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Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
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Crown Duel (edition 2002)

by Sherwood Smith, Sherwood Smith

Series: Crown and Court (Omnibus Books 1-2), Sartorias-deles {Sherwood Smith} (4749 Omnibus (Crown Duel 1 & 2))

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,5915110,969 (4.15)1 / 93
Fantasy. Young Adult Fiction. HTML:

Sherwood Smith's most popular young adult fantasy begins with Meliara and her brother vowing to free Remalna from an evil king. War is tougher than it seemed. When Meliara is caught by the enemy commander, the elegant Marquis of Shevraeth, it's escape or die. Afterward, Meliara faces a tougher challenge: the battlefield is no longer mud and steel, but palaces, the weapons manners and fans. Toughest of all is courtship, when the one who catches her heart is an enemy.

Nominated for ALA/YASLA Best Books for Young Adults, on the ALA/YASLA Quick Pick List for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and named one of NY Public Library Best Books for Teens, 1998 list. Finalist, Soaring Eagle Award (Kids 12-18 voting, Wyoming Library System) in its 16th printing.

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Member:Heather39
Title:Crown Duel
Authors:Sherwood Smith
Other authors:Sherwood Smith
Info:Firebird (2002), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Fiction, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fantasy, romance, young adult fiction, intrigue

Work Information

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

  1. 50
    Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (Owlnip)
    Owlnip: Similar in terms of the kind of world you get to escape into, with a strong young female protagonist and wonderful cast of characters.
  2. 50
    Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn (AmethystFaerie, Maid_Marian)
  3. 50
    The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (shoujo85)
  4. 40
    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (kathleen.morrow)
  5. 30
    First Test (Protector of the Small) by Tamora Pierce (Nikkles)
  6. 41
    Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (espertus)
    espertus: Both books are fantasies with strong-minded young noblewomen fighting tyranny in alliance with forces of nature, although Crown Duel's heroine is a naive and untutored orphan, while Tricksters' has learned much from her spymaster father. Crown Duel is lighter, Tricksters more complex.… (more)
  7. 20
    The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (octopedingenue)
  8. 31
    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (AmethystFaerie, wordcauldron)
  9. 10
    Summer Thunder by Sherwood Smith (Anonymous user)
  10. 10
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik (beyondthefourthwall)
  11. 10
    Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan (shoujo85)
  12. 10
    Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (kathleen.morrow, wordcauldron)
    wordcauldron: Similar feel of espionage and court life.
  13. 10
    The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier (Jen7waters)
    Jen7waters: Has the same kind of political royal intrigue going on, and a heroine who goes through a lot.
  14. 10
    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (beyondthefourthwall)
  15. 00
    Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn (wordcauldron)
  16. 00
    The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn (beyondthefourthwall)
  17. 01
    Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (wordcauldron)
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» See also 93 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Meliara and her brother Branaric are technically a countess and count now that their father has died, but they've spent their childhoods in backwater hill country in a falling-down castle with no windows, huddling with their servants for warmth and wandering the countryside as they please. Meliara has even grown up speaking with the hill folk, the magical race of people who provide them with valuable fire sticks to use for warmth, cooking, and survival. Meliara is mostly content with her life, but when her family's sole spy sends word that the current ruler is planning on breaking the all-important covenant with the hill folk for his own gain, Mel and Bran know they cannot stand by -- they must mount a revolution and take the throne for themselves, despite their entirely unsuited for court backgrounds. But things quickly spiral out of control, and Mel finds herself fighting for her life -- first on the run from royal forces and a certain mysterious, annoying Marquess, and then in a more metaphorical fashion at court, where she doesn't understand the intrigues and complicated customs she's been thrust into.

This is a book I remember loving as a teenager. I enjoyed it this time around, too, although it definitely felt less groundbreaking and Mel came off as a little dense sometimes. 4 stars. ( )
  curioussquared | Aug 3, 2023 |
Smudgy. Not just the cover. Couldn't get my bearings for the first bit. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
ok, so this is not the first time i’ve read Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

nor the second

or third

more like 300 millionth…

I love love love this book! It is most def one of my favorites and i read it at least once a year! I love the story, the characters, the plot, absolutely everything about the book. Everything!

GO READ IT!

Happy Readings

( )
  artdamnit_reads | Jul 29, 2020 |
I first read this book years ago, and figured I'd re-read it after Gail Carriger recommended it. I feel like I liked it less this time, maybe because it was familiar and not new, but I also think Meliara seemed kind of whiny. I know she's quite young and it's maybe understandable, but I felt she was a bit ridiculous. Still a good story though. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
"Comedy of manners. Protagonist comes off as a bit of a Sue, as does her hated enemy. Still, a good yarn with very good writing and nice wish fufillment." ( )
  treehorse | Nov 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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Belongs to Series

Crown and Court (Omnibus Books 1-2)
Sartorias-deles {Sherwood Smith} (4749 Omnibus (Crown Duel 1 & 2))
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This story is dedicated to my agent, Valerie Smith
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(PROLOGUE): I hope any of my descendants reading this know exactly what the Covenant and the Code of War are, but there is always the chance that my story has been copied by the scribes and taken to another land that will consider Remalna distant and its customs strange.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fantasy. Young Adult Fiction. HTML:

Sherwood Smith's most popular young adult fantasy begins with Meliara and her brother vowing to free Remalna from an evil king. War is tougher than it seemed. When Meliara is caught by the enemy commander, the elegant Marquis of Shevraeth, it's escape or die. Afterward, Meliara faces a tougher challenge: the battlefield is no longer mud and steel, but palaces, the weapons manners and fans. Toughest of all is courtship, when the one who catches her heart is an enemy.

Nominated for ALA/YASLA Best Books for Young Adults, on the ALA/YASLA Quick Pick List for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and named one of NY Public Library Best Books for Teens, 1998 list. Finalist, Soaring Eagle Award (Kids 12-18 voting, Wyoming Library System) in its 16th printing.

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