In The Exiled Queen (rev. 11/10), crown princess Raisa ana'Marianna fled marriage and assassination attempts for a quiet student life-and a flirtation with former-gang-lord-turned-wizard Han Allister-at Oden's Ford. Now, with her mother's unexpected death, Raisa's life and throne depend on her swift return to the Fells, before the wizards crown her younger sister and the hostility between the Spirit Clans and flatlanders (and the threat of outside invasion) tear her country apart. But learning Raisa's true identity is a blow to Han Allister's deepening feelings-he knows bluebloods often condescend to a "quick tumble" with street folk like him for the thrill of it. Chima's tour-de-force world-building keeps readers rapt, with cutthroat action sequences running parallel to the political ones. Disappointingly, the ending (a temporary stability following Raisa's coronation) is more a tension put on hold than a catharsis, but unresolved issues galore, including connections between Han and Raisa that echo those between Queen Hanalea and the Demon King of myth, point toward what will surely be a crackerjack of a concluding volume.—Horn Book
Secrets are revealed, oaths sworn, alliances forged and hearts broken in the third volume of this epic fantasy tetralogy. The former gang leader Han Alister, recalled by the clans after a scant year of wizard training, is less interested in their political agenda than in his kidnapped friend Rebecca, resorting to a desperate magical gamble to save her life. But Rebecca is not only tough, smart and fierce; she is actually secretly Princess Raisa, heir to the queendom near political collapse and forbidden to Han by birth, duty and law. While the Seven Realms make war among themselves, every faction and class in the Fells is set against the others, and only Raisa has a chance at uniting them-at the cost of abandoning all her personal hopes and dreams. Despite the lack of overt action, the eddy and flow of complex political and personal intrigues is riveting, and Chima navigates with graceful ease through multiple viewpoints and intricately realized settings united only by a subtle current of magic. Every character is both likable and flawed, written with such clear-eyed compassion that it impossible not to sympathize with all their competing goals. Indispensible for those already committed to the series; those who aren't should go back to the beginning and start.—Kirkus
About the Author
Cinda Williams Chima
is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Warrior Heir
, The Wizard Heir
, The Dragon Heir,
and the first two books in the Seven Realms series, The Demon King and The Exiled Queen.
She lives in Ohio with her family.
Visit her online at www.cindachima.com