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Publisher's Summary

A new leader....
In need of a new king, the choosing tower fills with names, and Gordon is relieved he has no chance at the crown. He hopes his sweetblood illness takes him out of the running; making it all the more shocking when he's chosen. The beginning of a nightmare that forces Gordon to flee his own kingdom.
A new enemy....
In Gordon's new world of danger and betrayal, true authority over the kingdom lies with one whose pursuit of absolute power stretches beyond his own borders. Someone intent on wresting control from the new boy king by any means.
A new courage....
Pursued by the airships, and the very soldiers sworn to protect him, forced to align with great warriors and face even greater enemies, Gordon's fate lies in finding strength enough to save not only his land...but the entire world.
©2015 M J Sewall (P)2016 M J Sewall
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By J.E. Johnson on 05-11-16

Solid First Book in a new Middle Grade Fantasy!

Would you listen to Dream of Empty Crowns again? Why?

Yes! The story is interesting, but moves at a nice pace for listening to while driving, walking or doing chores.

What other book might you compare Dream of Empty Crowns to and why?

I was first reminded of Garth Nix's 'The Seventh Tower' because of the way the new kings are chosen at the beginning. I also found the author's use of the sweet blood illness similar to the way Rick Riordan incorporated dyslexia into his Percy Jackson series.

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't know if I had a favorite scene, but I enjoyed seeing Asa, Gordon's friend, prove his merit by standing up to Trunculin.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I was happy taking breaks in between chapters and scenes.

Any additional comments?

M J Sewall has done a wonderful job of setting the foundations for what I feel will be a great fantasy series for readers of all ages. Although geared toward a younger reading crowd (I would say ages twelve and older), this story will also appeal to the child in all of us. There is a charming cast of characters on both sides of what is considered good and evil, and we get some insight in to each of them. I found Gordon’s sweet blood illness a very unique twist as well (another challenge our young hero must overcome in his epic journey) and I especially liked Aline. Every Middle Grade/YA book should have both strong male and female characters and Aline definitely fulfills my personal requirements for a strong female character. Battle-trained and fearless, Aline valiantly protects her friends as they encounter one challenge after the another.

The light use of steampunk elements (the airships and some of the weapons) and the interesting creatures (the Jhalgon that attack the ships) also added depth to the world Sewall has created. My only complaint is I would have liked to learn more about each character and what drives them, but their stories do begin to unfold toward the end of the novel and I expect to learn even more in books two and three. Overall, a tale well told!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Lidia Chymkowska on 06-20-18

Can teenage boys be good kings?...

The idea that a randomly chosen 13-year-old boy is a perfect candidate to become a king sounded a bit crazy, I thought at first. But then the reasons behind it are very logically explained right at the beginning of the story, so much so that I readily accepted the whole concept - and I think it should definitely appeal to all young people who are the real target of the book:)

The storyline develops at a steady pace and keeps the reader's/listener's attention, partly thanks to the chapters being rather short. Gordon's journey begins at the steps of the Choosing Tower but soon turns into a set of adventures, some of which may have serious consequences... To add flavour to the already intriguing story, he has to struggle not only with his enemies but also with his illness...
There are many things that I like a lot about the book; here are the three most important ones:
1. Gordon has sweetblood illness - as diabetes is one of the illnesses more and more kids have to struggle with nowadays it's a good idea to have a protagonist who has to deal with the same problems those teenagers have; it shows them that an illness, whatever it is, should not and does not stop you from being great and achieving your goals;
2. the book proves that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to people - appearances can be misleading and you should appreciate people for who they really are; the characters of Asa and Aline are the best examples, one being small for his age so seemingly week and easily influenced, the other being "just a girl"- and girls are so often underestimated, even in our times...
3. the story is a good introduction for young people to the world of politics - there are a lot of machinations, negotiations, plottings going on... Gordon and Asa have to learn to meander through them, and probably younger readers would learn along with them how to survive in that cruel world of alliances and treaties...

There is really only one thing I didn't like about the book - the cliffhanger ending. It really does stop at such a point that you feel like shouting "Why now?!" - so I'm happy I have number two already and can listen on:)

As for the narration by Mr Mayer, it's really good. I like the pace of his reading and the voicing of individual characters. I think his best is the voice of Trunculin - he really does sound mischievous and vicious:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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