Book Review

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
Audience: Young adult fantasy, no language, some implied romance, kiss/make-outs, some violence
Expected Length: 586 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion Books 
Expected Release Date: September 24th, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret. 

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen. 

Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

I AM ENJOYING THIS SERIES SO MUCH!

What started out as a bit slow as our characters made their way to Oden’s Ford gradually became an intense, couldn’t put down ending.

I DON’T KNOW WHERE WE GO FROM HERE Y’ALL.

Well, actually, I have a tiny bit of an idea. But so not sure on how this collision will work out. I have faith all goes well!

I promise you this: I will not be a captive Queen.

All hail future Queen Raisa. She is strong, stubborn, and unwilling to compromise her values. I love that she won’t give up on what she truly wants until there is no other option. I appreciate that she’s small and is actually not [that] great at sword-wielding. It makes her character more human and lets us see how her mind often comes up with a better solution.

Han, I love him even more this time around. He’s my little reformed thief wizard extraordinaire. I think our sweet soul is in for a rude awakening soon. His tenacity is about to bring his world really crashing down. I can’t wait to see what this does for his arc overall. 

I felt there was too much time spent in classes. It was lookin’ a little HP-esque and I was a bit bored listening to the ramble of professors. It did help the plot, but it’s also book two (of four) so there was unnecessary fillers.

A lot is happening with so many characters and I’m totally enamored. I love having a lot of story lines as long as they keep weaving back into the main plot. And this book is giving everything and more of that.

All the magic is enchanting and Oden’s Ford grew on me as time went on. There’s a lot of traversing through the countryside as well. I love how well the world is built and the map in this book definitely helps! 

Overall audiences notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • No language
  • Some vaguely implied romance; kisses/make-outs, a little descriptive
  • Some violence
  • Trigger Warnings: attempted assault
Book Review

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult, no language, violence, lots of kissing
Length: 506 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD OF THIS SERIES TIL NOW?!

Y’all I was loving everything this book was putting out. It did begin slow and dragged through some sections, but the tale it set up for the next three books…I am SO EXCITED. 

Raisa is a strong female character who is the sassy princess heir I need. She is a lover of flirting with the boys, but who can blame her? Got some endgame choices to decide upon. I love that she refuses to set aside her ideals to be a better Queen and refusing to marry “just because”.  Raisa holds her own and is a smart fun character to watch.

I have a soft spot of reformed characters. Han gives the story some edge, but his heart is in the right place. His sections do drag more than Raisa’s, but his story line built over time. The plot twists involving Hanson did surprise me. I had surmised most information, but now I’m wondering where this all ends.

Raisa and Han are endgame though…right? If not, I have already chosen wrong which may affect my view points later on, we’ll see. They’re quite a few suitors (on both sides) that haven’t formed defined love triangles, so I’m still on board. Though, I do love Amon. He’s a precious cinnamon roll who I want love forever. DON’T BETRAY ME AMON. BUT ALSO, FIND HAPPINESS PLEASE. K, thanks.

This story progressively gets faster and more convoluted. The side characters are throwing so much into the mix that I’m sitting here debating who’s good, bad, or just in the book for fun. 

It was somewhat silly that these kids are 16-ish and so grown-up. Han was a previous streetlord, Raisa is taking on tasks befitting someone older, and is already trying to be married off. And the same goes for side characters. Though, the world is built in the concept of children as adults, so it’s not glaring if you’re okay with that concept. 

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • No language
  • Handful of kisses, nothing more
  • Violence (burnings, knives, pummelings, magic)