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Crown of Renewal
by Elizabeth Moon
Del Rey, 2014; $26.00, 503 pp
Published: May 2014

Crown of Renewal is a beautifully written and intensely satisfying conclusion to the five volume Paladin’s Legacy series that began with Oath of Fealty.

Kieri Phelan, half-elven king of Lyonya, and his half-elven warrior-queen wife Arian now have twins, which is a source of great joy until Kieri realizes that the soul-stealing entity that has been the bane of his existence now threatens their young son. Hoping to safeguard his children from Sekkady, and his kingdom from the terrible iynisin who are poisoning and killing throughout the three realms, Kieri, at long last, goes to ground to ask for help from the bones of his human ancestors.

The former thief Arvid continues to find his old skill-set invaluable as he rescues children from mobs determined to put to death anyone who shows the least sign of mage talent. Arvid proves to be an invaluable ally to Arianya, Marshal-General of Gird, in her efforts to abate the rising swell of fear and hatred that grows as more and more people evince the long-absent talents. Even Mikeli Mahieran discovers a legacy of magic, under sorrowful circumstances.

Arcolin forges an all-important alliance between humans and gnomes, Aris discovers the truth of an old legend, a certain dragon comes to the rescue on more than one occasion, and Dorrin Verrakai sets out on a quest to restore the mysterious jewels to Aare, beyond the reach and grasp of the demon-ridden Alured. Paksenarrion, paladin of Gird, helps out her friends, and gods manifest themselves in astonishing ways.

This is one of those rare and splendid stories that truly leaves you better for the reading of it.  The good guys are no longer second-guessing and doubting themselves into one disaster after another, deceptions are bared to the light of day, humor periodically lightens the tension – especially in the form of a certain dun cow – and more than one character attains their heart’s desire.

Throughout the series Dorrin remains my favorite character for no reason that I can explain other than that she’s the one I would most like to have as a friend, the one I most wish to be like. She is certainly the one I will miss the most. Yet I notice that Moon did not write ‘The End’ on the last page, so maybe, just maaaybe …. ~~ Chris R. Paige

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