The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: Septmeber 24, 2010
Song I Played While Reading: This Time by Axwell and Ingrosso
Rating: 5 stars
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden's Ford. But leaving the Fellsdoesnt mean that danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darkest parts of sorcery- but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana' Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If she can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf Queen.
Everything changes when Han's and Raisa's paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cutthroat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.
Oh. My. Lanta. I don't know if I should be crying or bowing down to Cinda Williams Chima. The second installment in the Seven Realms series was bloody brilliant. Not only because it opened up a whole other world of information and world-building (something I love love love) but because the character development. Yes. Yes. YES! We got a whole slew of new secondary characters that were all so vital to the two narrators and I loved meeting them. Chima manages to weave this story together beautifully, ratcheting up the suspense even though Raisa and Han are technically in school and that should be boring, right? Wrong. This is like god damn Harry Potter all over again, mixed in with cool army training. I was gobbling it up.
If you guys haven't read any of Chima's work yet, and are a big fan of fantasy, please pick this one up! The first book, The Demon King, is a little slow, but it's so worth it. This world and the characters are so incredibly fascinating and wonderful.
Where do I start?! I have so much I want to say that I need to do it in a list format since it's so jumbled in my head.
Oden's Ford: YES YES YES. I'm a huge fan of reading about the mundane aspects of people live's in stories. Now, obviously there's nothing even remotely mundane about this school (at least in relation to my life) so I absolutely adored learning about the subjects Raisa and Han were taking and seeing them trying to balance it with their social lives and the other responsibilities they had. There's something about seeing favorite characters of mine struggling with school that makes me feel more like them.
Crow: No. Just, no. GO AWAY. I knew he was bad news from the start.
Cat: Another no for me. I thought she was so incredibly annoying and childish, I could barely stand reading about her. I wish Han hadn't brought her with. She kept jumping to the wrong conclusions and acting all obnoxious and threatening people, drawing way too much attention to herself and Han. I'm not surprised Micah got a hold of her. And then for her to turn her back on Han? I say throw the biotch out.
Hallie and Talia: I loved these two. Having girlfriends is exactly what Raisa needed, not only for the support in the boy department (I may or may not have been screeching when they gave Amon the evil eye) but also in just being there for her. She had so much on her plate that being able to sort of decompress was a huge stress-reliever for her. Plus she would've been completely alone if not for them. Amon obviously wasn't talking to her and nor were any of the other guys.
Amon and Han: Honestly I'm torn between these two, though I'm leaning a little more towards Han at the moment. I was absolutely heartbroken over hearing that Amon was engaged to someone else. It's horrible that he has physical reactions to Raisa's close proximity. I mean talk about a hopeless relationship! And Han.. gahhhhh. I wasn't sure at first, but then him and Raisa finally got together again and oh my sexual tension. I could barely read through their scenes together without jamming my fist in my mouth to stop from hollering with joy. I really, really like Amon's character, so I'm hoping him and Raisa will end up on good terms with being just friends and he finds someone else to make him happy. Not Annamaya.
The Bayar siblings: Still iffy with these two. I don't dislike them, since I can tell a small part of Micah cares about Raisa and Fiona is just a badass bitch, but I also am a little annoyed with them trying, and failing, to coheres Raisa into doing something. I wish they would speak up with their own opinions instead of what daddy dearest is trying to shove down their throats.
Now, my only complaint would've been the ending. I feel like it all happened too fast and was supremely uneventful. It was basically a repeat of the The Demon King's ending. I wish Raisa had fought Micah more, since I thought she submitted pretty quickly, and for gods sake, I thought Amon was bonded with her?! WHY WASNT HE THERE? There's no way in hell he couldn't have sensed her unease and fear.
But this is the one time where the ending didn't bother me, since the rest of the book was so delicious that it overshadowed it. I love that Raisa is heading back home and Amon and Han are off to find her! *sighs dreamily, then springs off to devour The Gray Wolf Throne*
"Han jerked his head toward Mystwerk Hall. "Come on. We're late as is."
"What were you doing in the library?" she asked.
"Getting an early start on my reading."
"The library isn't even open yet."
"That way it's nice and quiet."
"Nobody's going to hand you anything. You don't get what you don't go after."
""Just asked what she was doing there. And like that." Cat didn't meet Han's eyes.
"Well?" Han said impatiently. "What did she say?"
"Said she was going to school here."
"Did you say anything about me?" he asked.
Cat scowled at him. "Why would I say anything about you? You think the world world's sniffing your butt?""
"Propping her elbows on the desk, Abelard laced her fingers, resting her chin on her hands. "If you are thinking of taking revenge on the Bayars, I would advice you not to do anything rash." she said.
"Never worry," Han said. "If I take revenge, I'll do it with great forethought and deliberation.""
at 6:35:00 PM