Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Indie for the Holidays egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Cyber Monday Sweepstakes in Prime Music Shop Now HTL

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2011
Raffi and Galen have managed to evade the Watch, but still must travel the world doing their work for the Order. Summoned to perform an exorcism to release a spirit trapped in a farmhouse, they come upon a hanging at a winter fair. One of the prisoners being hanged is a fellow member of their Order. Galen insists on organizing a rescue, even though it means risking their cover and trusting strangers not to reveal their identities or goals.

Solon, the keeper they rescue, insists on bringing a fellow prisoner with them. Marco is a thief, sentenced to death for his trade in relics. This offense is as sacrilegious to the Order as it is illegal to the Watch. The travelers begrudgingly bring him along at the insistence of Solon. "He is a rogue and a heretic," Solon says, "but he and I suffered in the same chains. He won't betray me."

Together, these travelers, along with Carys --- a former Watch spy --- and one of the planet's native Sekoi, search for a golden coronet, rumored to be the only thing that can stop the destruction of Anara. But as it becomes increasingly clear that there is a traitor among them, the group's loyalties are tested. Is it one of the newcomers, the broken Solon and the non-believer Marco? Or Galen, whose fanaticism is that of a man possessed? Or Raffi, whose kindness is matched only by his cowardice?

"My people have a saying," the Sekoi tells Carys, whose former associations with the Watch make her suspect. '"Darkness is a stain that will not wash away'... I will be watching."

"So will I, Graycat," she replies. "Because the Sekoi would sell their only sons for a bent button. That's an old saying, too."

Catherine Fisher weaves the themes of faith and loyalty throughout the Relic Master series. Despite a basic conflict of good vs. evil between the Order and the Watch, she does not shy away from the fact that sometimes people do terrible things in the name of righteousness. Or that even good people contribute to evil when they refuse to take a stance against it. Or that there are choices people must make where there is no right answer. Each of these characters is tested, often in situations where they know that doing the right thing might mean a trap or a loss of something they love. Galen's motivations are almost purely in terms of what he deems to be the will of the Makers, while Raffi seeks first to relieve suffering. Carys is in search of knowledge; her doubt is one of the most powerful aspects of this series.

Occasionally, these books make me feel like my eyes are not open. All the clues are there, but the revelation of the traitor will still surprise you. I suspect the same will be true once Fisher reveals the true identity of the Makers. The world she's woven to create Anara has borrowed pieces of our world, whether it's the broken bits of technology the keepers prize, a conflict that occasionally mirrors Britain's Civil War complete with religious persecution and priest holes, or the fragments of poetry that stud the story like faceted crystals. I can't wait to see how this visionary series will end in THE MARGRAVE, releasing in August.

--- Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Hidden Coronet is the third book of Catherine Fisher's Relic Master series, following The Dark City and The Lost Heiress. While book one was quite strong, the sequel, though solid, was a bit disappointing, hurt by somewhat weak plotting and worldbuilding. The Hidden Coronet is much stronger and a welcome return to the quality of The Dark City.

It begins on with several tense scenes--one involving Galen and Raffi trying to rid a house of an evil presence and the other concerning the attempted rescue of several prisoners, including a Keeper, sentenced to hang by the Watch. Eventually, Raffi, Galen, Carys, and the Sekoi from the first two books are back together, their numbers augmented by two: the rescued Keeper Solon and his fellow prisoner Marco, each of whom has his own secrets. Together they set out to seek the legendary Coronet of the Makers, which they believe is a relic of great power which might not only serve them against the evil creature (the Margrave) that Raffi saw in The Lost Heiress, but might also be a solution to the terrible and deadly changes in the weather that have been occurring. But they make troubled allies as mistrust soon begins to spread amongst them all, mistrust which only worsens once circumstances cause them to split, with the Sekoi and Carys heading off to an unusual gathering of the Sekoi people and Galen, Raffi, Solon, and Marco continuing on to the Maker's Observatory. It all culminates in the best ending of the series so far.

