goddess in a dream who warns that Prince Tarin has fled with the shards of the Shattered Crown, and only by finding both Prince and Crown can the Four Kingdoms be saved.
After being promised gold, Corin an Fol reluctantly joins the queen's desperate quest to salvage the missing shards. But Caswallon is on to them and already watching their every move.

359 pages

First published March 5, 2015

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About the author

J.W. Webb

16 books126 followers

Lost In The Woods
I was born near Doncaster England in the early sixties but later moved south to Sussex, where I lived for many years. One of my (several schools) was at Battle, a small town named after that historic conflict in 1066. You know the one, it culminated with poor Harold getting that arrow in his eye and those rude Normans invading our green and pleasant land. Growing up so close to that scene of ancient carnage awarded me a fascination for all things Dark Age. I'd fallen victim to a weird and random imagination, resulting in a love of epic stories and epic story telling. This affliction prompted me to delve deep into the worlds of Tolkien, Peake, Eddison and Moorcock. Also about this time I commenced drawing imaginary maps and inventing stories about wonderfully nasty folk, doing wonderfully nasty things, whilst pent up in gloomy unpleasant places.

Then at 18 years daft, I found myself thrust deep into the Queen's Household Cavalry. How I arrived there I cannot quite recall. The result was a sharp dose of reality. But not a cure – the affliction ran deep. I left the regiment, and for a time wandered hazy through life hitting nails with hammers, sailing brigantines through southern waters, drinking venomous concoctions with venomous companions, and yes, reading lots more ghastly fantasy books. At 27 years I became to a degree sensible. I married my beloved Rae, a watercolour artist and passionate Celt, and got a sensible career hauling trucks around the British countryside. The trouble with hauling trucks around the British countryside is that it lets the mind ramble willy nilly, when not being tortured by local radio. The result of that rambling was more stories flittering around inside this errant trucker's dizzy head.

Then, during one dark winter night back in 1993, whilst parked forlorn outside a dreary inn, something profound happened. I stumbled into Corin an Fol: a moody, rather difficult individual, mooching about in a deep tangled wood (my imagination). That wood grew into a world (not as hard as it sounds when you write fantasy stuff). The world became Ansu, home to all manner of mismatched mortals and grumpy gods. Late 2001 a plot appeared through the murky trees. It found Corin lost and wandering and introduced him to some other unruly types, resulting in The Shattered Crown. This epic debut was scrawled out with biro ink on paper and still lurks somewhere close. I'm too scared to read it. But The Shattered Crown couldn't contain its characters. These were (and still are) a very rough lot. They demanded a sequel. Instead (just to show who the boss was,) I focussed on a prequel, Fall of Gol being the result. But still the characters would not leave me alone. And so started The Legends of Ansu a forthcoming series of otherworldly tales, mostly involving Corin and his friends.

In late 2012 Rae lost her battle with cancer. I had always promised her a Cornish ghost story based on one of her evocative paintings. And so was born a novella called The Haven. A spooky yarn blending mystery and suspense with past and present. I hope that she likes it. We both loved Cornwall where we lived for many years. During our time there I met with Roger Garland the Tolkien Illustrator, who kindly consented to creating some fabulous images and illustrations for my work. And also designing this superb website! During 2013 I left the world of big wheels behind and focussed instead on writing full time. I moved to Georgia, married my gorgeous former shipmate Joanne, who I've known for 30 years. Since then I have rewritten Fall of Gol shortening it's title to Gol and finally (with substantial assistance from my erudite and excellent editor, Catherine Romano) re-shaped The Shattered Crown into a rivetingly nasty read. Now after twenty-one years in the woods, I am more than ready to unleash these first two offerings in the Ansu series along with The Haven. The third legend: The Lost Prince will be available later

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Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,773 reviews574 followers
November 20, 2015
Gritty epic fantasy for adults, The Shattered Crown by J.W. Webb brings the best of a fantasy to life in full detail. Easy to read, easy to follow, this journey is ripe with danger, adventure and a world that almost breathes.

An ex-mercenary wants nothing more than to leave his old life behind to re-create roots in the town he knew long ago. A life of peace and quiet is not in the cards for Corin. The expert swordsman must complete a journey to save the kingdom he left behind. The High King is dead, and the Tekara, a powerful crystal crown that holds the magic to protect the Four Kingdoms. Almost invulnerable, its Achilles Heel is treachery and it is treachery that shatters it into brittle shards. But the shards and the culprit have disappeared and a dream vision says they both must be found to gain back its magic protection. Was it the sorcerer, the devious prince? The queen has enlisted Corin to find the crown. This is his journey, his quest and his story.

