Top 5 Tuesday: Books with Crowns

Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday, where the subject is books with crowns. Should be pretty easy to a fantasy reader, right? But yet once I started thinking, my mind just went blank. Do I not like crowns? Are crowns out of fashion? Are crowns the new brown?

Who knows, but I do have five books, so let’s go.

Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted @ Meeghan Reads.

Shards of a Broken Crown by Raymond E. Feist

This one jumped right to mind, possibly because I’m talking about Feist a bit right now. It’s an interesting book to me because it’s the final book in the series, which means it contains all those big dramatic moments that the series has been building up to, right?

Wrong.

That was all in book three. Book four is almost an epilogue, a book about cleaning up the mess of a cataclysmic trilogy, and guess what? That makes it kind of awesome. It’s an unusual sort of story and it throws up some great scenes as a result.

The King Beyond The Gate by David Gemmell

It’s got a crown on the cover, and it’s got an important crown in the plot, as you might guess from a novel with king in the title and where the blurb refers to a prince. It’s a spoiler, but of the type we’re meant to embrace.

Anyway, that prince is Tenaka Khan, the half-Drenai half-Nadir noble who’s despised by both his peoples, but on whom the fate of a nation rests. It’s a typical Gemmell novel – all hard decisions and brutal fights – and while the author didn’t like it, I do.

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

Well of course I thought of a Pratchett. Of course I did.

And it’s one that crowns the whole series off, so… well, yeah. Don’t really have a lot more to say about it than that.

A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan

Let’s be honest here. For some reason I’m finding this one really difficult and just went to my Goodreads list, and started looking for crown related stuff. Got crown in the title, boom, in it goes. It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book and while I enjoyed it when I did, I do also remember it as being the metaphorical moment where I started going “So… Robert, you do know the route, right? Okay, good, good… just that we passed the sign for Big Bog and I’m pretty sure when I looked at the map, that was in the opposite direction to Story Conclusion… no no, I trust you, of course I trust you”.

Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke

Praise be, it’s got a crown.

This book didn’t quite work for me as I wanted it to. I read it after The Traitor Baru Cormorant implanted the idea in my head that fantasy novels borrowing heavily from modern thriller plots were a fantastic idea. Which they are, but there’s more to it than that. Hollow Empire started with some stuff I didn’t like (in-story recap is the only non-spoiler one I can give), then never really grabbed me, then started feeling a bit modern and cheerless. I’ll do bleak explorations of societies that feel different and of a different time (see TBC), and I’ll do fun anachronistic fantasy, but mix them together and I’m starting to run out of the things that bring me to the genre. I am interested to see what Sam does next, but I didn’t feel any urge to go back and read the first book in the series.

And there it is. Five books with crowns. I shouldn’t have struggled with that one as much as I did, but oh how I did… so let me know what I should have.

3 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday: Books with Crowns

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