The Amber Crown by Jacey Bedford | Book Review

Reading epic fantasy always makes me feel like I am going back to my roots. You can imagine just how excited I was to dive into The Amber Crown by Jacey Bedford. It is a chonk of a book AND a standalone AND aimed at adults. Sign me up right this very second. Over a chilly winter weekend, I fell right into this story of three misfits coming together to discover what happened to an assassinated king and save a kingdom at risk. I enjoyed The Amber Crown for the most part with one thing that bothered me.

The Amber Crown follows three point of view main characters. The book opens with Valdas who is Captain of the High Guard. Valdas is waking up and shaking off a hangover in a whorehouse when it comes to light that King Konstantyn has been murdered. Oh, and Valdas is wanted for that murder. So, rather than turn himself in — he clearly isn’t responsible — Valdas is on the run and gives himself the task of unearthing who the true assassin is. 

Mirza is the shulum of a traveling band of people who have no land to call their own — similar to the Romani. She is a cross between a witch and a healer. Mirza has an affinity for natural magic. She also has this birthmark on the side of her face which precludes anyone from wanting to marry her. She spirit walks and comes across King Konstantyn’s ghost who urges her to help Valdas find out what happened and set things to rights.

Lind is a master of disguise among many other skills. Oh, and he is the person who actually assassinated the King. Only, Lind is just the tool. He doesn’t know who paid him either. While escaping town, he is asked to help a young pregnant woman escape as well. FYI, she plays an important role. So, I was quickly able to guess who she was.

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As said, these three characters eventually come together and the intrigue and adventure begin in earnest. I found myself quickly turning the pages to find out who was behind the king’s death. I also was very invested in our three main characters. The world building brings elements from our world and cultures. However, a few things just rubbed me the wrong way. There is one character who is very clearly identified as a Black woman and she dies. Like, come on. That is a cliche at this point and not cool. Then there’s a part where there’s some exchanging of gold pieces and a character is advised to find a Jew to do it. Like, what? Again,with the stereotypes. I think that without those bits, this could have been a five star read for me. I love epic fantasy, truly I do, but those parts were not for me.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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