A huge and deadly man, Corin takes nothing form anyone and often needs to prove his prowess as a deliverer of death. A man of honor in a world filled with lawlessness, gods and magic, as well as the dregs of the earth, he faces danger at every turn. Follow Corin, feel the atmosphere, see the world he lives in and face his struggles shoulder to shoulder with this powerful man.

J.W. Webb hasn’t created a wicked-fast fantasy, there are no sparkly magic makers, this is adult entertainment for those of us who still believe in legends of great warriors and want a chance to safely share in their tale from the comfort of an easy-chair. Often peppered with coarse actions, coarse language and gut-clenching moments, this is not for the faint of heart.

Nothing is more confusing than trying to discern the language in a time from long ago, but J.W. Webb uses contemporary speech to fully integrate us into the story. Enchanting reading, great adventure and a variety of characters will fill each page with a strong hero leading them all.

I received this copy from J.W. Webb in exchange for my honest review.

Series: Legends of Ansu - Book 2
Publication Date: March 18, 2015
Publisher: J.W. Webb
Genre: Epic Fantasy - Adult
Print Length: 359 pages
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Kevin Potter.
Author 19 books152 followers
November 21, 2019
***Obligatory Disclaimer***
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher at my request and have chosen to write this unbiased review.

Herein we have a good story in a dark and gritty world told from an omniscient viewpoint.

But first, the narrator.
Andrew McDermott has a fair array of distinct voices, but unfortunately they all sound male. His accent worked well for character voices, but in the narration it made things just a bit difficult to understand at times. What dropped his performance to three stars, however, is that vocal inflections and tempo shifts are almost nonexistent.

In terms of plot, this is a good story with excellent pacing. The events flow into each other quite well.

I'll admit to uncertainty as to when this story takes place in relation to the other books, as at least the audible editions are not numbered, so I don't really know how much I'm missing.

That said, I have to confess that I'm not really a fan of the main character. I find him boorish and misogynistic and more than a bit egotistical. Of course, I think he's meant to be on all counts.

The queen, on the other hand, is a joy to read. She's equal parts grace, poise, and nobility. She's a fun and inspiring character that you can't help rooting for.

Although there are things in the world that didn't jive well with me, it seems to all be well thought out and interesting.

Now, there are a few issues.
The main one has to do with chronology.

The main character returns home after 14 years and for some reason the romantic interest he left behind is not only still unattached but more than happy to throw herself at him?

There's nothing here indicative of the level of obsession that situation would require. If it had been 5 years I could maybe see it. But given the provided details of just doesn't make sense.

Also, the "romance" (if you can call it that) between him and the queen feels so contrived I didn't quite know what to think. Nothing about it makes sense. Neither character has any reason that I can see to care one whit what happens to the other.

And lastly, the omniscient POV is both distracting and a little irritating. There are large swaths of narration that delve full on into things that none of the characters have any way of knowing about, and in many cases wouldn't care even if they did.

Finally, the ending.
This one is a little tricky.
The climax of the book is well written with the conclusion of a major conflict and was quite satisfying.
Then then we dive into a huge chunk of, basically, the narrator giving a treatise on the origins/nature of the gods and the world and some other tidbits that I won't give away.

In short, it doesn't seem to belong.
I could see it as an introduction to the book or, better yet, as a piece of bonus material provided to the author's newsletter or patreon subscribers. But placed at the end of the book just feels really out of place.

In the end, if you like the grittiness of Game of Thrones but want something shorter with less characters, this might be just the thing you're looking for.

But if character-driven fantasy with motivations that feel real is what you're after, you'll probably be happier looking elsewhere.
57 reviews2 followers
July 21, 2020
I have read the whole series, so I will my general review. As two stars say it was okay. Story is pretty standard but I do not mind that, I rather love reading clichés if they are done properly like The Riyria Revelations Series which is one of my favorite series. Needless to say this series is not up to the standards. Author's prose is fine, storytelling also but nothing special. World lacked something to me, I never felt emersed in it .There are some grammatical errors and stupid sentences but I do not mind them much. I rather liked our main character Corin, he is a flowed yet perfect hero to cheer for that grows through the books. One of my biggest problems with this series is that although Corin is the main MC, we spend significant time with myriad of bigger or smaller side characters. I find that annoying and frustrating. One or two side characters would be more than enough yet author had overdone it which took a lot of page time that could have been used to deepen Corins character and simultaneously grow and show his relationships with others characters, and show their part of the story through his eyes. Authors often want to show too much and in the end it waters down everything and ruin the experience of the book for me. I would rather have smaller cast of characters, smaller world and story but that are really developed and make me want to read what happens next to them. One other thing I hated are the romance subplots, they were really badly done. It is hard to find good romance in fantasy or science fiction books these days. They seem to be full of poorly done love triangles or instant love subplots. This series have both. So in the end I gave it 2 stars because I did finish all 3 books and did have some fun reading, but I would definitely not miss it I would have skipped it.
Profile Image for Kariny .
256 reviews18 followers
December 28, 2016

Let me just start off by saying, WHAT AN ADVENTURE!

