Read King's Dragon by Kate Elliott Online


Set in an alternate Europe, a world where bloody conflicts rage and sorcery holds sway, both human and other-than-human forces vie for supremacy. In this land, Alain, a young man seeking the destiny promised him by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman gifted with a power that can alter the course of history, are about to be swept up in a world-shaking conflict forSet in an alternate Europe, a world where bloody conflicts rage and sorcery holds sway, both human and other-than-human forces vie for supremacy. In this land, Alain, a young man seeking the destiny promised him by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman gifted with a power that can alter the course of history, are about to be swept up in a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity. In the New York TImes bestselling tradition of Tad Williams' epic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series.Beautiful cover art by Jody Lee Over 300,000 copies of Kate Elliott's books in print! The Crown of Stars series is a powerful blend of fantasy and political intrigue...

Title : King's Dragon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18682767
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 554 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

King's Dragon Reviews

  • Nes
    2019-02-27 08:10

    I'm usually much too lazy to give reviews, but I felt obliged to write one for this series because I believe Elliott's writing is somewhat under-appreciated. Among the plethora of epic fantasy series that came out over the last 30 years, the Crown of Stars is relatively unknown, so I wanted to make it easier for people to decide whether to start on this 7-book series or not with no spoilers attached. Language style: I guess it's comparable to George RR Martin's ASOIAF, not as intricate as that of Guy Gavriel Kay but more subtle than that of Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson. Personally I don't care much about the level of language used as long as the story gets across and I think people will have no problem with Elliot's writing itself.World building: some people find too much effort is spent here but I disagree, being somewhat of a history buff. Elliot's rendition of an early-medieval society feels rich, alive and realistic. It is obvious that the author did a ton of research throughout the series. What's more commendable is how she blends it all seamlessly with a religion that is gender-equal. Even if you don't care much for history, the parallels and anti-parallels between Elliot's and the real world is quite obvious so most people should be able to appreciate it.Characters: another strong point, I found that the characters behaved consistently with well explored motivations. Though at times, a couple of antagonists are a bit too arrogant and presumptuous to feel entirely real, the justification here being their faith and noble birth, though it may just be me being a modern-day atheist. Some people point out that it's hard to connect with the protagonists in this series and it's partially justified. Keep in mind though that this is a 7-book series with a main story that spans better part of a decade and Elliot has kept character development mostly to a slow pace, which feels realistic for me but frustrating to many. And unlike in ASOIAF or Wheel of Time where some protagonists gain great political/military power over the course of the series, the harsh realities of the feudal society is painfully reflected in the Crown of Stars.Pacing: I think this is the main reason for the lukewarm reception of this series. There are lots of well depicted maneuvering both politically and on the battlefield, but when compared to many other fantasy series these days it feels just a bit too far in between. Many people complain, especially in the middle of the series, that the story crawls gradually forward at a snail's pace (a common problem with epic fantasies really). So it comes down to whether you appreciate the character interactions sufficiently in the meantime to overcome the frustration. For me it was never a problem because first of all, I do not expect speedy resolution from an epic fantasy, and second, by that time I was too firmly attached to the fates of Liath, Sanglant, and Alain not to continue. So if you have problems finishing books like Crossroads of Twilight or A Feast for Crows then I would not recommend this series to you.Crown of Stars cannot compete with The Wheel of Time for its sheer scope, nor can it compete with ASOIAF for the depth of its political intrigue, and it certainly cannot compete with LotR for the amount of heroic action. Nevertheless, by incorporating all these classical elements of a good epic fantasy into her own creatively imagined and well realized world, Kate Elliot gave us a complete fantasy series that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

  • Allison
    2019-03-19 10:29

    I really loved this book. It was one of those rare ones that I took my time to savor without thinking about what I was going to be reading next. As with many books that I've loved, it's hard to explain why. I really just love Kate Elliott's writing. Her world is so vivid and real, with a deep sense of history and of hidden things that will be revealed. At the same time, she also makes me care about and fear for the characters so effortlessly, and because of the characters, the world feels very immediate rather than overwhelmingly epic. I honestly had no idea where the story was headed for much of the time - this isn't a quest-type fantasy with a stated goal. It takes place in an alternate medieval kingdom teeming with heresy, hypocrisy, treachery, and violence. Kingdom politics and inhuman coastal raiders. Ancient magic, forbidden knowledge, reverence for learning, true piety, and evil sorcery. The feeling of the world is amazingly real with both awe and danger. I loved the sense of place. This was really great historical fantasy, both recognizable and foreign to our own medieval time.Some people might find the plot slow, but I didn't find it dull. I enjoyed both of the main viewpoints. Two young, unrelated characters find themselves caught in the middle of affairs they don't understand. Both start out in very humble circumstances and have much to learn and sometimes much to suffer. Although they are important to events, they are not instantly transformed into saviors of the world. They have their parts to play, but they don't grow too far beyond themselves and their beginnings. I am really looking forward to seeing where this is going and what they grow into, and to having more of the world revealed. I have six more books to savor, and I plan to take my time.I highly recommend this to fans of both historical fiction and fantasy - it's a fantastic blend of both.

