Gambit of the Glass Crowns

Ethan Risso
Rookpen Publishing (2013)
ISBN: 9780989260718
Reviewed by Sheri Bebee for Reader Views (01/14)


“Gambit of the Glass Crowns” is the first book in the Sundered Kingdoms Trilogy by Ethan Risso. The realm of Dweomer is changing. The story opens with an attack on Castle Caerwyn just days before the start of the first Clansmeet in over a decade’s time. During the attack, 16 year-old Connor, nephew to the high king of Caerwyn and heir apparent of the province of Helygen, is struck by a cursed arrow of the Feinmhuinin clan, a curse that will ultimately cause his untimely death.

I am a relatively new fan of fantasy novels and I absolutely love the added element of magic in this genre! I liked Gambit of the Glass Crowns – I liked it a lot.  I had a hard time with my rating however – I kept going back and forth because I just wish I had liked it a little more.  There was something missing I could not put my finger on – I wanted more but I’m not sure what that “more” involves.  Maybe more detail?  With many of the chapters I could feel the build-up, the drama, the suspense – and then the chapter just ended (leaving me wanting more again). That aside, I thought the character development was very comprehensive. I feel like I had a strong personal relationship or connection with all of the characters, whether I loved them or hated them. I felt involved with each character. The list of “Characters in the Story” located in the beginning of the book and the “Glossary of Terms” located at the end of the book were very helpful to me. I had each section bookmarked and referred to them quite often as I was learning the “who, what and where’s” of the Dweomer realm.

Religious intolerance, social inequalities, political upheaval, romance, murder, war – Ethan Risso’s “Gambit of the Glass Crowns” has something for everyone. I guess office politics started way-back-when with “Kingdom Politics” and a heavy hand from the religious leaders. From the Senate Houses of Annwyd to the Queen Consort of Caerwyn, everyone is pining for optimum status, prestige and power.  The King is Dead – Long Live the King!  There is something in this story for everyone and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.


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