by Cinda Williams Chima
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Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend 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 the 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 at her 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 Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.
I have lost everything. Then he corrected himself. Every time I think I’ve lost everything, I find there’s still something else to lose.
Here’s the thing: I adore this series. I adore Han. I adore Raisa. I adore Amon and Dancer and Cat. I adore the subtle action and almost too perfect to be true romance. I adore the writing, the humor, the wit, and the friendships…but most of all, I adore how it makes me feel. As a reader, I’ve evolved in ways I never imagined possible. At one time, I would read a book and just be excited about the smallest things. Intense feels were not hard to come by a couple years ago. But now, at this stage of my reading life, I have pinpointed those small things that made me smile a little larger, obsess a little harder, lose my breath in the most shocking way…and I have almost, in a weird way, became a professional of finding what makes me tick. And, to be clear, if it isn’t obvious yet: This series is what makes me tick.
He could protect himself-and if he failed, well, he’d been ready to pay the personal price for failure all his life. But how could he keep Raisa alive when so many enemies seemed bent on killing her? How could he become powerful enough to make a claim on her-to make her take him seriously as a suitor? How could he convince her to see him as a peer-someone who could partner with her in every way?
It’s not only the writing or forbidden romance or peril to come. It’s not always about a well-written story. I know I always say that’s what makes me choose to read or not to read, but it’s so much more than that. I mean, come on, if something can make me a crazy obsessive loon for a week (or the rest of my life, for that matter) then it surely is worth overlooking a few flaws, here and there. I mean-that’s life. Everyone is flawed, believe it or not. Yeah, sure, I’d love to read the perfect book at the perfect time with every little thing happening just as I’d want it to all the time. But then I think-Chelsea, that’s so GD short-sighted. You are compartmentalizing. You aren’t opening up your mind and letting new things touch you in new ways. So, fantasy is my way of letting go, letting an author take me somewhere I could never fathom on my own..but this series is damn close to everything I could ever want in a story. Eerie when you just let things go and they are everything you could want.
She didn’t know how long he’d been there staring at her, but it seemed to take him by surprise when she looked up and caught him. His usual street face was gone. In its place was a wistful vulnerability, a kind of feverish and hopeless desire. Magret had said he had a hungry look about him. Was that what she’d meant? And what exactly was he hungry for?
It’s no secret that the male lead in this story is the underlying factor as to why I am pushing through this series so quickly. I’ll admit it: This young thief, ex-streetlord, wizard, etc. has stolen a piece of my heart. And the craziest thing is, he’s not even reached his full potential yet. I mean, book one is my favorite so far, and he barely even shined (apparently)! I don’t know-there is just something appealing about being pulled in when you didn’t expect to be. The unexpected gives you so much more than knowing every little thing that might happen. So, when my tummy did a little flip flop when we first met Han in the beginning…..I knew I was going to be a forever fan of this series.
He threw his head back, the column of his throat jumping as he swallowed. Drawing a deep shuddering breath, he looked down at her again. “Nearly all my life I’ve taken what I wanted, when I wanted it, with no thought for the future, since I wasn’t likely to have one,” Han said. “Do you know how hard this is for me? Do you?”
I didn’t say much about the book because I don’t feel like I should. For those that have read the series (Cough, Snake, cough) you already know what happens, so why recap? And for those who haven’t, you won’t be reading my review, most likely, anyway. So, who cares? My problem is exactly what I said below: I am forever cast out of this world by real life and demands that come at me daily from all sides of the annoying spectrum-Work, home-life (well, this isn’t annoying, but reading Chelsea has no such qualms in saying so), and various activities I’d rather not have to deal with. They exist even as I do, suspended in a moment of time where I continually have to close the book and come back to reality. I can’t wait to finish the final book this weekend…but waiting until then JUST might kill me. Sigh.
Ahhhh I’m finally into that territory where my stomach is in ceaseless knots and my heart is consistently going into overdrive. The butterflies are abundant as love, loss, betrayal, and heartbreak grip at our two main characters, Han and Raisa, making me a happy happy Chelsea. I am already on book four and I am so mad I have to be at work while Raisa and Han exist in another world, going about their lives, living in a perilous existence I can’t be a part of while I sit here stranded in reality.
I hope to write a better review for this-quotes and all-hopefully tonight. But who cares, anyway…it will just be rambling fangirling anyway. lol.