Book Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima (Seven Realms #1)
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: Nov. 19, 2009
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, 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 that 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 and new skills 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 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.

He called her Briar Rose, he said, because of her beauty.
And her many thorns.
-The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, pg 66
It feels so good to be back on a regular schedule! The past few weeks have been hectic (holidays, the tourney, and family & friends' parties), and then there was the reading-rut-to-end-all-reading-ruts. I thought I would never pick up a book again--even worse, I didn't want to ever pick up a book again. Sadly this blog has been the thing to suffer because of it all.

Luckily, The Demon King came along and put me back on track. Thank you Cinda Williams Chima!

I've seen a lot of my fellow bloggers talk about this series, using the words: epic, enthralling, or engaging; high-praise to be given, and definitely things I look for in a book. But being the non-believer that I sometimes am, I waited a long time to read it. When I had tried every other book in my entire home (this may or may not be an exaggeration) and couldn't find anything that stuck, I decided it was time to see what everyone was talking about. I was blown away.

In the first chapter we jump right into the story, and although I spent a few pages of that chapter a bit confused, I quickly picked up the rich details of the world and fell into pace reading. Cinda Williams Chima has a knack for imagination. She is especially good at bringing her world to life on the page.

The story is told by alternating between two characters who come from completely different worlds, branching off a few times to follow other characters as the need arises. And I love all these characters, from the two main characters, to the ones we only get to see a few times. Their personalities are so different and their lives so unique, but they each played a part in the story. No matter how far removed from the plot, their actions had an effect on the other characters in subtle (and sometimes drastic) ways. There is a lot going on in this world--so steeped in history, magic, and politics--that I am still quite amazed at how Chima managed to tell such an intricate story without confusion. Yet she really pulls it off.

I did find a few inconsistencies; things like the princess *SMALL SPOLIERS* forgetting to close the slab that conceals the outside entrance to her secret passageway one night--the opening of which is in a high-traffic area--and then having to open it up again the next time she uses it, with no mention of it having been left open before. So who closed it? Along that same line, the princess talks about how she can never use her secret passageway because of all the people who are always around, and yet the many times she is in that area, she is conveniently alone with the person she is meeting. *END SPOILERS* The inconsistencies were small and there weren't very many, but my mind kept coming back to them throughout the book, wishing I could just get the princess to fix them in order to calm my OCD.

The Demon King is full of action, adventure, magic, and is basically the fantasy-lover's ideal book. At 500 pages, I did find myself impatiently skimming through some of the more descriptive parts, especially towards the end as I began to find it a little lengthy. But with three-dimensional characters, a realm on the verge of war, and secrets all around, it kept me up all night reading...it will keep you up all night, too.

I guarantee it will be time well-spent.

Read this if:
...you like high fantasy or adventure (die-hard fantasy lovers, this is for you), or you just want to "get away" for a while.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{Violence (though it is not very descriptive), and a couple swear words.}

Other Books in the Series:

Purchase The Demon King:
Cinda Williams Chima:
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1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked it!! I read the 3 books that are out last year (ah, feels weird to say that!!) and I totally fell in love with them. I really think the books kept getting better with each one.


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