Select one of the keywords
Crown of Renewal: Paladin's Legacy    by Elizabeth Moon order for
Crown of Renewal
by Elizabeth Moon
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Crown of Renewal is the fifth (following Limits of Power) in Elizabeth Moon's Paladin's Legacy. It's set in the rich and remarkable fantasy world of Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter (introduced in Deed of Paksenarrion, one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time). This is not a series that you can easily jump into the middle of - do read the episodes in order as there are many key characters and sub-plots to follow, and this episode often moves back and forth between them.

Essentially, everyone close to Paks in her early adventures is now having their own. Sometimes Paks (now a paladin) drops in to render advice or assistance - as does a powerful elder dragon that can take a man's shape - but they are generally on their own. Half elven Kieri Phelan, once captain of the mercenary Fox Company, rules Lyonya. In Tsaia, King Mikeli still does not fully trust Dorrin Verrakai, though he has made her a Duke and the kingdom's Constable. Arvid Semminson, once a thief, is now guided by Gird, and has a son who worships him. And Jandelir Arcolin is Fox Company's commander, a Duke, and a gnome prince.

Crown of Renewal opens in Andressat, where the Count's second son receives a terrible gift, and his father makes a sacrifice to avenge it. In so doing he passes on his magery to his eldest son. The villainous Alured, Duke of Immer, who sent the horrific gift, is having his own problems with his demon advisor. Fox Company and Duke Arcolin continue to do what they do best - along the way the Duke adopts his stepson as his heir, and through him we see more of the gnomes, who live by the code 'law is law'.

There is much dissension within the ranks of Gird's followers, some killing anyone who shows signs of magery. Which is where Arvid comes into his own after saving children with magic from fanatics. Kieri and Arian have twin babes and the former must face and overcome his worst fears for their safety. Dark elves, iynisin, are emerging and causing havoc. And Dorrin's long quest is concluded as she and the regalia (sought by both Alured and the iynisin) are finally united. She gave up her Dukedom, but won a new life, a new adventure.

I am enthralled with Paks' world and always enjoy spending time there. So, though I found this rather unwieldy episode seemed to be carrying almost too much story, I still enjoyed it and will happily read whatever Elizabeth Moon chooses to write next.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews