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The Demon King: A Seven Realms Novel Hardcover – October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 506 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423118235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423118237
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Han Alister was once a street thief and gang leader, nicknamed Cuffs for the magical silver cuffs he's worn for as long as he can remember. Now that he's reformed, he can't seem to escape from his past, and he spends much of his time hunting in the mountains with his clan friends. When he and his friend Fire Dancer meet a group of young wizards, Han comes into possession of a magical amulet linked to the legendary Demon King, not knowing that it will bring danger to him and his family. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa is soon to turn 16 and be named heir to her mother's throne. She becomes aware of intrigues that surround the queen, who seems to be strongly influenced by their country's High Wizard. Han's and Raisa's adventures and journeys toward understanding themselves run parallel throughout the book, intersecting only when the princess dresses up as a commoner and meets Han briefly. The conclusion leaves both Raisa and Han setting out on new adventures toward a common destination, leaving much to be resolved in their futures and in the future of their land. Chima shows a sure hand with details and history, and readers will be drawn into the lives of the two protagonists. Fans of magic, danger, and high fantasy will find a complex and involving world and be left waiting for the next volume in this exciting trilogy.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Princess Raisa, heir to the Queendom of the Fells, chafes against the forced royal marriage in her future. Trying to support his family with odd jobs, Han can't decide what life he wants from among the three he's juggling-and past mistakes made when he was a gang leader keep surfacing to haunt him. Additionally, Han finds himself the unwitting owner of an ancient talisman taken from the land's most powerful wizards, while Raisa faces the political maneuverings of those supposedly bound to serve her family. In elegant prose, Chima (the Heir series) constructs a complex but comprehensible world, where wizards and clans coexist in an uneasy and restrictive arrangement, brokered after the destructive actions of the Demon King, 1,000 years earlier. With full-blooded, endearing heroes, a well-developed supporting cast and a detail-rich setting, Chima explores the lives of two young adults, one at the top of the world and the other at the bottom, struggling to find their place and protect those they love. An auspicious start to the planned Seven Realms trilogy.—PW

Han Alister was once a street thief and gang leader, nicknamed Cuffs for the magical silver cuffs he's worn for as long as he can remember. Now that he's reformed, he can't seem to escape from his past, and he spends much of his time hunting in the mountains with his clan friends. When he and his friend Fire Dancer meet a group of young wizards, Han comes into possession of a magical amulet linked to the legendary Demon King, not knowing that it will bring danger to him and his family. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa is soon to turn 16 and be named heir to her mother's throne. She becomes aware of intrigues that surround the queen, who seems to be strongly influenced by their country's High Wizard. Han's and Raisa's adventures and journeys toward understanding themselves run parallel throughout the book, intersecting only when the princess dresses up as a commoner and meets Han briefly. The conclusion leaves both Raisa and Han setting out on new adventures toward a common destination, leaving much to be resolved in their futures and in the future of their land. Chima shows a sure hand with details and history, and readers will be drawn into the lives of the two protagonists. Fans of magic, danger, and high fantasy will find a complex and involving world and be left waiting for the next volume in this exciting trilogy.—SLJ

Rich characterization and exquisite world building make up for a leisurely pace in the dense first volume of a new epic-fantasy trilogy. Han Alister is a fatherless street rat, former thief lord and runner for the Clan tribes. Raisa is the Princess Heir, last in a long line of fabled warrior Queens. Their paths should never have intersected, had not both become enmeshed in the schemes of the wizards seeking to regain powers curbed for the crimes of the Demon King, a thousand years past. Now ancient talismans and grim portents herald murder and treason, and both Han and Raisa are forced to embrace heritages they can scarcely imagine. Chima forges an intricate world, alloying standard genre tropes in unexpected ways and inlaying intrigue amid a delicately crafted setting of history and legend. Dozens of characters, complex and distinct in personality, are placed with jewel-like precision, set off by dark glints of villainy. Few readers will mind reaching the end with the protagonists still separated by hundreds of miles only to realize it was naught but prelude to the real action; instead, they will clamor for the sequel.—Kirkus

More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima began writing romance novels in middle school, which were often confiscated by her teachers. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), The Dragon Heir (2008), The Enchanter Heir (2013) and The Sorcerer Heir (2014) all from Hyperion.
Chima's YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown (2012.)
Chima plans a new series, The Shattered Realms, set in the Seven Realms world, and featuring a new generation of characters. The first novel, Flamecaster, is scheduled for a Spring, 2016 release from HarperTeen.
Chima's books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors' Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists.
Chima lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.

