Crown of Renewal (Legend of Paksenarrion)

BOOK: Crown of Renewal (Legend of Paksenarrion)
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Crown of Renewal
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Moon

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Del Rey, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

D
EL
R
EY
and the H
OUSE
colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Moon, Elizabeth.
Crown of renewal / Elizabeth Moon.
pages cm — (Paladin’s Legacy)
ISBN 978-0-345-53309-8 (hardback) — ISBN 978-0-345-53310-4 (ebook)
I. Title.
PS3563.O557C76 2014
813′.54—dc23
2014005261

www.delreybooks.com

Jacket design: David Stevenson
Jacket illustration: © Paul Youll

v3.1

Dramatis Personae

Fox Company

Jandelir Arcolin
, Commander of Fox Company, Duke Arcolin of Tsaia, and

Prince of Arcolinfulk tribe of gnomes

Calla
, his wife

Jamis
, his adopted son

Burek
, junior captain of first cohort

Selfer
, captain of second cohort

Cracolnya
, captain of third (mixed/archery) cohort

Andreson
, captain of recruit cohort

Tsaia

Mikeli Vostan Kieriel Mahieran
, king of Tsaia

Camwyn
, his younger brother

Sonder Amrothlin Mahieran
, Duke Mahieran, king’s uncle

Selis Jostin Marrakai
, Duke Marrakai

Gwennothlin
, his daughter and Duke Verrakai’s squire

Aris
, his son and Prince Camwyn’s friend

Galyan Selis Serrostin
, Duke Serrostin

Daryan
, youngest son and Duke Verrakai’s squire

Dorrin Verrakai
, Duke Verrakai, formerly a senior captain in Phelan’s company, now Constable for the kingdom

Beclan
, Kirgan Verrakai, formerly Beclan Mahieran

Oktar
, Marshal-Judicar of Tsaia

Seklis
, High Marshal of Gird

Lyonya

Kieri Phelan
, king of Lyonya, former mercenary commander and duke in Tsaia, half-elven grandson of the Lady of the Ladysforest

Arian
, Kieri’s wife, queen of Lyonya, half-elven granddaughter of the elven ruler of the Lordsforest

Aliam Halveric
, Kieri Phelan’s mentor and friend

Estil Halveric
, his wife

Elves

Amrothlin
, the Lady’s son and Kieri’s uncle, elven ruler of the Lordsforest

Fintha

Arianya
, Marshal-General of Gird

Arvid Semminson
, former thief-enforcer, now Girdish

Camwynya
, paladin of Gird

Paksenarrion
, paladin of Gird

Aarenis

Jeddrin
, Count of Andressat

Ferran
, his son and heir

Meddthal
, his second son

Visla Vaskronin
, Duke of Immer (formerly Alured the Black)

Aesil M’dierra
, commander of Golden Company

Poldin
, her nephew and squire

Count Vladi (the Cold Count)
, commander of Count’s Company

Kaim
, Arcolin’s squire this campaign season

Kuakkgani

Sprucewind
, itinerant Kuakgan

Gnomes

Dattur
, Arcolin’s hesktak (advisor of Law)

Faksutterk
, envoy of Aldonfulk Prince

Author’s Note

Crown of Renewal
is the fifth and final volume of Paladin’s Legacy, and not an entry point for new readers.
Oath of Fealty
is first.

This book presented some challenges in chronology. First, and simplest, readers need to know that
Crown of Renewal
begins a quarter-year before the end of
Limits of Power
, at Midwinter in Aarenis. This allows the viewpoints of characters who were out of contact to catch up. Timelines converge as communication resumes.

The other chronological challenge most affects those who have read
Surrender None
,
Liar’s Oath
, or the omnibus version of these two,
The Legacy of Gird
, which are otherwise very helpful to the readers of
Crown
. The end of
Liar’s Oath
will not match exactly certain scenes in
Crown
. Assume an unreliable narrator.

Finally, this final volume of Paladin’s Legacy pulls together those prequel books—the history of Gird and Luap from their own viewpoints—and connects them to present events. The flaws and the strengths in the Fellowship of Gird shown in the original Paks books began with Gird and his followers, fault lines that cause the schisms appearing in the books’ present time.

So those who have never read either
Liar’s Oath
or
Surrender None
will benefit from reading them—they enrich understanding of the new books.
Liar’s Oath
is the book almost no one likes, but it’s more palatable if read as a gloss on
Crown
—as a dry history. If you don’t want to do that, there are some take-home things I can offer from the earlier books.

1. Luap is a classic tragic protagonist—a man of talents ruined by a fatal flaw: his inability to accept the truth of his faults. He lied, repeatedly. To himself and to others, about himself and others. He made up stories he thought were better than reality, including those about Gird’s life and death. Gird’s daughter managed to suppress that once, but as people died who had been there, Luap renewed his effort to tell the story his way.
Surrender None
(Gird’s book) has the accurate version.

Luap could not accept Gird’s judgment of him—that he was unfit for command—or that of the wise old magelady who knew his parentage. Because he was a king’s bastard, he thought he had inherited the ability and the right to rule
somewhere
. Like so many, he told himself that lies didn’t matter if (a) he meant well (and he always did) and (b) the truth would bother somebody (him, for instance).

Those lies led to disaster for those who followed him and to schism and confusion over the centuries. Knowing himself so little, he was a poor judge of character in others, so he was unable to determine whether the magelords who came with him to Kolobia were coming in good faith or not. Some weren’t. And for the same reason, he was easy prey for iynisin, who convinced him that he was so important to the colony that he must not age. This led to his stealing life force (and age) from those around him and making it possible for the iynisin to escape their old imprisonment in the stone. When they felt strong enough, iynisin attacked Luap’s magelords openly.

2. The last chapters of
Liar’s Oath
(Luap’s book) gives the viewpoint of Luap and some of his followers at the time the magelords in Kolobia were attacked and then put into enchanted sleep. None of the participants—enchanters or enchanted—had full understanding of the situation on either side. Luap himself was stunned by both iynisin attacks and the sudden demands of the Elder Races that he and his people leave at once, without the benefit of the magic transfer patterns. In the chaos of that day, he prayed for help and had a vision that resulted in the situation the much later Girdish expedition (including Paksenarrion) found: a great stronghold hollowed out of a mountain, with a large group of men and women in armor kneeling in its main hall. In
Liar’s Oath
, events are seen from Luap’s POV; in
Crown of Renewal
, from the enchanter’s POV.

BOOK: Crown of Renewal (Legend of Paksenarrion)
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