I have to admit that i got pretty confused at times to situate who is who, and who is allied to who...there are so many characters! But the effort was so worth it because all the characters bind together and form part of this intricate action-packed plot! Each and every character was super well written and unique, you could tell the author put in a lot of extra work in them and they didn't feel like side characters but major characters because they were so well developed.

Corin was pretty awesome. He's this badass ex warrior with a brutal and sad past that readers sympathize with. He just wanted to go home and live out his life but his ex boss sends him on an errand to accompany the queen on her quest for guidance. I loved that he was grumpy most of the time, it kinda made him less of "cliché" hero. He's not trying to be a hero, he just does what's in his best interest but somewhere along the way he starts to care for other people. As for queen Ariane, she was so kickass. She swears, she fights-not your typical queen-but even after becomign a queen at such a young age, she's extremely courageous and intelligent.

So basically, although this is book 2, you don't have to read book 1 because it takes place 1000 years after book 1! Though i was absolutely thrilled at the mention of some characters from book 1! Basically Ansu was a land where two species were at war; the Gold folk (Elves) and the Dog-Men. There are fae but they're not really involved in the story but maybe they'll show up in the next book. They're older then the Gold Folk and the Dog Men. So then this host of humans (a character from book 1) arrives and allies with the elves to destroy the Dog Men. They win the war and in exchange, the Gold Folk give the human army  a crown to protect them from the rise of the Dog Men. And for centuries, the humans ruled but the story takes place when the current king is betrayed by his counselor- a sorcerer who bids  the prince to steal the crown. The crown is destroyed, the Dog Men are on the rise, kingdoms fall, allies are made and yeah the works of a great fantasy book!!!!

My favorite character had to be Rael, he's a bad guy, but he was so intriguing! He's a master assassin and kind of a psycho but i loved reading his part in the novel! (Can i just say on a side note that there was a lot of farting in the novel lol :P). The author does an AMAZING job at writing the villains! I think i actually like them more than the good guys!

This book was LONG, and i was scared i'd get bored but there was not one dull moment! Action filled this book to the brim! I am a big romance fan so i did feel a little lack of it in this book but i can't fault it for that because it would have driven the focus away from this complex plot...But the novel jumps right in into the action, there is no long wait for the book to actually start. Right from the beginning you feel the sense of urgency and danger that just throws all the characters into action. There are other characters that have maybe one or two POV's in this book that i hope will become major characters in book 2 because they are super intriguing!

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and i will most definitely be reading the next one! If you guys like Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings or, like me, felt a need to read an epic fantasy after Empire Of Storms by Sarah J Mass, then definitely pick up this one! I'm talking dragons, magic, fey, gods, dark sorcerers! The author has left us with quite a few unanswered questions that makes you need book 3 right away! It's a rich and epic tale of heroes and loyalty! Pick this up and become ensnared in this action packed quest!

Profile Image for Vikki Patis.
Author 8 books182 followers
December 9, 2016
The second in The Legends of Ansu series, The Shattered Crown can be read without reading the first book, Gol, and it stands well on its own. I suppose it would fit into the grimdark fantasy category, alongside the likes of Mark Lawrence and Joe Abercrombie. The Shattered Crown is dark, gritty, adult fantasy.

I can take or leave grimdark, if I'm honest. Sometimes it's too gratuitous or brutal, but sometimes the author gets it right. Webb gets it right. He strikes a balance between violence and story, and the characters, particularly Corin, are immediately engaging. There are some Strong Female Characters (I know), but they play their parts well. A lot of (male) grimdark fantasy writers get their female characters all wrong, but Webb manages to create realistic women, who also kick arse and take names.

