Steph Su's Reviews > Crown Duel

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
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it was amazing
bookshelves: own, favorites, comfort-read, swoonworthy-love-interest, evangelical-zeal
Read 4 times. Last read June 1, 2012.

Oh how I adore feisty heroines embroiled in duplicitous, action-packed fantasy political intrigues and romance! I wish I had known about this book earlier, for I have a feeling it will be one that I return to again and again for that magical dose of adventure, feminism, and romance.

Mel is my favorite kind of fantasy heroine: tough, resourceful, opinionated, and scared of being seen as vulnerable despite her deeply warm heart. I don’t even care that this type of female protagonist is a fantasy trope, because I just love ‘em. I loved reading about Mel’s struggles to avoid capture at the hands of Shevraeth and the king’s other men. And then I loved reading about Mel’s struggles to make herself a gentlewoman, worthy of the respect of the court. Mel is a protagonist worthy of Tamora Pierce’s creations.

I love that this book’s pacing never drags, which is great because I just get so darn bored of the MC’s moody contemplations of anything and everything that has or hasn’t happened to her. I admit wholeheartedly that I adored the book’s romantic subplot and, yes, will probably reread this book many times for mostly that element. It reminds me of a sort of Elizabeth Bennet-Mr. Darcy relationship arc, and I will leave it at that appetite-whetting point.

CROWN DUEL is a must-read if you love your Tamora Pierce and Gail Carson Levine. Maybe it doesn’t break new ground in lighthearted fantasy literature, but it fuels the fire that keeps my heart warm, fuzzy, and swooningly romantic. Sighhh. Now, back to rereading favorite bits…
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
March 21, 2010 – Shelved
March 25, 2010 – Shelved as: own
January 14, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
January 14, 2011 – Shelved as: comfort-read
Started Reading
June 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
November 6, 2013 – Shelved as: swoonworthy-love-interest
November 19, 2013 – Shelved as: evangelical-zeal

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda I have had the benefit of being introduced to Crown Duel at a young age, and I have to agree that it is the perfect book to return to again and again over the years. I adore everything about Mel's character and the relationship is just so fantastic! I've read a few of Sherwood Smith's other books but they can't compare to this.

Steph Su Amanda: I knowww. None of her other books that I've read so far compare to this one. This is just in a category of its own. *clutches heart*

message 3: by Shveta (new)

Shveta Thakrar Steph, did you see she just sold a novel to Viking? She cowrote it with Rachel Manija Brown.

Steph Su Whoa, so cool! 2014 is so far away, but as the date approaches I'll definitely be on the lookout for this. CROWN DUEL was that kind of epic awesomeness that means I would give anything with any amount of Sherwood Smith's involvement half a chance. :)

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