April 3, 2013

Literary Heroines - Lady Meliara Astiar {Crown & Court Duel}

Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2)

Another heroine from literature! This one is not from a historical novel however, but from a fantasy story published only 15 years ago. But I feel she's worthy of the title "literary heroine" simply because I think she's so delightful.

(So I recently re-read Crown/Court Duel by Sherwood Smith. Which I have read and re-read and re-read countless times! I love this story so much that I now own the Kindle version, the paperback version, and the hardback version-of book two only. What can I say? I love the cover shown above-which is only on the hardback, plus I wanted all the extra details and chapters that the paperback and the Kindle versions have! Besides, you can never have too many copies of stories you love. :)

(Also there are probably spoilers for both books, so you now have your warning. Proceed at your own risk.)

Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)I love Mel! She is absolutely one of my favorite characters. Thus I decided she deserved a post all about her awesome-ness. Or at least what makes me love her so. :)

Her bravery and courageousness are shown very much in book one, Crown Duel. I enjoy her escapades in that part of her story. But it's book two, Court Duel, where she truly wins me over. Her bravery in battle, in eluding her enemies, and in standing her ground against her enemies (and those she thinks are her enemies), is wonderful, don't get me wrong! But I just enjoy her adventures at court a little more. All the fan language and the proper bows and curtsies and the way of talking. It's kind of like a battlefield in a way, just more dignified. And of course, in book two is where the romance comes much more into play, so that's a big point in its favor right there. ;P

In book one she has to learn a lot of things about herself. Things that aren't pleasant. Book two is her journey to becoming a better person; realizing that her initial judgements aren't always right. She forces herself to really look at who she is and what she believes and why. The fact that she is willing to change and desires to work on her faults is very admirable.
"...she flailed bravely into adventure not because she wished to figure as a hero, but because she was determined to battle for right, even if she struggled from day to day to define just what "right" might be."
That quote gives a pretty good idea of Mel's personality. Stubborn, brave, courageous, and always wanting to do well for those under her care. For anyone around her really! If you are lucky enough to call her friend, she will defend you until the cows come home. But woe unto you if she considers you her enemy! I did say she's stubborn and many, many times this comes into play. She also has a temper, and certain people are likely to be on the receiving end of that whether they truly deserve it or whether they do!

She also has the hillfolk who listen to her and help her as much as she helps them. And the hillfolk are never wrong! They have great instincts and thus, if they like her and support her, then she's definitely worthy of it.

Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1/2)She has a good heart and a great head on her shoulders. She's not dumb. She makes lots of mistakes yes, but she's very smart. Once she decides to rectify her ignorance, she proceeds to get the education she was unable to when she was younger. By the end of the story, she is most certainly a formidable woman. And definitely a legendary one!
"Vidanric thinks I am the kind of person who is destined to be in the midst of great events despite myself."
Most people underestimate her, but it doesn't take them long to figure out that she's a force to be reckoned with. Not afraid to stand up to kings, or large numbers of people wanting to do her in, or any of the other numerous occasions where she uses her brain to outsmart and out-think someone who supposes that she's only a country bumpkin. She also holds her own until help gets there, because she does finally get to the point where she can acknowledge when she needs help.
"It desolates me to disappoint you, but your brother is not here. Despite two really praiseworthy attempts at rescue."
... The hint of amusement irritated me, and sick and hurt as I was, I simply had to retort something. "Glad... at least... you're desolated."
Mel always refuses to go down without a fight. Never underestimate her! ;D Also it's just wonderful to witness her journey. She changes so much during the course of her story, yet she stays true to herself at the same time. Ultimately, Mel is simply a girl from the country who becomes a roll-model and a woman to be admired. She would deny until her last breath that she's anything extraordinary. She finds it hard to see beyond her own faults. But she is extraordinary, and incredible, and awesome!

If you haven't read her story, I highly recommend it! I'm sure my attempts to tell you why I like her so much have been pretty puny. Suffice it to say that she's a character well worth getting to know!

Toodle-loo kangaroos!


  1. She does sound quite epic.
    I remember I saw this one around when I first started getting into YA about 10 years ago but I just never got around reading it, you just made me put it on my wish list :D

    1. Yay!! I hope you like it, Alex! Epic is a great word for this story. It's just so much fun! :)


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