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Crown Duel

Crown Duel


Third edition (ebook) cover
Editionebook
PublisherBook View Café
Publication DateFebruary 7, 2010
Pages484
ISBN978-1611380712


Preceded By: A Stranger to Command
Followed By: Remalna's Children
Available at: Book View Café, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wizard's Tower (UK)

Crown Duel (1997) is a fantasy novel written by Sherwood Smith (originally published as two books Crown Duel and Court Duel). It was her first published work that takes place on the actual Sartorias-deles (rather than Wren's World).

In this book, young Countess Meliara Astiar (Mel) swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances. In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one. [1]

Crown Duel was nominated for ALA/YASLA Best Books for Young Adults, was on the ALA/YASLA Quick Pick List for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and was named one of NY Public Library Best Books for Teens, 1998 list. It was also a finalist for the Wyoming Library System's Soaring Eagle Award, selected by kids 12-18.

Synopsis (contains spoilers)

Part 1

Young Countess Meliara Astiar (Mel) swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. The revolt begins when Galdran Merindar sent his cousin, Nenthar Debegri to overthrow the Astiars and take Tlanth. Greatly outnumbered and poorly supplied, Bran and Mel fought back admirably, holding Debegri off until Galdran sent in Vidanric Renselaeus, the Marquis of Shevraeth, to replace him as commander.

Mel led a pack of non-warriors to sabotage Shevraeth's forces, changing street-signs, peppering their food, and to the request of Bran, laying out traps. Unfortunately, Mel's foot got caught in one of the traps and she was taken prisoner. Brought to Athanarel as a traitor on death row, she escaped with the aid of her spy, Azmus, and the Renselaeus family, who were covertly working against Galdran from inside the court. Mel roamed around the country for days on a bad foot, even at one point being the subject of a highly publicized (and intentional) wager between Shevraeth and the Duke of Savona.

Finally, after barely avoiding death on several occasions and spending time in prisons, Mel was taken to the Renselaeus estate and reunited with her brother, Bran. Here at Renselaeus, the Prince, his son the Marquis, and the two Astiars discussed the future of Remalna and the Renselaeuses's plan. At Mel's decision, however, the Astiars chose not to partake, though on their way back to Tlanth they were ambushed by Galdran's warriors.

Mel attempted to duel with Galdran when he charged at her, sword in hand. Shevraeth then killed Galdran and his warriors surrendered quickly thereafter. Mel returns home to Tlanth, while her brother goes to the court at Athanarel

Part 2

Meliara has been working hard in Tlanth, restoring the territory and remedying her ignorance. Soon, she gets a letter from the Marquis of Merindar inviting Mel to Merindar. Soon afterwards, Branaric shows up to Tlanth for a surprise visit, bringing with him Shevraeth and his fiancee Nimiar Argaliar. Meliara agrees to go back to Athanarel with them, for Bran and Nee's wedding, and so that she can decide if Shevraeth would make a fit king. Nee begins to teach Meliara about the ways of court.

When Mel arrives in court, she was made popular by the Duke of Savona, who sought her out for many dances. She also begins a courtship by letters with an Unknown, who turns out to be Vidanric Renselaeus.

Other Editions

Crown and Court Duet

Crown Duel was originally published in two parts, Crown Duel and Court Duel, to avoid publishing a book that was "too long" for young adult readers. In this version, the story took place in Wren's World, as the Wren books had already been published, and the scene between Meliara and Flauvic Merindar at Merindar House was cut to keep the word count down and to keep the story more suitable for young readers.


1997 Harcourt hardcover edition
Crown Duel
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Publication Date: April 1, 1997
  • Media Type: Hardcover
  • Pages: 224
  • ISBN: 0152016082

1998 Harcourt hardcover edition
Court Duel
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Publication Date: April 15, 1998
  • Media Type: Hardcover
  • Pages: 256
  • ISBN: 0152016090

Combined Editions

The Firebirds edition (in the book frame) and the Book View Café ebook edition published Crown Duel and Court Duel together, as originally intended. The story returned to Sartorias-deles[2], and the Flauvic scene was re-added to make sense of Mel and Flauvic's interactions later in the book, as this edition was aimed at older teens.[3] Both the Firebirds paperback and the ebook contain an additional short story, "Vidanric's Birthday Surprise", and the ebook includes several scenes told from Vidanric's perspective, as well as many corrections to the text.

Editionebook
PublisherBook View Café
Publication DateFebruary 7, 2010
Pages484
ISBN978-1611380712

Foreign Language Editions

Kronenduell is available in German as an ebook:

Editionebook
PublisherBook View Café
Publication DateJanuary 27, 2013
Available atAmazon

See Also

References

  1. Amazon link
  2. Wren's World
  3. D.2264

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Categories: Crown Duel || Remalna || Renselaeus

Page last modified on June 18, 2013, at 08:00 AM