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Crown of Silence (Chronicles of Magravandias) Hardcover – March, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Chronicles of Magravandias (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (March 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312873298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312873295
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,642,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this second book of her Chronicles of Magravandias trilogy, featuring rites of passage, rituals and alternative sexualities used as everyday occurrences of statecraft, British author Constantine (the Wraeththu trilogy) has created a patchwork with no real unity of action, plot or perspective. At the start, soldiers of the invading Magravand, introduced in the first book, brutalize Shan, a young peasant boy. Shan is rescued by a half-human, half-mage, Taropat (aka Khaster), whose lover had earlier suffered a similar fate, and this dark past becomes both a training ground and a flaw in their relationship as Taropat transforms Shan into a worthy assistant. With the Magravand and its vassal kingdoms as background to their adventures, Shan, Taropot the mage and his human host, Khaster, among others, prepare for a quest to recover the Crown of Silence and unseat the Magravand king. Viewpoints shift with no apparent consistency. Each protagonist is "honed in the fires of experience" by homosexual rape, systematic torture or beatings. The tale eventually moves on to a ritual quest to seven lakes, where each quester undergoes a routine of self-discovery marked by tricks and clich‚s rather than any growth in spirit or knowledge. A successful quest story rests on the uniqueness of its politics, moral questions or characters. This novel falls short of the ideal. Nevertheless, this series is technically superior to most contemporary fantasy series and will be of interest to those who wish to read about politics and sex or who are Constantine fans.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

When the Magravandian armies destroy his village and leave him homeless and brutalized, 14-year-old Shan finds refuge with a mysterious man named Taropat who takes him to his forest home. Taropat teaches Shan the skills of magic and war in order to use the boy as an instrument of revenge and then turns him loose upon the world to discover the secret of a legendary artifact known as the Crown of Silence. As Shan grows in wisdom and cunning, he also learns the secrets of his mentor's past and its connection to his own shattered dreams. This sequel to Sea Dragon Heir continues the tale of Valraven Palindrake, expanding on the lost history of the conquered land of Caradore and bringing new dimensions of complexity to a tormented man and those chosen by fate to cross his path. This solid continuation of a gracefully told epic fantasy makes a good addition to most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

The book was worthless and it took the entire book to deveop characters that are secondary.
Gallantfurr
Constantine's writing flows beautifully and there are some wonderful images but any connection I felt to the characters was tenuous at best.
Shawn Oster
This book is the sequel to Sea Dragon Heir, which you should read first, although I didn't, and it didn't affect my reading pleasure.
Esther

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Aeirould on March 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
First off, if you haven't read Sea Dragon Heir yet, what are you waiting for? Go, read it. I'll wait.
Back? Good. The Crown of Silence continues the story begun in SDH. The first half of the novel overlaps the events of the first book, revealing what was going on in other areas of the world. The second half is a true mythic Quest with all that that entails.
The characters are well developed and for the most part sympathetic, but as with all of Storm's characters these are not perfect people. You will find yourself at times wanting to reach your hand into the book to thwap them on their collective heads for being idiots... but when you think about it, how would you handle the situation they find themselves in?
Another area where Storm excels (and sadly many other fantasists do not) is in the depth and resonance of her magical system. It is not some "point/zap/you're dead/you're a frog" amalgamation of fantasy cliches grafted on to the story, rather it is the story. What these characters are doing, how they are growing and evolving, is a direct result of the self-discovery involved in learning. As several characters state: "Learning is better than knowing."
I don't want to reveal too much of the plot, but I feel I must state that a portion of the book does deal with the consequences of surviving a traumatic rape and that two of the major characters are involved in a same-sex relationship. To me, these things add to the weight and reality of the book, but I realize that for some such subject matter is a determinant factor in what you read. I still recommend the book even to those people, though, as the handling of both subjects is superb for the genre, but if you're looking for another Harry Potter this is not the book for you.
As to the book itself, Tor did a great job on this one. Everything from the jacket art to the binding is top-notch. This is definately not one to wait for paperback on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on January 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Shan was living an idyllic life, until the arrival of the conquering Magravandians, who destroy his town and shatter his innocence about men of war. Broken in spirit and body, Shan is taken by the wizard Taropat to be his apprentice, but soon Shan learns that his path encompasses more. He learns the story of Khaster Leckery and his lover Tayven Hirantel, and the tragic events leading to both of their disappearances. Both men have survived and since changed, and Shan feels compelled to bring them back together, if for nothing but closure. Soon fate brings these men together in a quest to claim the crown of silence, which can only be worn by the true king of the land, who it is hoped will overcome the evils of the Magravandian Empire. The story does drag in places, and seems to be filler for the trilogy. Yes, a lot happens to the characters, but in the grand scheme of the story, the book slows the momentum and I found it a struggle to get through sometimes. I was most fascinated when Constantine was telling about the court intrigues and the interconnections between the rival factions. I only wish the book was better, because "Sea Dragon Heir" was so enthralling, and I am looking forward to the next in the series nonetheless.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Meyers on February 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is so frustrating -- there are moments that are really very good. It's a classic journey of self-discovery (individual and group) and Constantine is a good writer at the sentence level. But, as has been mentioned here, the plot and character development is very uneven. All in all, it feels like it needed another few hours of baking.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
At fifteen, Shan lives a relatively contented life working along side his father gathering crops in the isolated village of Holme. However, everything changes when the ferocious invading Magravandas ravage the village. The atrocities are numerous as men are viciously murdered and women brutally raped. They kill Shan's family and brutalize him leaving him for dead.
Taropat the wizard arrives after the soldiers leave and informs the survivors that "the demon of death" marches the land. He takes Shan with him and trains the lad into focusing his hatred and using magic as a weapon of retaliation against the Magravanda Empire. Taropat seeks a hero while Shan seeks vengeance, thus a marriage of convenience is forged between the tutor and the student. As he starts to learn more about Taropat, Shan joins a quest seeking the Crown of Silence with each member of the alliance planning to take control of the artifact.
THE CROWN OF SILENCE, the second tale in Storm Constantine's Magravandias Chronicles, is a well-written epic fantasy that will thrill genre diehards. The story line has exciting moments that bring alive an engaging plot, but at other times the tale seems bogged down with too much explanation of the mythos behind the legends. Shan is an interesting character fueled by loathing to become all he can be and more as he converts from peasant to mage. Taropat is also a captivating player, but no more on him because his background is pivotal to the novel. Although not quite as entertainingly smooth as SEA DRAGON HEIR, Ms. Constantine adds depth to her mythical realm with an overall strong entry.

Harriet Klausner
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By S. Jules on March 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book rocked my world the first time I read it. I was in high school, and its protrayal of decadence and broken innocence shocked me. The characters were incredibly realistic to me. The behavior of Khaster and Tayven throughout the entire book reminded me of somewhat similar situations between people in real life. A dissolute man who turns to night life for solace is a very sympathetic character to me. So too is the experienced man, who is forced into ruin by bad choices. However be aware, the decadence of the Magravands is protrayed strongly through the use of gay relationships. If a person is upset about such things, The Crown of Silence would perhaps not be the best read. As I said, I first read this a few years ago in high school, then ended up giving the hardback edition to someone else. Several months after that, I was struck with a longing to read this incredibly compelling work again. So I thought about getting another copy. I had already read the book at least a couple times, but I wanted to read it again so bad, I went ahead and bought it. I have read it several times since. It is a simply awesome book.
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