Book of the Week: The Demon King

You know, I’ve always known that I love books. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved books. I’ve been receiving books as presents from family and friends for as long as I can remember. I seriously would rather get a book or a gift certificate for books than anything else. I’ve always known.

Just recently I started going through my books and I realized just as much I really do own. Its insane!

And that’s just a sampling of all the books that I own. So I told myself, since I have a tiny room and there isn’t a whole lot of room in my house to begin with, I would cut back on buying books.

Yeah, I think that lasted about a couple days…

I LOVE BOOKS.

I recently bought a book and finished it fairly quickly, because I enjoyed it so much so it is this week’s Book of the Week.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima 

The Demon King is the first book in the Seven Realms series. It is followed by The Exiled Queen (which I’m currently reading and am about 150 pages in), The Gray Wolf Throne and the Crimson Crown. I am excited that I still have two books after this one because this was an awesome find!

The novel follows two different plotlines. First you meet Han Alister. He’s sixteen years old and a former streetlord to the gang Raggers in the outskirt towns of Fellsmarch. He is trying to reform himself in order to provide a good life for himself and his mother and younger sister, Mari. That is, until he runs into a young wizard named Micah and steals his very powerful amulet from him. As soon as he takes this amulet, it seems bad luck is following him and soon he is accused of murder. Han is determined to figure out who is murdering people in his town in order to clear his name.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa is reaching her sixteenth name day, the day where she will now be eligible for marriage. While she enjoyings courting and flirtations and enjoys kissing Micah Bayar, son of the kingdom’s High Wizard, and Amon Byrne, a corporal in the Queen’s Guard and her longtime friend, she isn’t ready for marriage. She wants adventures and she wants to travel and to get to know her queendom better. However, it seems that her mother has other plans for her and mysterious things continue to happen to Raisa. Soon, she starts to suspect something fishy is going on and perhaps her mother’s relationship to the High Wizard, Gavan, is more than it seems.

Han and Raisa are hundreds of miles apart and their stories start to intertwine and unfold something mysterious going on in their queendom. Though they meet once, the novel ends with them apart from each other and leaves you dying for the next book. ( I went out to Barnes and Noble last night right before they closed because I HAD to have the next book).

The Good or the Bad:

 THERE’S NO LOVE TRIANGLE!

I mean, not really. And that alone is enough to give me reason to LOVE this book.

The fact is, this is a fantastic fantasy novel that focuses on the fantasy and the politics and mysteries of the queendom and yet has a balance of steamy scenes that keep me satisfied but doesn’t make me gag. (The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices are the only stories where the love story doesn’t make me gag).

Han and Raisa are both sixteen and of course they have romantic feelings and romantic adventures. Han has an relationship with Digging Bird, of the clans. (Raisa herself is half-clan, her mother’s consort and her father is Averill, high trader of the clans). Raisa flirts and kisses Micah and Amon. But there isn’t any crazy declarations of love or mushiness. Its kind of that typical fun that you have when you’re a teenager and you want to kiss everyone in sight.

But besides that, its a damn good story. At first, I’m confused, not quite sure whats going on but soon, you realize why you’re confused. Something is going on in this queendom and you realize that some of the mysteries that are happening Han’s world have a lot to do with the mysteries unraveling in Raisa’s world. You realize that they’re going to be connected in ways that they don’t even know, especially since the one time they meet, they don’t really get the chance to know each other. Raisa meets Hans as Cuffs Alister, the streetlord, and Hans meets Raisa in disguise as Rebecca Morley, a lower noble girl.

Raisa is a fantastic character. She has this love for her queendom and for the position she is in. She does not shy from it at all. She knows that one day she must marry and that when she marries, it must be for the good of her people and for her line. Even though she likes flirting and kissing Micah and Amon, she knows she cannot marry them because they are a wizard and soldier, respectively, and it is not allowed. She feels a great duty to her royal blood. She wants to get out and have adventures and see the world because she wants to be aware of the world and she wants to know her people and her lands to be a better queen. Its fantastic. When she goes in disguise, she really sees how people are treated in her outlying towns and she is horrified. People are starving, poor and uneducated and so she starts up a ministry in order to help them. She genuinely wants to be a good queen and her mother, Queen Marianna, isn’t often interested.

Han, on the other hand, is a typical teenager. He’s trying to figure things out and he’s struggling. He used to be a streetlord, a good one, so good that there are legends and whispered rumors about how amazing he was. Now that he’s quit the streets, he’s poor as hell and trying to provide for his mother and sister and failing. He has silver cuffs on his arms that he has never been able to get off, and he wishes he could because he could sell them and make some money. He has no place he belongs. He is friends with the local clan, where his best friend, Fire Dancer, lives and his sometimes-girlfriend, Digging Bird, lives. There he is Hunts Alone, but he still doesn’t feel like he belongs. Then he steals that amulet from Micah Bayar and things get complicated. Then he has his true heritage revealed and he has a destiny to fulfill and his life gets even more complicated.

The story leaves off with Han fleeing to his destiny and Raisa fleeing from her mother and the High Wizard and you know that their paths are going to cross and that there is some major stuff going down. You literally have this absolute NEED to read the next book, to figure out what is going to happen next. I definitely recommend this book. The characters are strong, the story is addicting and with it being a series, you definitely will be occupied for awhile. I literally cannot think of one bad thing about this book; I loved it.

Cinda Williams Chima has done what a lot of authors cannot seem to do anymore: writing a young adult fantasy that doesn’t need the world “romance” in the genre title. Most young adult novels of late are classified under “paranormal romance” and “fantasy romance” and its sad because so much of them are just horrible. Chima brings a genuinely good fantasy to the young adult genre. I applaud this book over and over again. I’m sad that I havent’ heard of this before (The Demon King was published back in 2009) and that more people are not reading this. I’m proud to write about it for this blog to hopefully get it out there so people read it.

So definitely pick it up, check it out. It is a book made for both boys and girls and its brilliant. As always, if you click the title above, it’ll take you to the Amazon page :D Its fairly inexpensive too!

See you next week for the Book of the Week and hopefully you check this out!

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