Friday, 25 February 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: The Seven Realms 2: The Exiled Queen - Cinda Williams Chima

Release Date: 03/02/11


The second book in an epic fantasy series from Cinda Williams Chima. Adventure, magic, war and ambition conspire to throw together an unlikely group of companions in a struggle to save their world. You can't always run from danger! Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden's Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn't mean danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery -- but the bargain they make is one Han may soon regret. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana'Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen. The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.


Having really enjoyed the first title in the Seven Realms series I’d been looking forward to the next one, although I have to admit, that when it landed I’d forgotten lot of what happened in the original (The Demon King.) Thus confused a quick reread was in order (and I’d like to suggest to the publisher that for the third part that they include a quick round up of what’s happened in the first two.)

As with the original, the characters are solid, the authors writing style similar to early David Eddings and above all else the story moves on to allow the characters to grow. Whilst parts of the trek feel a little slow, the overall distance has built the story up for quite a few available paths in the next release. Add to that some decent scripting, a reasonable sense of pace and the reader has a book that will, if not blow them away as much as the original, at least give them a journey to enjoy that sets up the next for something quite interesting.

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