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The Shattered Crown: A Legends of Ansu Fantasy

Crystal Crown Trilogy, Book 1
By: J.W. Webb
Narrated by: Andrew McDermott
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

A fiery young queen and a cynical mercenary are thrown together when a sorcerer usurps their high king's throne.

Queen Ariane dreams of her goddess who warns that the high king has been murdered and his enchanted crown broken, the remnants stolen by a renegade prince. Despairing she rides deep into her overlord's realm - a land now ruled by the scheming usurper, Caswallon, the sorcerer.

Corin an Fol returns home after many years fighting in other people's wars. But he finds no solace - instead he is persuaded to seek out Queen Ariane and assist her in the struggle against Caswallon. But the sorcerer knows their game and sends his creatures to waylay them. Corin and his queen must learn to trust each other before the enemy arrives. That's not going to be easy - she has a foul temper, and he's not fond of royalty.

The Shattered Crown is the first book in an exciting new trilogy called The Crystal King that also forms part of the Legends of Ansu, a spellbinding new fantasy series that will appeal to fans of Game of Thrones. If you like tough action featuring gritty characters set to a vivid fantasy backdrop of war, treachery, and vengeance, then you are going to love this new tale by JW Webb.

Get The Shattered Crown to discover this exciting series today.

©2015 James William Pugh (P)2019 James William Pugh

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    5 out of 5 stars

Jam-packed with action and nail-biting suspense

The Shattered Crown is the first book in the Crystal Crown Trilogy. J W Webb has done a superb job with his world building, his characters are well drawn and his storyline is jam-packed with action and nail-biting suspense.

My introduction to Corin an Fol was through the excellent books in the Mercenary Trilogy (giving an insight to Corin’s earlier life and exploits) so I am already familiar with this lovable mercenary soldier/bodyguard with the sardonic humour, a bit of a soft centre inside that tough exterior, and a strong sense of right and wrong. If he’s being paid to do a job he stays on track irrespective of the odds stacked against him. In his own way he is chivalrous, loyal and fiercely protective so there are times when he will go above and beyond his own self-interest in the defence of others. A reluctant hero, I’m enjoying following more of his adventures.

It’s great that in Ariane there is a strong, no-nonsense, kick-ass female in the mix – and a Queen, no less. Captain Barin’s character is endearing and he’s definitely someone to have on your side in a fight.

The malicious and unscrupulous villains, the sorcerer Caswallon and his sidekick the master assassin Rael of Crenna, are frightening and loathsome (as are the nasty spirits, goblins, dragons and Hagan’s band of mercenaries aiding and abetting Caswallon).

Building on J W Webb’s vivid imagery, Andrew McDermott’s first-rate narration really brings this book to life and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and riveting listen.

Looking forward to the next book in this trilogy, The Lost Prince.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Va
  • 11-11-19

Excellent dark fantasy series

An engrossing, fast-paced story with lots of intrigue and action. likeable heroes and malevolent adversaries.

2 people found this helpful

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great book

A fiery young queen and a cynical mercenary are thrown together when a sorcerer usurps their high king's throne.
Queen Ariane dreams of her goddess who warns that the high king has been murdered and his enchanted crown broken,

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 02-01-20

A new trilogy of Corin in the world of Ansu.

I’ve read/listened to one other of the tales of Corin in the world of Ansu before and loved it. This first in a new trilogy doesn’t disappoint. Think of Conan, braveheart, and any other tale of adventurous swordsman who get the girl face the odds of swords and sorcery and come out on top. This one finds out hero ready to settle down back in hi home town. An old employer comes to find and enlist him to protect a queen, restore a shattered crown, face an evil sorcerer, and defeat a dark god of old and its minions. Because of course, who else besides Corin an fol could manager a set of tasks such as this. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Potter
  • 21-11-19

Solid story, if a bit heavy-handed

***Obligatory Disclaimer***
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher at my request and have chosen to write this unbiased review.

Herein we have a good story in a dark and gritty world told from an omniscient viewpoint.

But first, the narrator.
Andrew McDermott has a fair array of distinct voices, but unfortunately they all sound male. His accent worked well for character voices, but in the narration it made things just a bit difficult to understand at times. What dropped his performance to three stars, however, is that vocal inflections and tempo shifts are almost nonexistent.

In terms of plot, this is a good story with excellent pacing. The events flow into each other quite well.

I'll admit to uncertainty as to when this story takes place in relation to the other books, as at least the audible editions are not numbered, so I don't really know how much I'm missing.

That said, I have to confess that I'm not really a fan of the main character. I find him boorish and misogynistic and more than a bit egotistical. Of course, I think he's meant to be on all counts.

The queen, on the other hand, is a joy to read. She's equal parts grace, poise, and nobility. She's a fun and inspiring character that you can't help rooting for.

