The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
The Demon King is a dual perspective fantasy that surrounds the city of Fellsmarch. It alternates chapters between Hans Alister, a former streetlord, who is now reformed and Raisa, who is heir to the queendom. As the story picks up, Hans now provides for his family as a runner between the people in the city and the clans and vagabonds who live in the surrounding lands. After taking a magical amulet from three young wizards in a confrontation, Hans spends the remainder of the novel, thrown into a polarized political war between wizards, royalty, and the clans that control magical objects.
Meanwhile, Raisa is at the center of this political strife. She is about to celebrate her 16th birthday, which is also the time when she is eligible for marriage. Trying to delay any proposed matches her mother would like to make used to be her primary concern. However, several events reveal to Raisa how little she knows the people and queendom she will one day take over. This spurs on a personal mission to become a more involved and knowlegdable queen than her mother.
Although from completely separate backgrounds Raisa’s and Hans’ paths interwine as they both fight to discover their destiny in this murky political uncertainty.
Review: This novel was really enjoyable after getting through the first 75 pages or so. It takes a while for the plot to reveal itself, and the reader has to be patient as all the pieces are put in place for the action to begin. It was enjoyable reading from Hans’ perspective, especially once he took on his streetlord persona. I found him to be charismatic and interesting. I liked that the fantasy is set in a queendom, and I hope that before the series ends, I’m able to see a strong female character leading the country. Overall, I do hope to continue this series but I’m not sure when that will be.