The Crown of Untold Wisdom

The Crown of Untold Wisdom is the thrilling climax to Margaret Swift’s Amaranth trilogy and follows on from The Secret of Eternal Youth and A Spell for Irresistible Charm.

Prince James Rupert of Ferrar, son of Floretta, has a calling to free the beleaguered land of Torquella. But he is young, naïve and gentle. How can he possibly succeed where others have failed before him? Yet he has powerful friends – as well as powerful enemies.

more suffering or fresh hope?

After decades of suffering, after ‘so much martyrdom and incineration, so much murder and incarceration, so many interrupted and damaged lives’ – as epitomised in the fates of the maidens Floretta and Sylvia – the people of Torquella despair of any resolution. They fail to see that there can ever be anyone capable of wresting the kingdom from the evil King Julien. Unbeknown to them, there is fresh hope in the union between the exiled Prince Rupert of Ferrar and the legendary Floretta, though not necessarily in Rupert himself: Rupert ought perhaps to act to free Torquella, but ‘has long since abnegated the responsibility’. However, he has a son, James Rupert.

a man of peace

James Rupert, the hero of The Crown of Untold Wisdom, receives a sheltered upbringing but a sound education and, whilst still a child, develops a vocation to deliver Torquella. Aware that his father will not approve and will prevent him if necessary, he plans alone. He is young and inexperienced, as was his mother when she fell prey to Julien, and a man of peace. How can he ever proceed with success where his father fears to tread?

never far from danger

James receives encouragement from a mysterious travelling sage and confides in his mother who supports him as she sends him forth to ‘strike a blow for goodness’. He faces a long and difficult journey from his home to Julien’s sanctum in his high castle, a journey in which he is never far from danger. Julien’s henchmen and guardsmen constitute formidable enemies, and James finds he has an uncompromising rival whom he will have to deal with personally.

unconditional courage

Never once does he turn back. ‘There were hidden strengths and unplumbed depths to James Rupert. He had seen that from the start, which is why he had always been eager to follow him. The artless charm, the ingenuousness, the almost naïve openness, the unconditional courage, the unswerving moral stance, all these were quite genuine, he knew.’ (Arturus Lande, The Enchanted Kingdom)

gifts of magic

As well as enemies, James has powerful allies, not least the forces of Nature and gifts of magic. Human beings also flock to him. Key characters will be recognised from the earlier books (Ashvy Parva is now an old man, and Sylvia’s young friend Rudo has matured considerably) and alongside these there are many interesting newcomers. Help is sometimes tendered in unexpected quarters, but in the final analysis, James will have to do what has to be done himself.

The Crown is the jewel

Though it is best to begin at the beginning and read The Secret of Eternal Youth and A Spell for Irresistible Charm(the first two books) before embarking on The Crown, the reader may choose to start here with what is the jewel of the series.

what is the Crown itself like?

The longed-for Crown of Untold Wisdom itself does not have any jewels. It is of quite unprepossessing design and from base metal:

“Liturgius threw aside his cloak, revealing in his hand a nondescript object – a rough circle of dull metal, flattened, with asymmetrical crenellations along one edge. It looked as though it had been fashioned by a child.” (The Crown of Untold Wisdom)

The Crown is nonetheless very useful. It is a device which affords the wearer untold wisdom and which operates only for a legitimate and principled heir.

“There is no telling how much wisdom this crown may bestow. The wisdom is unmeasurable. It may well be infinite. It is untold.” (Liturgius, The Crown of Untold Wisdom)

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Book Details

The Crown of Untold Wisdom

Margaret Swift


Age Range
16 Years +


(Uk Delivery : £1.49)