“The Demon King” – Current Trends Feature Books With Strong Female Protagonists

Book Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Spoiler Alert!

Han Allister and Dancer from the Clan confront three underage  wizards setting fire to the mountain which results in Hans gaining possession of a powerful amulet. Han spends time each year with the Clan as well as in the city Fellsmarch.  In Fellsmarch Han is known on the street as Cuffs, because of the mysterious silver bracelets he’s worn since birth, and as being the leader of the Raggers, a street gang. Han has decided to reform himself and has retired from the Raggers, however, the honest way of life has proven to be very difficult.

The Bayers, who are the most powerful wizards, are now searching for the lost amulet that Han has hidden away. Later Han learns it belonged to the Demon King, who was held responsible for nearly destroying the entire world. There are mysterious beings killing rival gang members while in search for the missing amulet. Han is blamed for the deaths and his own life is in danger. Due to the pressures and misunderstanding Han is put in a compromising situation and he kidnaps the princess heir, though he does not know her identity.

The princess heir, Raisa, is nothing like her mother, the weak willed Queen Marianna. Showing great strains of resourcefulness and courage Raisa begins to discover the secrets of the city, the poverty of the general populace, the growing power of the wizards and the concerns of the Clan. She hopes to emulate the great warrior Queen Hannalea, who saved the world during the time of the Demon King.

Adult Point of View

I enjoy the characters who have a lot of depth in The Demon King. Raisa is in the mold of new female characters who are self-reliant, strong willed and still retain their humanity. Chima has also developed a complex world with three primary forces at work, the Clan with natural magic who keep the wizards in check, the Wizards with higher magic and more political clout, and the political forces within the kingdom ruled by Queen Marianna and the surrounding kingdoms. There are scenes with violence, though not overly graphic. There are also a few scenes with earthy sensuality, though again, not overly graphic.

An example of a sensual scene, p.361 “He lowered her down to the rock, kissing her nose, her eyelids, every part he could reach, and she slid her hands under his shirt, pressing him closer, her hands warm and rough against his back.”

I would classify this novel as being for pleasure reading, and I found it very enjoyable. It doesn’t have the weighty moral dilemmas found in “literature”. I chose to edit the book for my 13 year old to read. Without it being edited it would be appropriate for about 15 year olds.

3.75 out of 5 stars.

If you enjoyed this author you might also enjoy the books by Catherine Fisher, The Relic Master Series and Incarceron.

– the Mother

Teen Point of View

I absolutely loved it. All the romance was wonderful, a little too much at times but still on the great side. Lots of action and always wonderful magic. I thought the plot was great,  lots of twists and detail. I loved all the characters, good and bad. The story pulled me in real fast. I think this is a fun read for all teenage people, it is not life changing but very enjoyable. I also loved the second, The Exiled Queen, for the same reasons. The Demon King is a fun read for everyone. Everyone will enjoy this book!

– the Daughter

Recently I have starting reviewing all the books in a series rather than just the first one. I have not written a review for the 2nd and 3rd book in this series, but my feelings have been consistent through the whole series that it is well written, sometimes a bit sensual (earthy as my mother would say) and spell binding.

Here is the review for the conclusion of the Seven Realms series:

Book Review : The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

Spoiler Alert!

Queen Raisa ana‘Marianna has pressure from the wizards, the clan and outside kingdoms all wanting control of the Fells. Politics among the blue-bloods has become one of the most dangerous endeavors as discovered by the former street lord, Han Alister, as he works to position himself to protect Raisa and seek his own happiness.                 Wizards are randomly being murdered in the city and no one knows who is responsible, though the wizards blame Han. Raisa continues to try to unite the factions and is the only supporter of Han, who is despised by everyone. Finally, there is a secret that Han has discovered, but the last person with this treasure trove ended up betrayed and dead. Han is hoping to have a better ending that the Demon King.

Adult Point of View

Cinda Williams Chima is currently one of the strongest writers in young adult fiction. When I had read her first book in this series I enjoyed it, but I didn’t realize what a great author Chima is in the young adult world because I hadn’t read a lot of the books that are mediocre and flat out awful at that time. Now I greatly appreciate this author and look forward to anything else that she writes.

She has a wonderful way of creating a complex world while still keeping the details clear and distinct. The Fells has three main factions (Vale folk, wizards and clan), a religion, traditions and an overpowering legend of the Demon King. Every aspect of this world is integrated into the telling of Raisa’s story. The surrounding countries have a different personality than the Fells and their own power struggles on the fringes of the action.

Her characters are multidimensional, and not just the main characters but also the secondary characters. Raisa is strong and intelligent but also doubts herself. Han feels that he is not good enough for Raisa and puts on a bravado for others while he is actually principled and protective of the weak. Raisa’s father, Averill, is loyal and loving, but also blinded by his ties to the clan. Micah is arrogant, privileged, over-bearing, obnoxious and yet he still has a genuine love for Raisa and wants to do the right thing (mostly). Lord Bayar is evil and more evil, there has to be at least one character to loath. Nightwalker is loyal to the clan and the Demonai, is arrogant, a talented warrior and lives by his own set of (zealous) values even when they conflict with common moral principles.

In The Crimson Crown there are answers that needed to be answered giving the reader a wonderful sense of completion. (Because the world is so complex she could easily write more in the Seven Realms, but it feels like Han and Raisa’s story is finished.) Some important details revealed include, why Han can see the queen’s wolves, the true nature of Lucius, more about the Queen Marianna ana‘L’issa death and the love story of Alger Waterlow with Hanalea.

As a warning there is one sensual scene with Han and Raisa, which is why I recommend these books for 15 years old and up, however, I am sure most kids even 13 and 14 years old would love this series. I believe the series will appeal to girls more strongly than boys.

4 out of 5 stars

– the Mother

If you like this author you might also like Catherine Fisher and Robin McKinley!

Teen Point of View

I absolutely loved this book! The writing is just great and really beautiful. It has the best plot and characters I’ve seen in a very long time. I love Han, but wished it mentioned his full name more (Hanson), especially when they were getting married and such. I thought it was beautifully made and definitely a great book for anyone to read.

4.75  out of 5 stars

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About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow cooked in a tagine. Weekly I get together with friends and go to yoga for a bit of mommy time. Some may find me quirky, I prefer to think I am one of a kind.
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