Monday, November 5, 2012

The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4)
Good Reads Summary
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed—Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love.

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she's falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Holy crow! Why is it that the secondary characters had me blink, blink, blinking more often than the main set did? That’s not to say that Raisa or Han were meh in this one, not at all, but right now I’m all about Hayden Fire Dancer and Amon Byrne here, (people,  here me swoon for these two.) In fact there’s nothing lackluster in this epic conclusion.  From here, I feel it only fair to warn you that a gush filled sort of review is coming your way in three, two…

I don’t think lackluster could have played a role in anything in CRIMSON CROWN from the very start it’s evident that the two MC’s are both strong leads, gifted but also burdened with doing what’s right and then later torn over not getting to do what both actually want. Then proceed to them having to watch for and over, and feeling that almost every single person come has his or her agenda and a lot of the time at cross purposes.) On a bigger scope there’s Wizard and Clan that underscores how divided Raisa’s Queendom really is. Throw in some miscommunication, ill timed jealousy here and there, then the graver parts of kidnappings, attempts on their lives as well as torture at the hands of enemies and you get a feel of how confusing and exciting things could get (sometimes both at the same time even.)

I love this because it’s not just about the girl proving her mettle… but about it’s ALL of them proving something, the good and the bad. Like the slum lord coming up from out of nowhere proving just how strong he is, or the princess establishing that she’s not just someone to protect, and the wizard showing that things can change, that people do… no matter how much others refuse to acknowledge the same. On the downside, there’s also people proving themselves to be less… that the wise aren’t always so and things can get muddled.

Were I to complain over anything in this it would be over the little sister that shouldn’t have. If Raisa proves she is a leader to be followed, the younger sister (so put off I was by her that I cannot even recall her name right now!) is a living breathing damsel in distress! But I suppose one cannot have it all, yes?

That said all other supporting characters were superb… Hayden especially, his part in all this is key, and like the rest of them he proves his worth. In him is the melding of the two opposing sides of the Queendom and it was interesting to see how he’d help move things along. Amon too has won me back because in books past (in I’m not sure which one) he broke my heart. Here he shows just what kind of man he is. Sure, Raisa and Han both inspire loyalty but what those loyal do… much more impressive.

So, shout out to Brittany and Stacia, were it not for you two going on and on about Demon King, I likely would never have given it a second chance, but look at me now! Seven Realms officially ranks among my favorites.

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