Crown of the Realm

All Things Impossible #1

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
540 Pages
Reviewed on 05/26/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

In Crown of the Realm, Derora Saxen knew there was more to life than the quiet town she called home. But when the cultists turned up, looking for an outlaw, destiny came calling. When her father sent her on a quest to petition assistance, she had no idea of the danger. No idea that a plea for aid would result in her path crossing with enemies long forgotten, and put her and those who walked beside her in their sights. War is coming, and those already aware of the danger have done nothing but run. The time has come to make a stand, or watch the world burn.

Crown of the Realm is the first book in D. Dalton's All Things Impossible series. From the start, you are drawn straight in. From regicide to pony jousting, from cults to ancient and forgotten threats, it certainly encompasses a fantasy lover's expectations. The third person narrative is engaging, descriptive, and enjoyable, allowing you to breeze through as events unfold and the stakes rise. Loyalties and history are questioned as the choices made for the greater good seem to have consequences beyond those imagined. I enjoyed Derora's character; her moxie really made me smile, as did her persistence, perseverance, and strength of character. More than once I felt a pang of sympathy for those in her path, particularly her reluctant and long-suffering companion, Kelin. Danger, chaos, and questions drive the character-centered plot through an epic adventure fraught with peril. A great start to what promises to be a gripping series.

K.C. Finn

Crown of the Realm is a work of epic fantasy fiction set in another world, penned by author D. Dalton. The opening book in the All Things Impossible series, this sweeping world of elves, knights, glory, and gore is introduced when the elven king and queen meet a murderous fate. As darkness sweeps the land and confusion reigns supreme, a young girl by the name of Derora Saxen is determined to do her part to help. But when Derora finds herself roped into the front lines of the rising war, she needs a lot of learning and a lot of luck to survive the trials that are to come.

Author D. Dalton presents many strengths as a writer in this highly engaging and exciting opening to an epic fantasy series. The worldbuilding and narration marry beautifully when told through Derora’s eyes, and we learn with her and her friends about the lore of the wider world around them. The content is highly suitable for teen readers and adults alike, taking elements of traditional epic fantasy but updating the attitudes and dialogue of the interactions to give the story a more modern feel. I particularly enjoyed the action scenes, which were not overly graphic and very effective to read as they drove you right into the action without any distractions. Overall, Crown of the Realm is a novel which engages you in the moment and presents as a highly accomplished and delightful tale sure to entertain fans of the genre and beyond.

Lit Amri

Seventeen-year-old Derora, ‘Der,’ Saxen longs for a world beyond farming and playing jousts on ponies in humble Riversbridge. When a cultist is discovered and murdered in her village, her father sends her to Duelingar city to deliver an important message to a count. Accompanied by her reluctant childhood friend, Kelin, she’s thrilled to make the journey. However, her task becomes an ominous one when they stumble upon the mysterious Caleb, who is hiding and running from his enemies. Before long, Der finds herself and her friends pursued by cultists and an ancient evil that they thought to be fabled. Embroiled in an ancient war that isn't theirs, Der and Kelin battle their way to survival as she discovers more about her heritage and taking her first steps toward her destiny.

Crown of the Realm (All Things Impossible, Book 1) by Deborah Dalton is a fantasy adventure intertwined with coming-of-age and sword and sorcery elements, where the short chapters pave the way for a fast-paced and complex plot. Protagonist Der Saxen is brash and at times impatient but undoubtedly courageous and loyal to her friends. I do have a soft spot for Kelin, who gradually overcomes his timid side to become a reliable fighter. The elves and the chemmen are well fleshed out with believable complexity, strengths, and flaws. Narrative-wise, Dalton’s style has fewer frills compared to most fantasy novels, which I find refreshing. Despite its lighter moments, Crown of the Realm is essentially a gritty tale as torture, deaths, and betrayals are incorporated into the storyline. That said, this is a solid start for the All Things Impossible series.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

An encounter with strangers hunting an outlaw changes everything for Derora and her best friend, Kelin in Crown of the Realm, book one of Dalton’s All Things Impossible series. The pair departs from their home village of Riversbridge to deliver an important message and walk into an ambush set by followers of the dark god, Sennha. Caleb, a newfound friend, helps them evade the cultists and the trio barely escapes from the city. Sennha’s followers aren’t the only danger the friends face. When Caleb reveals a secret, it leads to Derora and Kelin’s capture by the chemmen, a race of immortal beings once imprisoned by the elves. Suddenly, Derora and Kelin are part of a war between two ancient races, their situation made even more perilous by Sennha’s cultists.

Crown of the Realm is an action-packed epic fantasy with intriguing world mythology, witty dialogue, and likable main characters in Kelin Miller and Derora Saxen. Derora, or Der, is feisty and has a knack for saying exactly the right thing to land herself in trouble. She also has enough skill and guts to get herself out of trouble, most of the time. Kelin’s wisdom and reserve balance her personality out well. The torture by the chemmen is realistic enough to be horrifying but Dalton avoids being overly graphic. However, although Kelin and Der have help during their initial recovery, I felt that they overcame this traumatic experience a little too easily. Epic battles and an awe-inspiring journey will sweep YA fantasy readers up into an enthralling adventure in Crown of the Realm.

Divine Zape

Crown of the Realm is the first entry in the All Things Impossible series, an epic fantasy by D. Dalton; a story in which ordinary characters suddenly find themselves pitted against ancient and powerful enemies. The elven king and queen have been murdered and their land set ablaze by enemies. A powerful evil that was once ousted from the land has returned and revenge may be more devastating than anything. Derora Saxen enjoys life in her simple yet peaceful village. When men come to her village looking for an outlaw, she sets out to find help with her hesitant best friend, Kelin. But in helping Caleb, someone they barely know, they find themselves embroiled in the war of the elves. Can they stand against an evil that has grown over two thousand years?

In this novel, the author raises the stakes and creates characters that immediately catch the attention and win the sympathy of readers. D. Dalton is a great storyteller with a unique gift for creating a setting that feels like home to readers. The author does this by evoking powerful images in the minds of readers and deftly showing the relationship between the characters and the world they inhabit. The conflict is powerful and it is introduced from the very start of the narrative. The elven world is torn apart when their leaders are murdered and their crown is stolen. At the start, it is just an event that might be easily resolved, but as the story moves on, the characters begin to understand that the crime has deep and devastating roots. Readers begin to care for Derora and her friends and want to know what eventually happens to them. This author knows how to use suspense with plot twists to capture and sustain reader interest. Crown of the Realm is an enticing read with interesting characters and a gripping plot.