Author: J. W. Webb
Published: March 5th 2015
‘You ride into peril, Corin an Fol!’
Those are the words of the witch at the ford. Corin an Fol, mercenary, brawler, womaniser and drinker, ignores them and thus finds himself caught in a tangled web of sorcery, intrigue and dark prophesy.
When the High King is murdered and his broken crown goes missing, Queen Ariane suspects the wily hand of Caswallon the sorcerer. She forms a secret council and rides out to find the Oracle of her Goddess, to see if her worries are proved right. But Caswallon is onto her and the noose tightens fast around the young queen.
Corin an Fol returns to his village seeking solace in drink. Instead he finds an old contact waiting for him who persuades him to join Queen Ariane in her fight against Caswallon. And so, like the queen, Corin an Fol is snared by the sorcerer. Our boy has a big sword and bad attitude, but is that enough to survive the hordes Caswallon sends against them?
A millennium after the previous book, Gol, The Shattered Crown focuses on a new hero, a mercenary named Corin An Fol. Just as calamity has struck Gol a thousand years before, now the same thing happens within the Four Kingdoms and the surrounding land as war is threatening to begin anew. The murder of the High King is only the beginning of everything.
The few new characters introduced at the end of the previous book are introduced as the main characters of The Shattered Crown. Upon rereading the final chapter of Gol did I realize that Queen Ariane is actually a direct descendent of Erun Cade and Lisane Barola. Ariane and the gods serve as the link between the two books in the Legends of Ansu. Although both books can be read as a standalone story, reading The Shattered Crown while keeping in mind that Erun Cade was the first ruler of the Four Kingdoms and that the gods who played a role in Gol still exists in the current Ansu is interesting and enables me to see everything in a different light. The first being that I had not expected Galed, who sounded wise in the end of Gol to be cowardly and sensitive in this book.
I find that The Shattered Crown is most probably the real beginning of the battle between good and evil since Gol seems to me more of a prequel to the Four Kingdoms, thus providing a history of the founder of the Four Kingdoms.
Corin An Fol holds many secrets and his mysterious past including the gods interest in him make him the most interesting character of them all and probably the one who will go through the most changes as his adventure continues on. From reading The Shattered Crown, there were hints scattered about as to his real heritage and a part of his story, was already foretold in this book. I believe that these were very good ways to catch the attention of the readers since prophesies and visions gave me an inkling of what may happen but at the same time I have no idea exactly when it will come to happen. And this book is loaded with them and some have already come to pass in the book.
The story of Corin’s journey with Queen Ariane and her group was riveting, even though I don’t quite appreciate the vulgarity of the language used. However, I certainly understand the necessity of it, since Ansu seems to be set in the medieval times.
Something I never seem to tire of the books of the Legend of Ansu, however, is the variety of characters that are described so vividly that it is never a chore to keep track of who is who and makes it all the more easier to imagine what they would look like. Even the villains were well-written although Rael’s actions were a little confusing to me since he would seem cruel and ruthless one moment and the other he would remind me of a very spoilt prince, screaming at everyone because his plans were thwarted.
The Shattered Crown is a high fantasy book which I would recommend to those who enjoy reading of the rise and fall of rulers all mixed with sorcery and deities.
I would like to thank Kayleigh from the Books and the Bear and the author, J. W. Webb for providing me with the opportunity to read and review The Shattered Crown.