Although there are things in the world that didn't jive well with me, it seems to all be well thought out and interesting.

Now, there are a few issues.
The main one has to do with chronology.

The main character returns home after 14 years and for some reason the romantic interest he left behind is not only still unattached but more than happy to throw herself at him?

There's nothing here indicative of the level of obsession that situation would require. If it had been 5 years I could maybe see it. But given the provided details of just doesn't make sense.

Also, the "romance" (if you can call it that) between him and the queen feels so contrived I didn't quite know what to think. Nothing about it makes sense. Neither character has any reason that I can see to care one whit what happens to the other.

And lastly, the omniscient POV is both distracting and a little irritating. There are large swaths of narration that delve full on into things that none of the characters have any way of knowing about, and in many cases wouldn't care even if they did.

Finally, the ending.
This one is a little tricky.
The climax of the book is well written with the conclusion of a major conflict and was quite satisfying.
Then then we dive into a huge chunk of, basically, the narrator giving a treatise on the origins/nature of the gods and the world and some other tidbits that I won't give away.

In short, it doesn't seem to belong.
I could see it as an introduction to the book or, better yet, as a piece of bonus material provided to the author's newsletter or patreon subscribers. But placed at the end of the book just feels really out of place.

In the end, if you like the grittiness of Game of Thrones but want something shorter with less characters, this might be just the thing you're looking for.

But if character-driven fantasy with motivations that feel real is what you're after, you'll probably be happier looking elsewhere.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diving Blue Bonnet
  • 04-11-19

👑 Review for The Shattered Crown 👑

If you’re looking for action and adventure, look no further. This book has it in spades! Our hero, Corin an Fol, is ready to retire to a peaceful life after so many years of living by the sword. Funny how life has other ideas. First, he must help Queen Ariane.

This story is well written, but at times I wished I had kept a journal with the character’s names just so I could keep up with all of the who’s who.

Narrator, Andrew McDermott, gives another 5-star performance. His range of voices for the different characters is top-notch! Also, his silvery voice is perfect for this genre. I could listen to him all day long! Just as a side note, I’d like to hear him do a book from a more contemporary setting. 🤞🏻

1 person found this helpful

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  • rachel pohler
  • 04-02-20

Great read

This was a great book! I loved it and I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger Fauble
  • 04-02-20

Enjoyable fantasy read

The Shattered Crown: A Legends of Ansu Fantasy: Crystal Crown Trilogy, Book 1, my third read from author J.W. Webb an author I’d wanted to read since I got Gol: A Legends of Ansu Fantasy #1: Dawn of Legends, back in January of 2017. I was given an Audible copy of this book in October of last year & am voluntarily reviewing. Andrew McDermott’s excellent narration & accent again add to the book's enjoyment. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Likes movies
  • 29-01-20

Started good but went to the darkside

I couldn't finish it, but because it wasn't interesting but because to kept getting more graphic. The viollent sex and domination are not something I want to read about. It is not appropriately rated.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaclyn679
  • 28-01-20

Adenture!

This was a great adult fantasy read, that I would definitely consider epic, and thriving. The characters were well described, and all had a fantastic bit of background that made them feel so real. I loved Queen Ariane and how strong she was! I’d like to meet her in real life. I also loved that the characters had a lot of different qualities that almost fought with one another, like the fact that Corin is so intense but also is very compassionate. I also really appreciated the quality of the villain, despite obviously hating him. I’m looking forward to the next book! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peachesnbeal
  • 25-01-20

The Gods

This one spends a lot more time on what is going on behind the scenes. We meet some new characters, we get more action and we are dealt a blow. Good read. Can't wait to start the next one.

I recieved this book for an honest review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 10-01-20

Excellent

Great start to the series. This is a fun and exciting read. I'm looking forward to future books!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret
  • 27-12-19

Better to start with a different series i think

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I enjoyed the story. It took me four tries to get into the book - I think due to the narration.
I have not listened to any other of the books. Although I did not have issues understanding this story, I felt I was missing some key backstory. I’m not sure this is the best book to start with. There is some incongruity, and some relationships that didn’t quite make sense, especially Corin’s infatuation with the queen. Despite and due to this, I’m curious to listen to more. In fact, next is Gray Wolf. It’s also a book 1, so I think I’ll get the backstory I crave.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Andrew McDermott ). He has a stop-start style. He’d often pause after every few words regardless of narrative or character conversation. This made me have to concentrate more on the story than usual, and therefore never really drew me in. I found I was easily distracted or background noise would disrupt me and I kept having to re-listen to parts because I hadn’t taken in anything that was happening. Most characters were spoken with the same cadence and little variation for personalities. He did use accents to differentiate some characters, and his voices female voice were good. I think it would be a wonderful narration if not for the stop-start style.

There are no explicit sex scenes although sex is discussed and rape implied, no excessive violence or much swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.