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Stacey O'Neale

We review fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction books in both young adult and adult. Our website also features contests, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more! http://www.fantasybookaddict.com
The Demon King - Cinda Williams Chima This review was completed by Michael Cummings, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide."The Demon King" is a novel from two disparate perspectives that eventually begin to weave together. We have Han Alister, who at sixteen years old is already a former thief and gang leader, trying to live his life honestly. But even when staying out of town, trouble still finds him, and before long he is tangling with wizards and getting into worse trouble than he ever did as a gang leader.The flip side of the novel follows Raisa, princess and soon to be heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Life isn't as sweet and simple as it should be for a princess as Raisa becomes more and more aware and involved in politics that are as old as the Queendom. The closer Raisa gets to her 16th birthday and "Name Day," the more convinced she becomes of something running afoul in the Queendom. And somehow, her mother the Queen seems to be at the heart of it.First, the con. The novel makes so many allusions to past events and history in this first novels that I spent the first third of the book convinced that I had missed a preceding volume or even series. No such book existed, sadly, which makes it even more baffling. I understand the desire to start a story already in motion, so that the reader can discover the world of the characters. Sometimes, that works. Sometimes, it doesn't. In this case, it almost didn't work.However, if you can plow forward in the book, things will snap together and start to make sense. As soon as they do, the book is a rush of action and revelation even when it quickly becomes evident that there is going to be little conclusion in this volume. The stories of Han and Raisa loosely weave together and apart in a way that will leave the reader eagerly anticipating the next page. And for every revelation we receive, there is a hint that we are only hearing a part of the story. This first volume of the Seven Realms offers a lot of promise, and I'm looking forward to reading the next volume to see if Chima pays off. If you're looking for a story with conflicting love interests, magic, and the threat of a kingdom spiraling into war, the first act of the Seven Realms series is a good place to start. Enjoy!