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What is the price of kingship? The kingdom of Caledan is thrown into turmoil by the queen’s murder. Her heir, Soren, flees with a price on his head after being framed for the killing by his uncle Zaki, who seizes the legendary throne of the Dragon Kings and rules with an iron fist to crush dissent. However, suspicion is rife following Zaki’s ill-omened coronation and a crim What is the price of kingship? The kingdom of Caledan is thrown into turmoil by the queen’s murder. Her heir, Soren, flees with a price on his head after being framed for the killing by his uncle Zaki, who seizes the legendary throne of the Dragon Kings and rules with an iron fist to crush dissent. However, suspicion is rife following Zaki’s ill-omened coronation and a crime ill-fitting the beloved Prince Soren. Now a fugitive roaming the wild, Soren has lost everything. He tries to reconcile his grief and determine how he can reclaim his throne when fate has left him with just one old man, but the odds are greatly against him. If no-one follows him, or believes his innocence, is he worthy to rule? Across the kingdom, Soren’s cousin Eve takes matters into her own hands and journeys to the ethereal Eldarkind on his behalf, however this reveals her own inescapable fate. As she comes to terms with the gift and the curse of magic, Eve risks her life to help Soren. Before the fragile peace shatters, can Soren reclaim the throne - and should he? Discover an epic, coming-of-age fantasy in The Tainted Crown. If you liked The Lord of the Rings, The Inheritance Cycle, or The Books of Pellinor, then you’ll love the Books of Caledan series.


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What is the price of kingship? The kingdom of Caledan is thrown into turmoil by the queen’s murder. Her heir, Soren, flees with a price on his head after being framed for the killing by his uncle Zaki, who seizes the legendary throne of the Dragon Kings and rules with an iron fist to crush dissent. However, suspicion is rife following Zaki’s ill-omened coronation and a crim What is the price of kingship? The kingdom of Caledan is thrown into turmoil by the queen’s murder. Her heir, Soren, flees with a price on his head after being framed for the killing by his uncle Zaki, who seizes the legendary throne of the Dragon Kings and rules with an iron fist to crush dissent. However, suspicion is rife following Zaki’s ill-omened coronation and a crime ill-fitting the beloved Prince Soren. Now a fugitive roaming the wild, Soren has lost everything. He tries to reconcile his grief and determine how he can reclaim his throne when fate has left him with just one old man, but the odds are greatly against him. If no-one follows him, or believes his innocence, is he worthy to rule? Across the kingdom, Soren’s cousin Eve takes matters into her own hands and journeys to the ethereal Eldarkind on his behalf, however this reveals her own inescapable fate. As she comes to terms with the gift and the curse of magic, Eve risks her life to help Soren. Before the fragile peace shatters, can Soren reclaim the throne - and should he? Discover an epic, coming-of-age fantasy in The Tainted Crown. If you liked The Lord of the Rings, The Inheritance Cycle, or The Books of Pellinor, then you’ll love the Books of Caledan series.

