Marlene's Reviews > Coronets and Steel

Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith
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's review
Sep 26, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: ebook

I loved this book. Couldn't put it down, and I was reading it on my computer! I liked the voice from the first sentence. The protagonist, Kim, struck me as very real - smart and well-educated, but immature enough to still make some stupid decisions. I liked her spirit though. Throughout the book, there's a stubborn unwillingness to let others call the shots for her, even though it constantly gets her in trouble.

I liked the subtle approach to the romance, too, even though I'm not usually subtle about romance. It came across as inevitable and sweet, but never overpowered the main plot. Yet, it's because of the romance that I can't wait for the next book. This situation has to be resolved!

There's great world-building, here. Incredible detail in the real cities, and a rich, colorful culture in the fictional land. I loved the mix of old-world magic and semi-modern technology - they have computers, but can't get internet, and cells phones don't work there, either. The explanation works, too.

That said, for some reason, the story is strangely light on the fantasy aspect. It all could have been left out and still been the same story. The ghosts don't add anything to the plot, the vampires are only mentioned, and no one does any magic (or not much), so I'm not sure why it's there, at all.

I did love the Brigadoon aspect of the country, and the magical elements fit in with that. But they never really added anything else.

At the end, I was just as thrilled as Kim, to see the date on the letter, and realize "they're still there." So did Alec and Ruli NOT get married? If I were Kim, I'd be on the next plane to Dobrencia, to find out.
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