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
    2019-02-25 07:09

    I plan to write a fuller review after reading more of the series, but really enjoyed this. As a kid I read the first couple of books in this series, and now I suspect the reason I didn’t finish is that Elliott’s adult novels are geared toward adult tastes and interests, more so than most popular fantasy, which tends to be heavy on the adolescent wish-fulfillment, action/adventure and romance. Not to say that there aren’t elements of that here, but this probably isn’t the fantasy to buy for your teenage niece or nephew.UPDATE: See end of review!The worldbuilding stands out, especially this time around. It’s closely based on the early Middle Ages (France and Germany, I believe). Some fantasy readers prefer more original worlds, but I’ve always been partial to historical fantasy; to me a world based on real culture and history is always going to feel more complex and nuanced and authentic than one invented by a single author, and that holds true here. This is no cardboard quasi-medieval setting; it feels like the real thing, complete with economics that make sense (you can’t just levy an army out of nowhere and go haring off without considering the planting and harvesting!). Even rarer for fantasy, Elliott also portrays a religion and a Church as powerful and ubiquitous as in the actual Middle Ages. And rarer still, the portrayal of this through-a-glass-darkly version of the Roman Catholic Church is quite complex – it contains many people with various motivations, neither all one thing nor easily dismissed. (I’ve seen occasional readers feel that the inclusion of all this religion is preachy, but am quite sure that’s not Elliott’s intent. For one thing, she’s Jewish.) But with all that, this is a more gender-egalitarian world than our own (gender roles exist but dictate which positions of power people ought to occupy, rather than whether they should). There is a much more diverse cast than we get in most epic fantasy – with roughly equal numbers of male and female characters, as well as a few who are non-white – which is fun to read about.The characters here have a lot of potential, leaving me looking forward to future books; it is a big story with a large cast, and the characters feel like they could be real people, not just genre shorthand for them. Of the two major plotlines, I remembered Liath’s much better than Alain’s. Liath is a vulnerable young woman whose storyline in the first half of the book involves her getting trapped in an abusive situation that feels quite realistic – it is a long shot from the blood’n’guts of many fantasy novels these days, but perhaps more memorable for it. An interesting choice for a fantasy novel, and one whose resulting trauma seems to have frustrated many readers, as well as some of the characters. Alain’s plotline is more conventional – young man discovers the wider world, has mysterious parentage, experiences battle – but I enjoyed his complicated relationship with the Church (Alain is a genuinely good person, unlike a lot of the blandly inoffensive protagonists out there) and his position in a retinue on the “bad” side. The macro plot is similar to that of many epic fantasies – kingdom is torn by internal strife while invaded by evil creatures – but it feels fresh and engaging and, if this volume is any indication, Elliott intends to keep things moving rather than just set it up and leave us in a holding pattern for five books. At least, I hope that is the case, because this book is very promising and I want more like it!UPDATE: And now, as promised, some comments after completing the series.Okay, guys, I'm just not that big a fan of series. I really enjoyed the first three books, but then it became a little stale; the types of choices Elliott was making became too familiar with use, to the point that I felt less was at stake even as the scope grew broader, and the story simply became less exciting. Nor did the characters stand up to such a long series; they never grew three-dimensional enough for that. I won't say it's just me, because a lot of people seem to have grown disillusioned with these books. But I don't feel it goes downhill any harder than any other fantasy series I've tried to read; in fact, it maintains its quality better than some more popular series, which descend into endless travelogues and non-events. Perhaps Crown of Stars just drew the short end of the marketing stick and didn't build the hype or the huge, devoted sort of fanbase that any series needs to survive the natural leaching of interest that comes with such a long work.It's too bad, because there are good ideas here, and I wish they'd been presented in a trilogy rather than a seven-book series. Happily, Elliott has also written some strong fantasy trilogies, and is at work on more! Go read them, they're good. As for this series, it's worth a try, especially if you like long sagas. And if you read the first two or three or four and decide not to finish, that's okay too.King’s Dragon: 4Prince of Dogs: 3.5The Burning Stone: 4Child of Flame: 3The Gathering Storm: 2.5In the Ruins: 3Crown of Stars: 3

  • Shelby
    2019-03-19 07:09

    Finished this in a day! The whole series of The Crown of Starts was a gift from my boyfriend, and I was eager to start in on this. There is so much going on already in this book. It seems a typical fantasy at first, lost elvish nations, scary lizard-ish bad guys, a brother and sister fighting for the thrown, and a couple of kids caught up in the middle. Mostly, I'm intrigued by the religion Elliot creates in it. Clearly, there is a lot of traditional, Medieval basis in it. Fathers and "biscops" and other such religious titles, but they all serve the Lord and the Lady, a binding of Christianity and Pagan religions. There is also forbidden, lost arts of magic that is simultaneously despised and used by the Church, and mathemagici, which are sort of astronomers or mathematicians...learned men and women whatever way you look at it. As the first book in the series, I'm not going to go to in depth but I am really, really looking forward to finishing this series!

  • Sandi
    2019-02-20 09:17

    I had a really, really hard time getting into this book. I probably would have neither started nor finished it if it weren't a book of the month for a reading group I belong to. I just hate getting into multi-volume (7) epic fantasies. This one took about 200 pages (out of 600+) to get interesting. I was never able to pinpoint quite why it was so hard to get into. For the record, I'm going to list some positives and negatives of this book.On the positive side:1. There aren't too many central characters to focus on. There are two main characters, Alain and Liath. Most of the action and other characters orbit around them. About 1/2 way, Liath's friend, Hanna, gets a bit more of a starring role. But, it's not until we've had a chance to know her through Liath's storyline.2. There aren't too many subplots. Many multi-volume epic fantasies have a dozen storylines going with a gazillion character that never connect for a few volumes. Elliot keeps it simple by starting with two storylines. She sticks with them for a decent amount of time, not switching settings every two pages. Once we are comfortable, then she'll add another plotline. It made it very easy to follow this book.3. Her world is very consistent and well visualized. The politics, religion, and races of her world are very comprehensible.The negatives:1. Slow start. I'm still not sure why it's so slow. Maybe because there's not much conflict early on.2. It's very, very long. Like I said, this book is 600+ pages long and is the first of 7 volumes.3. Cliffhanger ending. Actually, if you don't read the epilogue, it's a pretty complete novel. The epilogue is a total cliffhanger though. (The hatred of cliffhangers is just my own deal. I hate feeling like I'm being forced to buy another book.)If you like big, long epic fantasy, this book is a very good choice. It's just not my cup of tea.

