SPFBO Review | The Weight of a Crown – Tavish Kaeden

About the Book

Thousands dream of it; still more die for it. Yet, how many can truly bear it?

After centuries of bitter conflict the realm of Esmoria is at last united under the banner of a single king. On the surface the realm appears to be enjoying its first taste of peace, but lingering resentment and the untimely death of the new ruler threaten to return Esmoria to political chaos.

Meanwhile, in the farthest reaches of the frozen north, a dethroned monarch’s plot for revenge awakens a long-forgotten evil. As darkness and treachery descend upon the realm, a young escapee from a forced labor camp, a disenfranchised soldier, and an epileptic engraver’s apprentice find themselves at the heart of the troubles.

448 pages (ebook)
Published on August 11, 2011
Author’s webpage
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This book was sent to me as part of the SPFBO.

The Weight of a Crown is epic. I mean, E-P-I-C. There are numerous storylines, and tons of plot threads. There are a lot of characters, and a ton of diverse interactions between peoples and cultures. This book really has it all.

This book is surprisingly immersive. There is a lot that is going on, but it’s obvious that this is the opening chapter to a sprawling story. That’s both a good and a bad thing. For fans of sprawling epics, this is the entry to something amazing. For people who enjoy a little closure in their books, this one will probably frustrate you as there really isn’t any closure and the book ends on a few cliffhangers.

However, there are some issues that come along with this being such an epic story. There are a lot of infodumps, and plenty of things that never really felt as fully explained as it could have been. For example, the magic system never really clicked with me. It’s there, but it never felt fully explained or made complete sense to me. There was a lot of telling rather than showing, and some of the chapters and action felt a little uneven.

A lot happens in this book, and it’s interesting to see how such diverse perspectives and stories weave together into a rather cohesive narrative. And I did enjoy the characters quite a bit. While on the surface they are exactly who you’d expect to be in a story like this, slowly they unfold and become something else, something deep and different than how they start out.

During most of the book, the main characters remain separate, and it’s hard to really tell how all these different stories and side stories will weave together and form one unified story. However, toward the last third of the book, the characters all come together and a new conflict wells up. Things start getting really interesting at this point.

However, like I said above, the book doesn’t really end so much as stop. There is no resolution, and I was left sort of unprepared and wanting more. The book was huge and covered so much ground, and I just wanted something… else at the end. This is obviously the first chapter in a much larger story. This sets the stage.

The political landscape is wonderful. This book takes place in a land that has been overthrown and ruled by force. Kings have fallen, some have died. They have all carved their own influence in the land. The world is on the cusp of revolution, and dropped into the middle of this is a myriad of different characters with unique backgrounds. It’s all very well done, and the colorful tapestry that is painted is captivating.

The Weight of a Crown isn’t perfect. I think this will be a rather divisive book – you’ll either love it or you won’t. Fans of epic fantasy should check this one out, but you should be aware of the issues with the ending, and some of the problems along the way that I’ve mentioned. The characters were fantastic, and I absolutely loved the buildup of the complex political situation. So no, this book wasn’t perfect, but it was incredibly enjoyable, and a fresh breath of air into the epic fantasy genre. It set a wonderful, detailed stage for future books in the series, and it wasll worth the time it took to read it.


3/5 stars
6/10 SPFBO rating


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