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Servant of the Crown

(The Crown of Tremontane #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,940 ratings  ·  289 reviews
Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, is content with her bookish life—until she’s summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Tremontane’s mother for six months. Even the prospect of access to the Royal Library doesn’t seem enough to make up for her sacrifice, but Alison is prepared to do her service to the Crown. What she’s not prepared for is Prince Anthony North, Que ...more
Paperback, 405 pages
Published July 15th 2015 by Night Harbor Publishing
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Monika Well, that depends on what you think a ya book should have in it, this one barely has any gruesome violence and the sexual scenes are just a little bi…moreWell, that depends on what you think a ya book should have in it, this one barely has any gruesome violence and the sexual scenes are just a little bit graphic, but nothing that would categorize it as an adult book or anything, and it definitely isn't middle grade qualified, so I would say yes it is a ya type. (less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  2,940 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
4.5 stars. Oh my gosh this was lovely and I had so many feels. I loved it so much more than I expected to- and it was nothing like I thought it would be.

But a few words of precaution- this is a historical fiction / romance and there's really no plot outside of the romance until the second half (which I personally loved). The pacing is fairly slow (which I didn't mind - it totally worked for the story...) but if you're looking for something fast and magical, this book is not for you. It kind rem
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Great comfort read if you like romance-oriented fantasy. Plus a library! This fantasy world (or more specifically, this country in this fantasy world) has kind of a Victorian era vibe to it, with just a little magic.

2016 update: I'm bumping this up to 5 stars on reread. This is one of my favorite fantasy romances; I keep pulling it back open again every few months. It just hits all the right buttons for me, and for that it gets all the stars.

Review originally posted on
2.5 stars notched up to 3 because the 2nd half of the book saves the day.

1st Part: very slow-pace with an aggravating & overdramatic romance-plot,
2nd Part: finally the story picks up speed we get to the political intrigue and some much-needed action.

This book had great potential but the 1st half drowns itself in its useless melodrama. I am really sorry, for I wanted to like it as I am a sucker for library/book-stories.

Alison is introduced as a heroine after my own heart: brook-no-nonsense, i
Sherwood Smith
Wow. I have houseguests, and deadlines, and my own work, and yet I kept stealing time away from all of those to come back and read a few more pages of this book.

Alison is a countess who works as an editor of a bookseller/publisher somewhat on the nineteenth century model. She and her dad are book enthusiasts, so when a summons from the queen of Tremontaine comes for Alison, requiring her to report for duty as a lady in waiting to the queen mother for six months, Alison drags herself reluctantly
Jan 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
Mh, no. The premise is interesting and I can't resist the lure of book-related things in my reads, but this one sadly fell short on all accounts. Flat cookie-cutter characters, little worldbuilding, no momentum, unbelievable behaviors, a thin plot, the word "blotchy" repeated 24 times to describe the heroine's lone mundane feature -her cheeks when flustered- unremarkable least the descriptions were nice.

The main character is so beautiful and wealthy and titled that all the men she e
Jacob Proffitt
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, romance
April 2017 reread
An audiobook version of this was released this month and my daughter (who uses my Audible account) asked if we could get it. Well that's a duh, as audiobooks are about the only way she'll actually read her mother's novels. Anyway, I was curious how the production turned out so I downloaded it to pick up a few minutes to see. And then spent a full day or so binge-listening. Yup, still my favorite. And the reader, Gemma Dawson, does an excellent job.

July 2015 original review
This i
Melissa McShane
Dec 29, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I sort of wish I had this book to write over again. It was the third book I wrote and I was still learning--still am learning, of course--but there are things I would have done differently. Originally, all there was to the story was Alison and Anthony's relationship, right up until the end of the first part; the story of the Library came later, when it was clear there needed to be more to make this a full book. Alison was always meant to be hampered by social anxieties, not hating being beautifu ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm going to preface this review by saying that I wanted to like this book so badly. I mean, it's billed as a mix of regency-style romance novel, high fantasy, and library politics, so obviously I bought it on release day. Unfortunately, while this was an inventive book, it was throttled by its own melodrama, and I was left to watch the death throes of what had the potential to have been a really smart book.