30 review for The Tainted Crown: An Epic Sword & Sorcery Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    Disclaimer: I reviewed this as one of the BookNest judges for the first round of SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off) 2018 hosted by Mark Lawrence. You can read more for SPFBO here! What is the price of kingship? The kingdom of Caledan is in peril. Prince Zaki murdered his sister, the Queen, and framed her son in order to usurp the throne and surrender Caledan to her enemies. Prince Soren is on the run, marked as a traitor, seeking allies and facing a dangerous quest, a quest that will determ Disclaimer: I reviewed this as one of the BookNest judges for the first round of SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off) 2018 hosted by Mark Lawrence. You can read more for SPFBO here! What is the price of kingship? The kingdom of Caledan is in peril. Prince Zaki murdered his sister, the Queen, and framed her son in order to usurp the throne and surrender Caledan to her enemies. Prince Soren is on the run, marked as a traitor, seeking allies and facing a dangerous quest, a quest that will determine whether he’ll reclaim the throne, avenge his mother and rule his kingdom free of oppressors: retrieve the crown of dragons, or die trying. Lady Eve, Soren’s cousin, must choose between her father’s wishes and her own thirst to find her place, to explore her abilities and her kinship with a race that was considered the product of fiction. Between violence, power bids, cunning enemies and bloodshed, the fate of Caledan depends on the success of a newly orphaned, inexperienced and grief-stricken young prince, and on an ancient pact that will bring to life creatures straight out of legends. Meg Cowley’s first Caledan book is a typical YA fantasy; it features magic, war, treason, journeys in faraway lands, and – my personal favorite – dragons! Without burdening the reader with info-dump, the author weaves a solid world-building, subtle dynamics between nations and a magic system that has not yet been thoroughly explored, but its basic principles have been set out, thus enabling further elaboration. I had some issues with the narration, it felt rather dry; amidst descriptions and prolonged inner musings (which in a way affected the pacing) I wanted more vivacity, more spirit, but in general it was well-written, there were intriguing secondary characters, and the dragons, their lore and ties to the Caledan throne were definitely the scene-stealers. The Tainted Crown is an engaging adventure that follows two unlikely heroes on even more unlikely quests. On one hand there is prince Soren, whose birthright is stolen and strives to rally forces in order to overthrow his traitorous uncle, and on the other hand there is his cousin, Eve, who grasps the opportunity to flee from her stifling life, a life controlled by her father, and discover her links to the Eldarkind, elf-like creatures who have lived hidden for so long that the world has forgotten their existence. It is a character driven story, which relies on the development of the two main heroes, and even though I would have preferred a little more focus on the political and magical aspect of the story, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Personally, I found myself more invested in Soren’s chapters. Despite the dire situations, the frustration and the constant feeling of loss, with the help of Sir Edmund (who was a great mentor) he was levelheaded, and really wanted - and tried - his best for his people. He rose to the occasions, understood the price of sacrifices, and I came to like him a lot. Along his way he met some interesting people that added to the story, and made me all too eager to witness his return and ascension. As regards Eve, even though I was not so fond of her overconfidence and impulsiveness, I grudgingly understood her need to claim her place in the world, against everything her father taught her. All in all, the Tainted Crown could use some polishing; however, it was a rather nice story, with the potential for further development. I wish Meg Cowley all the best in the competition and her future endeavors.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Andrew

    OMG, What a beginning, the first page jumped out and caught me in its web of amazing storytelling. The characters are so believable that your are caught up with there adventure and ensuring that all is as they want it to be. The Dragons are powerful but with a touch of humour that makes you smile, the Elderkin are as you would expect, magical, and the Humans are honourable, with the villains being as despicable as is expected. I read this book in 24hours and will wait with baited breath for the OMG, What a beginning, the first page jumped out and caught me in its web of amazing storytelling. The characters are so believable that your are caught up with there adventure and ensuring that all is as they want it to be. The Dragons are powerful but with a touch of humour that makes you smile, the Elderkin are as you would expect, magical, and the Humans are honourable, with the villains being as despicable as is expected. I read this book in 24hours and will wait with baited breath for the next book in what is going to be an amazing series. "I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review."

