Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publication Date: November 19, 2009
Series: Seven Realms, book one
Source: Audiobook from public library, purchased paperback
About the Book: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.
While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon 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 relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai camp – riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. 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 etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.
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 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. (Barnes and Noble)
My Thoughts: So, this is a book many of my middle school readers have been pushing me to read. They can't say enough good things about it. Based on their recommendation (and my enjoyment of Chima's previous work) I've been book talking it since it came out but never actually read it. I was asked to be a part of a blog tour Cinda Williams Chima is doing for the third book The Grey Wolf Throne and I jumped at the chance. I am SO GLAD that I did! Note to self: when your middle schoolers tell you to read something... do it! I absolutely loved this book.
Cinda Williams Chima does an amazing job world-building. Like, "I can't even begin to tell you here because I would ramble on and on and on" amazing. As a reader I felt I had all the details I needed to get a feel for the world without getting bogged down lengthy descriptions. The beautiful maps on the endpapers helped too ;)
I am in love with the characters that Chima introduces us to. Please don't make me pick who I love most. Han tries so hard and is so quick and clever. Raisa knows her mind and wants to be a good queen for her people. Micah is such a contradiction. Dancer is... well, Dancer. And Amon... sweet honorable Amon. I love you all! I especially love that the chapters alternate between different characters. I am super nosey and want to know what is happening with EVERYONE. It's so totally my business right? ;)
Seriously. Be smarter than me. Read this book ASAP!
Random Things I Loved:
*The names of the characters and places
*The fact that The Fells is a queendom
*The way I felt drawn in to the world as well as the characters lives
*Pretty much everything about Raisa
*Chapter titles! I LOVE chapter titles! I really loved that there was no list of chapters so I had to be nosy and flip through the book. It made me try to predict what would happen. Apparently I suck at that!
*The kissing :)