Coronets and Steel

Sherwood Smith, Author
Sherwood Smith, DAW, $24.95 (432p) ISBN 9780756406424
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
History aficionado and champion fencer Aurelia Kim Murray investigates her taciturn grandmother's European roots and her own identity in Smith's sweeping, feminist Ruritanian romance. Kidnapped by Prince Alec Ysvorod, who mistakes her for his not-much-beloved fiancée, the slightly-too-perfect Kim is thrust into the complicated and potentially deadly politics of a small, haunted kingdom threatened equally by its neighbors as by its scheming ruling families. Smith (Inda) engages readers with humor and rapier-sharp wit, and extensive details from Central European history (right down to a 19th-century method of stamping coins) make the nation of Dobrenica terrifically real. Though readers who prefer lightning-paced books may stumble over long sections of expository conversations, a lively heroine, mysterious ghosts, and a complex and intricate plot always get the action going again. (Sept.)
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