  • KatHooper
    2019-03-17 05:04

    The Crown of Stars series is well-thought out and obviously well-planned. It's epic in scope and it's got a lot of texture. There are many complex characters who we follow in parallel, as in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Some of them are very likable, and there are some really excellent villains (e.g., Hugh). Ms. Elliott's creatures are imaginative and enjoyable, and I especially liked the way they interact with the humans. Ms. Elliott uses a lot of description and therefore her plot moves very slowly (again, similar to WOT).The writing was inconsistent throughout the series. Sometimes it seems brilliant, but at other times I'd think "why did she tell me that?" or "this could be moving a little faster." It's often wordy. Her editor could have almost arbitrarily taken out a third of the sentences with no ill effect. Sometimes she over-explains what a character is feeling or his/her motivation when it would have been better to let the dialog or action speak for the character. Sometimes she tells me something too many times (e.g., "but his voice always sounds like that"). I wonder if the inconsistency is due to different editing processes, because it's not like that in all the books, and even some individual books are internally inconsistent. I thought the fourth book, especially, was not well edited.The pace of these novels is so slow that I found my self bogged down in the middle of book 5 with not much desire to go on, so I decided to quit. I struggled with that decision because I really did want to find out what happened to the characters, but it was taking me too long to get there and the writing style wasn't good enough to make up for the crawling pace (unlike Wheel of Time).Overall, these books entertained me for a while, especially the first couple of novels. The plot was interesting and the characterization was particularly notable, but it eventually got too slow. I quit in the middle of book 5.Read more Kate Elliott book reviews at Fantasy Literature .

  • Sarah
    2019-03-21 11:23

    For what started out as a fairly standard entrence into an epic fantasy series, I was quickly surprised. Elliott spends a lot of time world building and the result is impressive. This book is thick with history, politics and religion which has been a negative to several reviewers I have read online. In my opinion, I enjoyed reading the history, politics and the religion because it made the world so much more vivid and set the foundation for an incredibly complex, realistic series. It really helped me understand the world I was reading about and actually care about it. Elliott writes in such a flowing, descriptive way that you truly become swept away with the story and lose track of the fact that you are the reader, not the actual character. One of my pet peeves with some writers is that I feel as though they are giving me a list of events that transpired rather than weaving a tale for me to mentally take part in. Elliott doesn't give you a list, at all. Hours passed in the blink of an eye reading her tale. I got so involved in the characters and truly cared about their plights that I just couldn't put the book down. The result was finishing a 635 page book in a day.I won't say the book is flawless. There are parts that dragged quite a bit. I did skim-read some sections that didn't necessarily seem to need to take up as many pages as they did. Her "evil" characters aren't exactly multidimensional. In my opinion the most multidimensional character in the book is Sanglant. However, with the other two main protagonists just starting to figure out they are more than what they seem, the potential for them to grow and expand into fascinating multidimensionality is there.I am incredibly excited to read the rest of this series and was pleasantly surprised by this book.

  • Frank
    2019-03-03 10:04

    No spoilers here. After reading this first book of a seven book series, I must say that I wonder why it doesn't come up on more lists of finished fantasy series, perhaps for the lack of readers. Thinking it may be the covers, which do not work at all compared to the story itself. This story takes place in a medieval setting where magic looms about, and has a gritty feeling to it. The book is written in two points of view, and later on third point of view is inserted. You do have the typical young male and female who have hidden talents that will play into the story on the upper levels of the kingdom and its surroundings. The battle scenes are much reminiscent to medieval battles only taking place with several thousands of soldiers, and the battle towards the end of book one is well done. I must say that I will be reading the remainder of the series hoping that Elliott will be building on the good work that has been done here.

  • Tim
    2019-02-21 08:22

    I want to read this because of what Orson Scott Card said about it:"Kate Elliott joins my very small pantheon of great living fantasy writers."[She is] one of the best world creators in fantasy literature."[The readers] are so fully immersed in this world, and its details are created so convincingly and richly, that it's a pleasure to simply live there with these characters."[It has] the most wonderfully frustrating villain you have ever experienced in literature. If Dickens had read these books he might have done a better job of writing Uriah Heep; if Moliere had read them, he might have brought of Tartuffe much more successfully."Sounds good, doesn't it? You can read everything he said about it on his blog, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything.[]

  • Blodeuedd Finland
    2019-03-12 05:22

    written a month ago). I do not even know where to begin. I was so booored, but read on, skimmed, and read on. I came to the conclusion that "swears some" I will read this book. I got it, I will read it, not put it back on that darn TBR pile. So I read it, half way through I read reviews for book 7 so I could see what would happen.It was the characters, I should have felt for Liath's plight. But I just did not. She felt whiny. I should have liked Alain but he was a wooden figure. The Eika prince seemed interesting, but Sagalant, the half elf prince whatever lost me when he lusted after Liath the second he met her. Instalove and then I was all what?The world, yes the world was the one thing that had me bored. Sure it's fun when worlds resemble our but here it was just too much. The weird Eika, eh can you say the vikings are coming? The church, the lady and her son. The convents, priest, I do not need that much Catholicism in my fantasy. I want it to differ a bit. You are creating a world, play with it. But here it was just I shall make women strong too, a woman can claim a child came from her womb but a man can't. So let's make women bishops and shit. Yes again, I did not care. It was Christianity. The countries, the name. Too familiar. Yes I give you, there were some elves in another dimension, but hey people thought there were beings in the old days. So nothing new.Yes this book failed on every level for me. Everything felt forced.

