Archive (page 2 of 2)

The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

(...)

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

Spoiler free for the whole series

LOOK OUT, FANTASY WRITERS! SEE THIS BOOK?

*pushes The Crimson Crown in your hands*

SEE THIS?

LOOK AT IT! JUST LOOK AT IT!

This is how you end a series : BLOODY. FABULOUS.

WHY? WHAT DO WE READERS WANT?

Alright. I can think of some things :

1) WE ARE OUT FOR BLOOD. SO. We need IN YOUR FACE! moments with the villains and all those who annoyed the hell out of us. Yes, this is MUCH needed. Nothing’s worst than anticlimactic confrontations. Give us GIDDINESS.

2) If you want to give us a romance, PLEASE SLOW DOWN, because the butterflies, here? They would never have had the same impact if not for the wait. My ship made me suffer along the way, but it paid up x1000.

3) NO NEED FOR CARDBOARD PEOPLE. Give us fleshed-out and interesting secondary characters – some we love to hate and other we’d defend with our *fictional* life.

4) We also need EPIC ENDINGS. No Mockingjay “I don’t know if my ship really sailed or what”. No dull as hell temporizing like In The Afterlight (I know, I gave it 5 stars at the time… I wouldn’t now, honestly). The last book should always be the BEST of the series. If you want 600 pages of great battles, though, look elsewhere. This is not what it is about and I’m so glad it isn’t. Alright, it is fairly predictable, but again, I. Don’t. Care. Any book that manages to engross me like this deserves its 5 stars. Now, maybe I’m bewitched, and many readers will argue that nothing really happens and … you know what? Perhaps that’s just the point. It is not so easy to bewitch me, if I dare say.

5) Last but not least, you wouldn’t want us to be disappointed in our main characters now would you? Take 3 stereotypes and call it a hero? Use idiotic misunderstandings to drive them through a painful joke of character development? NOPE. You do NOT want this. Try this instead : give us flawed characters in whom we can believe. Now make them grow. Then again. Then again. Now perhaps, if you’re lucky, you’ll have Raisa and Han – I just freaking LOVE them. Here are characters who know what that means to have a backbone.

Of course The Crimson Crown passed all these tests with flying colors.

Damn, I’m exhausted, I just know that a huge book hangover is coming, but it was so worth it.

BOOK REVIEW – The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

BOOK REVIEW – The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

Edit 03/12 : More I think about this third book (and trust me, it’s in my mind A LOT), more I wonder why I didn’t rounded up to 5. Done now – The Gray Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown were fabulous in their own way and entered my favorites all the same. So 5 stars it is.

“Byrne, we need to do a better job of protecting the queen,” he said. “Before we know it, she’ll be showing off old battle scars to her ladies whenever she’s in her cups. It won’t help our reputations any.”

See? I knew that would come a day I’d admire Raisa. You show them, bloody princess. Watch out, everyone, because this girl ain’t no figurehead. I won’t mention Han’s amazing self (almost) (my fingers are twichtching, trust me), otherwise I would never stop rambling and contrary to popular beliefs, I do sleep.

Sometimes.

BUT I AM SO SO PROUD OF BOTH OF THEM. HENCE THE YELLING. GAH. WHAT A GROWTH.

“I look forward to it,” Han said, displaying his streetlord smile. He tried to ignore the voice in his head – the one that said, Kill him now, Alister. Kill him now before he tries again.”

Of course my lips are sealed because *SPOILERS*, but just know that our characters don’t do dwelling on self-pity. They choose to keep going, to understand the other one without spending pages and pages moping and distrusting. This is so fucking refreshing, I swear. I love them with all my heart.

View Spoiler »

ALSO, I TRUST NO. ONE.

(except Han but that’s only because he’s not giving me any choice) (really) (that boy is wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL!)

These books keep getting better and better, and really, I wonder why I still feel astonished at the FEELS FEST that was The Gray Wolf Throne with all the heartbreak, political schemes, and a slow-burn romance that’s driving me INSANE in the best way possible. I honestly don’t know if the plot is more focused on the romance or if I am starving for more and building it up in my head, but I think that’s the latter.

View Spoiler »

Still predictable and tropey?
Perhaps, I still don’t give a damn one way or another.
Now, this is rare.

I should have known better. Watch me, showing no restraint and binge-reading them one after another. My my. I need a plan after book 4.

Real review to come. Maybe. Someday. Don’t hold your breath, though.

PS. The wolf in my pict was taken here.

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin 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 friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa 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.

Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

Let’s be real, okay? If I didn’t have to get up in 5 hours, I would dive in The Gray Wolf Throne RIGHT NOW.

“You couldn’t keep your mouth shut? I’m calling you Glitterhair from now on. Or Talksalot.”

