Truth of Crowns by Carl D. Albert

I’m not a big fan of coming of age stories, so when I went into this one I was a wondering if it would be my cup of tea. They lean more towards the traditional fantasy tropes but I decided to give this one a chance.

What I liked:

This book is full of grief and tragedy, from cover to cover. There is a coming of age story of sorts, but there are so many other story lines that calling it just a coming of age story is a disservice. There are lots of characters, but they are all defined enough that my lizard brain could keep track of all of them without much trouble.

It’s not often that a book has such an emotional impact that I have to set it down to recover, but that happened a couple of times reading this book. There is so much emotional impact in the events and the love and contempt the characters have for each other.

One of my favorite characters in this book couldn’t really be classified as good. The decisions she makes made me feel a connection to her but also frustrated that I rooted for her to fail. This also doesn’t happen often that I love a character when they frustrate me with their actions so often.

What I didn’t like:

I did find that the book takes a little bit to really get rolling. The first portion of the book feels a little by the numbers and what you would expect from most fantasy novels, but once it got rolling (about 10% in) it hit it’s stride.

Overall thoughts:

We often hear books compared to A Song of Ice and Fire that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore. You could make comparisons to ASOIAF here, but it’s so much more than that. What did remind me of ASOIAF is how I loved characters and felt connected to them even if I was frustrated by them or wanted them to fail.

This book is full of tragedy and for those of you who know me, it’s kind of my thing. Even the love story really broke my heart but in the best way… if that makes sense.

If you’re thinking of giving this one a try be patient with it, once the story and characters get fleshed out it really builds momentum that pays off at the finale. This is one I’ll keep on my shelf and re-read when I know book two has a release date. There are too many details and things I’m sure I missed on the first read.

If you’d like to hear more about Carl D. Albert and his process in writing this book, click here to listen to our discussion with him. Spoilers for the book begin about an hour into the conversation.

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