The Demon King (A Seven Realms Novel)
By Cinda Williams Chima
(Disney-Hyperion, Hardcover, 9781423118237, 512pp.)
Publication Date: October 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
Cinda Williams Chima is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, and The Dragon Heir. She wrote her first novels in middle school. Cinda is a graduate of The University of Akron and Case Western Reserve University. She lives in Ohio with her family. You can visit her website at www.cindachima.com
Princess Raisa, heir to the Queendom of the Fells, chafes against the forced royal marriage in her future. Trying to support his family with odd jobs, Han can't decide what life he wants from among the three he's juggling-and past mistakes made when he was a gang leader keep surfacing to haunt him. Additionally, Han finds himself the unwitting owner of an ancient talisman taken from the land's most powerful wizards, while Raisa faces the political maneuverings of those supposedly bound to serve her family. In elegant prose, Chima (the Heir series) constructs a complex but comprehensible world, where wizards and clans coexist in an uneasy and restrictive arrangement, brokered after the destructive actions of the Demon King, 1,000 years earlier. With full-blooded, endearing heroes, a well-developed supporting cast and a detail-rich setting, Chima explores the lives of two young adults, one at the top of the world and the other at the bottom, struggling to find their place and protect those they love. An auspicious start to the planned Seven Realms trilogy.—PW
Han Alister was once a street thief and gang leader, nicknamed Cuffs for the magical silver cuffs he's worn for as long as he can remember. Now that he's reformed, he can't seem to escape from his past, and he spends much of his time hunting in the mountains with his clan friends. When he and his friend Fire Dancer meet a group of young wizards, Han comes into possession of a magical amulet linked to the legendary Demon King, not knowing that it will bring danger to him and his family. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa is soon to turn 16 and be named heir to her mother's throne. She becomes aware of intrigues that surround the queen, who seems to be strongly influenced by their country's High Wizard. Han's and Raisa's adventures and journeys toward understanding themselves run parallel throughout the book, intersecting only when the princess dresses up as a commoner and meets Han briefly. The conclusion leaves both Raisa and Han setting out on new adventures toward a common destination, leaving much to be resolved in their futures and in the future of their land. Chima shows a sure hand with details and history, and readers will be drawn into the lives of the two protagonists. Fans of magic, danger, and high fantasy will find a complex and involving world and be left waiting for the next volume in this exciting trilogy.—SLJ
Rich characterization and exquisite world building make up for a leisurely pace in the dense first volume of a new epic-fantasy trilogy. Han Alister is a fatherless street rat, former thief lord and runner for the Clan tribes. Raisa is the Princess Heir, last in a long line of fabled warrior Queens. Their paths should never have intersected, had not both become enmeshed in the schemes of the wizards seeking to regain powers curbed for the crimes of the Demon King, a thousand years past. Now ancient talismans and grim portents herald murder and treason, and both Han and Raisa are forced to embrace heritages they can scarcely imagine. Chima forges an intricate world, alloying standard genre tropes in unexpected ways and inlaying intrigue amid a delicately crafted setting of history and legend. Dozens of characters, complex and distinct in personality, are placed with jewel-like precision, set off by dark glints of villainy. Few readers will mind reaching the end with the protagonists still separated by hundreds of miles only to realize it was naught but prelude to the real action; instead, they will clamor for the sequel.—Kirkus