Warning: Quote contains strong language.
In the land of Ansu, the peace is ensured by a magical crown. When the crown shatters and the prince taken hostage, war is on the horizon for all Four Kingdoms.
Corin an Fol wants to settle down, having had enough of being a mercenary. But the promise of gold and one last job has him throwing in his lots with a fiery Queen, a champion, a squire (scribe) and a ferocious captain full of good cheer.
Hunted by ancient creatures and aided by fickle Gods, the company must overcome impossible odds to simple survive, never mind keep the peace.
Author: J.W Webb
Title: The Shattered Crown
Publisher: J.W Webb
Having (eventually) enjoyed Gol: Legend of Ansu, I decided to give The Shattered Crown a go. You don’t have to read the first book to understand and enjoy the second. While some information meant more to me because of prior knowledge, this book can be read as a stand-alone and make sense!
The Shattered Crown was a more enjoyable read than Gol. Corin’s character was introduced swiftly and the reader could connect to him. A lone mercenary, a man who has lived for killing since his family were murdered, wants to settle down. We all understand the need for a well-deserved break!
Gold leads Corin on a quest and, naturally, his character mellows and he becomes attached to his new companions. Corin is a violent man with a tender streak and his sarcasm made me smile more than once. The majority of the novel follows Corin’s point of view and because I could empathise with him from the beginning (connecting with a killer, sounds weird, I know!), it made the novel enjoyable.
Ariane was an amazing Queen and a bad-ass character. Not many queens in fantasy can fight and swear just as well as the men. Roman was a strong presence throughout but I couldn’t warm to Galed (the squire-scribe). I feel his part is still to come. Barin is the man you want to have on your side, no matter what.
Caswollon was a terrifying villain, as were all the “bad guys” in this novel. The sense of danger kept the tension high and the plot moving at a steady pace. Not only were they capable of anything, there was no guarantee the good guys will escape with their lives, sanity or souls.
There were moments of too much reflection, where the history of the world was recounted. Even for a new reader, it was too much unnecessary information and slowed the pace down dramatically. Nothing would have been lost if this was cut in half!
I enjoyed The Shattered Crown more than I thought I would. The characters were engaging and the writing strong enough to manipulate my emotions throughout. Despite knowing there will be another book, the ending felt weak and disappointing. Still, if you enjoyed the first, you’ll enjoy the second!