There is a lot to like about Servant of the Crown. It's set in an industrializing high fa
L.R.W. Lee
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you loved Seraphina for the fantasy mixed with political intrigue, I recommend this book! While there are no dragons, the mix of a strong heroine, dynamic characters, and excellent writing is sure to satisfy.

See my full review on my blog at
This is quite possibly the most boring romance ever written ever. Maybe if there was anything else going on in the story besides the romance (anything- like Anthony having a pet bunny that speaks with a French accent or something, ANYTHING!), then maybe I would try to finish it. But there is literally NOTHING ELSE GOING ON IN THE STORY.

Lame, man. DNF @ around 40% ish
Emily ~ Enchanted With Words
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
*4.5 stars*
Oh my gooooosh this book was SO good!!! I loved it!!!!
Sep 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Please, let me start this review with an apology to the author and a request for her and her family to skip reading my words. They are blunt, maybe unnecessarily so. So, please, avoid it at all.
[The use of please is the british one, not the american. It's really a plea...:)]

Expectations are a bitch. I believe we all agree on this. So they may be one of the reasons this novel and I disagreed on many points.
I'm probably wrong, but I don't think I had that many expectations, except those the blur
Jana Brown
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Note: The author is a friend of mine and I read this both as a beta reader and then again as an ARC. All opinions are mine alone and she didn't even give me cookies to say nice things.


Servant of the Crown is not a perfect book, but it's pretty darn close. It's a beautifully told story of romance intertwined with political plotting and learning to overcome the baggage of the past.

I've already informed Melissa McShane that I am the number one fangirl of this book and the others in this seri
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tandie by: Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I think I enjoyed the political intrigue more than the romance. Heroine was constantly whining about how all men only wanted her for her hot body, good looks, title, and money. Any compliment or look from a man made her jump to the conclusion that he was a dirty pervert.

Prince Anthony did make a drunken inappropriate comment during a dance & was slapped. He redeemed himself and turned out to be lovely. MC overreacted & punished him toward the end and it was waaaaay dragged out.

I did like the e
MikMurphy the Spinecreaser
3.70 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Decent little fluffy romance. The plot meandered a bit. Hit the spot for a break from intense epic fantasy 😄
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF (did not finish) about 50%

Decent writing in a potentially interesting industrialization setting. I'm kind of bummed because there is supposed to be magic but it's practically non-existent, at least in the first half I read.

One of my biggest complaints is the main character is too perfect and it got old fast. She is rich, titled, smart, and, as we are constantly reminded, has an incredibly desirable body. The novel is always mentioning her bosom, cleavage, "glorious" & "beautiful" & "firm" b
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: newest
I found this book to be very well written. I did enjoy it, most of the time.

The first 40%, felt like a Romance novel. The word BEAUTIFUL was overused. Although tedious at times, I stuck with it & found that overall the story was rewarding.

Once the action began to pick up, at around 45%, the pace of the book picked up & most of the remainder of the book was enjoyable.

I'm not sure this book is quite a fantasy. The Steampunk aura was a little lame in several places.
It seemed to me that the autho
I won't make this a long one because I'm so disappointed. I'm a romance sucker, I don't need an elaborate plot to find a book really interesting, as long as the book is well written and the characters compelling. Alison is conceited and elitist, she believes she's better than everyone else because she's oh so cultured. She's not like the other girls. Oh please. I love strong female protagonists, even cocky ones, but I couldn't get past Alison's elitism. This is the first book I've DNFed, hopeful ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not really sure how this book came to me, but I think I just saw it on sale recently and thought I’d pick it up because I’ve read a Melissa McShane book before and enjoyed her writing. At least, I think that’s what happened. Although, if someone recommended this one to me please remind me so I can thank you. 🙂

Pretty much the first third or so of this book is concentrated on the romance, which of course I loved because I’m all about romance. We get to see Alison at home in her natural environment
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
Servant of the Crown was a highly enjoyable read. It was more romance than fantasy. The setting was interesting and one I enjoyed being immersed in. I fell in love with all the main characters and properly despised the villains. The writing was excellent as was the pacing. It's definitely a series I will be following.

