Sherwood Smith's Reviews > Crown Duel

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
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Well, I loved writing this story when I was in my very early twenties, and I loved typing it up when I was in my forties . . . if I were to write it over, the Merindars would be central, not poor Mel, but hey. Time and tides.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Other Paperback Edition)
Finished Reading
May 4, 2009 – Shelved
June 6, 2009 – Shelved as: my-books
March 18, 2015 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

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Alexandra Shostak Which Merindar specifically? Flauvic? :)


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Sherwood Smith Alexandra wrote: "Which Merindar specifically? Flauvic? :)"

The story would be the family duel--with lots of really nasty family dysfunction.


Alexandra Shostak I think that would be a really interesting story (I love aristocratic family dysfunction in fantasy stories), though I have to admit I would certainly miss the romance between Mel and Vidanric. When I first read it at age fourteen, that was the most enthralling part for me! My copy is falling apart from so many re-reads.


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Sherwood Smith That was definitely my favorite part too. I have plenty of dysfunctional aristocrat stories, human nature being what it is . . . Arthal is just so petty and her daughter enjoys pettiness and cruelty too much for me to ever want to get into their heads long enough for the story from their viewpoint--especially Fialma. It would exceptionally dreary from her point of view, as she goes on trying to inveigle some poor aristocratic guy into marriage so she can destroy a court in order to reign over it, and she ends up in smaller and smaller ponds due to her horrid reputation.


Alexandra Shostak It is very interesting seeing that kind of political machination (Arthal's) through someone like Mel's eyes, who doesn't understand that court stuff very well and who didn't grow up maneuvering in it. And then, of course, there's Flauvic...


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Sherwood Smith Flauvic's story is going to come!


Alexandra Shostak It is? Ooh yay, I'm very excited to hear that! I really enjoyed Vidanric's story (originally read it on your website, even!). Love it when worlds and characters are expanded like that.


Lyra Oh no, why would you say that Mel wouldn't have been central? She's nowhere near perfect as a character, but that's what makes her such a great heroine. We are introduced to the Merindars through her naive worldview, and then we get to see that worldview shift and broaden as she grows more mature. And the romance between Mel and Vidanric! That is what keeps me rereading this wonderful book year after year.


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Sherwood Smith If I rewrote the book with the Merindars central, Mel would be a brief interruption, an annoyance. (Or she would have been killed.) It would also be totally unfun, which is why I'll never write it! She was the center of her own story, and became twined with Vidanric's raison d'être, but she was very far from the center of major kingdom events.


C.Casey It would have been fascinating to read! I am just so in love with Mel as a heroine and reading her and Vidanric's slow relationship growth and I just always want more about them (and Vidanric especially!). It is just such a beautiful story that I reread at least once a year and will continue to do so. But I am also so curious to see the Merindar's dynamic as a family! I am super excited that Flauvic's story is going to come because he was such a master manipulator and yet, I think he really was affected by Mel that I want to know more about him (especially after reading Beauty)!


AnnMarie A good friend and I both love this book and have spent many hours taking about the world and the characters and the story, and we both agree we would love to hear the story from Danric's point of view. I love his character's sense of honor and duty - you can just tell he wants too do the right thing by everyone. That's not a popular character in today's YA fiction. As Crown and Court Duel are centered on Mel, we don't get much of his thoughts or motivations explicitly stated, and I've always wanted to know more about what he was thinking as Mel kept interrupting his plans. I loved reading A Stranger to Command and getting a whole book to hang out in his head - but it ended years before he meet Mel and the events of this book. If you ever get the itch to revisit the story from his point of view, that would be a book I'd stay up all night to read, even on a school night!


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Sherwood Smith The extra additions from his point of view at the end of the ebook are all that will be . . . the rest I fear would be the wrong tone--all politics, and little about Mel or romance at all.


message 13: by Doc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Doc During an interview with a composer he spoke of the occasional temptation go back and apply the benefit of his experience to earlier works. He decided against it. He decided that each piece is a thing of its own time, the product of the person he was at that time.


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Sherwood Smith Yeah--I can see that!


Jedi Kitty Oh, Court and Crown Duel were just my favorites when I first read them ages ago! I thought Mel and her brother were so realistic. They wanted to rebel, but really, like most people(and readers) they weren't raised to power and ambition and leading a rebellion. Mel being captured, fighting on the sidelines, and pushed and pulled by events (and people) greater than herself- all the while being surprised by her survival and victories- is what made the story so real! I still think about these characters. :) Its inspiring to know you wrote t when you were in your twenties!


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Sherwood Smith Jedi Kitty wrote: "Oh, Court and Crown Duel were just my favorites when I first read them ages ago! I thought Mel and her brother were so realistic. They wanted to rebel, but really, like most people(and readers) the..."