  3. 4 out of 5

    K.S. Marsden

    After being blamed for the death of his mother, the Queen, Soren is on the run. He has to prove himself worthy of the dragon crown, and overthrow his usurper uncle. I downloaded this when it was free a couple of months ago, because it looks great, and I knew I was going to meet the author at the UK Indie Lit Fest, which is always fun! The story starts with Zaki murdering his sister, to steal her crown, at the same time, setting a rumour that it was Prince Soren who committed the crime. We then foll After being blamed for the death of his mother, the Queen, Soren is on the run. He has to prove himself worthy of the dragon crown, and overthrow his usurper uncle. I downloaded this when it was free a couple of months ago, because it looks great, and I knew I was going to meet the author at the UK Indie Lit Fest, which is always fun! The story starts with Zaki murdering his sister, to steal her crown, at the same time, setting a rumour that it was Prince Soren who committed the crime. We then follow two main narratives - Prince Soren proving himself worthy of the dragon crown, and seeking the help of the mythical dragons; and his cousin, Lady Eve, who becomes an important ally, and link to the mysterious Eldarkind. This was a fun adventure, covering the whole of Caledan, as they race to save their country from ruin. It contains dragons, fighting monks, political intrigues, and magic. Soren has to set off, unable to mourn for his mother, and trying to stay one step ahead of Zaki's spies and assassins. He is forced to test his endurance and skills, in a way no training has ever prepared him for; and he has to work out what is important. Likewise, his cousin Eve has to discover her unusual heritage, and what it might mean for her. She had always railed against being a proper young lady, and not being allowed to venture beyond her father's land. She finally breaks free and sets out on her own adventure, finally able to do something to help. I felt that this first Book of Caledan was really setting up the rest of the series. Even though some major things happen, it's all about getting to know our heroes and villains, and getting them in place for the next adventure. The downside for me is that, even though it's a fun adventure, there aren't any plot-twists. You know what's going to happen from the beginning. The characters are good, and I look forward to seeing how they develop in the rest of the series, but they are fairly standard-fantasy-stamps. You have the heroic-good-natured-Prince, the elf-like-magic-savvy-race, the old-knight-mentor, the evil-big-bad - to be honest, I was surprised that Zaki didn't cackle maliciously and rub his hands. I thought the story was slowed down in places, by lots of contemplation and explanation. Sure, Soren is a young man with a lot of responsibility suddenly thrown on his shoulders, so it's natural he should double-guess himself. I just found that the narrative slowed to explain to the reader why he has logically chosen X, Y, or Z. Which didn't really work when it was in the middle of a battle, or when he's facing his uncle, etc. Overall, I really enjoyed this story, and as I have a shiny signed-copy of The Brooding Crown, I can't wait to continue the series!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steph Warren

    The Tainted Crown dives straight into a new conflict: betrayal and usurption, blood and violence. The narrative splits into two threads, with two main protaganists and the divergent threads mirror each other neatly: Prince Soren, on the run, seeking allies with the legends of his homeland in a fiery, desolate waste; Lady Eve, escaping her bounds, seeking allies with the legends of her estranged family in an light, airy idyll. Of course there are battles, and magic, and dragons galore. The antagon The Tainted Crown dives straight into a new conflict: betrayal and usurption, blood and violence. The narrative splits into two threads, with two main protaganists and the divergent threads mirror each other neatly: Prince Soren, on the run, seeking allies with the legends of his homeland in a fiery, desolate waste; Lady Eve, escaping her bounds, seeking allies with the legends of her estranged family in an light, airy idyll. Of course there are battles, and magic, and dragons galore. The antagonist, Zaki, is so evil he brings to mind the classic vizier trope (always best portrayed for me by Jafar in Disney's Aladdin!). The ostensible main quest is for Soren to win back his crown, and for love to trump politics for Eve, but the reader (especially the reader who has also devoured The First Crown novelette) is very aware that there is much more at stake than the character's happiness, freedom, or even the peace of the kingdom. There is a bigger, overarching evil looming that will put usurper Zaki's machinations into stark perspective. There are some lovely unique touches: my particular favourite was the dragon throne. I love the idea of a rulership needing to be legitimised by a higher authority, but it also opened up interesting questions for me about what morality that authority is based on, whether it is infallible etc. I also loved the foray into the retreat of the Eldarkind (the Celedanian equivalent of an elven race), the exploration of their magical powers and their societal structure. The only slight gripe is that they are almost TOO perfect (and therefore a little bit smug/sanctimonious?). In comparison the dragons have more 'humanity' in them, with their sibling bickers and youthful rebellions. Another nice touch is the 'army' that Soren raises to retake his throne. I don't want to drop a spoiler here, so I will just say that I really liked the confirmation that it isn't just mystical signs and legends that make a true leader, but their relationship with the kingdom and the people therein. This is obviously the first novel in a series, so it doesn't end neatly wrapped up with a bow on, but there is a conclusion to the shorter plot arcs explored, whilst leaving the threads trailing for the next novel to catch hold of. I do recommend reading The First Crown first (stating the obvious perhaps!)...it's well-written and provides so much context for what is to come. Overall a great start to what I hope will be a long new series for my shelves!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    As the first book in the series, this novel has far more action than anticipated. Typically any fantasy series sees a lot of setup in the first novel. Although you get the feeling that setup is occurring throughout the story - a lack of plot twists and a few unanswered questions - you are not overwhelmed by intricate world-building or character introductions. I rather enjoyed this approach. I felt the writing was blunt in areas. World-building in this story is very cut and dry, which forces the As the first book in the series, this novel has far more action than anticipated. Typically any fantasy series sees a lot of setup in the first novel. Although you get the feeling that setup is occurring throughout the story - a lack of plot twists and a few unanswered questions - you are not overwhelmed by intricate world-building or character introductions. I rather enjoyed this approach. I felt the writing was blunt in areas. World-building in this story is very cut and dry, which forces the reader to focus on the unfolding story and character relationships. I do feel this takes away from experience a bit. That being said, Cowley does not skimp on creating Caledan- I just like it slightly more poetic. A bit of poetry while setting the scene would make a 4-star into 5-star series. Cowley writes wonderful characters, which is reason enough to read this series. The evil is suitably dark and drunk for power. The good is not perfect, which makes it plausible and likeable. These are characters that stay with you even after the book has been set down. A good deal of internal monologues occurs throughout the series - the type of ruminating you revisit in your own life. Overall, a great first novel in the series. I would suggest starting with the novella. It took very little time to read but enhanced my experience. I am looking forward to the next novel in the series. Be kind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena

