Contains spoilers for book one and two of the Seven Realms series.
Seven Realms: Book Three
Written by Cinda Williams Chima
Published August 20th 2011 by Disney Hyperion
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Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.Han Alister has been a wizard for nearly a year, and has been attending school at Mystwerk. That is until he is called back home to serve the clans in a fight that he must win or die trying to win. On his way back home to Fellsmarch, Han finds himself in hot water when he must face a group of men trying to kill a girl. That girl being Rebecca (Raisa) Morley, the girl he was sweet on back at Mystwerk. When he arrives she is already near death. Fortunately he is able to save her, but it comes at a dire cost. Shortly afterwards, he discovers that Rebecca is really Raisa, princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne.
Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.
With this bombshell news, Han's life is shattered once again. Raisa, on the other hand is tossed back and forth into the clutches of danger. The wizards do not want to see Raisa rise to power, and will kill her to prevent that from happening. In a rush to stay alive and return to Fellsmarch to claim her rightful place, Raisa must rely on Han and Amon to keep her alive until her nameday.
Okay, honestly I didn't know it would be so hard to review a series. I feel like with each book I'm being repetitive and boring as hell so bare with me. At this point I doubt many have read The Seven Realms series, why I do not know but PLEASE FOR THE SAKE OF ALL, GO READ IT! I'm so sad that this series doesn't have a fandom because lemme tell you all, it deserves one. Whether you read for the plot, the characters or the writing - I assure you that The Seven Realms has it all - especially when it come to the characters: Han and Raisa. I'm so incredibly happy I picked these books up, guys.
Book one was essentially mostly world building and intro to the characters. Book two was character growth. Book three expands greatly upon both plot and character growth. Raisa has shed her childlike behavior and evolved into a young woman that is well suited for the title of queen. She is spunky, kick-ass and all around a beautiful character. To be honest, if I fancied girls, I would fancy someone much like Raisa. I've stated before that book one Raisa wasn't my favorite, but gahh! She is so a favorite now.
Oooh! Diversity I always forget to bring it up: There is so much diversity in The Seven Realms series. The clans take on what I picture as a Native American culture; I could very well be wrong in my imagining of this, but it's how I see it. Chima takes a lot of pride in expanding on the clans and the Demonai warriors which I absolutely ADORE. The culturistic ideas and morals are so different than that of the bluebloods and the wizards. There's also a pretty neat group called the Waterwalkers; so wicked, I hope there's more on these guys. There's also a presence of LGBTQ couples!
“The answer is no, I would rather marry the Demon King himself than marry you. I suggest you look elsewhere for a bride. And heaven help the one you choose.”
Anywho, back to the characters. Han Alister has to be my ultimate favorite. Why? Because I'm a sucker for broken boys. Plus he's a charming devil, that he is. The Gray Wolf Throne offered a huge, huge character growth for Han. He is no longer a poor streetlord rat, but now a wizard on the royal council. I've got to admit, I kind of missed my rough, ragtag Han but quickly grew to love his new persona.
OH MY GOSH. I Almost forgot my fangirling of the wolves! The bloody wolves are so fucking cool. Basically whenever a queen of the Gray Wolf line dies she essentially becomes a guardian angel wolf and *sigh* I don't know I just really loved this tidbit (it's been there since book one, but it was huge in book three). I just love when the wolves appear to Raisa.
“I have lost everything, Han thought. Then he corrected himself. Every time I think I’ve lost everything, I find there’s still something else to lose.”
Plotting is really prevalent here. Boy, did I enjoy it. SO many political and whimsical routes that twists and turns the story. While I must add that the story is a bit predictable at some points, I still can't figure out where the hell this will go in the long run. Fortunately, I am currently reading the fourth and final novel of the series: The Crimson Crown. While I don't want it to end, I also want to see where Raisa and Han end up.
Book three gave me so much satisfaction. There are no "middle book blues" here, for me at least. There's so much that takes place and it's all amounting to what is a mind blowing finale. Cinda Williams Chima will never cease to amaze me how she has kept such long books so intriguing and brilliant. Honestly, when I finished The Crimson Crown, I had issues picking anything up. But at least I'll have Flamecaster to look forward to in April which actually takes place in the same world, just a different time! If you haven't already, you should truly pick up The Demon King (book one).
Kynndra is a wacky little Canadian moose who needs to get a job and money so she can buy the physical copies of The Seven Realms series because they are really pretty and made with some quality paper.