  • Tim
    2019-02-19 05:10

    Kate Elliott's "Crown of Stars" series -- 5,200 pages or so, through seven volumes -- sure is a monster, but it's worth the undertaking. Really, I'd call this one of the most underrated fantasy series ever. Don't be deceived by the generally weak cover art for all these volumes. Elliott's writing, too, is more than it seems at first glance. She writes very, very well. It's sneaks-up-on-you prose, but after you read quite a bit you realize she's very talented.I won't even begin to try to provide a plot description of this world based on medieval Europe in a fantasy setting. Suffice to say it's, er, DETAILED. Mythological creatures, magic, alternate worlds, court politics, battle, strong characters. This baby is dense as an asteroid but worth exploring every cranny. Be advised that the best books are the early ones. "King's Dragon" starts quite slowly but turns into a gem. "Prince of Dogs" is equally good. From there, Elliott does get lost in her own world a bit, fashioning what's admittedly a too-detailed, too dense plot, as if she cuts out nothing and wants everything thrown in.Stick with it, though, it's worth the effort, even with a flat-out poor sixth volume.

  • Leseparatist
    2019-03-05 08:10

    Goodreads keeps crashing on me, this is my 89678 attempt to post this review, but here we go again.This, I think, is the only Kate Elliott series that has been translated into Polish (I might be wrong about some of her early sf, but her later - and to me, the most interesting - novels are sadly unavailable). In fact, I distinctly remember seeing them in bookshops, and on occasion, in a private fee-for-book library, and thinking - this looks just like what I'm not into, fantasy-wise. There were knights on the cover, armoured people generally, and the religion looked a lot like Christianity, judging by the titles. I was like: no siree, at this length, I want more evil deities and less swords. (Admittedly, I was 13/14 at the time and inhaled Mercedes Lackey and Jean Auel.)Now, at the age of twice that and some, I approached King's Dragon very differently, from the perspective of someone who is already a huge Kate Elliott fan. I mean, I look at my three-star review of Cold Magic and I'm 95% sure if I was to read it now, I'd four-star it. Because sometimes the more you read, the more you love someone's writing and that's how I feel about Elliott. Over the course of thousands of pages, she has trained me into a reader that really likes her tropes and her characters and her style. She sneaked up on me <3 Feel free to insert an appropriate gif here.King's Dragon takes a while to get going (also typical of an Elliott novel, but perhaps a bit more pronounced here than, say, in Crossroads), but once it did, I was hooked. Let's just say I own it on paper - which is always bad for a book because I read faster on my e-reader, and have more opportunities to do so - so the trajectory was basically that I spent about 2 months reading the first 200 pages, a week reading the next 200 pages, and then the remaining 200 was read in a day, when I came home from work, until 1 am. I don't know what this is about, but I seem to always crush on Elliott's male characters. I can read 50 novels and historical romances and enjoy the characters without ever getting attached and then give me a female character in an Elliott novel meeting eyes with a male character and blushing and I'm there with her.(Except for Black Wolves, those dudes did nothing for me and that's seekritly my biggest peeve...)(view spoiler)[(In case you aren't sure who I mean, it's Sanglant. Not Alain. Sanglant can womanise me any day of the week.)I have to say Alain's story - especially its first half - was my least favourite part, and what happened to Lackling was perhaps not a trigger, but a definite literary / fictional pet peeve (and the cause of that first 200 pages taking that long). I hate it when diversity with regard to people with intelectual disabilities means a token "innocent" character to whom terrible things happen. But Liath was a favourite, and I really enjoyed the brief time we spent with Hanna's POV and with Rosvita. The dynastic woes were interesting, and I truly loved the court intrigue and those plots that concerned Henry and his various family members (much as Elliott repeats some of them, albeit in a different twist / configuration, in Black Wolves). And the magic! Elliott uses it sparingly but craftily, and the guivre... I loved the way this was built. (hide spoiler)]The worldbuilding is intricate and rewarding, although I think Elliott's later worlds are just more sweeping and fun. The characters were interesting and well-built, no shortcuts. I don't think the next novel in the series will languish long when I get my hands on it. (Which is soon, very, very soon...)

  • Kevin
    2019-02-18 09:12

    Leading up to our wedding, Bethany and I both blazed through Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series as fast as we could We both adored it. At long last, after five years, I'm returning to it. Prior to this, neither of us had been voracious readers of speculative fiction. So, my reread is for two purposes: 1. Refresh the great characters in my mind; and 2. See if it holds up. The first volume definitely did. King's Dragon shifts the narrative perspective frequently, relying on the observations of at least five characters. This number grows in the subsequent volumes. The world of Crown of Stars is much like central Europe towards the end of the first millennium A.D., with a great deal of myth and magic thrown in, but the countries, geography, and some features of history remain extremely similar. It primarily follows the stories of Alain, a young man who had been promised to a monastery, but finds himself serving a local count after the monastery is destroyed by raiders, and Liath, a young woman who had spent her life wandering the world with her father, gaining secret knowledge, until her father mysteriously dies and she is enslaved to a local priest. The majority of Elliott's characters feel real and are interesting, but for me the world is the highlight of these books. It is complicated, fascinating, and incredibly detailed. And I found myself just as interested in it as I was before, even if the narrative, spoiled by prior knowledge, wasn't as compelling. I still highly recommend these books to anyone who loves the fantasy genre.

