book reviews by Althea

Crown of Renewal – Elizabeth Moon ****

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‘Crown of Renewal’ is the final book in a 5-book series (Paladin’s Legacy), which in turn follows two trilogies – ‘The Deed of Paksennarion’ and ‘The Legacy of Gird.’ I’ve read all of ‘Paladin’s Legacy’ but not the two earlier trilogies.

I do appreciate the author’s note at the beginning of the book that this is not intended to be a stand-alone novel. Too many books omit that! While I wouldn’t say this is the ideal place to ‘jump in’ to this saga, I think I would’ve enjoyed it even if I’d read nothing else – Moon’s writing is good enough and enough is happening here, that it actually does work on its own. Sometimes it’s difficult though, when you already ‘know’ the characters, to be a good judge of that.

There’s a lot going on in this long novel: in a land of feudal kingdoms, there’s not only ‘mundane’ human conflict, but events involving the rock-dwelling gnomes, the evil ‘dark-elf’ iynisin (and good elves, too), the nature magic of the kuaknomi, the transcendent glory of Dragon, magelords caught in time, innocent magic users hounded for their gifts, gods that walk on earth and speak directly to their worshipers, magical jewels, body-stealing sorcerers AND MORE. Most of the storylines are picked up from earlier books, and toward the end of this one, there is a bit of a feeling of hastily-made knots, in order to tie up loose ends. It’s not too bad, though…

As expected, the ‘main’ story here follows Dorrin Verrakai, an experienced veteran, as she deals with the magical regalia that addresses her as ‘Queen’ and seems to want something from her. Dorrin’s a great character, and I enjoy every opportunity to spend some time with her.

Copy provided by NetGalley – much (and very sincere) appreciation for the opportunity to read this!


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