Review: The Demon King

by Cinda Williams Chima

the demon king pamsfive

‘Why do we need to know what happened before we were born?’ 
‘So hopefully we get smarter and don’t make the same mistakes again.’

Title: The Demon King
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Book: #1 of Seven Realms
Genre: Fantasy
Found: on my shelf
Rating: 5 Voodoos

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 smouldering war between clans and wizards.


So I’ve had this on my shelf for YEARS! Or so it seems.
Usually I have some idea of what I’m going to read next as I draw near to the end of a book. However as I’d DNF’d a book and my next planned one actually was terribly similar, I was at a loss as to what to read next and I randomly chose this. Of course, now I have to go and find the rest of this series with the matching covers! Wish me luck…

This wasn’t what I had been expecting from this book at all. It’s far more complex than the blurb leads you to believe. There’s just so much world in this book!
There’s a miss-remembered history about an almost forgotten war, friction between the clans and the vale people and a war coming in from the south as well as something bubbling on the inside. But don’t worry, there’s 3 other books to sort all that out over. Which is surprising, because really, with all the journeys at the end of this one, you’d expect everyone to meet each other in the next book on the road to the market or something.

Speaking of which, I now sort of hope that where this seemed like it was leading is now not where it’s headed. Of course, it’s not nearly as weird as I think it is but still.

I liked Han/Hunts Alone, Raisa/Briar Rose and Amon. I wish we’d got to know Dancer more – though we will probably have the chance in the next book. I didn’t really like Bird though, she reminded me too much of another character in a different book that wasn’t particularly nice. These weren’t the only characters in the book of course, but mostly the others were background characters, or obviously ‘bad’.

I’m excited to see who both Han and Raisa become. They have such potential and their future paths are gonna be pretty difficult, I’m thinking. But I also can’t wait -not only do I want to know more about the past but I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of inspirational people it is they become.

This book raised a very important point though! Raisa is heir to a Queendom and someone refers to it in conversation as a kingdom – which she notices. Which means we notice. Which made me wonder, why isn’t this the United Queendom?! Sounds far more regal.

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One comment on “Review: The Demon King

  1. Veronika Éles

    This is one book I wasn’t originally interested in, but lately I’ve seen it mentioned on various blogs, which has made me intrigued. I mean, for a book published in 2009 to be still praised in 2018? Has to be epic. The characters sound so cool – and I’m happy it looks like they will have a chance to grow in the sequels. Basically, your review made me even more excited for this than I already was.

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

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