Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: The Exiled Queen

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: I have to start off by saying that Cinda Williams Chima writes one of my favorite trilogies (soon to be series).  Naturally I was psyched to hear about the Demon King and its sequels.  I was not disappointed!  I love this new world and cast of characters even more than the Heir books!  I about squealed with joy when I saw that The Exiled Queen was available for a book tour.   It definitely met my expectations! 

Cinda does a magnificent job (as always) of creating a world full of rich depth and unique history.  The Exiled Queen feels like you are stepping into a whole other world.   The reader is fully immersed in the story and makes the reading experience all the more exciting.   I’m fascinated by the history of the Demon King and Queen Hanalea.  I wish Cinda would pull a Beedle the Bard and solely focus on the story there.  That would make me entirely too happy.  XD   The Seven Realms, the Clans, and the Queens are all truly fascinating.  The story and background are so rich it’s hard to not be appreciative of it.  It is truly one of the reasons I adore these books so much.    The plot of The Exiled Queen, while pretty much being filler for the story at large, was still full of twists and surprises.  I loved the eventual meshing of Han and Raisa’s journeys.  It was beautifully done, and it wasn’t forced. 
Okay time for a bit of gushing.  I LOVE Han.  Probably my favorite male MC.  EVA!  Just ah!  I adore him.  Plain and simple; he is epic.   He is just an incredibly rich and diverse character.  He has such incredible depth to his character and personality it’s difficult to NOT love him.  One of the things I enjoy so much about Han is that he has many different faces, but no one truly knows the real him.  He may be known by many as Cuffs, or even Hunts Alone, but few know him as just Han; a young man who is more than just the former street lord and friend to the Clans.   People only glimpse at the surface, and that is definitely the case with Han.  Many people judge him on his reputation alone, and not for who he truly is.  While Han looks out for himself, he is always thinking of his loved ones as well.  Han can go from threatening to off someone in a dark alley to being a brilliant funny guy.  Han grew up in a rough world, where it was either kill or be killed and he doesn’t shy away from potential nasty activities that he thinks are necessary.  I loved that when Raisa and Han finally meet again at Oden’s Ford that it is Raisa who truly gets to see the real him.  Not Cuffs or Hunts Alone, just Han.  It was all too sweet and Han deserves a true friend who he can be himself around.  I love getting to know more of Han and honestly I’d rather be reading his POV the entire time sometimes.  I love Raisa, but I love Han more.  XP   I’m sure I’m not the only fan girl out there.  Haha. 
Raisa did a lot of growing up in this novel.  Raisa’s never been ignorant of the world, but she tends to be a bit naïve.  Especially in thinking that everyone in the Queen’s service is loyal.  It’s a concept she soon rectifies.  Raisa used to lump people into good and bad.  In The Exiled Queen Raisa realizes that there are degrees of both in everyone, including herself.  People are not inherently good or bad, it is what their actions do that defines them.   Raisa embraces her chance to learn more of the world beyond court politics.  She is a true monarch and wants what is best for her people.  She trains like any other soldier and has classes involving battle tactics, history, and learns cultures and political situations of the other Realms.  One of the things I love so much about Raisa is that she is highly mature.  Reminds me of myself actually.  Raisa is very rational and doesn’t judge people for what they do, but for who they are.  One thing that I really appreciated was her capability for self reflection.  She stopped and thought about what she was feeling and WHY.  Not many people do this, and more people should.  It is a quality I greatly admire and wish I did more of.  I enjoy reading from Raisa’s POV, but it just doesn’t compete with Han.  XP 
Cinda really introduced a lot of new plot twists that have me desperate for book three!  And the ending! AH!  Just as bad as Demon King!  I LOATHE cliff hangers.   I mean I’m just so depressed!  I get an ARC of Exiled Queen and I’m already desperate for the third!  AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! The world is just not fair.  :/  I assure you, any Cinda Williams Chima fans out there *cough*Mike *cough* will adore Exiled Queen!  And for those of you that have not experienced the awesomeness of her books…. *angry face* READ THEM! 



Amelia said...

Oohhh I am officially intrigued. I saw this and THE DEMON KING and I couldn't help but wonder what it was about, because CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA is the *luckiest* author (in my opinion) when it comes to cover designs. Those two, plus the 3 heir books, are just amazingly, brilliantly gorgeous.

But when I think of 'Han,' I can't help but think '...Solo.' Hmmm.

And my HEIR books are about to jump off the bookshelf and smack me in the face, because I have had them for a WHOLE YEAR and have not read them yet. But now that changes!
Awesome review, Miss Ky :D

Michael Antonio Araujo said...


My mom got me the book and it's sitting on my bedside but I'm reading The Demon King still. I don't know what it is, maybe it's because everytime I read it I'm tired but I really need to get into it because Cinda Williams Chima is awesome!!!!

Epic review though I seriously can't wait to get to it =D