Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion Books, 506 pages
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
One day Han Alister catches three young wizard setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won’t use it against him. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battle to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of riding and hunting with her father’s family. Raisa aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that her mother has other plans for her—plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.
An absolutely stunning high fantasy book, this has become my new favorite series. There's so much to love about this book: an amazing cast of characters, intricate world-building, political intrigue, and just a hint of romance.
About a thousand years before, there was a wizard known as the Demon King who apparently almost destroyed the world but was killed by Hanalea, the warrior queen. In the aftermath, the wizards are kept on a leash, so to speak, and the clans (who have green magic) are supposed to keep them in check. There are rules in place to keep the wizards from getting too powerful, such as not being able to marry the descendants of Hanalea. There's war to the south, the wizards seem to be growing more powerful, and the people in the Fells are starving.
The book focuses on two main characters, Han, an ex-thief, and Raisa, a princess who is a descendant of Hanalea and who will someday take over the throne. Han is trying to stay on the straight and narrow, but he's barely scraping by, taking odd jobs just to survive. Poor Han, he just can't catch a break. Raisa is strong-willed with a good heart, and rather oblivious about everything that's going on in the kingdom. The book begins with her coming back to the castle at Fellsmarch from spending three years with her father's family at Demonai camp. She had a lot of freedom there and is not too happy with court life. I loved how the author weaves Han and Raisa's stories together, and the book is told from both of their POVs. I became emotionally invested in these two, and even the secondary characters, such as Amon and Fire Dancer. Amon...just love him so much!
The book is well-paced, with a riveting plot and I just couldn't put it down. Enchanting, enthralling, I can't express how much I utterly enjoyed this book. I'm definitely going on a binge and reading the rest of the series. Love love love!!
Posted by: Pam