  • Lasairfiona Smith
    2019-03-17 05:02

    It's okay. This is your basic sprawling fantasy story that happens to be set in a world where there is some war and some invasion but without the single hero that kills everything and wins the lady. No, things are a tad more complicated than that. However, this story does fall to some of the most obnoxious clichés found in fantasy - specifically the love at first site between people that shouldn't have anything to do with each other. Oh, and the death of a family member causes heroine to be sold into slavery and all the mess that goes with that. Of course the heroine obviously has some special abilities but walks around scared all the time. And complicated sentences. Not only are there a lot of commas, albeit grammatically correct (unlike mine), but she even has to use dashes. Dashes!It's a very thick book with a lot of detail but full of faults. The writing isn't bad. The characters aren't totally one dimensional. The clichés are familiar. I'd call it popcorn reading if it wasn't so long. So this series is average at best but there is at least one of the story lines that I am still interested in so I will probably keep reading. It just isn't going to be on my priority list.

  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2019-02-21 11:24

    I saw Kate talking about this series on Twitter and had to add it to my TBR, it sounds fascinating.

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-25 12:04

    I wonder if I'll like this book better when if I read the others. Because there are a lot of lose ends left untied.There is a story A and a story B, and at times a little A.1 and B.1 as minor characters go off and have noteworthy adventures without the main characters. I expected Story A & B would ultimately converge and am left wondering if they will?At the beginning of the book, it tended towards a bit of melodramatic use of metaphors, but further into the book it settles down into an easily readable pace. It follows the storyline of Liath, who has been on the run most her life, but tragedy causes her to be subjected to the advances of a strangely cruel man. She spends a lot of time being conflicted and confused, about magic, what's dangerous, who she really is. And then it follows Alain, who is promised to the church, and tragedy causes him to become a part of a Count's retinue instead. Both find themselves in a world at war, between Kingdoms, and also a foreign and savage species call the Eika. Three things this book has a lot of is religion and dogs/dog like things and illegitimate songs. Some of the religious statements and concepts, are taken almost directly from the bible, you'll recognize some familiar passages (you know, if there are passages that are familiar to you from the bible) and then comes some tweaking. But even so, that made it very much like...religion, being religious, all that devout, flowery phrasing that makes even the sanest devotee sound insane when they start speaking. I had to skim, it was simply too painful.And dogs, dogs, dogs everywhere. I'm sure there is some significance, maybe the dogs in story A and B are related somehow to each other. But...for the moment it just seems like everyone's got a lot of bloodthirsty hounds.Thirdly, having a Henri, and a Henry, both with illegitimate sons who look foreign compared with their surroundings, was really confusing.It's not a badly written book, but I had a hard time identifying with the characters, perhaps because the characters don't really know themselves, they are vague, because they both have no real sense of identity, where they came from, where they are going.