    It is a great introduction to the trilogy. It starts with a bang (murder scene) and continues to hold reader in anticipation. I was constantly trying to guess what would happen next and how the main characters will find their way out of trouble. It also ends with a cliffhanger, so we would want to read on to find out what happened next. Perfect for fans of fantasy and adventure.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephenie Lopez

    I loved this book. It had good vs evil. Princess and Prince. I also love any book that has dragons. I had a hard time putting the book down. I can't wait to read the next book I loved this book. It had good vs evil. Princess and Prince. I also love any book that has dragons. I had a hard time putting the book down. I can't wait to read the next book

  8. 5 out of 5

    LJ Waguespack

    Beginning of an epic adventure, great start! All encompassing, superior world building, all encompassing scenery as well as an enthralling story that immediately captured my interest. Smoldering, simmering possibilities that have me anxiously buying the next book in a series with endless possibilities. A great start to an epic adventure, well done, MC, well done!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Raquel

    Thoroughly enjoyable, as any book with mighty dragons should be!

  10. 4 out of 5

    yogi

    Great book Love the story. Compares to Sam Fergerson books. Can't wait to see the next installment. Lots of magic and other cool things in the story. Great book Love the story. Compares to Sam Fergerson books. Can't wait to see the next installment. Lots of magic and other cool things in the story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Jondahl

