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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Broken Crown (The Sun Sword, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Sun Sword Series

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$8.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michelle West is the author of three interconnected series: The Sacred Hunt duology, the six-volume Sun Sword series, and The House War novels. She has published numerous short stories, as well as fantasty novels, under her maiden name, Michelle Sagara. She was a two-time nominee for the Campbell Award. She works part-time at BAKKA Books, one of Toronto's larger bookstores, and writes a column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. She can contacted via her website, michellesagara.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Sun Sword (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; First Edition edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886777402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886777401
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
So, I'm the kind of person that likes long (and I mean LONG) story arcs. I don't like a good tale to end and often retain books to re-read and relive every few years. In that context, I often play roulette at the bookstore, picking out the "fat books" - ones that seem like they might be time consuming, arduous - but in the end dense with plot and inundated with characters that I can connect with. I'm often disappointed and I'd be lying if I said that my initial reading of The Broken Crown didn't fall short of my expectations. This was also the first Michelle West book I'd read (or Michelle Sagara for that matter).

I understand many of the average-scoring reviews, because so many of those readers haven't had the opportunity to explore the complexity of the remainder of the series. But I implore any reader that is hesitant about reading this book or its successors: please understand that The Broken Crown is simply an exposition. It's meant to introduce characters and plot elements in a very subtle way by mostly presenting back story. And for those who toss their books away in frustration every time the plot shifts? Kudos to the author for drawing you into the tale and those characters to whom you've become mildly attached. It is the hallmark of a good author.

West does have a tendency to wax poetic. However, she glides through passages with such grace and dignity, that you can hardly fault her flowery style. In fact, this echos of a time when grand epochs might be told to pampered, honored women on silken cushions. Her use of stock archetypes (her own devices) is effective and amusing at times.

As you read the Sun Sword series, yes, it may seem as if the author is making things up as she writes.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My response to this book is complicated.
The author is clearly not a hack writer. The writing style is difficult to skim or read quickly because of its originality. Michelle West's prose is admirable and unique. In addition, the world she has created is full of nuances and is very well fleshed-out. The cast of characters is impressively large, and the political machinations and complex interpersonal relationships the author has brought to life here are unarguably imaginative.
A word of warning, however. The world West imagines is not a very pleasant or inviting one. She envisions a world where slavery and the brutal repression of women is institutionalized, where many characters--even protagonists-treat human lives as props in schemes, to be casually used and carelessly tossed aside. This harsh and depressing tone is relentless and, instead of serving as a backdrop for a moral struggle between good and evil, seems incidental to the plot direction of the book, which concerns itself mainly with the setup for various impending political clashes. Truly likable characters seem few and far between.
If you are the type of reader who can become emotionally immersed in the world of an expansive fantasy novel (and good for you if so!), I offer the following warning: I personally experienced the cruel and unjust society depicted within the novel as almost unbearably depressing, partially because West is a good writer. I felt that I was expected to accept the horrific injustices as normal, as all of the main characters seemed to do. Reading the book was a very frustrating and emotionally taxing experience for me.
But if you can enjoy a complex, plot-driven fantasy without being permanently scarred by the inclusion of numerous atrocities, this might be a satisfying read for you.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was worried when I saw the list of characters at the beginning of the novel. Ususally, I find that a sign that the author hasn't bothered to make them unique and memorable enough for you to figure out who's who without a cheat sheet. That's not the case here.

Each character has his or her own unique voice and perspective, and it is impossible to mistake one for the other. They are not all fully developed, of course, or the book would be much longer than it is, but the main characters are shown in rich detail and compelling depth.

This particular book at least (as opposed to the series as a whole) is not really a standard fantasy plot of good versus evil. It is a more realistic story than that. The main action takes place in the land of Annagar, a patriarchal society where there is slavery, casual crulety, oppression of women, and a feudal society where life is cheap. The contrasting country is Essalieyan, where society is more egalitarian (women can become warriors and rule families), slavery does not exist, and the atmosphere is less oppressive. You're probably thinking "Sounds like good versus evil to me," but it isn't that simple. The plot revolves around political intrigue, preparations for war, and a half-demon child. Then it gets complicated. Don't get me wrong, the plot is easy to follow, but it isn't a book you're going to be able to read through in 30 minutes chunk while riding the train to work. It's going to take some focus.

The story is primarly seen from the perspective of various female characters, but the main characters are two Annagarian women, Teresa and Diora.
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