The Shattered Crown by Richard Ford (Steelhaven Book 2): Review

Heroes must rise …

The King is dead. His daughter, untested and alone, now wears the Steel Crown. And a vast horde is steadily carving a bloody road south, hell-bent on razing Steelhaven to the ground.

Or the city will fall.

Before the city faces the terror that approaches, it must crush the danger already lurking within its walls. But will the cost of victory be as devastating as that of defeat?

Firstly, and this isnt a negative point at all, (Yeah, great start to this one, Romeo) I was rather silly and dived straight in to The Shattered Crown rather than having a bit of a re-read of Herald Of The Storm. And from starting it and beyond a series of pennies dropped as I slowly started remembering how much happened in the first book.
So, yeah. I may be teaching grandma to suck eggs, but I thought I would mention it.

Ahem!

Right … The Shattered Crown picks up from where we last left our motley crew of characters from book one. The horde is nearing the gates of Steelhaven and Amon Tugha is unrelenting. The King is dead and his daughter, Janessa, is earning her stripes as ruler of Steelhaven. She is not as fragile as she first seemed in book one and conveys an extraordinary strength to the crown and her people. Again, all the characters stories are intertwined, and the action of one certainly affects the other, and sometimes not for the better.
Rag the street urchin is in deep with the guild and is desperate to find a way out. Nobul Jacks, a war hero of Bakhaus Gate is struggling with the man he was and the man he is becoming especially after his son’s death. Merrick Ryder (who I am sure is named after one of the members of Adam Ant’s band) the drunk, gambler and whoremonger, who has now taken service under the queen’s Sentinels and is aided by his conscience, Kaira, the former shieldmaiden of Vorenna. Waylian Grimm of the Magisteria and his tutor the Red With And, not to mention the band of clawed and toothed warriors come to pledge their swords to the crown.

These characters are unforgettable in different ways and the favourites I had in book one have now changed somewhat. The Shattered Crown is a real glimpse of a city verging on all out war and how the people’s lives try to adapt to that fact. Ford has set up what promises to be a stunning conclusion and I await to see what happens to these characters. It still has its grimdark-ish qualities and this is not at all a bad thing because when the more darker moments happen i.e a rather gory kill or a rather descriptive bowel movement, It has more of an impact on the reader.

How will it all come together? What will happen when the Khurtas invade? Well, to this only Ford knows the answer and we have to wait till book three.

In conclusion it really is a great story with a brilliant cast facing the worst in the ways they know how and sometimes the unknown.

The Shattered Crown is out now from Headline the author can be found on twitter @Rich4ord and on his website shattered crown

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