Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review: The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima





From Goodreads: This novel marks the first giant step in a momentous sci-fi journey orchestrated by Cinda Williams Chima, the author of the popular Warrior Heir series. Its two chief protagonists are ex-thief Han Alister, an impoverished commoner, and Raisa ana'Helena, the headstrong Princess Heir of the Fells. The Demon King brings them together, creating part of a volatile mix of action, magic, and danger. Empathetic characters; wizardly attacks.

I decided to only include a description of the first book because I don't want to give any spoilers for the series as a whole - and honestly it's pretty hard to describe the series as a whole without giving anything away.  All you really need to know is that it's YA epic/high fantasy.  And AMAZING.

Writing
The first half of The Demon King really, really dragged for me.  It's a lot of backstory and history of the Seven Realms world.  In some ways, I can overlook it because the second half of the book and each following book are fast-paced and intriguing.  But I do wish the author could have spaced out more of the backstory and history portions to pick up the pace at the beginning.  Other than that, I had no issues with the writing.  

Luke read them as well and I feel like this is a good place to mention that he felt like the writing was lazy in places.  He was annoyed at things like the use of the Gregorian/Christians/Western calendar in a world where mythology and ancient Rome (and thus many of the names of our months) did not exist.  While I can see his point, I wasn't bothered by it, particularly given the fact that this is intended for a YA audience.  But I think he made a good case, so I thought I'd include his thoughts in the review.

Entertainment Value
Like I said, the first half of book one is slow and then the series takes off and does not let up.  I read all four books over the course of a few days because I could not put them down.  There was crying and up way past my bedtime foolishness and shirking of my duties.  It was an amazing series.

Overall
I highly recommend it, especially to fans of high fantasy.  I think if you enjoyed Mistborn, The Kingkiller Chronicles, or any other YA fantasy, you'll be a big fan of the series.  Also, for those who share my conservatism, don't be put off by the titles.  I avoided reading these for a long time because I don't do demon/Satan books (yeah, I know, but I don't, so no use trying to convince me I'm wrong).  Anyway, the title put me off from even learning about the book, but my friend Joyce persisted and I finally read enough about them to learn that they really aren't in any way about demons, so no worries there.

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