Title / The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown.
Author / Cinda Williams Chima
Publication Date / 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012
Overall Star Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch, and reformed thief Han Alister must rely on all his skills to provide for his mother and his sister. While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer, discover three young wizards using a magical amulet to set fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han wrestles it from them, but without realising that his heroism has put him and his family in great danger. For the young arsonist is Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, and the amulet a treasure with immense power; it once belonged to the Demon King, the legendary wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. The Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has just returned to the city after spending three years with her father’s Clan in the mountains. She aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior-queen who vanquished the Demon King and saved the world, but her mother has other plans for her – plans that will put both the queendom and Raisa’s future in great danger. The Seven Realms will tremble when the adventures of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.
This is a four book high fantasy series set in a traditional fantasy world of medieval elements. The first book lays down a good foundation for this series but it is a little slow at times and the pacing can be a bit uneven at times, but bear with it. To be honest all of the books suffer a little with uneven pacing and it does drag at times. It could perhaps do with a little refinement, especially in terms of the flow of plot. I think the first book is definitely the weakest one so if you’ve read it and weren’t sure about it, I would recommend giving the second book a go. Mostly the plot is engaging though. The world is well written and I loved the different areas of the world. We also got a fair amount of history of the world, allowing for a better understanding of it. It has a great mix of politics, war, magic, adventure and romance. I really enjoy the characters in this book. Both Raisa and Han are fantastic protagonists. Raisa is definitely a bit of a typical princess but I liked her overall progression throughout the four books. Han’s progression is just as good as well. One thing I found a little frustrating in the first book is the number of love interests. I personally don’t enjoy such things, but it didn’t detract too much from the reading experience and it doesn’t last too long. The writing is generally good, although I kind of felt it was a bit lacking at times. I thought the conclusion to the series was a great one. Each book is better than the last, in my opinion, although none of them are perfect (what book is though?). I found these books to be relatively easy, entertaining and engaging reads.
Overall I think this is a fantastic high fantasy series. Yes it does have some flaws but I enjoyed each of the books and I would recommend it, especially if you are a big fan of the fantasy genre. The characters can appear abit cliched, especially in book one, but in my opinion their progression through the books is great and I personally really like them. The plot, while slow to begin with, develops very well and I love how it progresses. The world is also well written. As previously mentioned, the pacing and slow plot are my two main issues with this series. Having said that, I didn’t find it affected my reading experience very much, but I can see how it may be an issue for other readers. Reading back over this, I’m realising it is quite short, but hopefully that just means I’m being concise! I hope you guys don’t mind it’s a little short. Have you guys read this series? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful and I will see you next time.