Thank you!


message 17: by Aqua (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aqua I read this book in middle school I think about 12 years ago and it has really stuck with me over the years, I never forgot about it. I finally got around to rereading it and it was even better than I remembered! Was part two inspired by Jane Austen? I read all the Austen novels 2 years ago and Court Duel felt just like reading another one, I loved it! I couldn't put it down.


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Sherwood Smith It might have been a little. When I first wrote Court Duel I was in my early 20s, and had only read pride and prejudice once. I think the larger inspiration was all the reading I was doing at that time in courtly politics in Europe during the 1600s and 1700s.


Madeline I LOVE this book! I've read it about once a year since they were combined in 2002! Such real characters with true faults and growth with a mix of adventure, romance, and magic.


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Sherwood Smith Madeline wrote: "I LOVE this book! I've read it about once a year since they were combined in 2002! Such real characters with true faults and growth with a mix of adventure, romance, and magic. "

Thank you! :-)


Katie Barta I picked up this book years ago it seems and it is one of my favorite books. I re-read it when I need a pick me up. I loved the characters and the story. It started me down the path of reading science fiction/ fantasy.


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Sherwood Smith Katie wrote: "I picked up this book years ago it seems and it is one of my favorite books. I re-read it when I need a pick me up. I loved the characters and the story. It started me down the path of reading scie..."

Thank you for letting me know. I am so glad, not only for my own sake, but for all those author authors you have discovered!


message 23: by Lea (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lea Been meaning to read this again. Read it when I was about 15 and it was such an inspiration to me. I loved every minute of it!


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Sherwood Smith Lea wrote: "Been meaning to read this again. Read it when I was about 15 and it was such an inspiration to me. I loved every minute of it!"

Thank you!


message 25: by Emi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emi I am already in love with it and I'm not even done reading. And pls don't kill Mel even in other universe (lol) 'coz I really love character like her.


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Sherwood Smith Emina wrote: "I am already in love with it and I'm not even done reading. And pls don't kill Mel even in other universe (lol) 'coz I really love character like her."

Thank you!


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Shveta Thakrar Sherwood, Victoria from Viable Paradise and I are buddy-reading this right now! She adores it and suggested it, and we're partway through book two. (Also, I just joked to her that the Hill Folks' wood also contains purplewood; you just forgot to mention it. :P)


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Sherwood Smith Shveta wrote: "Sherwood, Victoria from Viable Paradise and I are buddy-reading this right now! She adores it and suggested it, and we're partway through book two. (Also, I just joked to her that the Hill Folks' w..."

Oh, I hope you are reading the ebook version--the early ones were a mess! (And of course there are purple woods! But they hide their glorious selves.)


Victoria Sandbrook I admit to having the paperback copy I first read I can't even remember when, plus the ebook and the audiobook. This re-read is a combination of the latter two for me. :D


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Sherwood Smith *phew!* The old paperback is also riddled with errors. I think I got them all with the ebook.


Sadie This one of my top favorite books!


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Sherwood Smith Sadie wrote: "This one of my top favorite books!"

Thank you!


message 33: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara Goldsmith This book was the one book that created a love for reading in my life. I was 12 and hated reading because of a learning disability, but Mel inspired me to work hard and fight back even when others told me I was not strong of smart enough. 18 years later and I just finished rereading it for the fifth time. I know this book will always be special to me. Thank You for Mel and her story.


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Sara Goldsmith I love this story


message 35: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara Goldsmith I first read this story when I was 12. It created a desire to read and a passion to read more books. Up until I read this book, originally two, I hated reading. I just finished reading this book for the fifth time. Thank You for Mel and her story


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Sherwood Smith Sara wrote: "I first read this story when I was 12. It created a desire to read and a passion to read more books. Up until I read this book, originally two, I hated reading. I just finished reading this book fo..."

Thank you for sharing that! I'm so glad it turned you into a reader! :-)


message 37: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Spangenberg This is one of the books I give to girls who tell me they hate books. They don't hate this one.


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Sherwood Smith Lisa wrote: "This is one of the books I give to girls who tell me they hate books. They don't hate this one."

Thank you! I'm so delighted to hear that!


Amanda Stoltenberg You should still write something about the Merindars!


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Sherwood Smith Amanda wrote: "You should still write something about the Merindars!"

One of them is in Sasharia En Garde--and Flauvic's story is to come.


Helen Yes! Write more of this world!!! I love Mel


Kathy Randall I’ll look for that one!


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Sherwood Smith Kathy Randall wrote: "I’ll look for that one!"
:-)


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