Crown of Dreams: Things get tough for Rhianna and her friends

Crown of Dreams by Katherine Roberts science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsCrown of Dreams by Katherine Roberts science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsCrown of Dreams by Katherine Roberts

Crown of Dreams (2013) is the third book in Katherine Roberts‘s four-part PENDRAGON LEGACY series, which details the quest undertaken by Princess Rhianna — daughter of Arthur Pendragon and his queen Guinevere — to find the Four Lights that might save the city of Camelot and restore her father back to life.

Already she has two of the four Lights in her possession: the Sword of Light and the Lance of Truth, the latter of which is now carried by her champion Sir Cai. Other allies include her fairy friend Elphin from the Isle of Avalon, her maid Arianrhod, who was once a servant to the witch Morgan le Fey, and the wizard Merlin, currently trapped in the body of a small hunting hawk. Then there are the Knights of the Round Table, including Sirs Bors, Bedievere, Agravaine and Lancelot, who are slowly getting used to taking orders from a young girl.

It’s Rhianna’s cousin Mordred who poses the greatest threat to Camelot, for he too is looking for the Four Lights, and insists that he is the rightful heir to the throne. Assisted by his mother, it’s within the first chapter of the story that he lays his hands on the Crown of Dreams — but soon realizes that it’s missing the stone that will provide him with knowledge and mastery of the artefact. But Rhianna may have an inkling as to where it is…

Pendragon Legacy (4 book series) Kindle EditionDetermined to retrieve the Crown and so gain her father’s lost wisdom, Rhianna and her friends plan their own journey into Dragonland, knowing that any Pendragon who manages to steal the crown back from the dragons will be a worthy heir to the kingdom.

Roberts has managed to keep what could have been a fairly formulaic plot (Rhianna finding one treasure per book) fresh by making sure her protagonist has to journey to a wide range of locations — in the previous book it was the cold lands of the north; here it’s rocky mountains filled with dragons. Furthermore, the Crown of Dreams is a much more interesting McGuffin than the sword and lance of the preceding books, as its use comes with a very high risk of death if not handled properly.

Crown of Dreams continues Rhianna’s winning streak, though there’s enough suspense infused into her adventure that I never automatically assumed she would come out on top. Mordred makes for a one-dimensional but still threatening villain, though Rhianna herself can still be a little obnoxious at times. Three books in, and I would have expected her to learn a little respect and humility.

Published in 2013. King Arthur’s soul lingers in Avalon’s enchanted halls, while his daughter Rhianna seeks the four magical Lights that can bring him back to life. She must venture deep into Dragonland to find the Crown of Dreams, the third Light, which contains all the secrets of her ancestors. But Mordred knows that any Pendragon who wears the Crown can claim the throne and he wants both for himself . . .

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REBECCA FISHER, with us since January 2008, earned a Masters degree in literature at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Her thesis included a comparison of how C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman each use the idea of mankind’s Fall from Grace to structure the worldviews presented in their fantasy series. Rebecca is a firm believer that fantasy books written for children can be just as meaningful, well-written and enjoyable as those for adults, and in some cases, even more so. Rebecca lives in New Zealand. She is the winner of the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best SFF Fan Writer.

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