As mentioned, the second book had some issues with plot, as well as with pace. The Hidden Coronet has fixed both problems. The opening conflict--with Raffi and Galen in the house has an almost horror to it, while the rescue scene is a nick-of-time bit of adventure. Together, the two scenes start the book off running. There's a bit of an interlude while the group comes together and before the Coronet quest comes into play. But the tension picks up again once they're on the road--partly due to their attempts to avoid capture by the Watch, partly because of the weather issues cropping up, and partly because of Galen's issues with keeping the Crow's power and darkness in control. But the biggest reason for tension is the group dynamics, specifically the lack of trust, something we've seen before with the way Carys was under suspicion. She remains a question mark here, but none of the others are completely free of suspicion either. Another strength of the plot is the additional views we receive of the Sekoi and of the Maker's past and current works. The Sekoi have been a complete cipher up `til now and we get some fascinating glimpses into their thinking as well as some concrete answers to some specific questions that have arisen, such as the purpose of the Great Hoard. It all builds up to an extremely strong ending that will probably catch young readers especially by surprise, if not more jaded older ones.

The worldbuilding is still a bit thin, the new settings more sketches than full realizations. As in the first few books, I wish she'd slow down at times and let us linger over some of her ideas and places, especially as what we do get really piques one's interest and imagination. Part of that, I know, is the YA nature of the book (not every YA should be 700 pages long), so it is, I confess, at least partially an unfair complaint.

As in the prior two books Carys is the most compelling character--still fierce, passionate, active; still an enlivening force in the novel; still a question mark, but now much more fully invested in the relationships and causes she's met. But here, in the third book, she's finally being given some characters to match her. The Sekoi, who has always been interesting but up to now has mostly been played as an abstract mystery blooms into a fully-fledged character here and I especially look forward to his journey forward in light of the ending. Galen, who has so far been somewhat monotone, is "greyed up" a bit as the reader (along with Galen himself and several characters) starts to become a bit uneasy at just what is happening to him with regard to the Crow within him. Solon is a solid character but Marco takes on a parallel role to the one Carys has been playing all along--the character who may or may not be a spy.

Finally there's Raffi. I've complained before that he has been too passive and even a bit dull. He also is sometimes problematic in that his magic abilities seem too carefully tailored/contrived to fit the dramatic situation--weak when the author needs them weak, strong when the author needs them strong. Both are still problems here. But while he still plays a pivotal if passive role, such as a conduit of necessary visions, I'm beginning to wonder if the problem with him is really a problem with me. Perhaps I'm just assuming he's a main character and so he isn't fulfilling my expectations as such. Or perhaps Fisher is simply being more patient than we usually see in developing a relatively weak and passive character into one who becomes independent and strong. There isn't a lot of time left--only one book to go in the series--so while Raffi still isn't the most interesting of characters, I'm going to hold off and see what she does with him in book four. There is a part of me that actually likes the idea that this kid hasn't suddenly freed himself of his fear and passive nature in the relatively short time span of the novels' events, none of which certainly would make him any less afraid; after all, he gets tossed from one possibly fatal situation to another. Though if this is Fisher's intent, I would like to see her delve into it a bit more.

Better pacing and plotting, stronger characterization, and an excellent ending make The Hidden Coronet a strong addition to the series and the novel really whets the reader's appetite for the concluding fourth. I was happy to see the series rebound from the small dip it took in The Lost Heiress. Recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
The premise of this series is very clever. Even though it gets off to a slow start in the first book, it definitely picks up in the second. This gave me hope for the third book to be quite good. That's not the case.

Like the other books, Fisher doesn't fill in all her blanks. There are holes in her story and certain things just don't add up. I know these books are for young adults, but books aimed at them shouldn't under-estimate their intelligence by throwing in "easy fixes" and coincidences just to get characters out of a jam. The perfect example is when Carys is trapped in an underwater palace by the Sekoi. Carys asks for help....out loud....and low and behold, the palace speaks to her, and guides her to the exit. WHAT!?

