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The Painted Crown

(Unbreakable Soldiers #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  708 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Prince Istari has spent his life reviled: his parents wish he had never been born, the royal court of Belemere avoids him for fear of angering the king, and everyone else is kept away by his notorious reputation as a deadly sharpshooter. Now a hostage of peace in Tallideth, he is subjected to their hatred as well—even that of Regent Vellem, who once considered him a comrad ...more
ebook, 263 pages
Published November 16th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
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lady_knight There is a third book titles Stolen Crown but I don't know the release date. There is a blurb at the end of Painted Crown.
lady_knight Yes. There are a lot of important events and details in the first book that impact the events in the second.

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  708 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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This book takes a while to get going. I’m a fan of Megan Derr’s worldbuilding and story-weaving, so I didn’t mind, but it definitely takes patience to see how the plot will play out.

The romance plays second fiddle until the second half. Teverem and Istari develop a friendship and bond over the children, Teverem’s adopted nieces and nephew, but they don’t think of each other amorously until later on.

A low-key romance isn’t unusual for Megan Derr, but in this case it’s more so a result of who Ista
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's always hard finishing a Megan Derr Novel. I just hate leaving the worlds I come to love.

While this one had a slightly darker feel to it than other, I was still captivated from the start. Istari was everything I love, cool and hard on the outside but soft as a marshmallow on the inside. His childhood broke my heart so seeing him finally get his HEA was wonderful.

The children in this gave me my dose of cuteness. I'd of loved to see their dogs though lol.

Romance wise there was plenty of build
4.0 Stars

Prince Istari was a sad, sad character. I felt so bad for his circumstances and I admired his inner strength. I loved the love story that developed between him and Lord Teverem. There were lumps and bumps along the way but that just added to the overall satisfaction at the end.

Bottom line: I can't wait for book 3! Gimme, gimme, gimme!
Man oh man I do love Megan Derr's ability to create a world. She paints such vivid pictures and establishes a really intriguing fantasy land. I enjoyed the political machinations of this series and the way she works the ramifications into what's going on.

Poor Istari. My heart just broke for him. His entire life he has been a pawn to be used by those around him, those who should most care for him and instead despise him for a fault not his own. Forced into the life of an assassin and sharpshoote
*** 3.5 Stars ***

I really enjoyed The Painted crown.

I must admit that I hadn't read book 1, The Engineered Throne, but that really didn't affect the reading experience as the book could function perfectly as a standalone baring a few prior events which happened in book 1 that were explained over the course of this story.

First off, I loved Istari and the way he kept a great core of goodness despite the truly shitty hand that Life dealt him. He went out of his way to help all those in need and w
Chris, the Dalek King
To secure a peace between Belemere and Tallideth, Prince Istari–the legal son of Belemere’s last King–is to be held hostage in Tallideth. Istari’s father, in his madness, had tried to assassinate the royal family of Tallideth and use the chaos it caused to win the long war between them, and almost succeeded. Now, the new King of Belemere–Istari’s brother–has sent Istari to Tallideth as a hostage and a promise that Belemere will keep its side of the peace bargained between them.

It would be an und
I liked the first book, The Engineered Throne, and when I saw that this one would feature a demisexual couple, I immediately decided to continue reading the series. Unfortunately, the demisexuality was part of my problem with enjoying the book in case of the romance.

Don't get me wrong -- it wasn't that I wanted more sex scenes. As an asexual myself, I always prefer the less steam/fade-to-black romance anyway.To me, that romantic built-up, the process, is WAY more significant than the horizontal
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-family, fantasy
I’m not gonna lie. I thought I was going to like this one more tan I ended up doing. I guess it’s one of those cases of “it’s me, not the book”, thought to be more specific, it was the characters that put me off, particularly Teverem.

As a matter of fact, I found Istari to be interesting. He had many layers to him, but he was ultimately a character I could understand and relate to. Unfortunately, I found Teverem to be … flat. He was way too passive for my liking. He was very helpless and relied t
~nikki the recovering book addict
Huge Megan Derr fan, even if I don’t always love her books. I enjoyed this one, it’s definitely Megan Derr’s signature style of detail and intrigue and clever court drama. Although, perhaps because the High King’s Golden Tongue kind of set the bar higher, this one feels a tad lacklustre.

But maybe also because I’ve never had the stomach for murder, even if it’s a fictional character who deserves it. Istari kind of isn’t what I expected him to be. And while I always prefer my heroes to be less th
Nix Buttons
As always, I love Derr's works. Though it is not one of my favourites (at least not amongst her works), I definitely enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.
I love the inclusion of an asexual character, a demisexual character and one character that is a bit harder to define but falls under the gray asexual umbrella! And two of those are the main character and his love interest.
I wouldn't call this a sad story, but the beginning is heavy with lots of self-doubt, mobbing, pain and resi
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
At this point, I will happily take any Megan Derr book home with me. This was no exception.

Although I haven't (yet) read the first in this series, I had no trouble following poor Prince Istari, political prisoner of sorts in the country he had done a lot of damage. Istari has never really had anyone to care for him, so when his brother sends him away as a political hostage, and his fiance follows that up with a Dear John letter, he is understandably adrift. Soon thereafter, however, he meets you
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I re-read the first book in this series (The Engineered Throne, and although I loved it just as much, it isn't necessary because Istari only enters in the final chapters, and Tevi doesn't appear at all. The Painted Crown could be read without the first one, because sadly Vel and his prince make only a small appearance.

