The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima is the fourth (and probably final) book in the Seven Realms series. This review may contain spoilers for earlier books in the series.
Raisa is now Queen of the Fells, and Han is her
bodyguard and her appointee to the Wizard Council -- but neither of them
are out of danger. The question of Raisa's marriage is fraught with
tension, as both the Clans and the Wizards put forth candidates . . .
and there are some who feel that they could do without Raisa at all.
Meanwhile, Han's position gives him no protection from the other
wizards, particularly the powerful Bayars, who would like nothing better
than to have Han permanently removed from the picture. As war continues
to rage in the kingdoms to the south, it appears that the Fells may
fall to internal conflict rather than to invasion, though with the
ambitious and ruthless Gerard Montaigne on the Ardenine throne, the
southern kingdoms still pose a definite threat.
This book was a
gripping conclusion to the series -- I read it quickly, finding it
extremely difficult to put down. The characters and worldbuilding are
strong, and the plot and pacing keep the reader engaged, to say the
least. My only small complaint is that Chima occasionally used the
particularly modern convention of breaking up an emphatically delivered
sentence with periods. After. Every. Word. -- and, while I can accept
that usage in a modern setting, I found it completely out of place in
high fantasy. Other than that minor syntactical quibble, I really
enjoyed this book, and will, I'm sure, reread the series in the future.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys high fantasy. Of course, if
you are unfamiliar with the series, start with The Demon King -- this book definitely needs the context provided in earlier volumes.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)