The Shattered Crown promises to give fans of Game of Thrones something to sink their teeth into between GRRM's books (and the TV series!). It isn't for the faint-hearted.
Profile Image for Lana.
2,258 reviews44 followers
January 8, 2018
J.W. Webb keeps up the fast pace of his legends of Ansu fantasy reads, this the second book is a thrill from start to finish and phew what a finish! Corin an Fol, the Gray Wolf turns mercenary in this book and is given a job by Silon, this to protect Queen Ariane and lead her safely to the well of the Goddess Elanion. This group of rebels is also made up of Roman, the queen's bodyguard, Galed her squire and later joined by Bleyne the archer, servant to the goddess and Cale. The adventure in the forest was exciting but nothing to compare to their adventure when they travel to Crenna!! They travel on Barin's ship to free Prince Turin who had been imprisoned after breaking the crown of Takara which had maintained peace in the four kingdoms but now with this broken and the king dead all hell is let loose. Caswallon is selling his soul for more power gained from the dark side - the Urgolais and their dog Lord Morag, who first off grant him the groil to do his dirty work then the soilfin called Gribble. On the other side in Crenna in Kraneg castle lives Rael Hakkenon, an evil pirate turned tyrant with his black shark pirate ships who terrorise the waters, he uses cruelty, torture and his dungeons to keep everyone in thrall. Once the rebel group arrive in the castle the story takes on a breathless ride and I just could not put the book down till the final page! It is a war waged once again on two levels, that of the Gods - The sea God, the Huntsman, Goddess, and old dog face/old night on the one hand using the mortals as the pawns in their game and Ariane, Corin, Balin, Roman the Assassin and the Bard/Enchanter, the three witches/fates all fighting against one another. We also get to see the last dragon, a karaken and many other new horrors which have to be faced. Corin and Ariane are fate's children, chosen for some reason so they somehow have to see this last and final war to it's end! This is one hell of an epic saga, having all that such fantasy reads should have plus very daring and honourable characters, real friends who stick with one another through hell and high water. Next in series please, cannot wait!!
Profile Image for R.J..
Author 4 books63 followers
February 1, 2017
I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Shattered Crown is a gripping story that takes the reader on a journey through enchanted forests, magical lakes, and worlds full of creatures that would give anyone chills!

Though the story of the Tekara, Queen Ariane, and Corin an Fol is a very well desgined and well written story, there is plenty of other content that is unnecessary to the storyline. For example, the cursing is outrageous, saying every word possible numerous, numerous times (the "f" word being used most in all contexts). The sexual content is also very high in regards to both scenes and comments (Corin, the main character of whom we read most of the book's perspective, seems to only think about sex regardless of what he is doing and makes a lot of comments about it). The blood and gore is not as high as the previously mentioned, but there is also a lot of dark magic and the antagonist is very, very evil, with the sexual scenes being him using a girl against her will.

Because everything just mentioned began to increase as the book wore on, I lost all interest in the storyline and therefore did not finish the book, so I cannot say anything else about the story. However, I will give credit to the author for his writing skills, character development, and story building as I would have probably loved the book had all of the negative content not been present. I give it 2 out of 5 stars and do not recommend it.

This review was originally published on Literature Approved (http://literatureapproved.wordpress.com)
Profile Image for Shivani McFarland.
264 reviews1 follower
September 10, 2019
I had just finished the most recent book written by Miranda Honfleur in her Blade and Rose series and was looking for something in the same genre to tide me over. I came across the Legends of Ansu series and became immediately hooked. The first book in the Crystal King Trilogy, part of the Ansu series, is The Shattered Crown and it's a wonderful sword and sorcery adventure. Though not quite as romantic as Honfleur's books the battles, struggles and rakish character of Corin is so relate-able.
Corin does have his love interest, in a lone wolf sort of way. The saga continues with more adventures for finding the lost prince and the crown he broke plus the ensuing battle on the horizon between the gods and mortals in which Corin has a large part. You'll enjoy the writing, adventure, plot and mayhem. Grab a beer and have a read, a long sword and ship and crew will help too.
Profile Image for Leo.
277 reviews7 followers
June 14, 2022
Story has been falling apart

Actually, there hasnt been much of a story to begin with, but what little there was just fell apart in this book. The plot, character development/behavior, and pacing is all over the place.

Corin and company decided to infiltrate a keep filled with baddies, 5 against hundreds. Why because they felt like they could. Several times characters had opportunities to end one another, but they dont, because of reasons. Same goes for the half-baked love interest between Corin and the queen. They begin to like each other, not because some notebook-esk romance, but merely because Webb thought they needed to. Oh,and lets not skimp on the farting voiding bowls, pissing, and other bodily functions, because god knows we really needing to know those details.