Prince Istari is a sympathetic character. He has had the most awful upbringing (we are glimpses along the way), and has only ever tried to do his best, and for his King and country
4.5 stars
I remember reading this book for the first time and it meant so much to me on a very personal level - my second read was a bit less emotional but I still enjoyed it greatly.

Read the full review on the blog!

Content warnings include: violence, hostage situations, kidnapping, sex on-page, depressionattempted suicide by overdose and allergic reaction, chronic pain from disabling war injury; mentions of child abuse and neglect.

The book deals with quite a bit of heavy fodder, especially in t
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive an ARC of The Painted Crown by Megan Derr. One of the reasons I love Megan’s writing is she truly paints the whole LGBTQIA rainbow, including all the less-seen shades. In The Painted Crown, Istari is bisexual and Teverem is asexual, but they still find happiness, which is what everyone wants. The HEA is much delayed due to assassination attempts by evil political adversaries and two uncertain men. This book has children as an important element and they were handled ver ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another fabulous fantasy from Megan Derr. I love her worlds!
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mm, romance
Excellent follow up to The Engineered Throne. Can't wait to read the next book.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, 2016
I loved it. I was worried when my favourite character from the previous book - Vel - was only in one scene, but I grew to love Istari. And I loved the theme of family that ran throught the story.
4 stars

Istari is a sharpshooter and an adopted son of a king who isn't well liked in his country because of his parents' attitude toward him. He is currently being held as a hostage in the country that his father attacked to ensure that there will be no more war. However, no one likes him in his current country, either, because of what his father did.
Istari runs into Lord Teverem one day, and he doesn't seem to mind where Istari comes from. Teverem is overwhelmed, because he inherited his brothe
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
What a great sequel to The Engineered Throne! I think it picks up the vibe of the former story perfectly and brings more depths to the world by focusing on a new set of characters who were in parts already introduced in the former book.

I found the protagonist, prince Istari, very relatable. Like, some characters are otherworldly great and special or funny and quirky, but he’s just a man—which doesn’t make him boring or anything, just someone like you and me. I felt for him and his vulnerable lon
Started good, Istari is likable and sympathetic, but after a certain point him constantly mentioning how horrible his life was because became too much. And I ended up skimming after he agreed to help his dad. I just lost interest, which is sad because I really liked it in the beginning.

The romance is more of an afterthought, mostly Istari likes Tevi because he was kind to him and he loves his kids. I sympathized with how overwhelmed Tevi must’ve been during the story, but I never really felt lik
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-2017-read
Great second book

4 stars
This is a great addition to the series. I love the worlds this author creates and the tales spun around these worlds.
As with the previous book this world is perilous to everyone and each turn sees another problem. Told entirely from Istari's POV we get to understand his childhood and how that shaped the man he is today, never believing the good anyone sees in him. I enjoyed his interactions with his team, which showed the light hearted teasing.
The relationship between I
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I don't understand how I loved the first book so much, yet this one sucked so bad. The MC was a classic case of the misunderstood special snowflake who's oh so amazing if only someone would understand him! I didn't like him and the love interest had all the characterization of a wet rag.

I couldn't get through it. It makes me miserable to think about it.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to know the story, but I wasn't invested in it. I didn't like the MCs, and their romance was totally flat. There're also 4 children in the story. I think the only character who interested me was Morrin.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the continuation of the story from the first novel. I felt that there was a little too much repetition of issues between the two man characters and that this detracted from the story.

Reviewed on The Blogger Girls

4.5 stars

As restitution for the role Belemere played in the tragedy that struck Tallideth, Prince Istari is considered a hostage of peace and stuck in Tallideth for the next six years. Used to having hatred directed at him, Istari isn’t too surprised when he’s met with contempt during his stay. So when he meets the quiet and flustered Lord Teverem, he’s surprised by how nice Teverem is to him and a tentative friendship ensues. Until Istari meets Teverem’s nephew and
Justyna Małgorzata
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't mind brooding characters assuming they're not idiots at the same time. Istari was likeable enough, especially so in company of his comrades in arms. The parts that included Istari's sharpshooters were actually the best bits of the whole book. Such a great team! Such chemistry between them! Loved it. Loved every time Istari entered his "soldier/commander mode".
The plot is decent, with some interesting twists. What I struggled with was TOO MUCH CHILDREN. And I don't mean the actual number,
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to roll around in this book and enjoy it forever. This might be my favorite Megan Derr book. And from me, that is saying a WHOLE LOT.

This book has two demisexuals, one bi, falling slowly in love. IT IS SO SWEET I CAN’T EVEN EXPRESS IT. They fall in love, save the world, and protect their children. Is there anything else I could possibly want in a book? Oh, how about some cool political intrigue and action and characters showing that they are way more than they seem.

Like book one, this
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Pros: Megan Derr is very good at world building. As most of her books are fantasy (almost high fantasy) this is key. She gives enough background detail to build a map in the readers mind. Along with detail about the different coulters this allows for a rich reading experience.

Cons: One thing I find frustrating is Ms. Derr's over use of a plot device. I have read 4 books by this author in the last week and in each one the main character couples experience a breakdown in communication that results
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, historical
Prince Istari is the biggest woobie ever, and I adore him. A broken-but-unbowed soldier/sniper/unwanted bastard of a queen, he has been abused, unloved, and used his entire life. he ends up a royal hostage, and he meets the young aristocrat Teverem, who is foster father to three children. When danger appears to threaten the family, Istari acts as protector despite his chronic pain and sad and weary heart.
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Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she's not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet.

Other books in the series

Unbreakable Soldiers (2 books)
  • The Engineered Throne (Unbreakable Soldiers #1)

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