The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Publication Date: October 6th, 2009
Pages: 506
Song I Played While Reading: This Time by Axwell and Ingrosso

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister, Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value is has is something he can't sell. For as long as Han can remember, he's worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They're clearly magicked- as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.
Han's life gets even harder after he takes a powerful amulet from Micah Bayer, the song of the High Wizard. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who neared destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, the Bayars will stop at nothing to reclaim it from Han.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana 'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense for a prince with a big castle and a tiny brain. Raisa aspires to be like Hanalea- the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems her mother has other plans for her- plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.
The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning page-turner from best-selling author Cinda Williams Chima.

I absolutely love that line: "The Seven realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide..." LOVE IT.
The world Chima creates in this story is absolutely breathtaking. A little confusing, but so intricate and detailed. I'm so happy there was a map in here. I was furiously flipping between pages just so I could find places on the map and keep track of where everyone was.
For the first 200 pages, I was pretty bored. I was also absolutely baffled with all the different places our characters seemed to be in. Fellsmarch, Marissa Pines Camp, Ragmarket, Southbridge, The Vale, the Demonai camp... it was a lot to learn all at once, so it took some time for me to really be comfortable in the setting. But once I was able to start keeping track of things, and the tension started to ratchet up between the characters and the plot line, I was hooked. I read a good chunk of this in a day and was glued to my seat, grumbling whenever I had to pee. I ditched dinner because I needed to know what was gonna happen next!
Raisa ana 'Marianna (I'm literally going to name my child that) was a fantastic narrator and by far my favorite character. Not only because she was tiny and feisty (hello.... it's me), but she cared about her queendom and wanted to do right, pushing aside thoughts of a suitor and marriage and instead yearning to know everything. I majorly respected that. Her mother was a buffoon, even though I felt bad for her at times.
Amon and Han, though I had no issues discerning their differences, were also weirdly alike to me. Their personalities were similar because they both lacked that spark for me. They were fine, and sometimes made me laugh, but overall I kinda got an "eh" feeling on them. So I don't ship Raisa with either. I'm hoping they get more character development in the upcoming books, because these two are usually my favorite kind of characters.
I liked Micah a tiny bit more, but not by much. Honestly, him and Han just kept getting shit on. Micah with having to deal with is brat of a father, and Han just having literally the worst luck in the world. Poor guy!
I'm LOVING the direction this story is going and will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the series to come in the mail. I just need to suffer through today and tomorrow, then those beautiful puppies will be in my hands. WOOHOO!

""You're late," he grumbled. "I was beginning to hope you'd changed your mind.
"Call me Rebecca Mortley, young sir," Raisa said, rising. "How do I look?"
"It'd be better if you'd dressed as a boy," Amon said. "It'd be better if you were ugly."
She guessed that was some kind of compliment."

"History," Mari muttered, as if she'd overheard his thoughts. "Why do we need to know what happened before we were born?"
"So hopefully we get smarter and don't make the same mistakes again."

""Well, I believe she went in to rescue some Raggers from the pits," Cuffs said. "She wasn’t all that specific."
"She went in to rescue — why would she do that?" Amon gripped the ironwork, studying the streetlord’s face. Was he lying? And if so, what was the purpose?
"Guess she’s kind of taken with us," Cuffs said. "You know, the glamor of the gang life and all. Getting beat up every other day, arrested for crimes you didn’t commit, long nights in gaol, sleeping in the cold and wet. It’s...seductive." He raised an eyebrow."

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