Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review: The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)

Hardcover: 586 pages
Release date: September 28th, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Source: Bought
Goodreads Summary: 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.

This review might contain some spoilers for those who haven’t read the first book and an influx of fangirling. If you haven’t heard about this series and you love fantasy, Man, you’re definitely missing out on something. I absolutely adored The Demon King, but this one is soo much better I almost forgot to breathe in some scenes. 

At first it was a little drag and I was trying to remember what happened in the first book. It all came back to me bit by bit as the story progresses and I couldn’t help but commend Cinda Williams Chima several times while reading it. After about 50+ pages, I was totally immersed in the story and couldn’t stop reading. It was like playing a guessing game and what happens next is ALWAYS better than what I expected. In my opinion, The Exiled Queen is almost without a flaw. 

Aside from the fantastic plot and world-building, this series is also filled with remarkable characters. I adored Raisa and her strong resolve in learning how to be a soldier and face a life without her princess heir status. I could just imagine how hard it is to adjust from a life of comfort and luxury to being a cadet wherein vanity is the least of your concern. But of course, that doesn’t stop her from kissing guys she should not be kissing. 

And then there is Han *dreamy sigh*. I know all fantasy heroes are supposed to be awesome, but Han Alister is more than that. He has changed so much from being a thief to a talented wizard. His passion, courage and determination made him my favorite character not only in the series but also in all YA Fantasy books. I was always looking forward to Raisa and Han’s encounter since the first book, and when that happened, my plan of going out on a Saturday dissolved. I really liked Amon but my loyalty lies with Han forever. If Raisa didn’t end up with Han, I’m gonna take him <33333. I can’t wait ‘til he finds out that Rebecca aka Raisa is the Gray Wolf princess heir. 

This review probably didn’t give the book the justice it deserves. I can only prod you, people, to read and probably love it as much as I do. 
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