Today I am review the YA high fantasy novel ‘The Demon King’ book one in the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
4 out of 5 stars.
This is the first book I have read by Chima and I am impressed. High/Epic fantasy is one of my favourite genres and I don’t think I’ll every get sick of these types of books. They are so magical and adventurous and simmering with romance. The Demon King has everything a good high fantasy should and I look forward to reading all 4 books in this series.
A thousand years ago a wizard become king, went insane and almost destroyed the land. Now the wizards are kept in check by the clan members and are forbidden to marry a queen and be king ever again.
This book contains a cast of very interesting and diverse characters. It is told in third person from the POV of Han and Raisa.
Han is an ex-street lord, who has been fostered by the clans since his father died. (Meaning he is accepted among them, though he lives in the city with his mother and sister). He is close to the clan members Fire Dancer and Bird, who are both approaching 16, and therefore adulthood.
Raisa is the princess heir. She is 15, approaching 16 where she will celebrate her name day and be eligible to marry – though she has no interest in marriage so young. Raisa knows she is naive about a lot of things and she is willing to learn and do whatever it takes to do what is right by her people. She is determined, strong willed with a generous heart and a fighting spirit. She seemed very human and very much her age, and unlike a lot of YA heroine these days, she kisses boys, lots of them, without falling head over heels and declaring her love forever. (Don’t get me wrong, I love a good love story that promises forever, but it’s nice to see a heroine like this for a change.)
Han’s world is turned upside down when he takes a magical amulet from a wizard that is trespassing on clan land. Trouble soon follows and he finds himself on the run.
Raisa is having illicit trysts with the young wizard Micah Bayar, son of the most powerful wizard in the realm. But when her childhood friend Amon comes home, grown and in training to be a guard, her attention starts to shift. They are attracted to each other but are held back by duty. A sort of love triangle forms, but Raisa doesn’t let her heart be stolen away.
Amon was by far the more favourable choice. I just loved him. He was noble and courageous, loyal and protective, and handsome.
There were slow going moments, but it really ramps up in last third of the book. The slower bits weren’t boring though and you’ll be surprised by the many twist and turns and secrets that everyone seems to be keeping.The ending has been set up to make for a very exciting book 2.
If you are a fan of high/epic fantasy than I highly recommend this. If you are looking for a more toned down version of an adult high/epic fantasy this would be a great option for you.
You can add it to your goodreads here