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I finally decided to pick up The Demon King and read, as it's been on my to read list for a while now, and maybe the mood was right, but I really, really enjoyed it. And when I finished it, in like 6 hours, I decided to read the rest of the series. So I finished all of them this week. I have not had a good reading spree in a while....it was fun, and really got my reading groove back. I'm back on track for my reading goal this year.
This series has really two main characters. Han and Raisa. Han is an ex street lord from the slums trying to go straight, and Raisa is the heir to the Gray Wolf Throne and next Queen of The Fells. And fate sets of a chain of events that makes sure they cross paths. Han finds out he is way more than a street kid from Ragmarket (of course)and Raisa learns what she is made off. You basically follow the coming of age journey of these two characters. They go from kids to adults through all four books.
What I liked: The characters. The characters. The characters. I would say they held everything together. If I did not like Han or Raisa or all the secondary characters that pepper these books, then it would not have worked all. You get pulled in by the characters right away, and you care what happen to them and want them to succeed. And that is what keeps you reading each book. It's what kept me jumping from book to book. You're invested, so the issues with the story kinda of become secondary because you want Han to succeed and to finally get justice. You want Raisa to win and defeat her enemies. Han and his group of friends are surrounded by all kinds of peril and drama and intrigue. They spend a lot of time traveling all over the land being chased, kidnapped, beaten, plotted against and kissed by various love interests. I liked that the characters were not all Goody-goody and pure, no character is all good, or all bad, well except maybe one. But good guys do bad things, and sometimes the bad guys surprise you with some good. That is very realistic. Everyone has a reason for what they do, even if you don't agree with their methods.
I loved the diversity. One of the large players in this book are the Clan, which seem to be modeled on Native Americans. And Raisa is a half-blood,with her father and grandmother being Clan. Half the characters are POC in some way or other, and that is always refreshing. Fantasy still seems to be stuck in a medieval European box a lot of the time and I enjoy every time I get a break from that. More!
The bad: Here is what I didn't like...but the rest of it kept me there. Han could sometimes be a bit of a "Mary Sue" (most main characters are to some extent). But especially in the first two books. He is always one step of everyone, and always comes out on top and wins no matter how crazy the odds.That can be a bit boring after a while. Sometimes you need to raise the stakes and put your character in a position where all seems hopeless and make them really work for it or maybe they need saving for one (you can also go a bit too much the other end. A good balance is needed). Sometimes things were just to easy for Han.
Also, I feel like towards the end some of the plot points fell to the wayside. Like it was built up or hinted at, but nothing came of it. Like, the writer was going to go one way, but changed last minute. Also some of the ending results of the stories were "too easy" like....if one character spends all 4 book saying one thing, one conversation in the last chapter of the last book is not going to change them that fast. I want to believe it. Show me the journey. So some of the ends were just too pat.
But over all I loved this series, and did not feel like it was a week wasted. I might even pick up the next series set in the world...but generations later. I am interested to learn how things changed or stayed the same. As they Crow says in the books...the Winners write history.
me: oh this is going to be a great book!
*reads first three pages*
me: oh god, that’s so sad!
*reaches page 26*
WTF DID SHE JUST $@&:ING DO HOW CAN YOU #%$&ING DO THAT WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING AT MY GRAVE, I INVESTED MY LIFE IN SEVEN REALMS CHIMA YOU ARE NOT GOD OKAY, YOU CANNOT DO WHAT YOU DID. PLEASE CHIMA, PLEASE DO SOMETHING I’M DYING.
*cries for a week*
*rereads scenes from Seven Realms*
*cries some more*
*actually thinks about DNFing a book for the first time in life*
*hates everyone for the rest of the day*
*decides to beg Chima*
I think something very important needs to be said.
Han Alister. Some of you may know him from the Seven Realms series by the God Cinda Williams Chima. Han. Was a great man, as we’ve seen from Seven Realms, which, by the way is FOUR BOOKS LONG WHICH MEANS THAT WE READ A WHOLE DAMN LOT ABOUT HIM. *controls anger* So, how? The fudge. Can. Miss. Cinda Williams Chima. Kill. Him. Off. By. Page. Twenty-Six. I think WE ALL agree that Han deserved a FAR GOD DAMN BETTER DEATH THAN WHAT HE GOT!!!! WE ALL AGREE!!!!! WE ALL AGREE!!!! YOU CANNOT TAKE A CHARACTER THAT PEOPLE HAVE SPENT FOUR BOOKS ON AND LOVED AND KILL HIM OFF!!!! HAN ALISTER DOES NOT DESERVE SUCH AN ANTI-CLIMATIC DEATH. HE WAS HEAD WIZARD. HE WAS A HERO. GIVE SOME RESPECT TO THAT, MISS CHIMA. JUST SOME RESPECT.