I also felt the entire section on The Vortex wasted a lot of time. It wasn't even necessary. The group of characters led by Galen was going to The Observatory. Why would they stop in a village and spend four chapters there? Just GO TO THE OBSERVATORY.

Speaking of the observatory....the groups journeys there to find Flain's Crown. I won't say what it is....but it's very, very obvious. I'm not sure why they had to go to the observatory to see it.

This book has been the least exciting of the series with implausibilities and time-wasting chapters. It's too bad. The concept is good...but the execution is not so great. Like the Harry Potter books....Fisher creates a great world and even great characters and then resorts to cliches and "easy outs" for her characters that she never really explains. It leaves you feeling a bit cheated. I will finish the series, but I felt it starting to "jump the shark" with this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
*Sigh* sometimes I wonder why I keep reading these books. The Dark City was decent, The Lost Heiress was okay -and I wasn't falling over myself to get the next book in the series. Well, the library did get the entire Relic Master series in, so it helps that I can read them all for free. Plus, I keep reading reviews and other online comments that say the series gets better as it goes on, so I kept on going.

Book three in the Relic Master series, The Hidden Coronet continues the story of young Raffi and his master Galen. This time, they are questing for a very powerful relic, a coronet that may help save the world.

Yeah, that's pretty much all there is to it. Even though the plot itself is very simple and pretty thin, Hidden Coronet is a quick and easy read that still has the charm and fun of the previous installments. Most importantly, Hidden Coronet is a definite improvement from the previous installment, The Lost Heiress. It has more character development and some more action, as well as greater mystery to it -and was just downright more intriguing.

Overall, I was happy with The Hidden Coronet, more so than The Lost Heiress. I wouldn't say that it's amazing, but it's a fun and enjoyable read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2012
The Hidden coronet is book 3 in the Relic Master series. The plot is solid and there weren't any real grammatical mistakes that I could tell. The book is an excellent installment in the series although there are many places in the book where different actions don't add up. For instance: at the end of the book, Raffi was able to move objects (gold) into energy chain and wrap it around Solon's wrist. This ability could have been useful in several instances earlier in the book and in the series. For example Raffi could have done this when he needed to clear the rubble in the cellar, trying to escape it. Also, in book two of the series, he could have used this skill when he needed to restrain Felnia in the watch house. Another problem with the book was that it left many dead ends from book one and two. The hidden treasure room in book two and Galen and Raffi's old home in book one are examples. The only other complaint I have about this book is that the author leaves out a lot of information and skips from location to location with no note about the travel between. Despite these small and frankly, insignificant downfalls the book is still very good. The plot is fast paced and moves from one situation to the next without losing suspense. The story has a lot of twist and turns and, along with all the other books in the series, has some very major and shocking revelations in the end. Overall the book is great to read, but there were a few finer points of the book that aren't explained very well.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 8, 2014
I read all 4 of these in about a week. It would have been in four days, but I dawdled on the last one because I wanted it to last. It's a very fun book, probably meant for early teens, but I liked them too. Now my daughter is enjoying them.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 13, 2013
this book had a magnificently written story. the plot matches the other two books end goal. Catherine Fisher is one of the most inspired authors of which I've had a hard time putting the books she's written down
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 11, 2013
This is a series that I can't wait to share with my children. Great read for all ages. The is a series to own.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 22, 2015
thanks my mom bro and daughter all got the set so they could read them as a group
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 4, 2015
my grandson really enjoy all 4 books
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The Slanted Worlds (Obsidian Mirror)
The Slanted Worlds (Obsidian Mirror) by Catherine Fisher (Paperback - February 24, 2015)

The Lost Heiress #2 (Relic Master)
The Lost Heiress #2 (Relic Master) by Catherine Fisher (Hardcover - June 14, 2011)

The Margrave #4 (Relic Master)
The Margrave #4 (Relic Master) by Catherine Fisher (Hardcover - August 9, 2011)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.