Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

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.)

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