Friday, September 24, 2010
THE DEMON KING Review
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can't sell. For as long as Han can remember, he's worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They're clearly magicked-as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.
While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history-it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father's family at Demonai camp - riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.
Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.
The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.
Alright, now, look at that massive summary. I mean, hello? It's huge. Then pick up the book. That too is huge. This has nothing to do on the impact of the book, but I simply wanted to point it out.
That being said, I picked up The Demon King because of all the hype surrounding the book. Book bloggers loved it, the reviews were great, and I happened to win an ARC of the second book, The Exiled Queen. This has been a book I've been meaning to read for some time now, and winning the ARC pushed me to reading it.
Let me say this one thing. I'm not a person who enjoys high fantasy, despite falling in love with Cashore's Graceling. The Demon King is by far high fantasy with a world filled with kings and queens and magic. Not usually my taste but I picked it up anyways.
Instantly, the characters captured my attention. Raisa, the soon to be queen, came off as snobby to me, though I may be the only one. She was sneaking about to be in love with a magician, yet, when her soldier friend returns, she decides it's alright to love them both. What? She suddenly turned into Zoey Redbird from PC Cast's House of Night series who is allowed to love any guy who comes within ten feet of her. Not a quality I like in a character.
Though I disliked Raisa, I instantly was attracted to Han. Coming from a hard life, he has so much more to him than Raisa did. The book alternates chapters between the two characters, but it left me disappointed when their lives only crossed for a short time halfway through the book and didn't reconnect.
Because the summary promises that Raisa and Han's lives collide, I would have hoped for more details, more plot, when the pair of them came together, but it was hardly anything.
Upon finishing the book, I closed it and was frustrated. What is all the hype about? I caught none of it. Nothing in the book was as interesting as claimed and it was far too long with not enough plot for me to enjoy.