    A fantastic adventure! This book starts out with a murder and a bloody coup at the palace of the Queen of Caledon and does not let up until the end.  There is plenty of intrigue, betrayal, worthy heroes, despicable villains, and action to keep the pages turning.  I read the whole thing in two days and the ending left me wanting more.  I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out.  The characters are so believable and their world is so well described it's like you are in the book.  I A fantastic adventure! This book starts out with a murder and a bloody coup at the palace of the Queen of Caledon and does not let up until the end.  There is plenty of intrigue, betrayal, worthy heroes, despicable villains, and action to keep the pages turning.  I read the whole thing in two days and the ending left me wanting more.  I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out.  The characters are so believable and their world is so well described it's like you are in the book.  I particularly enjoyed the dragons and the Eldarkin and hopefully we will learn more about them.  Eva and Soren and the rest of the cast of characters have some exciting times ahead of them! I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    This was such an amazing book. I could not put it down - it was that good. The world build is astonishing and well written. You, as a reader feel very immersed into this brutally, cruel, yet magical world. The characters are believable and relatable. You feel for these characters and their plight. You cheer for their accomplishments and feel sad (and maybe shed a tear) when they fail. I was a bit annoyed with the Prince and his naivety and was angry with how his cousin Eva was treated, but for t This was such an amazing book. I could not put it down - it was that good. The world build is astonishing and well written. You, as a reader feel very immersed into this brutally, cruel, yet magical world. The characters are believable and relatable. You feel for these characters and their plight. You cheer for their accomplishments and feel sad (and maybe shed a tear) when they fail. I was a bit annoyed with the Prince and his naivety and was angry with how his cousin Eva was treated, but for the world that they live in, it makes sense. Strong women are feared and shunned, but I still loved how through it all, she still remained true to herself. I'm extremely happy that this is only the first book in the series, as it does leave you wanting to know more about this world and the characters in it when the last page has been read. From the first page, it's none stop action. A definite must read for anyone who enjoys fantasy novels with some violence and brutality thrown in. Not quite on par with Game of Thrones, but more of a lighter solution for those who aren't quite ready for George and his world. I was given a copy of the Tainted Crown by the author for an unbiased review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ken Robson

    Starts with a murder and gets more interesting as it continues on. Power hungry prince kills his sister, tries to kill the rest of the family so he can gain the throne. The crown prince escapes and we journey with him to gain followers to overthrow the killer prince (his uncle). We journey through many lands and eventually meet the famed and fabled dragons.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Hawley

    Very impressed with characters and flow. Never boring! Looks to be a great series and I'm looking forward to the next book. Very impressed with characters and flow. Never boring! Looks to be a great series and I'm looking forward to the next book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    It was a fun story and had good characters that really kept the story moving! What I do wish is that the plot was less predictable. I kinda had things pegged from the get go, and while I love being right, I love twists just as much :) I received a copy of this book and am voluntarily reviewing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jo Kenney

    There is a lot of character development that I hope pays off in the next book. The story starts off with a lot of action, and at first you might think it's going to follow a very well known, and somewhat tired plot line of boy looses throne - boy regains throne, but there is a bit more to it than that. If you're looking for the next GoTs I don't think this is it. The good guys and the bad guys are too cut and dry. It is a fun read though, with lots of entertaining fantasy elements that will keep There is a lot of character development that I hope pays off in the next book. The story starts off with a lot of action, and at first you might think it's going to follow a very well known, and somewhat tired plot line of boy looses throne - boy regains throne, but there is a bit more to it than that. If you're looking for the next GoTs I don't think this is it. The good guys and the bad guys are too cut and dry. It is a fun read though, with lots of entertaining fantasy elements that will keep you interested.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alison Ingleby

    The Tainted Crown catapults you into the world of Caledan with murder, betrayal and a wronged prince - all in the first few chapters. Add dragons and the ethereal beings known as the Eldarkind into the mix and you end up with a book that's reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, but lighter than both. The story and characters keep you gripped until the end and you end up wanting to learn more about what's in store for Caledan in book 2. *Meg kindly gave me an advance copy of thi The Tainted Crown catapults you into the world of Caledan with murder, betrayal and a wronged prince - all in the first few chapters. Add dragons and the ethereal beings known as the Eldarkind into the mix and you end up with a book that's reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, but lighter than both. The story and characters keep you gripped until the end and you end up wanting to learn more about what's in store for Caledan in book 2. *Meg kindly gave me an advance copy of this book to read, but I chose to put an unbiased review on here.*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I really enjoyed this book. 5 stars!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elda

