The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Recorded Books, Hyperion Book CH
Publication date: 2009, 2010, 2011, October 2012
Length: 15 hrs 6 min, 17 hrs 49 min, 14 hrs 59 min, 608 pages
Series: Seven Realms, Books 1-4
I'm quite sure I can't summarize the story for all four, but the books follow the story of Raisa, Queen of the Fells as she struggles to come into her own as an independent queen and avoid becoming a pawn either to the Wizard Council or to the Clans. Han is a street lord turned scholar and trying to make his way in the world as something more than what he was before.
Things I Liked:
Since I already reviewed the first three books in the series, I won't go into detail on each of them again (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne). This is more an overall series and Crimson Crown review. I listened to the first three books on audio in preparation for the last one and it was a great idea! Especially as there are so many characters and plots going on at once that I totally forgot some things. I am always blown away by the complicated, detailed, and enthralling world Chima created. This world is so believable, mostly because Chima doesn't spare on details. It totally reminds me of the full-immersion experience I have when reading Lord of the Rings. Middle Earth is only slightly more real to me than the Seven Realms. Not only is the fantasy just amazing, but the characters are too. I thought about Raisa and Han and Amon when I wasn't listening or reading and then long after I finished. I can't seem to get them out of my mind! I enjoyed the narration, though I was a bit skeptical at first, because Carol Monda has kind of an older woman voice. But she does accent and feeling very well and I was immersed in the experience all the way through.
The series end did not disappoint. It was so packed with action, adventure, depth, twists and emotion that I almost couldn't believe it. I loved where the story went and I was really impressed that it seemed Chima was getting her characters into spots where there were no ways out. But of course, Han can always find a way out. Raisa continued to make hard choices, and balanced her feelings with her responsibilities very carefully.
Things I Didn't Like:
The books are LONG, but for true fantasy-lovers, the longer the better. Also, I did get a bit bothered by the pretty lax attitude everyone seems to have about relationships and how many different people the Raisa has relations with and thinks it doesn't matter much. It was a bit disconcerting for a sixteen-year-old to be that way. I had a few issues near the end of Crimson Crown where I thought things were not explained enough and then left me wondering if they happened just for convenience in the story. Still, I'm completely blown away by this epic series and recommend it to fantasy fans looking for something totally engaging.
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Crown and Court Duel by Sherwood Smith
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
occasionally, though most are made up in the world
implied, not on page
a number of violent incidents, generally not too descriptive
Overall rating: *****
Epic fantasy - love it or hate it?
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