Court & Crown Duels

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Wed Jan 19 09:36:16 EST 2000

I'm back! I'm back! (Becca here.)
My sickness vanished with the sound of Mummy's car driving my little sister
to school this lovely morning, and I'm perfectly well now, and I'm ready to
FIGHT. *bares her teeth*

>When I first found the books I was really
>excited because they looked great.

Ah, yes, the covers are really brilliant. Such a good artist. (I only just
realised that, on the cover of Court Duel, the girl is wearing a ring!

>But yes, I could tell who was going to end
>up with who (which I don't mind, really), but I also recall being able to
>predict the battle stuff all too well.  The plot was not that intriguing.

I agree with you here, but I think that's because the book is pretty much
character-driven. So, I guess if you don't like the characters, you don't
like the book. I didn't find the battles predictable, but I'm interested to
hear why you did.

> and not really caring about the characters, who seemed a little flat.

On guard! No, don't worry, 'm only jokin'. I, my friend, could not disagree
with you more on this point. However, I am willing to state that you have a
right to your own opinion (although it may be comPLEEETely wrong! Ahem. I
am calm) and I will not cut you down for it. (Though sorely tempted.) I
think the characters are very very...not-flat. (Voluptous? Full?
Well-Rounded?) Again, what makes you call them flat? (Not baring my sword
here, just interested.)


(Last chance! Last Chance! Turn back now, or be forever spoiled!)

Okely-dokely. Meliara (Mel) and Branaric (Bran) Astiar are brother and
sister. Their father was Count of Tlanth. However, he dies very early on in
the book (I mean Crown Duel here) and makes Mel and Bran promise to
continue his war. The war was against Galdran, the king of their country,
who was planning to kill the hillfolk and cut down the Colourwoods to sell
to foreign merchants. (Hill
folk are tree-people, who don't speak, but love music and play reed-pipes
and wonderful things like that. They protect the Colourwoods. I love them.)
Anyway, Bran goes to Court (both of them have been told that the Courtiers
are nothing but colourful, stupid decorations [or worse] since the day they
were born) in hopes of gathering a crowd of followers to help them
overthrow the king. However, he doesn't gather anyone at all. King Galdran
sends an army to fight the Thanthi, and Mel and Bran get together an army
of their own, made up of the villagers. The man who you remembered--I
think--is Khesot, who helps them train the villagers to fight and to plan.

They fight, and Baron Debegri, who was first sent out to control the army,
is soon sent away, and the Marquis of Shevraeth is sent in his place. He
is, supposedly, a greater fop than all the rest, only interested in fashion
and himself. Well, Mel and Bran CAN'T defeat him. Mel goes scouting one
night and gets her ankle caught in a metal trap, so ending her fighting

Uh oh, I am really going on, amn't I? To make a very long story as short as
I possibly can, turns out Marquis of Shevraeth is a goodie and Mel has been
wrong about him all along. Well, he's undercover trying to overthrow
Galdran. But even when she knows that he is on their side, she still holds
a grudge against him. She and he and Bran defeat Galdan and she runs away
rather than face the Courtiers in Remalna-city (who, she is sure, will
think her a fool and laugh in her face.) The best part in the book, IMHO,
is when Mel starts realising it isn't her war, but her father's, and
thinking he might have been wrong in his interpretation of things. Ah, yes,
and that she starts educating herself, once she realises that she needs to
be educated. She buys books! Haha!


Does that jog your memory any? I hope so, because my hands hurt!
PS: I did that all without once looking at the book! (Who, me? Read it too
many times? No. You must be imagining things.)

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