    I downloaded this book from Instafreebie as the blurb interested me. I love epic fantasies and this one had all the characteristics. A young prince's life was shattered in one night and left him no choice but to flee from his evil uncle. In another part of the world, a young girl who is cousin to the prince, sets out on an adventure to discover what she can do to help, but her path veers off to the world of magic and wonder with the Eldarkind. In the meantime, the prince discovers the world of t I downloaded this book from Instafreebie as the blurb interested me. I love epic fantasies and this one had all the characteristics. A young prince's life was shattered in one night and left him no choice but to flee from his evil uncle. In another part of the world, a young girl who is cousin to the prince, sets out on an adventure to discover what she can do to help, but her path veers off to the world of magic and wonder with the Eldarkind. In the meantime, the prince discovers the world of the Dragonkind. He eventually gains the confidence he needs to go back and face his evil uncle. All these different worlds and characters finally come together in a fascinating and epic conclusion, however, this is not the end, of course, since this is only the beginning of the epic fantasy. I found this book to be a very satisfying read and recommend it to all ages.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mindi

    I loved this book! Soren is a young prince who must flee for his life after his Uncle murders his mother the queen to steal the throne. Soren embarks on a quest to find the crown guarded by dragons and with the help of family, friends, dragons and his subjects he regains his throne.

  21. 5 out of 5

    H.R.B. Collotzi

    Lots to enjoy in Meg Cowley’s The Tainted Crown! The Tainted Crown starts out with a bang! I mean, literally – somebody gets clubbed over the head! While people are murdering, escaping, kidnapping, chasing and everything else in just a few pages, I was surprised to find how much I felt for the poor prince swallowed in it all. His plight and forced flee seemed even more detrimental as a reader. Although I would have expected the prince at age twenty to be a little more experienced, I liked the sel Lots to enjoy in Meg Cowley’s The Tainted Crown! The Tainted Crown starts out with a bang! I mean, literally – somebody gets clubbed over the head! While people are murdering, escaping, kidnapping, chasing and everything else in just a few pages, I was surprised to find how much I felt for the poor prince swallowed in it all. His plight and forced flee seemed even more detrimental as a reader. Although I would have expected the prince at age twenty to be a little more experienced, I liked the self-doubt he displayed. His cousin, Eve, was a well-developed character as well. Even though I could guess at what would happen to her, I found myself wondering when and how. I loved her strong character and independent thinking constantly being squashed by others. There were bits in the story I wish I could have heard more of, namely the interaction between dragons and humans. The dragons were introduced terrifyingly well, but I wish I could’ve experienced the riddle games and story-telling. Overall, the cohesive fantasy elements kept me entertained, the descriptions kept me in Caledan and the characters kept me wanting to read more!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Phy

    Wonderful fantasy I love a great fantasy with dragons and fairies and I think this is one of the best that I have read in quite a while.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lana

    A Queen is murdered, a usurper tries to steal the throne, a prince is running for his life as he has been framed for the murder of his mother whilst the princess, his sister is held captive! Caledan is in turmoil as Zaki takes control and prepares for his coronation. However there are certain factors that need to be met when a monarch is crowned in Pandora! The pact which the humans, the Eldarkind and the dragons had drawn up together has to be respected and Zaki was not doing this! We see Soren A Queen is murdered, a usurper tries to steal the throne, a prince is running for his life as he has been framed for the murder of his mother whilst the princess, his sister is held captive! Caledan is in turmoil as Zaki takes control and prepares for his coronation. However there are certain factors that need to be met when a monarch is crowned in Pandora! The pact which the humans, the Eldarkind and the dragons had drawn up together has to be respected and Zaki was not doing this! We see Soren, the Prince travelling through the land to the far reaches of the isles to meet the dragons who until then he had thought were just stories from age old myth whilst his cousin Eve travels to the Eldarkind's realm to gain their support for the rightful heir to be placed on the throne and for peace to reign once more in Caledan. I really enjoyed this first book in what I envisage to be a wonderful trilogy, I would say it compares very well with The Game of Thrones series but so far, with much less bloodshed! The characters are very charismatic especially Soren, Eve, Luke and Atora. The dragons are majestic and wise as usual and a force to be reckoned with. The abbots of the northern monastery and Sir Edmund show great loyalty at the risk of their own lives and of course the evil character of Zaki leaves nothing to be desired, he is evil to the core! What more can we ask of a novel? It is packed with beautiful descriptions of the terrain over which we travel in the company of both Eve and Soren and the book is truly magical! I particularly enjoyed the amazing history of how the world was formed through the input of each elemental. This was so beautifully described, I read in awe to see the world so unfold! I am so looking forward to continuing my reading of book 2 especially because of the horrid surprise ending!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sara Lawson

