The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: October 23rd, 2012
Pages: 589
Song I Played While Reading: This Time by Axwell and Ingrosso
Rating: 4 stars

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 if lies and unholy alliances, former street lord Han Alister has become a member of he Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-through world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizard 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?

The time has come. I dreaded it, BUT IT'S HERE. This series became surprisingly special to me. I wasn't overly thrilled with the first book, The Demon King, but these characters go through such amazing character developments, and this world. You guys, this world is insane. Chima has put so much effort into creating this masterpiece. Everything is insanely fascinating, from the history, to the different types of people (Clan, Wizards, and regular folk), to the beautiful landscapes, and to the kick-ass Vale queendom. I've never read a story where it's a queendom instead of a kingdom. I didn't even realize that could be changed, I just assumed a kingdom was what you called the land that someone was ruling over.
This is going to be a super short review, since I seem to be having a major case of reviewers block. Or writers block. Whatever you wanna call it. I finished this Tuesday night and have been trying unsuccessfully to form a coherent review ever since. It's not working out. SO, I'm just going to say that the plot line and pacing was A+, the character arcs were fabulous, but I was a little disappointed with the ending. It felt super rushed and not flushed out enough, as if Chima got lazy and decided to just half-ass it, or didn't want this to be over 600 pages. I say go big or go home with the final book in a series. Things were building up for this big fight and it ending up kinda falling flat. I tried really hard to not let it ruin my view of this book, since endings can REALLY make or break a book for me, and managed to remember all the good parts (which was really the entire book except for the last 50 pages). I'm not saying the ending was bad, I just wish Chima had added more to it.
Overall, this was an AMAZING series and I'm so incredibly sad that it's over. Seriously. SO SAD. I ended up caring about these characters and their story waaaay more than I anticipated. If you enjoy high fantasy then I highly, highly suggest picking this up. I definitely plan on reading more of Chima's work in 2016!

P.S. Crow won me over. I almost keeled over multiple times from how sweet he was to Han, and let's noT EVEN TALK ABOUT THAT EPILOGUE.

 ""I love how you put words together. You're as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what's best in themselves. You've changed my life. You've given me the words I need to become whatever I want.""

"Crow paced back and forth, his form flickering like flame. "It’s been a thousand years, Alister. I never intended for anyone to find it, so it’s very well protected. One little misstep, and you and my line will be history."
"Since when are you so concerned about your line?" Han said.
Crow stared at him for a long moment. “Since I found out I had one.""

"Politics is not about justice. It's about the settling of personal vendettas under a thin veneer of civilization. All politics is personal."

""I didn't put any note under your pillow," Han said. He paused for a heartbeat, then added, "Though avoiding Nightwalker seems like a good idea to me."
"It's a match my father favors," Raisa said.
"Then your father is wrong," Han said. "Nightwalker thinks the world sprouted from his bunghole."

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