  • Sora Zee
    2019-02-23 09:02

    THIS IS A PERSONAL REVIEW INTENDED FOR THAT ONE BOOKWORM I SO LOVE......and of course to any one who would care to read this lmaoThis book was recommended by my wife two years ago. According to her, it is one of the best series she ever read. I read the gist of it, put it in my to-read-list, and then forgot about it. It took me two years to finally give the book a chance. It was nominated for the Nebula Award, and being an avid book reader, that simple advertisement alone made me have high hopes for it. I was very cautious though, I didn't want to delve into a long series that in the end would only turn out bad. I have this great passion for reading and for me, reading should never be a chore. I could have taken my wife's word for it, but I could clearly see she is in love with the series so she tends to be biased about it. So what I did was I looked for negative reviews; and I have to admit, there were scant few negative reviews. Everyone who read it either fell in love with it right there right then when they read "On a hill..." or they were skeptic then slowly fell in love with and read it to the very end of the book. I have seen how some of them were disappointed at first but had nothing else left to do so they read on and surprisingly fell in love with it. Those who hated it, well, I guess they like me don't like reading to be a chore.This book, it is like any other book, it is either you love it or you utterly hate it. And as a reader, there is nothing left to do but read it and really find out for myself. And here is it:I HATED IT. RIGHT OFF THE BAT. Alright, chill, I know you are reading this, deep breathe, don't make me sleep on the couch tonight just because I said that hateful word. Please note it was in past tense. That means something right? Anyway, I hated it because there were bits and pieces that were too slow for me and things that were not clear. One moment I was reading about the boy then suddenly it was the girl then some other girl then the savage one. I hated it because it reminded me of the struggle I had in reading Malazan and I swore I would never tolerate that ever again, it was a difficult read for me, because in my heart of hearts, I intended to hate it.I am used to huge fantasy series in epic proportions like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, Erikson's Malazan Empires, George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones to name a few, therefore a series like this shouldn't bother me, and how the story evolves shouldn't irk me. But it did. The book has this kind of slowness, sluggish progress in it that frustrated me to no ends. It keeps leading me to dead ends, without any signs of foreshadowing at hand. It feels like I was Theseus, following the thread of yarn on my way back to the real world only to find out my yarn was cut to bits and pieces that could go on a few meters only to end up with a loose end right in the middle of an intersection all with pieces of yarn going in different directions. Frustrating! It felt like I myself was enchanted and played upon by those daemons they talked about in the story, why? Because it felt like we were only going in circles.Too many characters. Alright, don't get me wrong. I know, WoT, Malazan, GoT, Dark Tower Series, and more have too many characters too, so why make a fuss? Well, the characters lack depth, attitude, and well...character. It felt at first (note the phrase I used) that the author was in a hurry and she needed to shove all the characters at once right under your nose, if an author was to do that with the intention of making a new universe and introducing it to the public then might as well go big ...or go home. Might as well go in details who is who, what is what. Might as well introduce all the other stable boys working in Count Lavastine's household, what goes under the chatelaine's command, the cook's scullions, etc. Who is Fell for example? Who were the newly recruits for Lavastine's what role do they play in the story, where did the chatelaine got all the new young ones recruited to be in service to the Lavas household. Why just shove numerous names of Saints and princes and princesses and dukes and duchesses and dukedoms? Priests and priestesses too? If you would confuse readers with names that mean squat to them then might as well include the smallest bug's name...for fun.Too many characters that are bastards. Why?! I am not against it, nor was I being ignorant here. I know the medieval times (which was her chosen era) was swarming with such. I know, the medieval times were ruled and governed by passion, love, lust, treachery, deceit. Mix these things together you end up with so many bastards or illegitimate children it isn't funny anymore. But the author took it up a notch, every other character is a bastard in the story. Two of the main male characters already are branded as bastards. The female? I am not so sure what she is. It was like, every spring, ever royalty and or noble born gets twitter-patted or they get the spring bug and off they go getting anything that wears skirts pregnant or getting knocked up by anything with a built-in pogo in their persons.BUT THAT IS ALL SO OVER, THE HATE. I LOVE IT NOW.Yes. I love villains. I love hating them, and I love strong villains, and the author managed to provide me with the most annoying bitches and jerks ever to walk Fantasyland. I love how she made the good guys dumb, and the bad guys fucking cunning you just wanna root for them and at the same time wish them 7 years of bad luck if they don't read and repost chain mails!I love her villains' inconsistency too. Take for example, Frater Hugh. Idk what he is, if he is good or bad, but I guess he is a jerk of highest order. He did a few vile unspeakable things which you need to know for yourself by the way. Why is he inconsistent? Because he just made me watch him and read about him for like 50% of the damned book trying to outwit a lass, and once he got what he wanted, forgot about it around 51% of the wtf is wrong with that dickhead? He just left. Poof! Gone.But boy, by the 51st percent of the book? I already knew better. I knew there is more than what I read. There is more of that Hugh. More of Wolfhere. More of the Antonia (oh that fucking bad ass. She makes me want to wipe her Antonia-coddling smiles with dogpoop, I bet Lavastine's hounds poop mountains of that shit). More of Sabella (another cunt who lost everything because she is dumb...yes she is the only dumb villain there so far). And the gray character, Berthold (Villam's son) I knew he isn't dead, my instinct screams the boy is alive! One rule when I read books, NO BODY FOUND NO DEAD CHARACTER. Fuck it, until it was stated by all and until that boy don't reappear in the very last book I will believe him alive. Lackling is another story... I honestly think Antonia bathed in him then fed him to the guivre or ate the simpleton herself. Poor mentally challenged kid. I prayed he gave whoever ate him diarrhea. (Who knows maybe those clerics who used to work for Antonia and died died because of Lackling...I still would have preferred Diarrhea though...would be a fitting punishment for them and symbolic too of all shit they are).All in all, it was good really. It grows in you if you would give it a chance and keep an open mind about it. Also it helps to whinge. Hate on it, don't keep it in, and snap at the first unfortunate real life villain who tries to disturb your reading hours. It is worth all the "damn it this doesn't make any sense" mumblings I did for the entire 10 days I read it.One advise when you read this: Keep Calm and Read OnP.S.For you who so pushed me, coerced me, bullied me, threatened me, I love you. I think I found my next Fantasy Project I wanna finish. Guide me while I read this series same way you always guided me through life together. I love you wife.

  • Wise_owl
    2019-03-02 06:31

    I should probably finish other Epic fantasy series I'm reading before starting another, but at least this one actually does have an ending already published, so some hope!The King's Dragon follows several characters; A young man who has grown up knowing he is promised to the Church but yearns for other things, a young woman who has followed her magician father all over the world, always one step ahead of some mysterious thing chasing them, a deacon whose has devoted her life to writing a history of the land, when she is not advising the king, as well as the occasional side character who get highlighted.The arc of the story concerns both the personal stories of these figures, and the grander story; A rebellion by a passed over member of the Royal family, and more importantly, an Invasion by a race of beings who are obvious Viking analogue, but made literally monstrous; covered in bronze scales and with bone spurs growing out of their hands. Their invasion frames the more 'epic' quality of the book.The world and World-building is the essential quality to almost any fantasy, is a very interesting one vested deeply in actual medievalism(as opposed to the sort of ahistorical content that usually informs fantasy worlds). There is a powerful church with a decidedly Catholic character(save doctrinally. For example the Church here is highly Matriarchal, with women in all the major positions of power). There are knights and knightly orders. People live in decided precarious positions, impacted by the acts of great people over which they have little control. In this regard it has some similarity to A Song of Ice and Fire, save it has focused on characters less lofty than those in that series. Its content is also perhaps a tad less relentlessly dark.As the first book in a series, it did an excellent job of setting up characters and world mysteries; who are the ancient peoples whose ruins we encounter. What are their various connections to the events that are transpiring? How much of the world's religion is based in fact? I will definitely pursue the rest of the series and hope to see what direction it leads in.

  • Jasmine
    2019-03-19 06:13

    The inexorable tide of worldbuilding moving plot, theological and political schisms, a fantasy world with players honestly balanced among genders, and a fantasy based on medieval europe that actually feels like medieval europe? YES PLEASE I WILL TAKE SEVEN.

