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Literature / Sundered Lands

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Sundered Lands (also known as The Six Crowns in America) is a series of Fantasy children's books written by Allan Frewin Jones, with illustrations provided by Gary Chalk.

In the Shattered World of the Sundered Lands, Trundle Boldoak lives a complacent life on the floating isle of Shiverstones. When he's approached by a mysterious princess named Esmeralda Lightfoot, who tells him she needs him to fulfill a prophecy, Trundle initially ignores her requests to go along with her. But when a crew of pirates attack and pillage Shiverstones, Trundle decides to flee alongside Esmeralda in hopes of escaping their wrath. The duo soon find themselves going through a series of adventures throughout the Sundered Lands as they try to find six magical crowns.

The series is comprised of six books, which are:

  1. Trundle's Quest
  2. Wind to Widdershins
  3. Fire Over Swallowhaven
  4. The Ice Gate of Spyre
  5. Sargasso Skies
  6. Full Circle

Sundered Lands provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Trundle initially has little fighting combat, and only survives via running away, hiding from his foes, or using the environment around him to repel his foes. Even after Trundle Took a Level in Badass, he still rarely resorted to fighting unless he absolutely needed to.
  • Bat Out of Hell: In The Ice Gate of Spyre, the heroes come across a colony of seemingly friendly bats who want them to sleep off the ground and up in the trees. It turns out that they just wanted them in an easily accessible location so they could suck all their blood.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Captain Grizzletusk and Millie Rose Thorne, both of whom are working together to acquire the crowns so they can use them to control the world.
  • Breather Episode: At no point in The Ice Gate of Spyre or Sargasso Skies do the heroes run into Captain Grizzletusk's crew or Millie Thorne. Both of these books have the heroes going through wacky adventures and only encountering minor, easily defeated villains at worst.
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  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Trundle initially had no intentions of joining Esmeralda on her journey in the first book. When Grizzletusk's crew come along and start raiding Shiverstones, he's forced to go with her, figuring he'd probably be safer with her—and also because he didn't want her recapture or death on his conscience.
  • Character Development: Trundle. He starts off as a whiny, reluctant hero who just wants to stay in Shiverstones. Gradually, he becomes braver and more adventurous after spending more time out in the skies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Trundle's sword. Despite being a regular weapon, it's real purpose is to activate the power of all six crowns once they are set on the altar.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ishmael, the seemingly crazy and silly rabbit whom constantly spouts nonsensical phrases when he feels like it and relies on Insane Troll Logic to guide him.
  • The Dragon: Razorback, Grizzletusk's bosun, acted as The Heavy in the first novel and constantly kept trying to capture or kill Trundle and Esmeralda.
  • Evil All Along: Percy, who's really Grinder Prickleback, the hedgehog who inadvertently destroyed the world and tried to reacquire the six crowns so he could control everyone's minds.
  • Evil Aunt: One of the main villains is Millie Rose Thorne, Esmeralda's aunt.
  • Fountain of Youth: The Vile Rune of Neverending Life appears to be some form of this. Percy used it so he could live long enough to acquire the six crowns, spending thousands of years waiting until Trundle and Esmeralda found them for him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Percy was the one who destroyed the world during a botched attempt to use a spell to control the Badger Lords' minds.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Trundle and Esmeralda. Neither of them become romantically involved with each other; they're just best friends by the end of the series, and never attempt to be anything more.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Percy is actually two thousand years old, and has managed to stay young using the Vile Rune of Neverending Life.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Trundle, Esmeralda, and Jack all run into a horde of murderous lizards after getting stuck in Sargasso Skies.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Razorback sees a horde of treasure within the Sunsett tunnels, he tries to convince Grizzletusk to ignore the crowns and just leave with the treasure instead. Grizzletusk responds by pointing his gun at his head.
  • Sky Pirate: Captain Grizzletusk and his entire crew, all of whom sail throughout Sundered Lands in their windships looking to pillage, kidnap, and murder whenever they feel like it.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Razorback and Captain Slaughter, the hog and raven duo within Captain Grizzletusk's crew.
  • Toilet Humour: When Trundle, Jack, Esmeralda, and Ishmael investigate the island the legendary phoenix resides in, they hear a series of strange rumbling noises. It isn't until they reach the phoenix that they realize the noises are coming from the phoenix's behind.
  • Undignified Death: Captain Slaughter is accidentally trampled to death. His death is ignored by everyone in Grizzletusk's crew.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: This series is very lighthearted and kid-friendly. Even when the heroes are in seemingly imminent danger, it doesn't last long or there's some kind of humor to lighten the situation. But whenever Captain Grizzletusk and his pirates (and to a lesser extent, Millie Thorne) shows up, they're taken as a serious threat, the heroes come very close to dying, and in Grizzletusk's case, innocents will be callously murdered.
  • A Wizard Did It: There are a few points in the story where the heroes progress in their journey or escape death via pure luck, and nothing else. Whenever this happens, Esmeralda usually says that it's "the Fates" helping to guide them.
  • World of Funny Animals: No humans are present or even mentioned in the series. Everyone walks, talks, dresses, and acts like regular human beings, despite being animals.

Alternative Title(s): The Six Crowns


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