Sadie Hawkins Review #100: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Sadie Hawkins Review #100: The Demon King by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 7, 2010
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 506
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
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One day Han Alister catches three young wizard setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against him. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana'Marianna has her own battle to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of riding and hunting with her father's family. Raia aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that her mother has other plans for her-plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning page-turner from best-selling author Cinda Williams Chima.

Recommended by: Steph (Cuddlebuggery) & Arshia

The time has come the blogger said to read of many things. Of scheming wizards, of amulets and queens. The Seven Realms series has been one of the big holes in my YA reading. Friends have been urging it on me strenuously this year, and very suddenly the time came for me to read it. As I was warned, The Demon King is a bit slow, but, by the end, it was really picking up speed.

Slow almost doesn’t seem like the right word. The Demon King wasn’t boring and it didn’t really feel like a slog; it’s just that becoming at all invested took quite a while. Third person limited narration can be a bit distancing, because the personalities aren’t all up in my face. Plus, in a novel like this, there’s a large cast to meet and remember. Not to mention that some of them have multiple names, which does not make anything easier for the reader, dear Clan members.

As my friends told me, the number one draw to Seven Realms is the amazing treatment of gender in the series, which is already apparent. The Fells is ruled by a line of queens and has been for generations. Women can obtain any career that men can and are equally represented in the Guard. There’s almost no sexism towards either gender in the Fells. Most of the Clan leaders are female as well. Kingdoms in the south view women as lesser, and they’re considered with skepticism and judgment by the people of the Fells. It’s really a beautiful thing.

The Fells is also super chill for the most part regarding kissing and sex. My favorite thing about Raisa is that she’s building a little reverse harem of boys to kiss, and she doesn’t think a thing is wrong with that. She knows she’ll have to make a political marriage and might need to keep her “virtue” intact for that if she marries someone from the south, but that doesn’t mean she can’t have fun.

The romance obviously will be pretty important to the series, but nothing’s sure yet. I actually am not positive if I can call the ships yet. I thiiiiink the main ship is going to be the obvious one, but I wouldn’t bet anything on that yet. Mostly, I suspect this will be one of those books where I ship everyone with everyone, because yes. For the moment, they’re a wee bit young, but I will probably cease to care about that in book two.

So far as the characters go, I’ve not completely fallen in love yet, but I can see myself getting there. I do love that the teens go to adults when they can and that it’s not teens alone saving the kingdom. Raisa and Han don’t always make the best choices, but they always try really hard and do the best they know how to. What I do think is so great about them is that neither of them is the best at things. They fool people into thinking they are with swagger and determination.

For most of the book, the plot moved pieces around to set up the series. The big things were really obvious. I knew what Han’s secret was from the very beginning. I also knew who the villain was. They were so clearly broadcast I don’t even feel the least bit clever for figuring it out. That, too, made the pace feel slower than I think it actually was. However, it’s a great foundation for what’s to come.

When I put down The Demon King, I immediately wanted to pick up The Exiled Queen. What else is there to say, really, than that?

Favorite Quote:

“Well, then, what’s your position on multiple wives? If you have two or three, can your wife have multiple husbands?”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif aladdin street rat gif jasmine sneaking out
No, really, this book is Aladdin.

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8 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Review #100: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima”

  1. Brigid says:

    YESSSSS. I fucking love how casual they see sex. Most fantasy novels I’ve read have always made women into pedestals of virtue when it comes to their virginity and if they have sex usually they’re prostitutes or “sluts.” I also felt the secret was quite obvious, for those who aren’t strangers to fantasy. But, I thought the pacing was quite slow at times. I loved this book when I read it and I still do. Shame on me for not having read the second yet.
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    • Christina Franke says:

      If you haven’t read Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore, you should read their books too. Also very casual attitudes about sex. I think Pierce paved the way for later YA fantasy.

      You should definitely continue the series. The Demon King is by far the weakest in the series. The plot gets incredibly good in the next book and stays that way. Not predictable afterwards!

  2. Meg says:

    Meg recently posted…Buzz Worthy News: JK Kicking Butts January 19, 2014My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I KNOW. I was wondering if other people saw that at all. Also wondering if she meant to do that. Obviously it goes its own way after this, but ahahaha.

  3. Hannah says:

    Ah yes! This is one of the the series that I’m determined to finish this year -I’ve read The Demon King, and need to get my hands on the other 3 books!
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  4. Lesley says:

    Ohhh, I might have to actually bite the bullet and read this book now! I’ve been circling it for a while because I keep hearing great things, but for some reason I’ve been avoiding it. I think hearing it’s a slow start and already an established series just puts me off. Still, might just have to get over myself and start it!
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    • Christina Franke says:

      You should definitely go for it. The start is a bit slow, but the other three aren’t, and I think it’s a rare series that just improves as it goes along. 🙂

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