Book Review : The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
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 (not sex) 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.
5 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.
5 out of 5 stars
– the Teen
If you enjoyed this series try Cast of Stones, A (The Staff and the Sword) by Patrick W. Carr. I think you will love it too!