I'm not entirely sure why this series was recommend.
Profile Image for Christina Morley.
Author 3 books19 followers
January 11, 2022
I own several of the books in this series (verified Kindle purchases), including The Shattered Crown, but I also received an audiobook code from the author. I prefer listening to these books instead of reading them as they aren't my typical fantasy genre of choice, and Andrew McDermott is great to listen to. There are some wonderful characters in this story, including Thunderhoof (Corin's horse) and Queen Ariane. Corin is the only one who doesn't shine. I was hoping (since he's the main character) that he'd have some personal growth, but he's rude and closed-off most of the time. If you like lots of battles and good winning over evil, then you will enjoy this series.
Profile Image for Lisa.
83 reviews3 followers
March 4, 2017
Great book!

Amazingly fun epic fantasy! This is a grand take of adventure in the style of Tolkien and Brooks. Despite a few modern terminology slips the world building is beautiful and vast. Likable and detestable characters both and some serious cliffhangers at the end of many chapters kept me reading well into the wee hours of the night. Definitely left me craving the next book!
Profile Image for Roger.
4,196 reviews15 followers
February 3, 2020
The Shattered Crown: A Legends of Ansu Fantasy: Crystal Crown Trilogy, Book 1, my third read from author J.W. Webb an author I’d wanted to read since I got Gol: A Legends of Ansu Fantasy #1: Dawn of Legends, back in January of 2017. I was given an Audible copy of this book in October of last year & am voluntarily reviewing. Andrew McDermott’s excellent narration & accent again add to the book's enjoyment. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).
35 reviews
November 22, 2017
This is another great book by a great author, JW Webb. I'm really enjoying reading this series and look forward to the next one. His descriptions put me right there pulling for the good guys. In spite of the hero's inperfections, I keep wondering what his heritage is. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes swords, wizards, and other mythical creatures. Good and evil play a staring role.
Profile Image for Michele.
144 reviews1 follower
July 29, 2019
I enjoy these books. There is no lull and the characters. I enjoy and appreciate how the legends are explained in the writing and plot instead of pages of just legends. And come on and give these characters a happy ending. Thank you for a great series and a great book.
Profile Image for Rose Frazier.
32 reviews
September 8, 2022
Good read

Enjoying this series of books. Very good and interesting to see what happens next. Look forward to reading more of his writing.
Profile Image for J. d'Merricksson.
Author 8 books46 followers
December 31, 2016
**This book was reviewed via Book and the Bear Blog Tours**

Second in Webb’s Legends of Ansu series, The Shattered Crown follows Corin an Fol, mercenary for hire, is traveling home, ready to drown himself in well-earned drink. When his horse plays lame, Corin decides to stop by the forge of a friend, in hopes of drink and rest for his horse. What Corin finds is a robbery in progress. He flashes into action, taking out one robber and incapacitating the other two. When the blacksmith, knocked out but not dead, comes to, he hangs one remaining robber, and would have done with the second. Corin counsels mercy, for its just a lad. Grudgingly, the smith agrees. Corin pays for his mercy when the youth runs off with the money taken from the family, and these won't be the only consequences. Corin continues on his way, where he meets an acquaintance with a suggestion of work.

Meanwhile, Ariane, only lately queen after her father's untimely death, is having 'royal’ or 'goddess’ dreams, coinciding with news of the High King’s death. In Ariane’s dreams, people try to steal the High King’s crown, the Tekara, but only succeed in shattering it. Still, that was enough to break its power, and without the magic of the Tekara darkness is taking hold of the lands again. Ariane's high priest Dazaleon interprets the royal dreams to mean that Ariane needs to travel north, to the Goddess’ Oracle. Despite arguments to do otherwise by her Champion, and other advisors, Ariane heeds Dazaleon’s wisdom because Caswallon, once of the High King’s court, is the one behind his death, and Caswallon is a sorcerer. Magic is needed to best magic. They set out, and Corin joins them, though not without wariness. After all, what proper warrior wants to get snarled up in magic and prophesy, and all that goes with it, especially snarled up in it with headstrong royalty?

This was an enjoyable read, though longer than I expected. It should be noted that, while it is the second Legends of Ansu book, it is not necessary to have read the previous book to enjoy this one. It is a stand-alone. I loved Corin’s character. He may be a mercenary but he has a good heart, and you see that all the way in the beginning, when he was willing to spare the boy’s life rather than let him hang too. He was a killer for pay, not because he revealed in it, but because he was a kick-ass warrior with a snarky attitude. Ariane was a strong, and headstrong, woman, but I didn't particularly care for either her or her hot-headed Champion Roman. I can't quite put my finger on why, but they rubbed me the wrong way. I liked Yail and Tamersane more. These two had a certain suaveness that contrasted nicely with the equally likable, though coarser Corin.