*drops mic* Birdie out!
AHHH I CAN’T WRITE A REVIEW FOR THIS!!! Okay, bottom line: you should know that I loved this book SO. MUCH. That it actually, physically, hurts.
I loved everything about this book. I loved the way it started, the pacing, the plot—really, JUST EVERYTHING. I want to bow down to Chima for having a slow-burning consistent romance that is so good to read about that it hurts. I have butterflies in my stomach right now and these aren’t even real people.
AHHH THE ROMANCE!!!
“But I don’t want your throne.”
“Then what do you want?”
LIKE CAN SOMEONE PLEASE KILL ME NOW BEFORE RAISA AND HAN DO???
The thing I love the most about this series is that the characters are so consistent and there’s other things besides romance! There’s the friendship between Han and Dancer! There’s Raisa kicking butt and being awesome! There’s Han kicking butt at politics! There’s Crow and Han and their banter! There’s Han who honest to God makes my heart hurt because of all he’s willing to do to get what he wants! There’s effing trust between Raisa and Han! How??? How can you not expect me to DIE???!!!
“You are my father,” she said to Averill. “And you are my grandmother,” she said to Elena. “And you are duty-bound to me,” she said to Nightwalker.
“If you take action against Hunts Alone without my permission, we will be at war.”
HELL YAS, GURL! YOU TRUST YOUR MAN!!! YOU FIGHT FOR HIM!
Sorry. This isn’t even a review. It’s just me blabbering. But that’s okay, because I love the Seven Realms series and anyone who’s a fan of fantasy (keeping in mind that this is YA) should read this for sure.
“None of us are free to follow our hearts,” she said. “Not really. Is that what you’re saying?”
He shook his head. “No one can stop you from loving someone,” he said.
OH MA GAWD LORD PLEASE HAVE SOME MERCY ON MA FEELZ. I CAN’T I NEED THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW. PLEASE.
I just . . . I just need a minute, please. To get myself together. Please. Like, how can—how can I love a book so freaking much?
IT’S OKAY HAN MARRY ME I AM LITERALLY THROWING MYSELF AT YOU TO MARRY ME, PLEASE. MAKE ME A COMPLETE PERSON. I DON’T CARE HOW RIDICULOUS I SOUND I JUST NEED YOU IN MY LIFE HOW ARE YOU SO PERFECT.
Okay, I need to calm down. That was not a review, but since it is part of my feelings I will continue.
I think the Seven Realms series has come a long way. I read The Demon King a long time back, and I think that ever since, this series has just gotten better and better. There’s a lot of worldbuilding and characterization, and I think that in this book, Raisa really shines in that area. She’s changed from a princess who runs away from her problems to a Queen ready to take her birthright and her throne.
The romance in this book, just like with The Exiled Queen is nice a slow burning romance. There’s not a rush of romance and the slow build up from Han and Raisa liking each other to where they are now (ugh, angst) is probably one of the best that I’ve read.
This book reminds me of classic fantasy. You know, the kind that has a great world, real conflict, and one of the best that I’ve seen in terms of character development and realistic relationship problems? All hail Chima, man. Seriously. She makes me want to crown her Queen and bow down to her.
I understand all the angst, and near the ending when my feels were getting a bit too out of order, but I seriously cannot explain enough to you guys how much you need to read these books. Please.
I admit, the Seven Realms series is a bit slow, and there’s a lot going on in terms of characters and problems and angst, but personally, I like the way this story goes and I don’t seem to mind the pacing of this series, which is probably why I’m drinking it in all in one go like some bloodthirsty vampire (try to forget that terrible simile).
Overall, really, really great! This book was perfect in every way for me, and I’m going to reread a bunch of scenes that I marked before I go to bed because that’s how much I love this. I seriously wish I could get the next book right now, but I have to go through the suffering and wait for my library to actually ship the book to my local library location and then enjoy and savor the gift and love of The Crimson Crown which I am really excited to read because it’s the last (which is also why I don’t want to read it? Weird character angst)! God help me. Chima help me. Someone. Please. I have problems.