Hello readers! I’ve been reading the Seven Realms series this week. There are four books in this series and they were just too good to put down. Since I own all four of them I figured I would just read them and then review all four in one post.
The Demon King Summary:
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister, Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell. For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They’re clearly magicked-as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.
Han’s life gets even harder after he takes a powerful amulet from Micah Bayar, the son of the High Wizard. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, the Bayars will stop at nothing to reclaim it from Han.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name day, she isn’t looking forward to trading in her common sense for a prince with a big castle and a tiny brain. Raisa aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that her mother has other plans for her-plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.
The Exiled Queen Summary:
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to being 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 best friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If she 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.
The Gray Wolf Throne Summary:
Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.
Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it-he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive-and even that might not be enough.
The Crimson Crown Summary:
For young Queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against the common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she’s falling in love.
Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?
The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima is amazing. I absolutely loved these books. The characters, the setting, the way it was written. Everything about this series was great. This is a fantasy series that takes place in a made up world. The detail that’s put into this world is one of my favorite parts. As we read through all four books we learn more and more about each country. We also got to learn quite a bit about this world’s history, and the many versions of it that are known around the world. We get to see the effect of the events from the past and how they shaped the way the world works now. I loved learning all the different versions of the world’s history and finally figuring out which one was the truth. Seeing that all of the current politics and bigger issues were really for no reason because their view of how history unfolded was not completely accurate. It just goes to show that an accurate keeping of time and events can be very important.
These four books were all written very well. The span of time never seemed to moving too quickly or too slowly. That’s something I notice in some books, so much happens in such a short period of time it almost seems impossible. These books didn’t have that. Many things happened in these pages, but they didn’t all happen at once and we actually got to see a noticeable amount of time pass within all of the craziness of the story. I also like that this is a book that follows two different perspectives. While we didn’t get to see it from all the different characters views, we did get to follow Han and Raisa as they both overcame quite a bit.
Now, my favorite part to write about, the characters. I’ll start with Raisa ana’Marianna, the princess heir and eventually queen of the Fells. I liked her from the very start of this series. She’s always had very strong opinions about her life and what she wanted to do with it. While, yes, she knew she was a princess and would eventually be queen, so she knew that there would be many things in her life she would have to sacrifice for the good of the Fells. She did her best to do what was right for her as a person as well. She had a back bone and never let it waver. There were times where she let people think she was going to waver and then came back stronger than ever. Raisa always tried to do what she thought was best for her people, even before she became the queen. As princess heir she had so many ideas of how to make certain things better, but her mother never wanted to listen to her. When she was put in a situation that could have potentially brought the Fells to war, she did was she thought was best and fled to Oden’s Ford to go to school in disguise. Raisa was probably my favorite character because she tried her best to do what she thought was best. I really enjoyed watching her grow into a queen that could and would actually make a different for her people.
Next is Han Alister, a man with many names. We first meet him as Cuffs because of the mysterious silver cuffs around his wrists that he’s never been able to get off, and not for lack of trying. Han was a very interesting character to follow. I wasn’t really sure where his story was going to take us until his run in with Rasia at one of the local temples. He seemed like a kid who’d ended up with the wrong crowd because he needed to find a way to make money to help his family survive. Even though Han had gotten out of that business, his reputation followed him. When a chance meeting happens and he gets a wizard amulet things start to change. He’s hunted and beaten and somehow manages to escape every time. Even though all Han wants is to escape the life and help his family survive he’s pulled into danger time and time again. I think the change and growth in Han was the most noticeable out of all the characters in this series. He gets some very surprising news about his family lines and it completely changes his life, well, except for the danger part. He studies hard for his new task and finds ways to polish himself as well as his skills so he can fit in better with the blue bloods. The only bad thing I have to say about Han is that he kept too many secrets, but in his defense, they were pretty big secrets and I can understand why he didn’t want to share them. Other than that I really liked what his character brought to this story.
Now, the Bayar family was the one thing I didn’t like about this series. They were a necessary evil because every story needs a villain. The High Wizard was a thorn in Raisa’s side in every single one of the books in the Seven Realms series. He was constantly stirring up trouble and I wish someone took care of him as soon as this series started. That would have eliminated so many of the battles Raisa had to face. The High Wizard’s daughter, Fiona, was someone I wasn’t sure about when I first met her. She had potential to be someone very helpful to the plot line. She proved very quickly that she was on her father’s side, and sometimes on her own side with her own goals. Finally, the High Wizard’s son, Micah Bayar, he played a very key role in this story. He was what made Raisa flee to school instead of staying in her home and being with her family. As much as I would like to hate Micah, I can’t seem to bring myself to actually hate him. He played a part in so much of the chaos that happened in these books. But there were also so many times that his words or actions were to help keep Raisa safe, or to postpone something so that he could figure out how to keep her safe. So as much as I wanted to hate Micah, I just couldn’t.
The Clans had mixed feelings from me. There were many among the Clans that I really enjoyed reading about, like Willow and her son, Fire Dancer, his cousin Digging Bird. But there were others that really annoyed me, like Reid Nightwalker. He had hopes that he would marry Raisa even though he had no plans to be loyal to her in their marriage and just expected her to accept that. I’m glad of Reid’s fate in this story; he totally deserved everything he got. Then there was Raisa’s father, Averill. The royal consort. He really annoyed me because even though he had no real power over the Fells, he tried to make all kinds of plans behind Raisa’s back. Supposedly these plans were to protect her, but in the end it only hurt her more.
The few characters that I didn’t like that much in no way changed the way I felt about The Seven Realms Series. I absolutely loved these books and I’m glad I own them so I can reread them whenever I want. I would suggest these books to anyone and everyone just because I liked them so much. So, pretty please go get them from the library or the bookstore. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.