This story as a whole made me think of Celtic lore. It bugged me to no end why the name Caswallon felt so familiar. It's because that's the name of the 'usurper king’ in Manawyddan’s tale in the Welsh Mabinogion. That’s also why Corin’s full name felt familiar too. My far distant cousin follows old Welsh custom, and signs his name Warryn ap Gruffyn. Britain had High Kings once, with lesser kings ruling smaller territories. Dazaleon can hardly be thought of as anything other than a Druid, and the dominant deity of the land is a goddess, Elanion. Even the name Ansu is reminiscent of Anu. I think these things were among the most appealing to me. I do not come across Celtic inspired fantasy as often as that influenced by Greco-Roman or Christian history and myth. As an aside, I really liked the cover art!

Profile Image for Olivia.
53 reviews5 followers
January 17, 2017
A millennium after the previous book, Gol, The Shattered Crown focuses on a new hero, a mercenary named Corin An Fol. Just as calamity has struck Gol a thousand years before, now the same thing happens within the Four Kingdoms and the surrounding land as war is threatening to begin anew. The murder of the High King is only the beginning of everything.

The few new characters introduced at the end of the previous book are introduced as the main characters of The Shattered Crown. Upon rereading the final chapter of Gol did I realize that Queen Ariane is actually a direct descendent of Erun Cade and Lisane Barola. Ariane and the gods serve as the link between the two books in the Legends of Ansu. Although both books can be read as a standalone story, reading The Shattered Crown while keeping in mind that Erun Cade was the first ruler of the Four Kingdoms and that the gods who played a role in Gol still exists in the current Ansu is interesting and enables me to see everything in a different light. The first being that I had not expected Galed, who sounded wise in the end of Gol to be cowardly and sensitive in this book.

I find that The Shattered Crown is most probably the real beginning of the battle between good and evil since Gol seems to me more of a prequel to the Four Kingdoms, thus providing a history of the founder of the Four Kingdoms.

Corin An Fol holds many secrets and his mysterious past including the gods interest in him make him the most interesting character of them all and probably the one who will go through the most changes as his adventure continues on. From reading The Shattered Crown, there were hints scattered about as to his real heritage and a part of his story, was already foretold in this book. I believe that these were very good ways to catch the attention of the readers since prophesies and visions gave me an inkling of what may happen but at the same time I have no idea exactly when it will come to happen. And this book is loaded with them and some have already come to pass in the book.

The story of Corin’s journey with Queen Ariane and her group was riveting, even though I don’t quite appreciate the vulgarity of the language used. However, I certainly understand the necessity of it, since Ansu seems to be set in the medieval times.

Something I never seem to tire of the books of the Legend of Ansu, however, is the variety of characters that are described so vividly that it is never a chore to keep track of who is who and makes it all the more easier to imagine what they would look like. Even the villains were well-written although Rael’s actions were a little confusing to me since he would seem cruel and ruthless one moment and the other he would remind me of a very spoilt prince, screaming at everyone because his plans were thwarted.

The Shattered Crown is a high fantasy book which I would recommend to those who enjoy reading of the rise and fall of rulers all mixed with sorcery and deities.

I would like to thank Kayleigh from the Books and the Bear and the author, J. W. Webb for providing me with the opportunity to read and review The Shattered Crown.
408 reviews51 followers
October 24, 2016
Original Review Here

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Having (eventually) enjoyed Gol: Legend of Ansu, I decided to give The Shattered Crown a go. You don’t have to read the first book to understand and enjoy the second. While some information meant more to me because of prior knowledge, this book can be read as a stand-alone and make sense!

The Shattered Crown was a more enjoyable read than Gol. Corin’s character was introduced swiftly and the reader could connect to him. A lone mercenary, a man who has lived for killing since his family were murdered, wants to settle down. We all understand the need for a well-deserved break!

Gold leads Corin on a quest and, naturally, his character mellows and he becomes attached to his new companions. Corin is a violent man with a tender streak and his sarcasm made me smile more than once. The majority of the novel follows Corin’s point of view and because I could empathise with him from the beginning (connecting with a killer, sounds weird, I know!), it made the novel enjoyable.

Ariane was an amazing Queen and a bad-ass character. Not many queens in fantasy can fight and swear just as well as the men. Roman was a strong presence throughout but I couldn’t warm to Galed (the squire-scribe). I feel his part is still to come. Barin is the man you want to have on your side, no matter what.