    I had intended to read this book for a long time after reading Meg's Pelenor Chronicles. Set in the same world, I hoped for a background story. While I haven't found a clear connection yet (other than it being in the same world), and this is clearly an earlier book from the author, it was wonderful. The story follows Soren, heir to the Caldanian throne, who flees the country after the murder of his mother the queen. It also follows his cousin, Eve, who is sent on a quest to the elves, her mother' I had intended to read this book for a long time after reading Meg's Pelenor Chronicles. Set in the same world, I hoped for a background story. While I haven't found a clear connection yet (other than it being in the same world), and this is clearly an earlier book from the author, it was wonderful. The story follows Soren, heir to the Caldanian throne, who flees the country after the murder of his mother the queen. It also follows his cousin, Eve, who is sent on a quest to the elves, her mother's kin. For both, this is a coming-of-age story, yet their choices take them in very different directions. Soren must grow stronger and become a confident leader to reclaim his country. Eve, on the other hand, discovers unexpected truths about herself that may lead her in a completely new direction than she and her father had anticipated. I liked both of them very much. My favorite character, however, was Edmund, the former queen's, and now Soren's, chief advisor. He is such a great father figure, guiding Soren in his decisions and always having his back despite the dangers. Similarly, Luke, Eve's personal guard and childhood friend, was a wonderful supporting character. While many things were accomplished in this story, there are still many things to resolve and I look forward to continuing the saga. On another note, Jack Voraces as the narrator is perfection.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patrice Veilleux Roth

    Iced Tea in a Medieval Story? I should have known when I studied the photoshopped cover “illustration” that this story and I were not to be. Have you ever seen a medieval prince, sword in hand, wearing a short, contemporary haircut? But I digress.. In spite of the cover, the premise, described in Kindle Unlimited, seemed promising and supporting new writers is important to me so I started reading until I hit the 5% point when I literally exclaimed out loud “iced tea? Are you kidding me?” The evil Iced Tea in a Medieval Story? I should have known when I studied the photoshopped cover “illustration” that this story and I were not to be. Have you ever seen a medieval prince, sword in hand, wearing a short, contemporary haircut? But I digress.. In spite of the cover, the premise, described in Kindle Unlimited, seemed promising and supporting new writers is important to me so I started reading until I hit the 5% point when I literally exclaimed out loud “iced tea? Are you kidding me?” The evil guy just killed his sister, the Queen, so he could steal the throne and the next day he takes a sip of ice tea while giving orders to his men? When I have an eye roll that huge I do not keep reading because I know what’s coming. The setup, descriptions and dialogue are decent so please, dear author, find some critical friends to help edit your book so that readers can embrace the story. The key for enjoying and believing your story is accurate historical details like the food, dishes, furniture etc for the time period you are writing in. Ice houses to store food did begin to appear in the 17th century but ice tea was first introduced in the Victorian era toward the end of the 1800’s and became popular in 1904 during the World’s Fair in Saint Louis.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    My experience with Kindle prime is hit and miss. Novels I wish to read are not available, and often the novels recommended to me are only sometimes a good match. But a vacation, coupled with several very long flights led me to download this book/series. I tend to like well developed characters who grow and develop in some way. I am fine if the character development is a bit predictable, as long as the writing and overall plot line are strong. Unfortunately, this novel (and series) reads a bit as My experience with Kindle prime is hit and miss. Novels I wish to read are not available, and often the novels recommended to me are only sometimes a good match. But a vacation, coupled with several very long flights led me to download this book/series. I tend to like well developed characters who grow and develop in some way. I am fine if the character development is a bit predictable, as long as the writing and overall plot line are strong. Unfortunately, this novel (and series) reads a bit as if the author took every potential fantasy plot line and threw it together. Dragons veiled in mystery? Check. Young, pluckish girl who chafes against the restrictions placed upon her by her father, the king? Check? Treason, manipulative regents suddenly seizing power? Check. However, I struggled to commit to the characters. If the series had not already been downloaded, and the plane ride a little shorter I would not have completed the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Colin Rowlands

