Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Stand Alone
Format: Paperback
Pages: 471
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
A deathbed promise to their father sends a daring girl and her brother off to war. Filled with intrigue, romance, and magic, this spellbinding novel is a dramatic coming-of-age story about a girl who rises from impoverished beginnings to take command of her own fate.


This is one of my favorite fantasy books. I hadn't read it in about five years and I forgot a lot of things so it was kind of like reading it for the first time again. I feel like this is very approachable fantasy and despite the size, isn't intimidating.

Mel tells the story and is a huge part of why I like the book so much. I get her on a very deep level. We have very similar personalities-especially our flaws-so I understand her. She can be very stubborn and impulsive, but she is trying to help people. And she is genuinely a good person.

The book is divided into two parts which have two main plots. The first is a military/war story and the second is more about recovery and court politics. The war strategy is interesting, but I really like politics and court stories. The second part is always my favorite because it has mystery and intrigue. Plus, there's always word play which I love.

There is some magic in the story, but it's mild. That doesn't mean it isn't beautifully done. There are mysterious people-The Hill People-that are the main connection to magic and Sherwood Smith handles them very well.

There is a romance in the story. It is very mild, but beautifully executed. It's slow and real. Personally, I could use more romance because I love it, but the book is perfect the way it is.

I cannot recommend this book enough. And I have no idea why I haven't read more books by Sherwood Smith because I'm sure they are just as good.

Thanks for reading!

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