Caswollon was a terrifying villain, as were all the “bad guys” in this novel. The sense of danger kept the tension high and the plot moving at a steady pace. Not only were they capable of anything, there was no guarantee the good guys will escape with their lives, sanity or souls.

There were moments of too much reflection, where the history of the world was recounted. Even for a new reader, it was too much unnecessary information and slowed the pace down dramatically. Nothing would have been lost if this was cut in half!

I enjoyed The Shattered Crown more than I thought I would. The characters were engaging and the writing strong enough to manipulate my emotions throughout. Despite knowing there will be another book, the ending felt weak and disappointing. Still, if you enjoyed the first, you’ll enjoy the second!
Profile Image for James Webb.
Author 16 books126 followers
February 10, 2017
The Shattered Crown is Book Two in The Legends of Ansu series. Not only is this a fabulous read but it also features many stunning sketches by former Tolkien artist, Roger Garland. The Shattered Crown opens a thousand years after the dramatic conclusion of Book One: Gol. This next legend focuses on the struggles of longswordsman, Corin an Fol. An orphan, whose parents were murdered during a raid on his coastal village, Corin has since spent many years fighting in foreign wars. He has a serious attitude problem, this combined with a wry sense of humour, and lethal skill with his six-foot blade have kept him alive thus far. But times are getting tougher. 'You cannot have enough sharp things in this world.'

The Shattered Crown opens on Corin's return to Finnehalle, his childhood village. Here Corin finds an old aquaintance waiting for him, and reluctantly is drawn into a new and very dangerous venture - the High King having been murdered and the Four Kingdoms usurped by a sorcerer. Corin, against his will, becomes a key player in this perilous game, aiding Queen Ariane's resistance unit in a bitter fight against the all powerful sorcerer, Caswallon.

The Shattered Crown fuses tension and full-on action, with dry witty humour, to a sweeping panorama of mythic grandeur. There are dark gothic vistas where tension turns the pages, making this a hard book to put down. The content within sets the scenes on what will surely prove an epic tour de force. Here is a world (Ansu) frequented not only by viscous scheming mortals, but also by crafty gods, vengeful warlocks and deceitful lusty spirits.

The protagonist Corin oozes magnetism and empathy, as do the other leading characters: the feisty Queen Ariane, the giant axeman, Barin; the petulantly ghastly assassin, Rael, and not forgeting Caswallon's master-spy, the foul-mouthed winged goblin, Gribble. In The Shattered Crown even the High God's have agendas and nothing is as it seems. This book is a winner and will appeal to fantasy readers everywhere who love mystery, myth and tight tense action. For more about J.W.Webb visit his website www.legendsofansu.com
Profile Image for Merissa (Archaeolibrarian).
3,603 reviews103 followers
July 18, 2016
In the follow up to Gol, a thousand years have passed. The kingdoms that Erun Cade set up are well in place, and his name has passed down into myth and legend. Corin an Fol is a mercenary at a loose end, which is never a good thing. Luckily for him, times are changing and the gods are playing. This means that there is betrayal, murder, dark magic, dragons, Dog Lords, plus lots more for him to pit his sword against. Of course, it's not all bad. He has new friends by his side, including the Queen of Kelwyn, Ariane.

This is once again an amazing book, full of intricacy and detail, guaranteed to delight. It is both harsh and full of hope. With the help of the gods, plus others, Corin and co are on a mission that sounds a lot simpler than what it actually is.

There is once again mention of the Norse sounding gods, complete with a one-eyed god who is accompanied by two ravens. This time though, there is also more detail of Irish gods too. We have the Washer at the Ford, who speaks to Corin at the beginning, plus the three women of Fate - a common theme in most Pagan religions.

Although this is a long book, full of battles and adventure, it still ends leaving you wanting more. Shallan wasn't mentioned much in this book, but I have a feeling there is much more to come from her, plus Tarin and Corin himself, to name just a few.

Well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to distract the flow, I have no hesitation in highly recommending this book and series.

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,339 reviews31 followers
December 23, 2016
Corin al Fol is a mercenary, a longswordsman with a varied past. He would like nothing more than to settle down once more in his home land, but fate intervenes and gives him a quest that will change his fate. The High King has been murdered and his ancient crown forged with magical powers, the Tekara, has been shattered and Prince Tarin, the heir, captured. Now, Corin has been hired to help Queen Ariane find the Prince and the Crown. However, it is not just humans that the group is up against. Caswallon, the King's adviser has been mastering sorcery and has enlisted the help of dark beings in order to gain power.

