I don’t think this high fantasy series gets enough love. It has everything an adventure craving reader can ask for – magic, action, battles, underdogs, evil wizards, princesses, queens and chivalry. To name just a few.
Han Alister is a reformed street lord, now living in the mountains of the Fells. It is hard living, but he does what he can to support his family. Times are tough. The only thing of value he owns are the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. The trouble is, he can’t sell them, as they are impossible to remove. Magic is at play.
After confronting three young wizards causing mischief in the mountains, Han’s life, and that of his best friend Dancer, changes. One of the wizards is the son of the High Wizard, and Han relieves him of a powerful amulet during their confrontation. Wizards use their amulets to store power, but this is no ordinary one. It once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world millennia ago.
Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has just returned to court after three years of life in the mountains, living with her father’s people and learning the ways of the Clans. As heir to the Gray Wolf line, Raisa wants to unite her people and have a peaceful reign, like the legendary warrior queen Hanalea. Her distant ancestor saved the world and eradicated evil. But evil has returned, and Raisa’s mother, Queen Marianna, sees a different path ahead.
This is a powerful and complicated series.
LOVE Han Alister. The former thug can handle himself, but has a heart of gold for his gang and his friends and family. He has magic and he has ambition, and he must learn to channel them both. Princess Raisa is a kick-ass heroine, with good intentions and a good vision for her people. But she, in turn, is governed by tradition and restrictions, and has to learn to work within a system that has grown ever more corrupt.
All the secondary characters; Dancer, Averill, Bird, Queen Marianna, the High Wizard, Micah, Cat and all the street thugs, Amon, Raisa’s best friend and bodyguard, and so many, many, more, are so well thought out and distinct throughout the story.
The world building is spot on for a fantasy novel. The wilds of the Fells, the dark streets of the city, the schools for wizards and warriors, and the politics within and out of the castle are all equally fascinating and received equal attention from the author. There are no weak spots that I could find!
The plot is fantastic, but the first book takes time to really get started. Don’t give up. You will find yourself totally immersed in the world Chima has created. The clash between the different forms of magic – the green of the Clans and the high magic of the Wizards – has to take a back seat to the threats from outside forces. Raisa’s biggest challenge is to unite her people, and the twists and turns she must navigate to do so are impeccably written .
And, because you know I am a sucker for a good cover, LOOK AT THESE. They are STUNNING.
The romance between Raisa and Han is definitely a big part of the story, but the series is so much more than that. Anyone can read these books, and they will appeal to boys and girls alike. There is enough kick-ass mystery and intrigue and sword fights and magical battles to grab everyones’ attention.
The four books of the Seven Realms series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown) are published by Hyperion Books.