While this book has been on my radar for years and years now, I've always been hesitant to pick it up. Why? Well, years back I tried out the Chima's other series-- the Heir Chronicles, and was not particularly impressed. I read the first and second book, bought the third, and still have yet to pick it up. Maybe one day, probably not. But then again, I felt drawn to this series, mostly because of its high rating on Goodreads (4.2-- anything above 4 means most likely a phenomenal book.) Of course, I still didn't get the push I needed to read it, until I read a recommendation for Flamecaster, which is the first book in a sequel series to the Seven Realms series (this series). I wanted to just read Flamecaster, but I read a review saying I have to read the Seven Realms series first... So here we are. And let me make this clear from the get-go: I am so glad I read this series.
The Demon King follows two main protagonists-- Raisa ana'Marianna, the rebellious crown princess, and a reformed thief Han Alister. Both characters and their separate are quite interesting-- though, if I'm being honest, The Demon King definitely is the worst/ least interesting book in the series. As is common with high fantasy books, it takes a lot to set up the world, therefore, a lot of The Demon King was exposition-- just introducing the characters and the world they live in. Still, there was something that kept me reading it. Like, while reading, it's very hard to extract yourself and put the book down (after a bit in, I'll admit the start was a bit slow), but once you put the book down, it's not all that hard to not think about it anymore either.
The most impressive thing about the book was its world. It took a lot of effort to really set it up and show where you were. I loved the political conflicts between the clans, the wizards and the monarchs. It made the world seem so much more realistic and relatable. There is a true complexity and depth written into their strained relationships-- and it was intriguing to read about.
I would give the Demon King 7/10 stars, it was fun, but like I said, when I put it down, it wasn't something that I felt tugging at me to pick back up again. If you didn't get the vibe from the review, I'm actually writing after having finished the entire series so, just take my word for it and believe me when I say the series most definitely gets better-- worth the read, especially if you enjoy fantasy / action with a dash of romance like I do.
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.
One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her...
The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.
Thanks for reading (sorry for such a short review, it's actually been a couple weeks since I read the book and I kinda forget the big things since I didn't take notes)