A fast-paced, high fantasy with magical creatures, unlikely heroes, epic battles and plenty of adventure. I wish I knew that this was the second book in a series! Oh, well. When I began reading I didn't feel like I was missing any big chunks of information. Anyway, the characters grabbed me right from the start. Corin's personality is gruff yet fair, tough yet heartfelt and intelligent but wary. I also loved Ariane, a young Queen, tough and determined. Their quest took me through well-formed worlds. I especially loved the Forest of Dreams. The creative creatures and mythical people are another great aspect of the story. I enjoyed seeing what weird thing would turn up next. Overall, an exciting fantasy with many other aspects to enjoy.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Benedikte.
156 reviews6 followers
February 7, 2017
“The Shattered Crown” er anden bog i serien, men kan læses selvstændigt uden at kende til forgængeren. Det gjorde jeg – jeg kendte intet til historien og vidste faktisk ikke helt hvad jeg skulle forvente mig. Jeg blev blæst bagover af person- og omgivelsesbeskrivelser. Desværre rakte min benovelse ikke hele vejen igennem, men yderst velskrevet og meget fængende.

Jeg elskede beskrivelserne i bogen. Corin an Fol er en slagsbroder med en attitude der ville få de fleste til at løbe væk. Men han har også andre kvaliteter. Dronning Ariane er en stærk kvinde der ikke er kommet let til magten. Hun styrer og deltager selv, og er den slags kvinde, mange kan se op til.
Omgivelser og verden er også utrolig velbeskrevet, så bogen i al sin helhed er meget fængende og underholdende.

Grunden til den så ikke topper helt for mig, er primært at jeg undervejs indimellem kom til at kede mig. Dele af bogen fangede mig ikke helt, og så voldte sproget mig i nogle dele også problemer. Den er på ingen måde skrevet i let-engelsk, så for en der ikke har det som modersmål, vil jeg sige den godt kan være lidt hård at komme igennem i nogle dele af bogen.
Profile Image for Cale.
161 reviews
February 15, 2016
Fun and entertaining, this read by J.W. Webb blends well-known fantasy tropes and new ideas and the result is something quite unique, yet very comforting and readable! “The Shattered Crown” is the second book in the “Legend of Ansu” series, but the way it is setup it can be read first or second, as the first really is just more of a prequel (but very good, check it out!) But in my opinion there was a bit of a decline in tension and stakes from book one to book two, and even though I gave the first one 5 stars I’m only giving this one 3 because I thought some parts felt really rushed, especially toward the end, like everything was quickly summed up, but it will still continue on in the next book. I just didn’t get the closure/satisfaction that I like, and even though I did enjoy it, I’d prefer a more focused, coherent plot with a satisfying ending… even if there will be another book to follow.
Profile Image for Megan | A Page to Turn.
558 reviews16 followers
December 31, 2016
I would compare this book easily to LOTR or Game of Thrones - it's a very gritty, epic, fantasy. The world building was my favorite part of this story! I loved how concise it was, I could picture everything easy, but the descriptives weren't as drawn out as a Tolkien story! HA! This is the second in a series, and I feel like I didn't even need to read the first - I felt like this book stood alone. This book has it all - mystery, myth, action, and romance!

At the start, we find him returning to his childhood home of Finnehalle. While there he is drawn into a new and dangerous adventure - Corin finds himself at the epicenter of a huge fight! I'm a huge stickler with character development and this book isn't lacking in characters at all! Corin is a mercenary, if you will. Corin and all the characters surrouding him in this story do not disappoint! My favorite being the master spy and goblin, Gribble. (Don't you love that name?!)
51 reviews
April 7, 2016
"Shattered Crown” reads quickly after a bit of a slowish beginning. J.W. Webb has an impressive flow to his writing. The words roll casually across the pages with descriptive ease and clarity. He has created very relatable heroes/heroines and amassed a stellar group of supportive characters. It was a little tropey in some regards and the writing was a little choppy at times but overall the meat of the story was so good that I have no problems what so ever over looking these things. I think my rating will be a 4/5 because of the things I mentioned but I really did fall in love with the story! If you're looking for a fun and fast adventure that features many elements of classic fantasy fare definitely give this a try!
Profile Image for Julie Jensen.
1 review4 followers
January 26, 2016
I can't wait to read the next one! From the beginning, this book drew me into the world of the Legends of Ansu. The story moves quickly and it is hard to put the book down to take a break. This is not my usual genre, and the author is British, so I had to adjust a little bit to that. However, it did not interrupt the flow of the story and once I was immersed, it was not noticeable. For those who have not read the first one, you can catch up pretty quickly. I recommend this book as one to read when you get snowed in or on a plane ride - you won't want to stop!
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