Monday, November 29, 2010

The Exiled Queen

You can't always run from danger...

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

Beth says 5 Stars...

I love Cinda Williams Chima. Her first trilogy was excellent, and the first Seven Realms novel was really good. However, The Exiled Queen was significantly better than The Demon King and surpassed my expectations. It's a prime example of epic high fantasy, which I've been craving of late. I know I've said this before, but with the market so saturated with paranormal romance a good epic adventure in a far-flung realm is hard to come by these days. Chima satisfied my craving and then some. I literally could not put this book down; I read it in two sittings, and the only reason it took me two was because I had to sleep. The plot is split between following Han and Raisa in their journeys to and in Oden's Ford. It's beautifully paced and flows completely naturally. There wasn't a forced moment in the entire book that I could tell. If one did exist, I didn't notice because I was utterly engrossed in what was happening on the page. The world completely came to life on the page for me.

Han just keeps getting better and better. I wasn't his biggest fan until the end of the last novel, but I now officially adore him. He's become much more than just a rough and tumble street lord with exceptional power and a fondness for his family. He finally reveals more about who he is, and I liked it. Raisa is basically awesome. She manages to walk the line between royal and relatable without seeming contrived. I both sympathized with her and looked up to her strength. She gained more independence and a firmer grip on the realities of the responsibilities being a future queen. The change of locale forced the characters to change and explore different sides to their personalities, which pushes them forward from a developmental standpoint. The supporting cast adds greatly to the story, but the brunt of the focus rests on the two main characters who bear it well.

I'm sorry if this review is a little gushy, but I just can't help it. This was an amazing continuation of a series I'm head over heels for. The ending was a cliffhanger (of course) and I can't wait to get my hands on the next novel. I thoroughly recommend this series for any fantasy lovers, or, honestly, pretty much anyone. This was one of my favorite reads of the year and has me anxiously awaiting another book.
Book from Library


Post a Comment