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~Read E-pub ⚇ The Shattered Crown ⚖ Corin an Fol, Longswordsman and ex mercenary has but one objective: retire early and settle down Unfortunately the gods have other ideas When Corin arrives home after many years fighting foreign wars, he finds bad news waiting for him The High King has been murdered and his crystal crown, the Tekara, destroyed The Tekara is no ordinary crown Wrought of solid crystal it contains a charm of strength that has protected the Four Kingdoms for millennia But the Tekara is vulnerable to one thing: treachery So when Caswallon the schemer secretly places the crown on Prince Tarin's head he knows it will shatter, causing the realms to fall apart He stands to gain as soon as it breaks Though many suspect Caswallon, who is known as a sorcerer, only one dares stand against him: Queen Ariane of Kelwyn She is visited by her goddess in a dream who warns that Prince Tarin has fled with the shards of the Shattered Crown, and only by finding both Prince and Crown can the Four Kingdoms be saved After being promised gold, Corin an Fol reluctantly joins the queen's desperate quest to salvage the missing shards But Caswallon is on to them and already watching their every move
The second in The Legends of Ansu series, The Shattered Crown can be read without reading the first book, Gol, and it stands well on its own I suppose it would fit into the grimdark fantasy category, alongside the likes of Mark Lawrence and Joe Abercrombie The Shattered Crown is dark, gritty, adult fantasy I can take or leave grimdark, if I'm honest Sometimes it's too gratuitous or brutal, but sometimes the author gets it right Webb gets it right He strikes a balance between violence and story, and the characters, particularly Corin, are immediately engaging There are some Strong Female Characters (I know), but they play their parts well A lot of (male) grimdark fantasy writers get their female characters all wrong, but Webb manages to create realistic women, who also kick arse and take names The Shattered Crown promises to give fans of Game of Thrones something to sink their teeth into between GRRM's books (and the TV series!) It isn't for the fainthearted. ***Obligatory Disclaimer***I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher at my request and have chosen to write this unbiased review Herein we have a good story in a dark and gritty world told from an omniscient viewpoint.But first, the narrator.Andrew McDermott has a fair array of distinct voices, but unfortunately they all sound male His accent worked well for character voices, but in the narration it made things just a bit difficult to understand at times What dropped his performance to three stars, however, is that vocal inflections and tempo shifts are almost nonexistent.In terms of plot, this is a good story with excellent pacing The events flow into each other quite well.I'll admit to uncertainty as to when this story takes place in relation to the other books, as at least the audible editions are not numbered, so I don't really know how much I'm missing.That said, I have to confess that I'm not really a fan of the main character I find him boorish and misogynistic andthan a bit egotistical Of course, I think he's meant to be on all counts The queen, on the other hand, is a joy to read She's equal parts grace, poise, and nobility She's a fun and inspiring character that you can't help rooting for.Although there are things in the world that didn't jive well with me, it seems to all be well thought out and interesting.Now, there are a few issues.The main one has to do with chronology The main character returns home after 14 years and for some reason the romantic interest he left behind is not only still unattached butthan happy to throw herself at him?There's nothing here indicative of the level of obsession that situation would require If it had been 5 years I could maybe see it But given the provided details of just doesn't make sense.Also, the romance (if you can call it that) between him and the queen feels so contrived I didn't quite know what to think Nothing about it makes sense Neither character has any reason that I can see to care one whit what happens to the other.And lastly, the omniscient POV is both distracting and a little irritating There are large swaths of narration that delve full on into things that none of the characters have any way of knowing about, and in many cases wouldn't care even if they did.Finally, the ending.This one is a little tricky.The climax of the book is well written with the conclusion of a major conflict and was quite satisfying.Then then we dive into a huge chunk of, basically, the narrator giving a treatise on the origins/nature of the gods and the world and some other tidbits that I won't give away.In short, it doesn't seem to belong.I could see it as an introduction to the book or, better yet, as a piece of bonus material provided to the author's newsletter or patreon subscribers But placed at the end of the book just feels really