    The main strength of this book for me is in the world-building, the author creates an interesting and well-realised world that comes to life quite strongly, the plot is also an interesting one overall. In general though the characters do not quite match up to the other elements of this book, the main bad guy is so stereotypical that you would expect him to spend much of his time twirling his moustache and the main character is not very memorable, some of the supporting cast are much more interest The main strength of this book for me is in the world-building, the author creates an interesting and well-realised world that comes to life quite strongly, the plot is also an interesting one overall. In general though the characters do not quite match up to the other elements of this book, the main bad guy is so stereotypical that you would expect him to spend much of his time twirling his moustache and the main character is not very memorable, some of the supporting cast are much more interesting than either of them. The narrator gives a good and distinctive performance, always staying on the right side of being dramatic rather than drifting into the realms of over the top and nicely enhancing the story. Overall, I enjoyed this book in it's own right and it also encourages me to listen to the next in the series. [Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vicki DeVico

    When his mother, the Queen, is assassinated by his uncle, Zaki, Prince Soren is accused of the heinious crime. Since he was away from the castle at the time, he's able to escape the men hunting him and, with the help of his mother's loyal retainer, Sir Edmund, begins his journey across Caledan in search of allies, justice and the crown. I thoroughly enjoyed this book--it's well written and thought out, has elements of magic that I thoroughly enjoyed, and includes Dragons and Elves--two of my favo When his mother, the Queen, is assassinated by his uncle, Zaki, Prince Soren is accused of the heinious crime. Since he was away from the castle at the time, he's able to escape the men hunting him and, with the help of his mother's loyal retainer, Sir Edmund, begins his journey across Caledan in search of allies, justice and the crown. I thoroughly enjoyed this book--it's well written and thought out, has elements of magic that I thoroughly enjoyed, and includes Dragons and Elves--two of my favorite races! The other two books of this trilogy are already loaded in my Kindle and waiting to be enjoyed. I recommend this book without hesitation!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bill Tillman

    A very interesting and traditional first book in a series. A coupe, mother killed and on the loose, a young prince tries to gather himself and plan how to regain what he has lost. Prince Soren and his cousin Eve, are each on a course to find themselves and destiny. Great adventure with an Elf like race and a dragon race as added spice. Enjoyable with a nasty villain and grand obstacles to keep you entertained.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Enzo

    Meg Cowley gives us the start to a really fun series. Caledan is an ancient land and its rulers at one point dealt with Dragons and Eldarkind who protect the earth. But the Kingdom is now in grievous trouble, Zaki the younger brother of the Queen murders said Queen in order to take the throne and claim Caledan. His one mistake, allowing Prince Soren to live and escape. Then it's a race to claim the Dragon Crown. But the crown is guarded by true Dragons. Can Soren stop him? Meg Cowley gives us the start to a really fun series. Caledan is an ancient land and its rulers at one point dealt with Dragons and Eldarkind who protect the earth. But the Kingdom is now in grievous trouble, Zaki the younger brother of the Queen murders said Queen in order to take the throne and claim Caledan. His one mistake, allowing Prince Soren to live and escape. Then it's a race to claim the Dragon Crown. But the crown is guarded by true Dragons. Can Soren stop him?

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