Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima
Good Reads Summary
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 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.
Neither Han nor Raisa nor Dancer ended up where I expected them to. A good deal of EXILED QUEEN is them settling into a new unexpected stage... and it was fascinating.
OK, I'm still not completely sure about what i felt for the princess. I am not sure I like her, but I have to give it to her: she's tough and does what has to be done. Add the fact that she's out there and says what's on her mind. The best about her thing though is her not moping all the time. When she realizes she cannot have her way, she goes out and looks elsewhere. Not that she didn't mope, but she wasn't consumed by what she couldn't have.
And Amon, whose choices and actions broke my heart a little but still made me angry. But this is Han's story (if I'm being honest, his and Raisa's) and I really liked the direction he was going. Granted, his growth from street rat to otherwise read something like Doolittle with her the rain in Spain falling mainly in the plain. But it wasn't just that, it was him finding out what he could do and to what lengths he would go to get what he wanted.
Of course, it wasn't just the magic and soldiering that fascinated me, there were all those close calls of discovery! Of him learning of Rebecca, of and vice versa, of Raisa learning more about Amon's choice. The intrigue was all positively delicious but not that hard to get into
EXILED QUEEN is definitely better than the first book, although it started the same way: slow. And it is only when I got into the last half that I sat up and went "Aw, hell no!" I definitely got caught up in how each person was embroiled in his or her own troubles. BUT it is not limited to the those because there really were moments of sweet.