out of place.In the end, if you like the grittiness of Game of Thrones but want something shorter with less characters, this might be just the thing you're looking for.But if characterdriven fantasy with motivations that feel real is what you're after, you'll probably be happier looking elsewhere. *I RECEIVED A FREE COPY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW* I have read the whole series, so I will my general review As two stars say it was okay Story is pretty standard but I do not mind that, I rather love reading clichés if they are done properly like The Riyria Revelations Series which is one of my favorite series Needless to say this series is not up to the standards Author's prose is fine, storytelling also but nothing special World lacked something to me, I never felt emersed in it.There are some grammatical errors and stupid sentences but I do not mind them much I rather liked our main character Corin, he is a flowed yet perfect hero to cheer for that grows through the books One of my biggest problems with this series is that although Corin is the main MC, we spend significant time with myriad of bigger or smaller side characters I find that annoying and frustrating One or two side characters would bethan enough yet author had overdone it which took a lot of page time that could have been used to deepen Corins character and simultaneously grow and show his relationships with others characters, and show their part of the story through his eyes Authors often want to show too much and in the end it waters down everything and ruin the experience of the book for me I would rather have smaller cast of characters, smaller world and story but that are really developed and make me want to read what happens next to them One other thing I hated are the romance subplots, they were really badly done It is hard to find good romance in fantasy or science fiction books these days They seem to be full of poorly done love triangles or instant love subplots This series have both So in the end I gave it 2 stars because I did finish all 3 books and did have some fun reading, but I would definitely not miss it I would have skipped it. J.W Webb keeps up the fast pace of his legends of Ansu fantasy reads, this the second book is a thrill from start to finish and phew what a finish! Corin an Fol, the Gray Wolf turns mercenary in this book and is given a job by Silon, this to protect Queen Ariane and lead her safely to the well of the Goddess Elanion This group of rebels is also made up of Roman, the queen's bodyguard, Galed her squire and later joined by Bleyne the archer, servant to the goddess and Cale The adventure in the forest was exciting but nothing to compare to their adventure when they travel to Crenna!! They travel on Barin's ship to free Prince Turin who had been imprisoned after breaking the crown of Takara which had maintained peace in the four kingdoms but now with this broken and the king dead all hell is let loose Caswallon is selling his soul forpower gained from the dark side the Urgolais and their dog Lord Morag, who first off grant him the groil to do his dirty work then the soilfin called Gribble On the other side in Crenna in Kraneg castle lives Rael Hakkenon, an evil pirate turned tyrant with his black shark pirate ships who terrorise the waters, he uses cruelty, torture and his dungeons to keep everyone in thrall Once the rebel group arrive in the castle the story takes on a breathless ride and I just could not put the book down till the final page! It is a war waged once again on two levels, that of the Gods The sea God, the Huntsman, Goddess, and old dog face/old night on the one hand using the mortals as the pawns in their game and Ariane, Corin, Balin, Roman the Assassin and the Bard/Enchanter, the three witches/fates all fighting against one another We also get to see the last dragon, a karaken and many other new horrors which have to be faced Corin and Ariane are fate's children, chosen for some reason so they somehow have to see this last and final war to it's end! This is one hell of an epic saga, having all that such fantasy reads should have plus very daring and honourable characters, real friends who stick with one another through hell and high water Next in series please, cannot wait!! I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review All comments and opinions are entirely my own.The Shattered Crown is a gripping story that takes the reader on a journey through enchanted forests, magical lakes, and worlds full of creatures that would give anyone chills! Though the story of the Tekara, Queen Ariane, and Corin an Fol is a very well desgined and well written story, there is plenty of other content that is unnecessary to the storyline For example, the cursing is outrageous, saying every word possible numerous, numerous times (the f word being used most in all contexts) The sexual content is also very high in regards to both scenes and comments (Corin, the main character of whom we read most of the book's perspective, seems to only think about