Customer Reviews

Can't wait to finish the series. love these books and author.
Brooke
The ending, while completely satisfying because it completed the book's plot, was more like the beginning of the sequel.
Kaity
She does a wonderful job of creating magical worlds and complex characters while writing masterful stories.
JM Rees

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Tinkelenberg on October 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
And Still Going

If there is any real complaint I have about this book, it is that the author did an excellent job on building a whole bunch of intrigue, and you cannot put the book down until you get the answer to the abundant questions the author raises in the first few chapters, only to have your answer's only semi answered. Chima, peppers the book with names of events that have happened in the past, that you know are going to play a big part in the future of the series such as the Naeming, and the Breaking, yet at the end of the book you still feel a bit cheated that she does not answer it fully. But lets not take away from what the author as done so well.

Chima, with the Heir series, did an excellent job of character building. When you read that series you were completely engaged with what the characters were about, there personality, there fears, and support group, and in this series Chima has accomplished that feat again. Like the Heir series they're are two main Protaganists yet a bunch of secondary characters who could be a central focus in the future of the series. Han, a former Streetlord of Fellcastle, turned errand boy, and Raisa Princess Heir to the Queendom of Fellcastle, who belongs to the same bloodline as Hanalea the serie's seminal Hero from the past who might not be as big of a hero as the history of this land makes her out to be. Han is an excellent character to get behind because the reader can tell that yes he has a past, but his past was to help his family survive. He has morals that I can relate to. He has a smart mouth, and he is completely Loyal to his friends and to people who had been his friends in the Past.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Figment Review on December 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
By Frankie

Once upon a time, there was a princess who wasn't exactly in love with a prince, but was close to marrying age and had to soon choose a husband. Not so far away from the castle lived a man, although hardly one. The man was an ex-gang leader, but he had changed his ways and was trying to provide for his mother and sister the legal way. They may have lived completely separate lives, but they both have a story to tell in The Demon King.

Alright, I know what you're thinking: this probably can't sound any cheesier, right? As much as I love Cinda Williams Chima, even I will admit that talking about this book makes it sound cheesy. I personally am not a big fan of cliché stories with princesses forced into marriage, but this is by far the best, most un-cheesy story I have ever read about a princess.

The first few chapters of The Demon King belong to Han, nicknamed Cuffs for the mysterious silver cuffs that have been around his wrists since he can remember and that are impossible to remove. Han is a sixteen-year-old living in two worlds. Half his time is spent away from the city, living in a clan, a village of families outside the main city, with his friend Dancer, but he never feels as though he quite belongs with them. At the same time, life in the city is hard. His mother made him quit The Raggers, his old gang where he was streetlord, and now he must provide for his family by actually working. Life without his gang is hard, and Han struggles to provide food for his mother and sister.

But then Han and Dancer have a bit of an altercation with a teenage wizard, Micah, and they end up walking away with his amulet, something all wizards use to control their magic.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "Seregil of Rhiminee" on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Demon King begins with a "bang" when Han and his friend meet young wizards who are setting fire to the mountain. This leads to a confrontation and Han takes an amulet from one of the wizards. He doesn't know what it can do, but he keeps it. Meanwhile Raisa, who is a princess, is hunting with her mother and the fire is coming towards them. After this strong start Cinda Williams Chima introduces the characters and their lives to the reader and then she begins to move the story forward.

Han is an interesting characters, because he's been a thief and he's tried to take care of his mother and little sister. He wears cuffs on his wrists all the time - he's been wearing them for ages and he can never take them off. I think it was nice that Cinda Williams Chima described Han's harsh family conditions without sugar coating, because it added realism to the story. Raisa is a princess, who seems to have a good head on her shoulders. She's excited about her suitors, but she also wants to do different kind of things before she gets married. Han and Raisa are convincing and likeable characters - their feelings, hopes and fears felt realistic. The author explores their lives in an intriguing way. The other characters are also interesting, especially the blind man Lucius and the clan woman Willo.

The Demon King is a traditional young adult fantasy book. It has everything a fan of traditional fantasy can hope for - princesses, wizards and magic etc, but it also contains political things, which aren't usually handled in young adult fantasy books. It was surprising that the author had decided to add political things to the story, because many other authors would've avoided them.
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