Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
224 Pages
Release Date: April 1st, 1997
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Genre: Fantasy
Level: YA
Rating: 5 STARS

Goodreads Summary:

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. “Smith tells a fast-moving tale of adventure, intrigue, and honor, with Mel a likable heroine and a lively narrator.”--Booklist

Crown Duel was a lot of firsts for me. It was my first true YA book, the first book I stayed up till around 3 in the morning reading, and the first book I bought and reread at least a dozen times. I make a point of reading Crown Duel at least once a year. This book is fast paced, thrilling, and an all around adventure, I love it so much. There isn't any romance in Crown Duel but there is definitely a lot in Court Duel, which I didn't know were two different books, so I'm going to talk about them like they're one. Sorry. 

Now for the nitty gritty details ;D. The world is this fantasy, sort of old fashioned world with Lords and Ladies and Kings. And as the cover suggests SWORDS. Now I'm kinda obsessed with swords, I've always wanted to learn how to use one and NO fencing does NOT count, I want to learn how to use a real double edged broadsword like knights used. TANGENTS! Anyways, this world also has magic. Not everyone has magic but a few are blessed with such talents and go to school for it. There are also the Hill Folk and from what I've gathered they are like elves, they live a really long time, speak telepathically to each other, and their faces are like the bark from trees distinct, yet impossible to remember exactly. The Hill Folk generally keep to themselves and live in the woods and mountains near the main character Mel, she spent a lot of time as a child listening and dancing to their music.  No one really ever sees them except Mel...(warning this next bit is a little spoilery)
So at the beginning of the story Mel's dad dies and tells her and her brother Bran that they must over throw the corrupt king and make sure a better one is put in his place. The only problem: they are the poorest and smallest area controlled by the king, and he wants their land. Mel and Bran gather together a small ragtag group of people and set out against the troops sent to destroy them. They do surprisingly well, until Mel is caught in a bear trap, and captured by the enemy's Captain the Marquis of Shevraeth: a strange court man trained in fighting. Mel  hates him immediately and it does't help that he is a court lad who she was trained to mistrust and despise. Mel tries her hardest to escape him as he brings her down to the King for her inevitable execution. 

Moving on before I accidentally tell you the whole story. MEL!!!! She is so KICK-ASS!!! She is this small little girl, probably about 5 feet tall but DAMN!!!! She could give Tris (from Divergent) a run for her money. She fights in battles, evades capture, and smashes everyone's plans to pieces all without even realizing it. I can't give away more without like telling you the big reveal but it is really, really awesome. She is stubborn and pigheaded but always for exactly the right reasons and GOD I JUST LOVE HER! 

Read the book and you will understand, message me on Tumblr or something when you do so I can freak out with you...its amazing. And then Shevraeth...I can't say anything about him either but trust me!! TRUST ME!!! He is just wonderful. Wonderful. Also I suggest that once you read this book, I'm assuming you're going to read this because you need to even if you don't think so, you reread it. Crown Duel is definitely one of those that when you reread it all your views change and MMMM READ!!!!!!! And message me so I can freak or just read it...either way... XD

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