  • Jonathan
    2019-03-08 06:10

    3.5. Slow start; enjoyable but predictable read. I will most likely continue with the series.

  • Mei-Lu
    2019-02-20 06:06

    I think before I get into my review of this book I should disclose something. King's Dragon is the first volume of a seven volume series. I read up to page 572 of book five (the Gathering Storm) and found I just couldn't continue. I was fed up with the story, the characters, the whole thing. If the book didn't weigh a ton, I'd probably have thrown it against the wall in frustration. As is, I refrained for free of denting the walls of my rental. In this review, I'm going to talk about the overall series (without spoilers) in the hopes that it will help you make a decision about whether or not you want to give this series a try.Generally speaking, fantasy series fall into two categories - epic storylines that are told over the course of several books (a la George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire) and stand alone books that can be read out of order (a la Anne McCaffrey's Pern series). Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series falls into the first category. If you like, it's one mega-novel divided into seven parts. She does a pretty good job of breaking her story down into pieces and giving each novel an arc, but the books each end on a cliffhanger which makes clear that the story is nowhere near finished.I've read a lot of fantasy series over the years. In the best cases, I'm so caught up in the characters and storyline I read all available volumes obsessively and then grind my teeth until the next book comes out. In the worst cases, I'll read the first book and feel no compulsion to read on, regardless of cliffhanger endings. Between the best and worst case scenarios, there's a middle path that a series can take. That's when the world-building and/or characters and/or plot is compelling enough that you want to stay in the world and find out what happens next BUT you're not fully engaged. And sadly, this middle ground is exactly where Kate Elliott's series falls. The problem, for me, was the characters. Kate Elliott obviously gave A LOT of thought to her alternate Medieval European world because the depth in the history and religion of her world was impressive. In particular, her version of the Medieval Catholic Church is so different yet recognizable that part of me really wanted to find out how she was going to pay things off. But the main characters, all of whom were teenagers in the first book, were really, really callow. Having read four and a half books of the series, I can see that Kate Elliott did this on purpose - that her goal was to have them "grow up" through the course of the story. Unfortunately, this meant that I found it a struggle to care about any of the main characters. They embodied everything that makes you roll your eyes about teenaged characters - they're overdramatic, they're self-involved and self-pitying, they think that when they love it's an end-all, be-all kind of a thing and they make incredibly bad decisions. As the story progresses, the characters do grow up, but I was still lukewarm about all of them near the end of book four and actually started to feel as if I was being held hostage by these annoying characters for the sake of an interesting story and world. In the end, it wasn't worth it for me. A lot of people on Goodreads have compared this series to George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. For me, the difference is that Martin's characters gripped me from book one and even though five books in I feel like the series is meandering off-course, Martin's writing is so good that I have faith that ultimately he'll pull this series off in a satisfying way. Midway through book five of Crown of Stars, I lost faith that the pay off at the end of the series would be worth slogging through two more books.When I finished reading King's Dragon, I really wasn't sure I wanted to continue the series. Had it been a library book or a purchase, I definitely would not have continued the series. However, a friend had given me all seven books and since they were there, I continued on.

  • Rindis
    2019-03-11 10:03

    Ages ago, I started reading Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars series, but lost track of just which book I had gotten up to, and so kept putting the rest of the series off. I've just started rereading the books to remind myself of what happened.The general setup of the world is based on actual early medieval history, say around AD 900. The kingdoms of Wendar and Varre (where the bulk of the series takes place) obviously occupy what would be Germany, the Eika (savage non-humans with tough metallic-looking skin, and bony claws on the back of their hands) take the place of vikings, the church is powerful in society, there's remnants of the Dariyan (Roman) Empire all over, etc.But, in the details, there's a lot of worldbuilding going on. The Church of Unities worships a duality Lord and Lady, which promotes more of a 'separate but equal' look at the gender divide (generally, women run the household, and therefore serve as all the biscops (sic), but there are warrior women and administrative men as well). There is magic (but of course!), which the church is of two minds about (well, that attitude is historical). A nice conceit is a somewhat more formalized royal retinue, with messengers being 'Eagles', infantry 'Lions' (with a reference to chess pawns being called lions as well), and heavy cavalry called 'Dragons'.As with anything this large, there is a large cast of characters, but for the first half of the book, there are two viewpoint characters in alternating chapters, who both follow the typical epic fantasy 'zero-to-hero' arc. Alain quickly ends up at the lowest rung in a lord's household, and steadily moves up. I found Liath the more engaging character, because of her more studious background, but she suffers abuse that is hard to take. Her arc is also less developed here; it moves forward, but it's hard to see where it will go.The plot proper gets going in the second half of the book, and the scope and number of viewpoint characters expands rapidly, dealing with both a major rebellion and and the Eika besieging a major city at the same time. One of the new characters is a secondary character from the first half, but the others are new (though mentioned before), including the Dragon of the title and cover. In general, the two plots are well handled in tandem, though one takes up much more time than the other. Ironically, Alain's 'screen time' goes down even though he's in the dominant plot, as it also features two new viewpoint characters.In the end, both storylines hit either an end, or a good stopping point, giving the book a good sense of closure. Alain's arc also feels finished, as he rides off away from the promise of further action, even though it's obvious that his life is not destined to be so simple....

