Friday, 23 March 2012

[REVIEW] The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Published: November 2009
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Age Group: Young Adult - Fantasy
Series: Seven Realms #1
This novel marks the first giant step in a momentous
fantasy journey orchestrated by Cinda Williams Chima, the author of the popular Warrior Heir series. Its two chief protagonists are ex-thief Han Alister, an impoverished commoner, and Raisa ana'Marianna, the headstrong Princess Heir of the Fells. The Demon King brings them together, creating part of a volatile mix of action, magic, and danger. Empathetic characters; wizardly attacks.(From Goodreads)

The Demon King is the first book in the Seven Realms Series.

In The Demon King, there are two narrators, Hans Alister (named "Hunts Alone") who is a thief trying to make a living for himself, his mother and sister, and Raisa ana'Marianna, the princess heir of the Fells. Although poor, Hans has two silver cuffs on his arms that will not come off. They grow when he grows and engraved with runes, clearly an indication that they're magicked. This leads to his nickname of Cuffs Alister. Hans life gets even harder when he steals a powerful amulet from the Bayers, the most powerful wizard family, nad now his life is in danger but what he finds while trying to stay alive changes his entire life forever. Raisa is a very stubbern girl who would much rather live life like Hanalea - the legendary warrier queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world - then attend princess lessons or getting married in fact. You see, when a child turns 16, they are seen as an adult and are eligable for marriage. Although Raisa does not want to get married, her mother has other plans, plans that may involve picking a suitier who goes against everything the queendom stands for. Both Raisa's and Han's fate collide and soon they find themselves both running to the same place and running from the same people.

This book was surprisingly good. Not just good, but really good.

At first, i was quite confused with all the locations and names, but soon it became clear to me. 

The main characters are both have very strong personalities and act in surprising ways. I will admit that the descriptions weren't enough that I could picture myself there at that moment feeling what that character was feeling or seeing what they were doing but nonetheless, it was enough for me to enjoy the book. 

The author combines magic, ancient legends and warriers together perfectly. The wizards in this book are in dispute with the "clan" people. The clan people are essentially people who use green magic, thing healing magic, magic not intended to hurt others. After the Dark King (a wizard who attempts to destroy the world) is beaten, the clan people restricted the wizards which led to the animosty between them. 

Another thing I really liked about this book was that nothing was what you thought it would be. For example, in one chapter, Hans is acting all nice and concerned and the next, he's holding a knife to someone's throat taking them as hostage. It is unexpected and completely different. 

The plot of this book is subtly mentioned throughout. I didn't really know what it was until I got to the end of this book, and then the plot of the series was clear. 
Overall, this is an amazing book and i would recommand it to anyone in to adventure, fantasy and action. Maybe a little romance in it but I'm not really sure how big of an influence it will be later on. 


(originally posted in the TPL Word Out program)

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