Title: The Demon King (Seven Realms #1)
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
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.
Actual Rating: 4.5/5 stars (I couldn’t find half a donut)
In case you didn’t know, this book is 500 pages. 500 PAGES. And I read it in a day.
Why? Because this book was epic. Yes, it’s definitely a set-up book for the rest of the series, but it was done so well that it didn’t even matter.
The world-building was a huge element in the book. Cinda Williams Chima creates this world which you know nothing about at the start, and then makes you an expert in every aspect by the end. The world is interesting and complex, and I loved learning about it!
One thing about the world that intrigued me was that in the realm the story mainly takes place in, there is a Queendom instead of a Kingdom. Girls were the chosen heirs instead of boys, which is so different from history and all, it’s fascinating!
The characters were also a GIANT part in the story. Raisa is this fierce, stubborn princess who likes to rebel. Though despite this, she actually really wants to be a good queen and make her Queendom a better place.
HAN ALISTER IS MY HERO. He’s an ex-thief who’s charming, and also a genuinely good person. There were a lot of dimensions to his personality and I loved learning about every one of them.
Here’s the funny thing—I could never exactly pinpoint a plot line, yet at the same time, the plot was so complex! Somehow, it worked! I loved reading the book, which is why I finished it in one day. ONE DAY.
The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars is because the pacing is a little slow in the beginning and a little in the middle because of all the world-building and such. But I can tell that the rest of the books in the series are going to be great, especially the next one because THAT ENDING THOUGH!!!!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an awesome high-fantasy series!