26 May 2010

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

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.

While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon 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 relative freedom with her father's family at Demonai camp - riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.

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 it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.

C. W. Chima has a similar story-telling ability as that of Tamora Pierce.  They both tell fantastic stories with rich detail and plot twists and fully developed characters.  C. W. Chima draws us into a world that is easy to picture and she isn't confusing.  Her characters are enjoyable and realistic.  The plot had me reeling and on the edge of my seat.  What was going to happen next!?

My favorite part was when Raisa and Han meet.  Their personalities are just enough alike and just enough different that if they had been born in similar circumstances, they might've been the best of friends.

Han's cuffs--silver cuffs permanently secured to both his wrists, like the Genie in Aladdin--which spawned the nickname, Cuffs Alister, are a curious mystery.  C. W. Chima paces it just enough that you can't put it down!  Her rhythm is hypnotic and thrilling.  I was buzzing from this novel.

For lovers of Tamora Pierce and Christopher Paolini, try Cinda Williams Chima.  Her story is unique, rich and truly a fun read and best of all, it's appropriate for younger readers.  So those of you who appreciates a J.K. Rowling type of clean, yet intriguing read, C.W. Chima has it for you.

Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 512
  • publisher - Hyperion
  • genre - fantasy
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Seven Realms
    • The Demon King
    • The Exiled Queen
    • The Gray Wolf Throne
    • Crimson Crown