I don’t know what is it with these books that keep me captivated and compelled to read more and more and more. The characters’ growth is fantastic, my boy Han fascinating, the plot way more surprising but it still contains several tropes that I usually don’t like – including an heroine who “loves” several boys, BUT for once in a way that I can accept and understand, and without the constant change of mind that drives me nuts. Also, is this really love? She’s confused and unsure, and that makes her more believable than ever. Raisa might be flawed, but she keeps going whatever happens and doesn’t let heartbreak go in her way. The girl has goals, and boys aren’t going to change them.

Don’t be afraid, though : the story does NOT focus on the romance at all, and the characters have responsibilities way more important than falling in love. Think betrayals, clans, wizard’s rivalries, old charms… What’s not to love?

Moreover, the secondary characters are fleshed-out and their actions do have impact on the story – Dancer, Kat, Micah, Fiona, Amon – they all add something interesting and none of them is wasted. Also, HAN. Just give me a break, okay? The guy is wicked and adorable at the same time, how can I resist? Torn between his thirst for power and revenge and the deals he made, our Han Alister evolves into someone I loved to follow. But above everything else, I love that none of the characters is either good or bad. GREY EVERYWHERE, I tell you.

The plot keeps thickening and promises a hell lot of action in the next two books, with all the threads linking together and the menace on all the characters’ heads more and more present.

Anyway, off to bed I go, after these ramblings that may or may not be morphed into a real review tomorrow depending on my ability to restrain myself from reading book 3 (= closed to none). Oh hell. I’m addicted.

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Demon King (Seven Realms #1)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han 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 freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. 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 her mother has other plans for her...

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

 Here went my night.

Yes, you read correctly. Despite my reading slump that drove me to DNF more books that I’m comfortable with yesterday, despite today being my last day of vacations and as usual busy as hell, despite the objective flaws of The Demon King, I couldn’t stop reading for the life of me, and closed my reader at 6am pretty exhausted.

Worst is, I’m fighting the urge to start The Exiled Queen right now, and I can count on the finger of one hand the number of times it happened with a YA Fantasy series.

I hated Red Queen.
I thought I would die of boredom in A Court of Thorns and Roses.
I didn’t care one way or another about The Young Elites, and I quickly lost my interest in Shadow and Bone.
Don’t even mention the borefest that was The Kiss of Deception.
I loved the Lumatere Chronicles, but we’re talking about Melina Marchetta, and The Demon King sure can’t compare with it one second.

And yet, despite my issues, I enjoyed my read like nobody’s business.

First of all, I ended liking the main characters even though they’re far from perfect – or perhaps because of it. See, when it comes to series that go on for 4 books, I genuinely think that flaws are needed in order to picture a believable growth, especially when we meet the characters at 16.

Raisa, the somewhat selfish princess, shows the best of intentions but sometimes fails to think things through before acting, resulting in several illed-thought-out decisions that border on TSLT behavior. She’s immature, annoying, and I understand why some readers had a hard time standing her. Yet despite being royalty, her issues – feeling trapped and needing to take control on her life – seemed pretty valid to me, and I LOVED the fact that she could kiss several guys without falling in love in a happily ever after fashion right away (please, am I the only one who cringes at teenager’s weddings?). You go girl. I just cannot wait to see her grow into a character I can admire, and I have a feeling that I will.

Han‘s past as a street lord made me roll my eyes a little, because COME ON NOW, the guy’s sixteen for crying out loud! That’s how life rolls in the mountain city of Fellsmarch, though, so I chose to suspend my disbelief and accept it because sometimes, you just have to. I genuinely liked his free and impulsive personality and if he comes as a little whiny sometimes, you have to recognize that the guy needs a break! Oh, well. I’m not sure why, but I liked the guy.

#SorryNotSorry

Both of them make mistakes, and you’re likely to fight the urge to strangle them at some point, but I cared nonetheless, for better or for worst. Moreover, after all this build-up, the anticipation to see them interact together is killing me. There, I said it.

As for the plot, many readers complained that nothing really happened in this book and that’s true that it reads more like a big introduction to the world of the Seven Realms than anything else. Yet again, I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn’t stop reading, so there’s that. Not to mention that I guessed all the twists, because if you read Fantasy before, you just cannot help. Did it bother me? In all honestly, no. That’s what I call the good kind of predictable, because every time a guess was confirmed, I was glad it was. The Demon King is full of Fantasy tropes, but it stays clear of girl hate and instalove, and then I was able to enjoy the hell out of it. Don’t judge me.

However, my biggest complaint would be the way grief is handled. I don’t know about you, but when characters face awful events, I expect to feel something, and sadly I didn’t. It was Mockingjay all over again, letting me stunned and rather indifferent when I ought to despair.

► All in all, The Demon King was a good introduction to the Seven Realms, and if I can’t recommend it blindly, if you’re not put off by Fantasy tropes and characters who take stupid decisions sometimes, I’d say that you should go for it, because it’s damn entertaining and addictive.

PS. Just so you know… I read the whole series in 4 days, and the books get better and better… until the last one that got 5 stars (reviews coming soon).

Newer posts

© 2018

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: