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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Pretender's Crown (The Inheritors' Cycle, Book 2) Paperback – April 28, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Inheritors' Cycle Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Murphy's crisply written sequel to 2008's alternate history The Queen's Bastard, aliens known as the Heseth, the people of the sun, have visited Earth in what would be our 16th century, but the supernatural elements are limited to the occasional use of magical abilities. The plot is more focused on the struggle for power in Echon (Europe), which features familiar rivalries between Aulun (England), Gallin (France) and the Prussian Confederation. As political tensions heat up, Belinda, the witchfire-wielding assassin and illegitimate daughter of Aulun's Queen Lorraine, faces relationship problems with Javier de Castille, prince of Essandia (Spain) and Gallin, and with her overbearing mother. Murphy tends toward long discussions of war, succession and various attempts by the Heseth to influence human development, mostly balanced by clever intrigue and raw, explicit sex scenes. (May)
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From Booklist

The much-anticipated sequel to The Queen’s Bastard (2008) won’t disappoint patient readers willing to dedicate time and thought to the myriad political machinations in the weighty first nine-tenths of the book. Belinda Primrose, back in Aulun, is finally recognized after saving the navy from the Gallin Armada while being mistaken for the Madonna. Javier de Castille’s witch-power is deemed a gift from God by the Pappas, allowing him latitude to use it as he wars against Aulun, attempting to bring it back into the ecumenical fold. Battles, marriages, assassinations, changes of allegiance, and political intrigue strip the protagonists down to their cores as they lose everything and gain something else. With secrets of Belinda’s and Javier’s true beginnings revealed, Belinda reevaluates her fealty to an alien queen lurking in space and her responsibilities to the world into which she was born. Readers will have to await future installments of the Inheritors’ Cycle to know how it all finally comes out. --Herald Diana Tixier
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345494652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345494658
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,589,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only reason why this book is 4.5 stars and not 5 is because I do not think that Murphy's "alien race" tie in is done as effectively as it could be. While it creates an interesting motivation for the protagonist (Belinda) to make the decisions that she does, I think that the general tie in of the "alien story" to the action is a little weak.

This book does not stand alone easily. I would definitely recommend that you read The Queen's Bastard (The Inheritors' Cycle, Book 1) first.

The political intrigue and diplomatic plays that began in The Queen's Bastard are more intense, more complete, and more interesting in this book. If you enjoy books like Kushiel's Dart for the political espionage, you will enjoy this series. (Mind, this series is not as good as Carey's work with the Kushiel's Legacy series, but they're in the same realm.) Also improved upon: the character development. All of the characters have rounded out to more complex shades of gray, an improvement all around though you will probably find yourself liking Javier a little less (he's a bit more whiny in this book).
In short: read this book, even if you weren't thrilled with "Queen's Bastard." It's an improvement and a solid, gripping read.

(I was so engrossed in it at one point, I had reached the end of the metro line and the train and platform had cleared of all other people before I snapped out of it long enough to get off the train before it went to the station yard.)
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Format: Paperback
Pretenders Crown is the sequel to The Queen's Bastard (The Inheritors' Cycle, Book 1).
This book defies description-
1. Part alternative history: 16th Century ELizabethan England/Europe
2. Part magical fantasy
3. Part Machiavellian political drama
4. Part Science Fiction (yes- Sci Fi!).
5. Part romance (very little).

The writing is dense. The POV shifts from character to character, so you really have to concentrate when reading. This is not one of those books where you can skim 2-3 pages and not miss a beat. This is not light reading, but is amazingly well written.

You must read Queen's Bastard first. If you have already read Queens Bastard, then the following will make more sense. There are some OMG revelations here, so I will try and not put in any Spoilers.
Here are my thoughts:
1. Belinda- in QB she definetely had shades of gray and was hard to like. In this we actually see her character grow and become more likable. She transforms herself from pawn to player as she realizes what is transpiring around her.
2. Less sex- in QB Belinda's "witchpower" fed from her sexual energy. Thankfully Belinda has learnt to seperate the two by the end of the book. There is still plenty of sex in the first half, although no forced sex like in QB.
3.Javier- in QB he was a sympathetic character, and here he actually becomes less likeable. Events transform him just as they do Belinda. There is a shocking revelation about him that will have your jaw drop.
4.Witchpower- what this is and how Belinda,Ivanova, Robert Drake,Dimitri and Javier possess it is revealed. Again a big shock to me. I did not see this coming.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I put off writing a review for quite some time as I didn't know what to say about this book after my review of the first one. And there are improvements: less complaining about women's rights, less masochism, and no huge plot holes. My actual rating is 2 1/2 stars.

Belinda becomes the heir to the throne (Yeah! what was the hold up on that again?). She then initiates plans to overthrow her alien overlords. Somehow, despite how I am intrigued by the aliens, this is too little too late, and her personality shifts seem more to please fans than actual character work.

Javier is rather useless and easily pushed around by outside forces. He was more entertaining in the last book. And when he does take proactive steps like chasing the woman he loves, the romance seems non-existant.

Ivanova makes an appearance and seems set to make a dramatic entrance onto the scene of the main plot. The tension builds, but the drama goes to waste once she leaves her homeland.

The basic idea was good. There were some worthwhile plot twists. I ended up greatly liking Javier's uncle, the Prince of Essendia. But he's a minor character and those that I loved were either killed in body or in character during the first book. Here the characters are more cardboard cutouts than I ever anticipated. Perhaps the plot with the aliens will turn out to be wonderful, but at this point I'm not sticking around to find out.
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Format: Paperback
C. E. Murphy delivered installment two ("The Pretender's Crown" (Ballantine, $14, 461 pages)) after opening with "The Queen's Bastard", and it's a worthy successor. It's also definitely important to start with "The Queen's Bastard", and important to give that book a little time. It starts off as though it's a romance-tinged alternate history set in Elizabethan times, with a hint of magic - but once Murphy gets rolling, the plot expands, convolutes and takes the reader in a variety of unexpected directions.

Sadly, some of the directions are extremely improbable, straining even the willing reader's suspension of disbelief, but if that can be set aside, Murphy is the midst of a politically sophisticated, slightly erotic and nicely written series that starts simply and soon ventures into territory even the most canny scifi vet would never expect. Even better, there's no obvious resolution, no clearcut battle between good and evil (the protagonists all have varying, justifiable motivations that sometimes force them into moral quagmires), and how Murphy untangles all the knots in her narrative should be riveting reading.
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