The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

4.5 stars

*Warning: This review will contain large amounts of flailing*

OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! This book is everything thing I love about high fantasy!!

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I had absolutely no idea what this book was about going into it, I just saw the series on a fantasy recommendations list and thought ‘hey, why not’ and, oh god, I am glad I decided to get it! (I actually got the box set so I’ll be able to continue on with the series straight away – HELLS YEAH!)

I can’t even explain to myself let alone to anyone else why I loved this book so much, this book is so totally only the set up for the rest of the story – which means this book is probably going to be the least exciting of the whole series!!!!! You don’t even understand how excited that makes me!!

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As I said this book is the set up for rest of the series, it focuses more on character establishment and world building then to much plot. The plot does come into it but later in the book then you would expect. In any other book the lack of plot would have annoyed me to no end but I SWEAR GUYS Han Alister and Raisa ana’Marianna are so bloody fantastic that you don’t even mind! This book is told in alternating chapters, with two totally separate storylines. Han is an ex streetlord, who runs odd jobs for the clans to bring in enough money to support his mother, younger sister and himself. Han is very resourceful, and quick witted and kind of sly (he is an ex streetlord after all). I really, really liked Han, he was not perfect in the slightest but he had an authenticity about him – he has lived a shockingly hard life, is lonely and envious of his clan friends and that reflects in his personality, yet at the same time he loves his sister so much and is always willing to help out the clan elders. I loved him! And I’m sure my love for him will grow hugely in the coming books! Raisa is the queen heir, meaning she is the next in line for the throne. Raisa is strong willed yet kind of oblivious about the goings on in her own Queendon. She is kind of frivolous and always craving what she can’t have but I thought she was brilliant. I love that Chima’s created a strong yet confused girl who’s just trying to work out where she fits in.

As I said these two characters have their own, totally unique from each other, storylines. Han is trying to clear his name after a string of murders are blamed on him and Raisa is coming up to her 16th name day, and dealing with in coming courting attempts. Well at least the storylines until like the last 150 pages because THAT ENDING!! I BLOODY DIED. I don’t think I have ever read 150ish pages that fast ever before. I hated and loved all the feels – I was getting so anxious at one point I had to put the book down and take a breather. These separate lines and storylines don’t intertwine in this novel, they get so close at certain times – you’re like mind yelling at the characters to meet already! I did not know this about the book going in and so I spent majority of the book waiting for it to happen before I realised it wasn’t going to. You would think I would hate this but I truly didn’t these characters are so well rounded themselves you don’t need them to bounce off each other to enjoy this book. I can, however, imagine how bloody awesome this series is going to get once they meet!!

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The Demon King is marketed under a young adult book, but it definitely didn’t feel like a young adult book despite the fact the two protagonists are only 16, and that can be contributed to the fact that this book is Complex. Like, complex enough that 100 pages in your still like, ‘huh?’ at certain times. I can’t put my finger on when everything start to make sense for me but at some point in the first half of this book I reached a stage where everything just clicked into place and I was blown away with how much thought Chima put into creating this world. The different – not groups, but not really class systems, more like cultures – in this book all work together to balance out the division of power so no one group holds absolute power. (Sounds familiar – totally took me back to learning about government in high school). The wizards, who are born with the innate ability to perform magic need jinxcharms to channel their magic through, which are created by the Clans who possess green magic – the small ability to manipulate magic provided by the earth. Wizards are bonded through magic to serve the Queen – by the way the royalty in this world is a monarchy (AWESOME) – who is bonded to respect the clans and their gods. Did that make any sense?? It took me like 100 pages to get it so I’m not sure if I can properly sum it up in less than 80 words? Just believe me when I say all the thought that went into it is super cool!

Just some quick other things in this book that blew me away:

  • All the political manoeuvring – it was pretty surreal to read from the perspective of a 16, as she and all the adults in her life, so calmly talking about arranged marriages and alliances.
  • The High Lord Wizard is so bloody evil and ingenious I hated him so much I loved him!
  • I loved that these two characters are so established by themselves that Chima didn’t worry about giving them both love interests, which would usually annoy me (since I’d want them to be together) but instead just added to the awesomeness of the characters.
  • Amon and his special link to Raisa – THAT WAS A TWIST I DID NOT SEE COMING!!! Like holly hell that’s so emotionally destroying! He loves her so, so, so, so, so, so, so much! Ahhh I want him to have a happily ever after but I’m scared all that’s waiting for him is like soul crushing heart ache!
  • The Queen – god that women was so oblivious! ARGH!
  • All the clans people – Willo, Dancer, Bird – awesome characters!
  • All the history and how it has such an impact on the current lives of these people.
  • Again THAT ENDING has set this series up for the most amazing sequel!!

Overall, I flipping loved this book! This book blew me away. I was not expecting to enjoy this book so much, but it’s happened and now I am hooked! I can honestly not wait to binge read the rest of the series, but at the same time I want to make them last because I already know I don’t want them to be over! I can’t wait for the next book to be plot centred – which I guarantee it will be after that ending.

P.S Yeah I realise that was a bloody long review but all my thoughts and feels just kept flooding out of me – sorry!!

reading progress - demon king2

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About Amy

I'm an 20 year old uni student who majors in procrastinating. It's wonderful really - many a great read was read because of it.

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