sex regardless of what he is doing and makes a lot of comments about it) The blood and gore is not as high as the previously mentioned, but there is also a lot of dark magic and the antagonist is very, very evil, with the sexual scenes being him using a girl against her will.Because everything just mentioned began to increase as the book wore on, I lost all interest in the storyline and therefore did not finish the book, so I cannot say anything else about the story However, I will give credit to the author for his writing skills, character development, and story building as I would have probably loved the book had all of the negative content not been present I give it 2 out of 5 stars and do not recommend it This review was originally published on Literature Approved () I had just finished the most recent book written by Miranda Honfleur in her Blade and Rose series and was looking for something in the same genre to tide me over I came across the Legends of Ansu series and became immediately hooked The first book in the Crystal King Trilogy, part of the Ansu series, is The Shattered Crown and it's a wonderful sword and sorcery adventure Though not quite as romantic as Honfleur's books the battles, struggles and rakish character of Corin is so relateable Corin does have his love interest, in a lone wolf sort of way The saga continues withadventures for finding the lost prince and the crown he broke plus the ensuing battle on the horizon between the gods and mortals in which Corin has a large part You'll enjoy the writing, adventure, plot and mayhem Grab a beer and have a read, a long sword and ship and crew will help too. True Rating 3.5 stars!This review is based on a digital copy I received from Author J.W Webb via Book the Bear Marketing It is an honest and voluntary review The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.This is the second book in the Legends of Ansu series but the story takes place one thousand years after then end of book one This installment can be read as a standalone and I think that this is a great example of heroic fantasy! In case you are not familiar, a heroic fantasy is one in which the hero is reluctant to be a “champion” and is usually of humble origins The turn of events are usually out of their control and their “mettle” is tested through challenges.The story focuses on Corin an Fol who is basically a solider/bodyguard for hire He has been away from home for fourteen years, leaving after the murder of his family, and he has been looking forward to returning and slowing things down a bit Although what he failed to consider is that things may have changed there and the political climate is not one in which men of his reputation are able to sit on the sidelines.I enjoyed Corin’s character as a sarcastic, foulmouthed longswordsman Longsword is no joke in this story, he fights with a sixfoot blade I can’t even imagine that! From the start you understand that he is a killer but he also has compassion towards others and only wishes to kill those who have it coming He does not have allegiance to anyone but himself and is drawn into the power struggle between Queen Ariane and Caswallon because he can be bought if the price is high enough Somewhere along the way he blurs the lines between his selfinterest and the interests of others and the fight becomes personal.Queen Ariane is a great character! I love that she is written as a strong female lead Even better was that she started out strong She did not have to go through trials in order to find her inner strength She had that from the start! She has recently been handed the title as queen due to the untimely death of her father She may be a young queen but she is a fantastic leader who is not afraid to do her own dirty work to see to the safety of her kingdom I just loved her character!The villain Caswollon was simply disturbing! There was not one redeeming feature about his character and that is just fabulous! I love to hate him! It upped the tension level and helped to propel the story on You did not want him or his minions to succeed There are many different of flavors of characters in this novel including great secondary characters, gods, spirits and warlocks Basically, this novel has such diversity that it should appeal to any type of reader.The ending was a bit rushed and left you on a cliff! It will definitely make you want to grab a copy of the next installment in this series, The Lost Prince Overall, it was a page turner and would appeal to fans of high fantasy.*Thank you to Author J.W Webb via Books the Bear Marketing for this complimentary copy of The Shattered Crown*Find this review andat The Genre Minx Book Reviews Great book!Amazingly fun epic fantasy! This is a grand take of adventure in the style of Tolkien and Brooks Despite a few modern terminology slips the world building is beautiful and vast Likable and detestable characters both and some serious cliffhangers at the end of many chapters kept me reading well into the wee hours of the night Definitely left me craving the next book!