Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

With Cinda Williams Chima spin-off-series Flamecaster coming out SO SOON, I think it’s a very good time to revisit the original Seven Realms series — which you need to read. Absolutely desperately need. Trust me. It’s YA epic fantasy at it’s finest.9781423121367

(Note: I’m not 100% sure if you need to read The Demon King series before Flamecaster, as I haven’t read Flamecaster yet. BUT! Read it to be sure because it’s good and you need good books in your life.)

So oh wow…oh wow. I will officially confess that The Demon King is one of my most favourite fantasy series in the history of ever. EVER. This is not a drill, peoples! This book has everything I want and love in an epic fantasy. After flipping every page I kept thinking that this book was just made for me. It’s like it went through a checklist of things I adore.

Epic Things In This Book:

  • It has a Matriarchy and a Queendom. YES THAT’S RIGHT FOLKS. WOMEN RULE.
  • There are wizards and magic and it all has rules. I love this. I love when magic has rules because it feels more real. And I love the detail of the magic system! I’ve only read detailed magic systems in Brandon Sanderson‘s books (which are very pleasing, by the way, and you should read them).
  • It has thieves! Grifters! Charmers! Sleight of hand!
  • Two epic dual narrators (Han and Raisa) who are sassy and strong and interesting and stubborn and awesome.
  • The world is large, dimensional and has tons of culture!!

 

The plot is basically about Han discovering an amulet that belonged to an ancient and dead demon king and…he keeps it. Smart (not) boy. Then there are powerful dark wizards after him to get it back. Contrasting to the story of Princess Raisa who is worried her mother, the Queen, is being brain-washed by resident wizards and wants to marry Raisa off to a suitor who will potential destroy the whole realm.

 

So basically The Demon King did no wrong. Plus the characters were my favourite part! It’s dual-narrated by Raisa (heir queen) and Han (retired streetlord and thief). They were both epic I couldn’t even pick a favourite! Hans was all swagger and scruff (and he loved his family really fiercely) and he was always in trouble and had such a smart mouth. And Raisa was epically stubborn and sassy and really cared about her queendom. She didn’t want to be a puppet queen.

9780007321988As for secondary characters? Amon was Raisa’s childhood friend and guard, and he was so loyal and basically a precious little stubborn cinnamon roll. Fire Dancer, Han’s best friend, was epic (although not in the story that much) and a bit of a tortured soul.

I also feel like one of the people groups of the book were influenced by Native American culture. (That’s what I surmise anyway.) I love this! Because I hadn’t read a fantasy book with that kind of influence yet. But they had names like “Fire Dancer” and “Hunts Alone” and they learned tribal things and were warriors and had deerskin leggings…but, like I said, only “influenced”. It all felt different and magical, but I think it was a pleasant nod in that direction. Plus I loved how there were so many cultures and groups of people in this world. The townsfolk were your average medieval scruffbags, and the rich people were nearly Renaissance fantasy. Plus add in all the wizards and the wizard and warrior schools. IT JUST HAD EVERYTHING.

So basically. Go read this. I don’t even know what else to say except: it is glorious and everything a YA fantasy should be.

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Cait Drews

Cait Drews is writer, book blogger, and reader extraordinaire. She's been blogging for 5 years, reads 200 books a year, and has written over fourteen YA novels. She is usually found hugging her bookshelves and she often eats full books before breakfast.