Friday Favorites #5: Crown Duel and Court Duel

Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

I was looking through my favorite books to see which ones I wanted to give away for The Best Book Ever giveaway hop that begins Monday and came across this one:

Crown Duel
(Crown & Court #1-2 revised)
by Sherwood Smith
June 10th 2002 by Firebird (first published March 1st 1997)

Goodreads summary:
Young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances.

In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one.

I LOVE this two-in-one book! It includes both Crown Duel and Court Duel. I added it to my Goodreads shelf before I wrote full reviews, so I basically just have a one-liner on there. I will have to eventually write a full review after reading it again.

Why is it a favorite of mine? The writing is fabulous! The plot is original and exciting. I LOVE the characters, especially our main heroine and hero who are both very strong and likable characters. There is also some great banter and tension, which makes it an even better read.

I know it's a little bit of an older book (originally published in 1997), so if you've recently begun reading you may not have heard of it. I will say that I think it is definitely worth picking up and having a copy on your shelf. I've read several other books by the same author (not all of them are as clean as this one is), but this remains my favorite of hers. I'll continue reading her books because her writing, characters, and plots are all fabulous. To me it will remain one of my most favorite YA reads!

Purchase from:

About the Author
(from her website)

I was born in 1951 and recently retired after twenty years of teaching. I have been married for over thirty years. We have two kids, three dogs, (two of them rescues) and a house full of books. That's because my husband is a professor, and I studied history in graduate school, and we both love reading!

I started writing novels about another world when I was eight, but the work was so hard I switched to making comic books of my stories. (I actually began making little books when I was six and seven, out of paper towels taped together.) I went back to novel writing when I was ten, and I never stopped. I tried sending out my novels when I was thirteen. I typed them on a manual, and wow, did that take a long time, especially since I was (and am) a terrible typist. I got letters saying "We almost bought this…but;" and "Try us again!" but nothing sold, so when I got to college, I figured I needed to learn something about writing that I just didn't yet grasp. It took fifteen more years to gain some skill, but meantime I went to college, lived in Europe, came back to get my Masters in History, worked in Hollywood, got married, started a family and became a teacher.
I discovered that studying history was a good thing for an author. One begins to see how cultures are shaped, how people thought, acted, ate, and lived.

Is Sherwood Smith your real name?

Yes. That is, I was born a Smith, and adopted Sherwood when I started writing about that other world. (The gang of girls I wrote about had Sherwood as their last name—has nothing to do with Robin Hood. When I was little I had this vague idea that you couldn't change your last name until you were married, so I replaced the unwanted first name as my way of belonging.) All my contracts are signed with Sherwood Smith and my checks come made out to Sherwood Smith, so as far as I am concerned it is my real name. I can't help that it seems like a man's name—when I was eight years old, such things never occurred to me.

You can find Sherwood here: 

Have your read Crown Duel or Court Duel? If you have, what did you think? If you haven't, do you think you will?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.


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