  • Ella
    2019-03-05 11:23

    I was so disappointed in these books, because they could have been so good. The plots were fascinating and multi-layered, the characters were complex, I was truly invested in the outcome of a number of different plot threads -- but I couldn't make it through the series. One of the reasons I like YA fantasy a lot is that the authors pare down the unnecessary parts. Not so in this series. I just couldn't handle the pages-long summaries of the history of the country, or of their religion, or lineages, or whatever. I read very quickly, and I usually devour epic fantasy novels like this. It had taken me more than six weeks to read just the first two and a half, out of a series of seven, and I just couldn't do it any more. The pacing was poor; just when I wanted some action to spice things up, we'd get a lecture on religion instead. Also, by the third book, when an entirely new plot line was introduced rather than fleshing out any of the (many) pre-existing plots, I got frustrated. It wasn't that they weren't interesting, because they were -- and that's the most disappointing part.Caveat; these books are very well reviewed by others, so your mileage may vary. I couldn't finish Wheel of Time either for much the same reasons (although don't get me wrong, these books are definitely better!). I think a quote from a review on Amazon sums it up: "Elliott has developed an intricate, compelling storyline that rewards the attentive reader." If you like spending more time with your books working out complex plotlines that take several books to start to develop, this might be up your alley. I might give them another try at some point -- I generally read while I'm at work so I have to have have an eye on the girls rather than devoting myself fully to the novel. There was so much potential here, but if I'm reading for pleasure, I'd like it to not feel like work. I practically found myself taking notes, trying to remember who had done what when and if it was still relevant.

  • Yehudit
    2019-03-14 08:04

    To tell the truth, I found this book to be quite tedious for the most part. There were so many details and extra storylines that in my opinion could be left out, or at least shortened considerably. The book began really slowly for me, and I was not super interested in the characters – definitely not in Alain's POV at first. However, it did pick up quite fast from there - I found Liath's portions with Hugh to be harrowing but engrossing and I enjoyed them. Then, around the 300-page mark, I'd say, things began to slow down again and I was more or less forcing myself to read.Still, the writing was very solid throughout, and the story was interesting though there were certain points of view I just didn't care for. There were many political and religious information that wearied me, or that I didn't find entirely plausible. And again, I was barely at all invested in the characters. I'm not sure why – they just didn't appeal to me all that much, and that's a big let-down, because more than anything, good characters is what I'm looking for when I read a book. Maybe I was just not in the mood to like them, I don't know. Thankfully, the ending was a saving grace for me, because although I suspected it would happen that way, it left me hoping for a better sequel. So despite my misgivings I am going to continue on with the series, hoping that it indeed gets better even if it doesn't get any more concise (the following books are only getting longer). But high fantasy is never straight to the point, so I'm willing to forge through it and just enjoy the fantasy elements themselves, the strange creatures and magics and worlds - hopefully I will also grow to care for the main characters more.Reading this review over now, I realize it sounds almost like I did not enjoy this book at all. I did, for parts of it. It was just very long, too long. But for people who like fantasy, it's a pretty decent read anyway. At least, a decent beginning for a series.

  • Katie
    2019-03-21 05:25

    Reading this book was an incredibly sobering experience for me. I questioned who I am as a reader: am I someone who has left fantasy novels behind her? I used to consume fantasy novels voraciously; nonstop, and in copious amounts. Many I did not like, but I was lucky more often than not and tended to stumble upon spectacular fantasy series often enough to satisfy my appetite (I was always the one recommending the fantasy books to my friends, but rarely did anyone recommend a fantasy series to me). As the years have gone by, I read fantasy less, mixing it in with all of the other genres I now read, just to keep things fresh.King's Dragon had been sitting on my shelf for about six years (the Borders sticker was still in place), and I'd told myself I didn't have time to start a new lengthy series, so I kept putting it off. Finally, I realized I'd have to get started sometime, and that's where my trouble began. I found the characters in this book flat; the plot incredibly slow in gaining any traction; and the explanation of made-up families and relations to be an utter snooze (the outlining of families is literally delivered in monologues. Yawn). I'm getting too old to waste time on reading things I'm not crazy about, so I won't be trying out the second one; but I've heard good things about this series. That's why I'm hoping it's not me, or fantasy, but the book itself that made it so difficult to read.

  • John
    2019-03-07 11:29

    A pretty standard, kingdom in turmoil, invaders from the north, treachery from a sibling, mysterious waif loses guardian to nefarious forces, adopted bastard chosen by fate to be protector of the kingdom type of book. The execution however, is pretty good. The waif suffers true trauma. The kind of thing that can damage a person for a long time. And it's not how her guardian dies, but what happens after. The religion is very catholic-like, with saints and priests, though a more gender-neutral(or even reversed) version of the church hierarchy and dogma. Religion is depicted mostly positively, though some members use the church as a vehicle of their ambition, others are sincere. Saints do appear in exceptional circumstances, but most of the time, people have to follow their religion the same way we do, with faith.The structure of the kingdom is interesting, with a roving court, a semi-autonomous church authority, and a semi-matriarchal line of succession. The politics are introduced slowly, only halfway through the book are we given a real picture of how the land is governed.The characters have some real progression, with loyalties tested, religious callings conflicting with religious morals, trauma forcing an escape inwards, and imperfect mentors.I'll be reading more of this series. I'll let you know if it loses its interest. But I'm optimistic.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-09 05:25

    Overall, I really enjoyed the storyline and promptly began to read the 2nd one in the series as soon as I finished. Bit wordy at times but not overly so.Sensitive readers: (view spoiler)[coerced sex but without excrutiating details (hide spoiler)]

  • Kristi-anne
    2019-03-07 05:06

    I read these a while ago and was one of best sets I read so far, so anticipating all the way through all 7 books omg such good set I wished they never end, one of those where you finish and think "NOW WHAT?! :(" AWESOME!

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-03-14 12:29

    This is really engaging high fantasy. Lots of characterization and world building from the very start. No infodumps. Just good, solid fantasy, complete with doomed loves and huge batttles.

  • Arthur
    2019-03-06 08:26

    Will not write a reeview because the ending was so lousy that I have no mood to even think about the series.