Sadie Hawkins Review #103: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

Sadie Hawkins Review #103: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #4
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 1, 2013
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 598
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
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four-half-stars

A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed-Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. 

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana'Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells' inner turmoil, Raisa's best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she's falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it? 

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

Recommended by: Megasus (Cuddlebuggery)

Take that, Seven Realms! I have defeated you! I’m shocked how quickly I managed to binge this series. I finished The Demon King on January 4, and I’m writing this review, having just finished The Crimson Crown on January 19. Binging series is really the best. I highly recommend it. Also, I highly recommend binging this particular series, since it’s all complete and such a good read. The Crimson Crown is one of the best series enders, bringing good and bad ends right where they were needed.

I’m going to start this out with some general, non-spoilery comments, and then I’m going to go inside the spoiler tags and talk about the nitty gritty details.

I’ve got this series spreadsheet in which I rate how good the ending of a series is. It’s not that complicated, just three levels: excellent, okay, and terribad. Very few earn a rating of excellent. To do that, I feel like the series ender needs to tie up most of the dangling threads, leave characters in an emotionally satisfying place, and match or exceed the proceeding books in quality. That’s hard to find.

gif girl like that dynasty mulan
It’s also hard to meet books like that.

Speaking of girls like that, Raisa’s such a boss. She always has been, but she’s continually impressive, both because of her heart and her practicality. Its these two qualities that make her such a wonderful queen. She loves her subjects, but she can also make tough calls when she has to do so. It helps too that Raisa doesn’t get a swelled head and will listen to wiser council when the situation calls for it. Though she’s also prepared to throw down and override everyone, because she’s the queen. Chima managed to very convincingly create a teen character who seems ready to rule a kingdom.

gif i'm the queen hunger games

The plot is on point in The Crimson Crown. Like all the books but the first, I pretty much saw nothing coming ever, except for some very minor things. The big reveal at the end totally shocked me. In fact, in all of the chaos, I’d forgotten that point was still to be officially resolved. Though I’d never really considered that outcome, it fits really well and ties everything together in an important way.

My reservations in the series have been pretty consistent. The fact that Chima uses food words to describe diverse characters and that there could be more LGBT+ representation has consistently been a small disappointment. More upsetting, I think, is that I still don’t care about any of the romances outside of Han and Raisa. I really should, even without third person POVs that follow them, but I don’t. As a result, I don’t get feels of the epic level I did with the Lumatere Chronicles, to which I can’t help comparing this series.

Now to the spoilery things I want to talk about:

View Spoiler »

Seven Realms didn’t immediately become a tippy top favorite series, but it was wonderful. No doubt it will be reread many a time down the road, and it might achieve favorite status then.

Favorite Quote:

“We are imprisoned by history, and so we repeat the mistakes of the past. If I make mistakes, they are going to be all my own.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif aladdin kiss

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4 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Review #103: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima”

  1. You read this series in two weeks?!?! Impressive!! And yes Crimson Crown is one of the best series enders I’ve ever read. It wraps up perfectly but left me hoping for more of this world. Ooh love the JLaw gif! I didn’t care about the other romances either and truthfully I wasn’t a big fan of Cat or Dancer. I liked them okay but they weren’t favorites like they should have been. I loved the ending, your spoiler tag is right on the money but I need to reread, I’ve forgotten plenty. I’m SO EXCITED for the Shattered Realms series and hope all the characters are present! I read on Chima’s blog that she originally started an adult fantasy (The Star-Marked Warden) with all of these characters, shelved it, and created this YA series. So she knows what happens to all of them for years to come. I love the possibilities of that 😀 Ummmmm and that is totally one of my very favorite Disney kisses, good choice!!! Yay Seven Realms, let’s make everyone read them 🙂
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  2. […] A Reader Of Fictions – “one of the best series enders“ […]

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