Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Title: The Demon King 
Author: Cinda Williams Chima  
Series: Seven Realms Series 
Book #: One 
Release Date: October 6, 2009 
Publisher: Hyperion Books 
Source: Bought 

My Rating:  

One day Han Alister catches three young wizard setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won’t use it against him. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battle to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of riding and hunting with her father’s family. Raisa aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that 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 page-turner from best-selling author Cinda Williams Chima. (taken from

Fantasy novels never fail to entice me. Their promise of escapism and intricate plots keep me coming back for more over and over again. I fell head over heels for Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock and was in search of another epic series. Thankfully, I found it in Chima's The Demon King. 

What I Liked:

The character development makes me want to giggle with happiness. From the fiery princess Raisa to complicated Cuffs, every character drew me into their well-written personalities. The characters each have individual traits, descriptions, and mannerisms. It is refreshing to see a series devoid of cliche stereotypes. 

Speaking of cliche stereotypes, I was impressed by Chima's ability to write a strong, independent heroine without turning her into another Katniss wannabe. Reckless female protagonists have become all too common in young adult literature lately, and many of them have been grating on my nerves. There is a distinct difference between a well-developed female character and a girl who simply acts brashly and speaks loudly. Raisa is a believable heroine- her tenacious personality earned my love immediately.

I have always enjoyed thick books filled with fictional histories and politics. While some may become annoyed with the confusing family relationships and the different realms, I excitedly dove into the story's complex plot. 

Chima's world building is masterful. I was effortlessly able to place myself in the characters' shoes and envision the fantastical world in which they live. She leaves no detail out in her vividly worded descriptions. 

What I Didn't Like: 

Honestly, there was only one reason I didn't award The Demon King with five stars. At over 500 pages, it is no quick read. I kept waiting for the story to really begin. Chima obviously has impressive plans for the plot, but few of them come to light in this first book. I'm hoping the story will really pick up the pace in the next few installments. 

Overall, I would highly recommend The Demon King to any lover of fantasy. This first book in the promising Seven Realms series will enchant and delight readers of all ages. Just be sure to set aside a good chunk of time before picking it up, because you won't want to set it down once you start.