A Crown Disowned

~ 3rd Novel in the Cycle of Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan by Andre Norton

Written with Sasha Millercrown disowned 2002 hc 

Synopsis ~

Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

The Earth is shaking and splitting as the forces from the North draw nearer. The Ice Dragon Riders are speaking to the land, and more fire mountains awaken in the Bog. Rohan seeks to join forces with Tusser, leader of the Bog-folk, as Queen Ysa raises an army to clear the Bog.

War draws closer until even the Queen cannot deny it any longer. Raids from the North increase and for the first time, the Riders of the Ice Dragons appear. It is time for the Queen to give up her game of pitting one faction against another. Four great armies assemble and they all march under the same banner. Though they do not and cannot represent the Four Trees, this is nevertheless seen as a good omen.

Many good men from all four armies fall in battle, yet the Great Foulness is still at large. Is the combined might of the four powers enough to free the land from evil?


Write-ups from fans ~

Queen Ysa raises an army to clear the Bog, where her husband the King's daughter had been fostered after the murder of the child's mother, the King's mistress.  While this is happening, evil forces from the North are coming closer, and volcanoes are erupting in the Bog.  Finally, the Queen must quit stirring up the various factions in the Kingdom and settle down to properly run things. ~ SL


Book Three in the series after To the King A Daughter and Knight or Knave. An Evil being known as The Great Foulness has amassed a large army (including six Ice Dragons) to attack Rendel. Rohan has made a treaty with the Bog People to fight along with the Sea Rovers and the army of Rendel and the remnants of the Noldarian army. They all move northward to set up a base. They are unaware of a traitor in their midst, a high-ranking officer who has been seduced by the evil sorceress Flavielle. They are planning an ambush and a quick end to the war. The traitor's wife, poisoned while attempting to poison her husband, betrays his perfidy to Ysa and Ashen. Ashen and Lord Roynance go to the camp to unmask the traitor. Three of the officers are chasing Flavielle and her thrall and Ashen follows after them. The sorceress and the traitor turn to attack their pursuers but are thwarted by a magical attack by Ashen and the pair are killed. A failed ambush results in some horribly injured soldiers and Ashen sends for Zazar to help in the healing. But, Zazar has been scrying and orders Ysa to come to the camp, for she has realized that The Great Foulness can only be stopped with a three-prong magical attack by Ashen, Ysa and herself. There are weddings, war, injuries, deaths, magic, treachery, heroism and all kinds of goings-on in this page-turner. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002
Third and, apparently, last in the series (Knight or Knave, 2001, etc.). In the North, the powers and ambitions of the evil creature known as the Great One continue to grow, threatening Rendel and all the lands of the south. Already besieged by unremitting snow and frigid temperatures, the south must now contend with the Great One's armies, both human and nonhuman, and his Ice Dragons whose breath is ice, not fire. Only a grand alliance might defeat the invaders. Young Rohan willingly commits his Sea-Rovers and their ships; Gaurin pledges his Nodors; but Tusser and his irascible Bog-folk are less easy to persuade. Gaurin's wife Ashen, whose magic is growing in power if not control, and the Wysen-wyf Zazar (she's secretly one of the Fates) must somehow convince the Dowager Ysa to engage Rendelsham's power, but Ysa is wedded to her intrigues and political meddling. Allied with the Great One is the sorceress Flavielle; she effortlessly seduces Rendelsham's High Marshal, Harous, who thereupon attempts to lead Gaurin, Rohan, and Tusser into a trap. And even if the allies can defeat the Great One's armies and dragons, it will require powerful magic indeed to vanquish the Great One himself.
Nothing much new or different amid the welter of battles, plots, betrayals, and maneuvers: still, a churning and spirited if unsurprising conclusion to this agreeable series.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2002) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-87338-7, $25.95, 416pg ~ cover by Luis Royo, Map by Muguel Roces
  • (2002) Published by SFBC, HC, # 53420, $12.99, 416pg ~ cover by Luis Royo, Map by Muguel Roces
  • (2003) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-57760-4, 978-0-812-57760-0, $6.99, 416pg ~ cover by Luis Royo, Map by Muguel Roces
  • (2017) Published by Sasha Miller, DM, no ISBN, $7.95, 309pg


Non-English Editions ~

  • (2003) Published in Poland, by Amber, 83-241-1342-8, 288pg ~ translation by Ewa Witecka ~ Polish title Odrzucona korona [Rejected Crown]
  • (2005) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo and St. Petersburg, by Domino, 5-699-09860-7, HC, 480pg ~ translation by T. Cherezova ~ cover by Stephen Youll ~ Russian title Корона или тьма [Crown or darkness] ~ map is made by I. Zhmaylova ~ Limited to 8000 copies

View the Original contract

View the 2002 TOR contract

View the 2003 Russian contract

For information on editions currently available visit the Book Store



Open menu