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Crown of Shadows (The Coldfire Trilogy, Book…

Crown of Shadows (The Coldfire Trilogy, Book 3) (original 1995; edition 1996)

by C. S. Friedman

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1,416118,108 (4.19)20
Title:Crown of Shadows (The Coldfire Trilogy, Book 3)
Authors:C. S. Friedman
Info:DAW (1996), Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library

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Crown of Shadows by C. S. Friedman (1995)



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  Ebeth.Naylor | Sep 30, 2013 |
Damien and Tarrant continue their uneasy alliance, determined to halt the demon Calesta's machinations. Meanwhile, to complicate matters the Patriarch is being manipulated into initiating a holy war against the Forest.

As a teen I extolled the virtues of the Dragonlance saga, Shannara, etc.; not so much now. I sense this trilogy is similar, something I would have appreciated more when I was younger and less critical. Happily it's not all bad news for this concluding volume. The villain is already identified for a change, an enormous time saver that jump-starts the plot. Andrys and Narilka are interesting and I liked their relationship. I enjoyed an enormously satisfying scene where the Patriarch forces Damien to face the mix of moralizing thoughts and pragmatic actions that made me despise him in the previous book.

But halfway through, the plot began to fail. On the one hand, the Patriarch lets Damien off the hook for saving Tarrant's life, giving them free reign to challenge Calesta as a united team, because he realizes Calesta is trying to manipulate him. At the same time, he gets started on his plot to destroy Tarrant and his Forest with Andrys' help - because he doesn't realize Calesta is trying to manipulate him? Damien learns of the Church's plan to assault the Forest, but never pauses to wonder how it's going to be done, conveniently leaving him in the dark about Andrys. I guess he thought the Patriarch could take down the Forest any old time he wanted to.

Minor irritants added up: the sentence fragments ("In the depths of the forest. In the Hunter's citadel."), the POV exceptions ("Behind him, out of hearing, Calesta laughed."), the artificially short chapters. Done for effect, the transparency of these devices spoiled their scenes and took me out of the moment. Which is too bad, because sometimes I was actually invested.

The dark tone is intentional, and I appreciate there are readers who won't be fazed a bit, but I would have welcomed some comedy to balance all the doom-and-gloom drama. I do leave the series with an appreciation for its unique world. Tarrant is similarly a special creation, and there's a few scenes and several good ideas that are pretty captivating. It could have been a lot worse. Unfortunately there were too many snags in the last two thirds of the trilogy to prevent my critical adult self from enjoying the story without a lot of shaking my head over it. ( )
1 vote Cecrow | Jan 26, 2011 |
The very successful conclusion of this trilogy. Unlike a lot of modern trilogies, this book isn't excessively long, ending the story quickly without dragging it out. I really enjoyed how this turned out, and enjoyed reading it very much. Its well written and fun to read. ( )
  Karlstar | Dec 12, 2009 |
What will become a timeless classic: I don't think I can use words to really describe these books. The fine attention to detail, the intricate twists of the plot, the very end when you go "Oh!" as the pieces all click together, those are just scratching the surface. Book 3 was most assuredly my favorite of the three, but as soon as I had finished the series, I found myself understanding things in the first two that I hadn't caught the first time around and therefore enoyed them when I re-read them, as I understood each chapter's signifigance. This series is one of my all-time favorite books; I enjoyed them more than Lord of the Rings, and I admit Tolkien is a master. But Friedman has taken the theme of 'fantasy' and raised the bar to a level that is tough, if not impossible to reach. To anyone who's ever read or considered reading a fantasy book, skip the hobbits and go for Friedman.
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
I very solid wrap up to the series as a whole. I didn't really like the new priest that much, but I enjoyed the Hunter's family. Probably still have the soft spot for the original, but ya know. ( )
  Isamoor | May 11, 2009 |
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Because the only thing better than hanging fifty feet over a smoking volcano with nothing but a think sheet of plastic between you and it--with a pilot whose idea of fun is to tip the helicopter over on its side without warning and cheerily yell, "Don't worry, you won't fall out!"--is having someone to share that with.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0886777178, Mass Market Paperback)

More than a millennium after the human race forges an uneasy stalemate against the demonic human-psyche feeders known as the fae, a pain-hungry demon called Calesta declares war on all living beings. Reprint.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

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While the people of Erna struggle against the cataclysmic powers of the fae, a force of nature that transforms nightmares into reality, the pain-hungry demon Calesta plots to remake humankind for the sake of his own desires.

(summary from another edition)

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