Crown of Stars by Kate Elliott
I like the detail she put into world building. The fact that this is a realm with many unique creatures and which houses a religion loosely based on Christian faith was nice to see. It lent the world a background it needed. If anything, the world -colour as it is- was what held my attention through most of the story.
The series itself is riddled with a lot of spots that need, imo, a LOT of editing or smoothing over. There will be sections of excellent prose - beautifully written and quite interesting, but shortly after
you'll find a bland, hastily written (unlooked over) part. It's as if she only fixed parts she liked, the rest she couldn't be bothered with or have the time to go over properly. I know she edits her work, but does anyone know if she has an editor outside of herself?
As with her characters, I felt that most of the supporting characters got the shaft if they weren't Liath or the Prince and that their characteration suffered as a result. (You can see what characters were favourites or not) Book 2 is especially guilty of this. Scenes that could have been shown are thus brightly impacted on us, were instead told in speeches by characters to other people. So, for example, instead of seeing Hanna's mission, and thus her characterization through it, we hear her tell it to the king. Info dumps -_-.
And aside from focusing on the characters she has, she includes extra characters so that her focus is further divided. Sometimes you need a lot of characters to show a growing world, however if you can't maintain the ones you ALREADY have, you shouldn't be adding more.
Another thing I was disappointed with was the way she wrote Liath's INSTANT friendship with Alain. I know, as we all know, that these are her mains and that the mains will have to get together as group, but I felt it was unbelievable how their sudden friendship came together. (Try putting Hanna in Liath's place, or some other person and I REALLY doubt the same thing could have happened.) I keep running the scenario in my mind and I was like... No, there's no way this could happen like this. She lost believablity points with me when she did this.
There's so many other things to complain about, but I'll leave off on the last bit here.
Never has a plot been so conveniently laid out for a character to have everything go the way she needs. Everything that happens now shapes the path where the author wants to stick this young girl. She has to get her book back, she does. She needs to meet Alain, so she does. She needs to find the Prince and she does. I started to dislike Liath when she conveniently began to get this favouritism treatment from the author. She's this complaining, simpering girl who is always "I didn't ask for this," or "I don't want this" and yet she'll use it happily enough when it gets her what she wants.
Oh, and EVERYONE who is everyone WANTS her.
Submitted by Anonymous
I think anyone interested in fantasy and history novels should give this series a go. What amazing depth Kate Elliott has gone into. It is her vivid descriptions of characters that draw the reader into the world of Liath and Alain. The journeys of these two characters threads a web of stories from the characters they meet on the way and from their own struggles combining to produce a magnificent whole.
I can't wait until the next book comes out, I am keeping my eyes peeled.
Submitted by Anonymous
I have read all five books in the series, so far. I had the first four stories sitting in my book case for a year unopened and still in cling wrap, before I pulled out King's Dragon. I have to admit that it took me a while to get into the first book, but it was mainly through lack of interest, as I had never heard of "Kate Elliot" or any of her writing before. However once I read a couple of chapters I couldn't put the book down.
I read the first three and started the fourth - television, husband and child went out the back door for a few weeks. However it wasn't until half way through the fourth book that I realised there must have been another book coming out as the plots were to large to finish in the length of book I had left. I have to say I was happy that the story continued as I didn't really want it to end.
I think the characters are great Sanglant, Liath, Alain and Hanna being my favourites. I really can't stand Hugh and hope that Sanglant gets rid of him!!
My favourite auhors have always been Raymond E Feist, David Eddings and J R R Tolkien however I have just added Kate Elliot to that list.
I can't wait until the final book comes out.
Submitted by Libby
When I started reading the first book, "King's Dragon" I had no idea of the epic I was getting into. After a slow start the book just kept getting better and better. Liath is such an amazing character with so many secrets to uncover and what can I say about Sanglant except that I could seriously fall in love with him! I was rooting for them to get together and tension between them was excellent. When Sanglant was imprisoned by Bloodheart it was almost unbearable!! Liath being his rescuer was just perfect and the part where she washed his hair in the river when he was freed was so intimate!
The rest of the characters are brilliantly explored and as a reader you really feel like you know them. I like Rosvita, Alain and the hounds, Tallia and the young boys-Ivar, Baldwin etc. King Henry and the differences between his four children are also interesting. I found the whole Lady of Battles bit slighty confusing and I'm also not to keen on Stronghand and the eika. Overall, the series is fantastic and each book goes from strength to strength. I've rushed out to buy each one as soon as I finished the previous. The series really gets into your head and you can't quite believe it's not real! Kate Elliot deserves massive respect for this achievement!!!!!
Submitted by cyber_witch
I loved all of the books. Can't wait until the last book comes out. Kate Elliot does give a lot of religious history on the world she created but if you read it, not just skim over it, you will understand many of the things that is happening to Liath. The final book is coming out January 2003 in the U.S.