The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: August 30th, 2011
Pages: 517
Song I Played While Reading: This Time by Axwell & Ingrosso
Rating: 5 stars

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The cost of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana 'Marianna, her to the queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blue blood. And, as far as he's concerned, the princess's family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of the old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen. 
Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be fore her enemies success. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it- he's saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive- and even that might not be enough. 

God, WHAT is Chima doing to my heart? This third installment was absolutely insane and my heart was crushed to a million pieces repeatedly. We focused a lot on the character growth of our characters, specifically Han and Raisa, and Chima built the political stage for our next, and final, book, The Crimson Crown. I can't wrap my head around that. I refuse to believe that once I finish The Crimson Crown, it'll be over. I haven't felt this attached to characters since the Shatter Me trilogy, and the book hangover is looming over my head with a wicked grin. I'M SCARED. And I also have absolutely no idea what to expect with our final book. Besides the epilogue, nothing foreshadowed to what's to come (at least that I could see) so I'm itching to start it. But also not because THAT'S IT.

Spoiler-y Section!

I love love love love LOVE seeing what it's really like to be the queen, or president, or ruler of a kingdom. It's so increbily fascinating to me, so this book was a treat. I loved being in the meetings with Raisa and Han and seeing the way she dealt with all the traitorous buffoons. I loved all the balls and ceremonies and dinners they attended and seeing the way everyone acted and dressed and who they were gossiping about. Not only is the way they act around people intriguing (since it's obviously way more formal that I act) but I loved seeing how they had dancing cards and specific rules for how close you were to dance with your partner. IT'S SO COOL, WHY WAS I BORN IN THIS BRASH AND UNFLATTERING CENTURY? Ugh.
I'm a character driven kind of girl when reading, so I could have wept while Raisa was struggling to figure out what kind of Queen she was and if she could even be one. I think she's such an amazing woman and I'm incredibly proud of how far she's come. I love how she refused to bend to the rules set up before her, realizing that they're old and misused, and plans on changing them. She actually cares about her queendom, which is more than I could say for some kings/queens, and it clearly shows with how loyal her people are too her. She's strong-willed, bright, witty, and caring.
Han also went through some major changes himself and I can't even tell you how FREAKING HAPPY I got whenever I read that Han was by Raisa's side during whatever queen-like duties she had to fulfill. I was over the moon with happiness, since it's apparent just how much he loves her. And can I just say, I may have screamed bloody murder when I read this sentence:
"Though maybe if he told them he meant to marry a queen, they'd realize how lack-witted he really was." 
And speaking of tears... I could have bathed in the amount of tears I shed when Byrne and Marianna died. BATHED, I TELL YOU. But it didn't stop there. Oh no, when they heard that awful news and immediately Amon fell to his knee's, swearing his loyalty and life to her, I died. Right there. I was done. Nothing gets me more emotional than someone swearing life-long loyalty to another person without a second thought. Amon is throwing his entire life away to protect Raisa. I'm getting goosebumps right now just thinking about it because it's so god damn touching. Sorry, Annamaya. RAISA COMES FIRST.
I wish there was a ship name for Han and Raisa. Ran? No, that's stupid. Haisa? A little better. I need a name because I'm their trash. I never thought I would say that but I am. I'M HAISA TRASH AND I'M PROUD. I've never committed to that sort of fangirl level before, but here I am, claiming I'm their trash.
Here's to hoping I survive The Crimson Crown! Wish me luck.

"Never forget that two threads spun together are stronger than one of double thickness."

"She had never felt more alive than when she lay dying in Han Alister's arms."

""She is the queen of the Fells," Elena said, glaring at Han, "by the rules of the Naeming. But if she dies, the crown passes to her sister, Mellony. The queen's enemies believe Briar Rose is dead already. So those who tried to kill her will likely try to crown Mellony."
Han poured himself more tea. "So maybe the Queen Raisa had better hurry back to the palace before they change the monograms on the silver."

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