Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Demon King - Seven Realms #1 - Cinda Williams Chima

This book is proof that sometimes you have to dive into the unknown. I bought this book at the local book festival (yes, I know, again!). After a full first round in the room, I didn’t have any Fantasy books in my basket, and leaving without my favorite genre wasn’t an option. Anyone who has ever visited the book festival knows that 1 round of all the books takes a whole afternoon. So I had a fast 2nd round (especially in the English fiction) for some fantasy books. As it was getting late, I had to rely on fleeting impressions: the cover, diagonally reading the back cover, ...
This is one of the books I found during the 2nd round. I didn’t know the author, had never heard of the series, but was attracted by the cover.

The world in which the story takes place is exactly what I love so much: a bit of a medieval scenario, with a queen, princess, court intrigues, magicians, war, and much more!
A short description: We are sucked into a world where Fells is ruled by a long line of queens, all descendants from the legendary Hanalea. Hanalea was the queen who, in the past, defeated the powerful magician "The Demon King" and thus saved the world. This is now still known as "The Breaking". Since that day magicians were restricted and the High Wizard bound to the queen.
The present Queen, Marianna, seems to be easily influenced by the High Wizard, Gavan Bayar. Her daughter, the heir Raisa ana'Marianna, has just returned from a 3-year stay in the Demonai Clan with her father's family. The clans live in the mountains and are responsible for the production of many products, including magical amulets.
Raisa is concerned about the weak ruling of her mother and wants to be a better queen. But her mother has other plans for her. Can Raisa take her fate into her own hands?

On the other hand we have Hanson Alister. Han lives with his mother and sister in the slums of Fells March, more specifically Ragmarket. He was formerly known as "Cuffs" referring to the 2 silver bracelets that he could not seem to get out of. Under his pseudonym Cuffs, Han was a famous leader of a street gang, the Raggers. To protect his sister and mother, however, he stepped out of the criminal life and he tries to earn money for his family.
Han stays in Marisa Pines Camp every summer, where he spends his days with his best friend Fire Dancer.
In the beginning of the story Han and his best friend Dancer encouter three young magicians, including Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard. Although mages are only allowed to use magic as they receive their amulet when they’ve been to the magicians academy,  Micah has still managed to get hold of an amulet and sets a mountain ablaze.
Han forces Micah to hand over the amulet and thus initiates a war that will cost him all that’s close to his heart.

This is an ideal book to immerse yourself in and be lost in it until you've turned the last page. I can’t wait for the sequel that will arrive in my mailbox next week!