I felt as I read that I was being introduced to a new world that was a mix of historical England and futuristic/almost-steampunk. Old traditions were mixed with new. Royalty mixed w
Jun 23, 2015 added it
Shelves: want-to-read
I enjoyed Servant of the Crown very much and through most of it, couldn’t put it down. The novel intertwines a romance with political intrigue with a fantasy world background (albeit hinted at rather than fully depicted). I loved the steampunk, semi-Victorian feel of the novel. The central characters are vividly created: I was intrigued by Alison (an editor Countess called to the palace to act as a lady-in-waiting) Anthony (the rakish prince), Princess Zara and the Dowager. The author takes us ...more
Anna lost in stories *A*
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, fantasy, steampunk
I got a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest reviw :) I have so many thoughts running inside my head right now... it took me a while to figure out how exactly I want to rate this story, and ultimately I decided to give it full five stars :) was this book perfect? not really, but it started off really good and then before I knew what happened I fell in love with it :) so I figured it deserves all five stars :) it's book one of a series, but it works as a standalone, wi ...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
I've heard that some women can really hold grudges, but wowwwwwwwww! The main characters are in their early to mid-twenties and therefore still of an age to make bad choices with little consequence...except that they're nobility and royalty in some cases. So, I can see why it would be difficult to forget an indiscretion or two, but this heroine refused to forgive and let bygones be bygones, despite what it might mean for her eventual happiness. I really began to question if she'd even relent by ...more
Jan 26, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Melissa has quickly become a fave author, however, this book is amateurish and badly in need of an editor. I wonder if this was her debut...

DNF@ 30%
Jul 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk, ya
Lols. These characters did a complete 180 within one chapter...and it was like the third chapter of the book. This book is trying way too hard and the characters do not feel real at all. I am really disappointed to say that I am DNFing this one, especially considering how much I loved Melissa McShane's other book, Burning Bright! But alas, I refuse to waste my time on this... ...more
Aeron Trahaearn
first 20%....

it was sooooo boring...i mean i dont give a shit about some dumb countess who loves books!!!!


Seriously all she is going on is about the guys ogling her for her money, body and title....did i mention body?? SHE IS SERIOUSLY SELF ABSORBED!!


seriously I was relieved to finally have them have a relationship....but my experience was destroyed because the author (who had undoubtedly taken a leave of her senses) had alre
Julie Barnson
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love looking at local authors and trying to find THE BOOK- the one gem that everyone should read and I should buy many copies and give them away as presents because I KNOW it's great.

THIS IS THE BOOK! I loved this book! I was excited to get an early copy of this book! The romance is great, the politics are intense, and I had a hard time putting it down. The man in the romance is often portrayed as perfect- more handsome, more smart, more competent than the woman. She has to confront her own i
Molly Blue
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
So the MC is sooooo beautiful and her figure is sooooo fine that men just can't control their inferior instinct-driven nature around her and constantly trying to get her into bed with them. But she has one flaw, her skin gets blotchy when she blushes or cries, so it's okay, we don't have to hate her. Of course even when it's supposedly blotchy, everyone still says she is beautiful and stuff, but hey, she has a flaw! Guess what, I still hate her. She is judgemental and presumptuous, thinks too mu ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I know I said I'd stop reading YA fantasy, but my hold came in for Servant of the Crown, and it was a book I had requested that the library purchase in the first place, so...okay. Besides, the main character Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, is a bookish, prickly, reserved person. She sounded pretty good to me.

I think my biggest issue with this book is structural. The first half is a romance with some token fantasy trappings. I'm not a romance reader. I enjoy a slow burn, background
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I enjoyed several of McShane's later books (the Extraordinaries series) and so decided to try this book. It is very obviously from earlier in her writing career and missing the depth and characterization that could make it an interesting read. Main character Alison is annoying, uptight, and reacts illogically and inappropriately to most situations. Her love interest Anthony is boring, bland, and feels like a construct
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Melissa grew up a nomad, following her family all over the United States, and ended up living in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains with her husband, four kids, and three very needy cats. Her love of reading was always a constant during those uncertain years, and her love of writing grew out of that. She wrote reviews and critical essays for many years before turning to fiction, and was surprised ...more

Other books in the series

The Crown of Tremontane (4 books)
  • Rider of the Crown (The Crown of Tremontane, #2)
  • Agent of the Crown (The Crown of Tremontane, #3)
  • Voyager of the Crown (The Crown of Tremontane, #4)

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