The Moonsteel Crown (Dominion #1) by Stephen Deas

My Five Word TL:DR Review : This One Puzzles Me Somehow

Moonsteel CrownThe Moonsteel Crown is a book that has definitely drawn me into its tangled web and I am curious to see what happens next and it is definitely a book with some curious characters but, it has left me feeling slightly puzzled.

As the story begins we meet our three central characters within fairly short order.  Seth, down on his luck, cast out of the church where he was a novice for displaying too much curiosity, now a very lowly member of a gang barely surviving.  Fings, long time friend of Seth and light fingered pickpocket.  Fings is also a member of the Unruly gang, a lowly member doing all he can to look after his family.  Finally, Myla, trained to be a sword-monk she is running from her past, her training incomplete.  She likes to drown her memories in the bottom of a bottle and is also currently running with the Unruly street gang.

Now, as it happens the Unruly gang are about to be handed a lucrative, can’t possibly go wrong opportunity and surprisingly, the job actually goes well, right up until the point that it doesn’t that is.  The gang have stolen something a lot more important than trinkets and baubles and everyone is on their case, now follows a strange tale of cat and mouse as everyone runs round in circles trying to outsmart each other.

So, on the face of it this has quite a lot going for it.  It’s well written, it has an epic feel but also has this lowlife, grimey almost urban fantasy feel.  The story revolves around three misfits, each so far down the ladder that things can’t really get much worse for them which gives them a singularly selfish outlook and brings something slightly different to the story in that you don’t really know who to trust.  These characters aren’t bothered about the ‘bigger’ picture – they’re concerned with staying alive and staying one step ahead of the next possible threat.  This gives the story a much smaller scale somehow because we move in their orbit but at the same time I liked the intimacy that it brings.

Now, on top of the gang business, and the heated rivalry between the Unruly and Spicer gangs there’s also strange goings on.  The Emperor dead, the succession in question, possible outside interference from other sources and another thread that suggests something hidden under the city, something creepy and perhaps more dangerous than anything else.

The first half of the book took a little while to get into to be honest, the second half certainly made up for that with much more action but I still have one real issue and it’s difficult to put my finger on other than an overall state of perplexity.  I think the crux of the matter is that I’m not entirely certain what’s really going on here and that’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself.  It’s just that I can’t help feeling as though the story was a little lost in places or at least the focus was meandering somewhat.  Anyway, that’s quite possibly more to do with me than anything else.

On the whole I would like to continue with the series.  There were some very interesting developments, the writing style was easy to get along with and I think there could be some surprises in store in book 2.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 3.5 out of 5, 7 out of 10

14 Responses to “The Moonsteel Crown (Dominion #1) by Stephen Deas”

  1. Tammy

    I have a NetGalley copy of this but I’m not sure I’ll get to it this month. I’m slightly less enthusiastic now that I’ve read your review, especially since I’ve just finished a couple of books that left me scratching my head.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah. Strangely. I didn’t dislike this and it was quite a quick read. But I have just a strange feeling when coming to review it that focus was lost a little at some point. It’s difficult to articulate but when I came to write the review I found I had less to say than expected somehow. I would like to continue with the second because it could be a deliberate ploy on the author’s part. Lynn 😁

  2. Ola G

    I think I’ll wait for your review of the second installment before I make a decision to read it 😉

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Looks like a promising start, a tangled web sounds intriguing indeed, but probably contributed to the slowish start.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I suppose you just have to be patient and let things develop. I am keen to see where this one goes next.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I went to check if this might be a debut book, since the problems you mentioned are typical of a newly-minted author, but that’s not the case, so I believe that book 2 might make or break this series, indeed…
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. waytoofantasy

    This one sounds like it has a lot going on! I like that you said it has almost an urban fantasy feel because of the gritty undertone. Great review, Lynn!

  6. Booking Ahead/Weekly Wrap Up | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Moonsteel Crown (Dominion #1) by Stephen Deas […]

  7. sjhigbee

    Hm… this is a bit of a poser. Deas is an experienced author and as someone else has mentioned, that loss of focus because so much is going on tends to be a newbie error. As ever, an excellent review Lynn and I look forward to hearing how you get on with the next book. Perhaps that’s the one that will sweep you up into the story – though these days, that isn’t an ideal ploy!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be too critical and I don’t suppose it’s a bad thing having a lot going on. I’m keen to continue.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        And that’s always the ultimate guide to a satisfying read – when you want to repeat the experience with the same author and the same world!

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