Monday, May 9, 2011

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

Book One – The Demon King

Han Alister and his friend, Fire Dancer, are out in the early spring scavenging for what little can be found. At sixteen, most of the residents of Fellsmarch didn’t consider Han a man yet. Finding little, they decide to hunt for deer to provide some fresh meat for the table. When they locate a small herd of deer, the two boys also notice a weird colored fire. Missing the chance to shoot a deer, they take refuge behind a rocky outcrop to get out of the fire’s path. Soon three boys their age, dressed in fine clothes and riding horses, appear. Dancer realizes they are charmcasters or wizards and demands to know what they are doing on forbidden lands. The leader informs Dancer that his name is Micah Bayar and that they are on Queen Marianna’s orders to drive the deer to the valley below so that she and her daughters can hunt. Micah then questions Dancer if his real name is Hayden, which happens to be a wizard’s name. Words, blows and charms ensue between the two until Han draws his bow on Micah. Having the upper hand, Han orders the three young wizards to leave but not before commanding Micah to take off his powerful amulet. He clearly does not want to do it but sees no choice. Dancer wants to leave it behind but Han wraps it in a cloth for safekeeping.
Raisa, the princess heir to the throne of Fells, has spent the last three years of her life at the Demonai camp with her father’s clan. Now back at Fellsmarch Castle, she is hearing the whispering about her mother among the members of the court. The Queen is too close to the High Wizard, Lord Gavan Bayar who is Micah’s father. Raisa herself has entered a forbidden flirtation with Micah. But with the opportunity to hunt and ride, Raisa is chomping at the bit to go. Soon Raisa becomes uneasy but keeps her fears to herself until it is almost too late. The royal hunting party encounters Micah and his companions as the fire traps them in a canyon. Using the boys, Lord Bayar performs a chant that causes the fire to be put out.
Han, a former streetlord known as Cuffs Alister, has worn a pair of silver engraved wrist cuffs for as long as her can remember. They are clearly enchanted as he can never take them off and they grow with his body. His mother seems to not recall how they came to be. Han is trying to eek out a meager living for his mother and sister but his former gang life continues to follow him. Raisa begins to sense that not all is right in her world and unwanted and unexpected change looms on the horizon. Her mother’s queendom seems to be headed for disaster. Raisa desires to be a more powerful queen than her mother but the queen is more interested in a husband for her daughter.
What happens when Han and Raisa’s worlds unexpectedly collide and the long smoldering war between the wizards and the clans finally breaks out? The Demon King is the first book in the Seven Realms series. Readers will be hooked from the first page in this hard to put down fantasy read.
Book Two – The Exiled Queen

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read any further if you haven’t read The Demon King. Don’t want to ruin this incredible series for you!
All is not well in the Seven Realms. War continues amongst the brothers in Arden, each one jockeying to become king and the bloodshed seeps throughout. Princess Raisa, heir to the Gray Wolf throne, has fled the Fells with Amon Bryne and his triple after her narrow escape from a forced marriage to Micah Bayar on her naming day. Han Alister is reeling from not only the deaths of his mother and sister, but the discovery of his true identity. Both journey to Oden’s Ford to attend one of the various academies located there; Raisa, warrior school and Han the wizard school. But what happens when their paths cross once again? Will Raisa’s true identity be discovered? Is she cut out for military school? Will her broken heart be mended? Does Han have what it takes to become a wizard? And will the Bayar twins stand in his way?
Readers will be left gripping their books at the ending wondering where Raisa and Han’s paths will takes them.

The Seven Realms series continues with The Gray Wolf Throne on August 30, 2011.
Visit Cinda Williams Chima’s website.

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