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Publisher's Summary

"It was all going so nicely, right up until the massacre."

Twenty years ago feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history.

Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner.

Five villains. One legendary general. A final quest for vengeance.

©2015 Alex Marshall (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Exceptional writing, middle-aged warrior heroine, and organically infused gender nonconformity make this fantasy epic a first-rate trailblazer...splendid storytelling, wry humor, and unresolved intrigue." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Brimming with imagination and invention.... Fabulous!" (John Gwynne)
"An epic fantasy that will surprise you. When was the last time you read one of those? Marshall deftly sets up and subverts expectations at every turn. If you think you know what's coming, think again." (Kameron Hurley)

What listeners say about A Crown for Cold Silver

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Best Served Cold with Pipe-Smoking and Magic

A shameless facsimile of Abercrombie's Best Served Cold, the plot centers on an bitter mercenary heroine left for dead out to for revenge on those who wronged her. She starts off as a sympathetic character but evolves into more of a villain as events unfold. Sound familiar? There are several other glaring parallels to Best Served Cold, but mentioning them would be spoilers.

Despite the glaring similarities, the setting, tone and writing style keep the plot interesting enough that I want to know what happens next. There are unique facets to the magic system (ie "devils" providing wishes/power) that diverge enough from BSC to allow the series room to build and/or diverge from Abercrombie's work. The book is written as the first in a series, instead of more stand alone novel so there's definitely room to grow.

One thing I did find annoying was the author's obsession with his characters' fixation on repeatedly smoking weed and detailed descriptions of the pipes they use and strains they smoke. I don't mind having a little of that in there to add some color, but it's definitely overdone in this book and gets tiresome after reading yet another description of a different custom pipe and how it affects the flavor of whatever obscure fictional strain of weed they're smoking now.

So some good, some bad, but with room to improve in future books.

40 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!!!

I was feeling a little bit let down as I tried all varieties of fantasy books this past month. This novel makes me so very happy!! The characters were well fleshed out, and had qualities that made them feel like real people dealing with real crappy situations. From the get-go, it was sarcastic, interesting, and so fun to listen to that I finished it in 2 (!!!) days! Broken up by sleeping of course :)

Highly recommended; I'll even listen again!

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Strange But Entertaining

A Crown for Cold Silver is a revenge story about a former queen, Cobalt Zosia, who is looking to avenge the death of her husband. In most fantasy books, the story would revolve around this main character, with other characters providing storylines revolving around the central figure. This book takes a bit of a different approach with different sets of characters seemingly following their own adventure, and intermingling in the events taking place. Zosia's story does not receive
any more time within the book than the other storylines. In fact, Queen Zosia turned out to be one of the characters I liked the least. For me it was Moroto and his band of fops, and the story of Sullen and his crotchety grandfather, that kept this book interesting.

There are some strange and sometimes plain weird moments in this book. I don't know if the author is just throwing these oddities in to try and make the world he is creating different, or if it's just an attempt at shock value. There are no real graphic scenes of debauchery though, so it wasn't difficult to ignore. The author also has an obsession with pipe smoking, and seems to spend more time on pipe descriptions and the characters enjoyment of smoking than on any other element of the story.

The narration from Angele Masters was excellent. It was my first time listening to her, and I think she was able to bring life to this story. I hope to find other books from her. Overall. I enjoyed this book and will move on to the next.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun story, amazing voice work.

This book is Fear and Loathing meets grimdark. Maybe not for fantasy purists, but I found it well-paced, vibrant, oftentimes hilarious and occasionally poignant. Some standout characters (like Maroto and Purna) and a world that isn't meticulously-detailed, but rich enough. Really refreshing too, to see a world that is deliberately (almost gleefully) features sexual and gender diversity, but doesn't actually make a big stink about it.

LOVED the voice acting. I really really hope Angele Masters does the rest of this series; she gave each character a distinct presence and personality.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Convoluted

I tried to like this book. I could not find a single sympathetic character. The narrator was fabulous. She elevated A confused mishmash into something marginally palatable.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fun and quirky.

Any additional comments?

I love this book. Stick with it. May seem like a slow start, but I didn't want to turn it off. It's funny, dark and wonderful. It's different and it kept me guessing. Not the typical fantasy. Original characters and world. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply awesome.

If you like grimdark fantasy at all, you will likely love these books. The characters are flawed, well-rounded, and brought to life by one of the best narrators I've ever heard. It's got a touch of the Weird in it's world building, a deliciously evil twist on the Catholic Church in it's Burnished Chain religion, revenge, battle, double-crossing villainy, etc. What's not to love?

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not very good.

What disappointed you about A Crown for Cold Silver?

Overall not a very engaging listen. Maybe it is because i just came off of the second book of the Cycle of Galand, which is dynamite. But i don't find the characters to be at all compelling. I was expecting to based on most of the reviews. I gave it 4 hours but had to return it.

Any additional comments?

The narrator was actually pretty good. She kept me into the story maybe an hour or two longer than i would have otherwise.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable.

I kept thinking of Joe Abercrombie as I read this book as there is something about the characters and storyline that is reminiscent of his work. Yet, it is no where near that gritty.

I enjoyed the characters and the storyline. I will definitely read the next book.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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not returning for the next book

Very difficult to get into this book. Characters are not believable and their motivations are not realistic. The book jumps around many times trying to explain a decision by making up a history for the character. I was impressed with the narrator and the voices she had to employ. Too bad she did not have a plot to support her.

3 people found this helpful