Reviews: THE SEVEN REALMS by Cinda Williams Chima

Reading time 8 mins

I admit I read these books because of all the love I felt for FLAMECASTER and SHADOWCASTER. I know I kinda spoiled myself for this series. It turns out that it doesn’t really matter. I fully enjoyed reading all the books in this series. I absolutely loved the world that the author has created and I am so glad I got to spend so much time in it.

Reviews: THE SEVEN REALMS by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 6th 2009
Pages: 512
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Fantasy & Magic
Also by this author: Flamecaster, Shadowcaster
Paperback provided by My Wallet (purchased)

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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 he 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.  
While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea.   After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them.  Han soon 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 relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai camp – riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets.  Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.  
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 it seems like 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 new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima. 


This saga begins with THE DEMON KING. Here is where we meet Han Allister, the Ragsmarket hustler, and the princess Raisa ana‘Marianna. In this story those two characters meet for the first time. Raisa is in a bad situation but her attitude doesn’t make things easy. Raisa is being courted by every available male in the kingdom, but all she wants is to be free to choose for herself. I could understand her frustration. Being the next in line for the Wolf Queen throne is no joking matter.

Han gets his amulet in this story. Forget the fact that he basically stole it. Wizards in this book, like the one he stole it from, are portrayed as being bad characters with malicious intentions. This starts with little evils and builds until we see how terrible their power is being corrupted. This is also where Han meets his nemesis, Micah Bayar. Micah seems to be a bad guy, but as the books continue we see his motives are muddled. Han is surrounded by a cast of characters that love and hate him.

This story laid a solid foundation for the rest of the series. It took a while for the action to start, but I loved learning about the world and and the differences social statuses within The Fells.

My Rating

Reviews: THE SEVEN REALMS by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #2
Published by Disney-Hyperion on September 28th 2010
Pages: 592
Genres: Young Adult, General, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic
Also by this author: Flamecaster, Shadowcaster
Paperback provided by My Wallet (purchased)

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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 Fells doesn’t 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 darker 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 Raisa 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 and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.    /DIV  DIV 

In THE EXILED QUEEN the story really takes off. Han and Raisa both head to the Odin’s Ford for different reasons. Raisa escapes to stall for time. Han is being sponsored by the Clans to learn more about his Wizarding ability.

Raisa is under constant threat. She is guarded 24/7 by Captain’s Guard Amon. Although I liked his character and loyalty to Raisa, I knew he wouldn’t be the main love interest. The author did a great job of removing him from being a main contender. Raisa rises to the challenges laid before her by the Dean and Amon. She is moving away from being the brat Princess and looking more like real Royalty.

Han lost everything and now he travels into unfamiliar territory with his best friend Firedancer. Han and Firedancer face their own challenges as they are surrounded by Wizards who do not accept them. Not only is Micah Bayer and his sister nearly always present, but a new key player emerges for Han. Han teams up with a phantom named Crow. The question is whether he is working for or against Han. Han longs for the girl he encountered in Ragsmarket, Rebecca. When a chance meeting puts him face to face with Rebecca, he learns that he still has something to lose.

This book really explores the characters strengths and weaknesses. There are some other key players in this story that I grew to love, like Cat. I loved getting to know both of the schools and how all these characters deal with training. There isn’t anything I didn’t love about this installment. I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next.

My Rating

Reviews: THE SEVEN REALMS by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #3
Published by Disney-Hyperion on August 30th 2011
Pages: 528
Genres: Young Adult, General, Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Social Issues, Friendship
Also by this author: Flamecaster, Shadowcaster
Paperback provided by My Wallet (purchased)

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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 costs 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, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an 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 before her enemies succeed. 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.
The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

❝She’d been born for this—and raised to it. She’d fought for it, and at times she’d thought she might die for it. She had a long history of tragedy and triumph behind her, and a lifetime of hard work ahead of her. It was time to get started.❞

Well there is so much more happening in this story then I thought possible. Key players move into position and I couldn’t wait to find out how they all fit together. In THE GREY WOLF THRONE the story moves from Odin’s Ford on horseback back to the Queendom of the Fells. There is fighting and arrows swishing by. People DIE here! There is a major revelation in this book and some angsty romance. It just keeps getting better!

Well, Han had to find out one way or another. Right? Rebecca is gone and princess Raisa is there in her place. Han goes after her just knowing she is the one that he wants. Instead of a nice little romance, he find out his love interest comes with major baggage. Honestly, I didn’t buy him being so pissed off about her big reveal. What did he expect her to do? Aside from that I am on board with this slow burn romance, (besides, he totally gets her back in the next book ).

Firedancer gets the surprise of his lineage. It is awesome that Han is in a similar place, except his Dad is much cooler more important to the story. This is going to be important. I just didn’t understand how much. I honestly felt bad for Raisa in this story. All she wants is simple, but it is so damn complicated. Han gets major shade from everyone in this story. I didn’t think it could get worse with him and the wizards, but he has absolutely no one except Firedancer and Raisa on his side. Wolves play a big part in this story and it is just baddass when they show up.

I gotta say that other than a funeral, there isn’t much of a climax in this story. At this page count, I expect something major to tide me over, but I was left wanting. I totally deducted a star for leaving me hanging with so much on the line. Still, I kept right on reading. I needed to see how this ended.

My Rating

Reviews: THE SEVEN REALMS by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #4
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 23rd 2012
Pages: 608
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic
Also by this author: Flamecaster, Shadowcaster
Paperback provided by My Wallet (purchased)

AmazonAudibleBook Depository

A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed—Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. 
Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. 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 of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards 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? 
A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

THE  CRIMSON CROWN is the perfect ending. All will be revealed. All the characters are out in the open save one, who is exposed in the best way possible. There is a major showdown which echoes into the next series. I am so glad this author decided to continue writing about this world. It is so worthy of revisiting.

In this story, we see Raisa become the kind of queen this queendom really needs. I hoped she had the ability, but Raisa actually stands up for herself without running at the mouth. Her growth throughout this series was beautiful. Her journey is the most important aspect of this story, and it is done so well. She is surrounded by people that adore her and would gladly lay down their lives for her. Raisa is finally starting to use her position to make necessary changes for the people in this realm.

Thanks to Raisa, Han is put into position to basically take over, except his reputation verses the prejudice of the people stands in the way. Unbeknownst to Raisa, Han is on a quest for the greatest treasure when he gets caught and exposed. This romance almost didn’t happen. No worries, because Han is a very resourceful person with the best kind of friends. Han’s story takes place in two worlds. He looses people important to him, but gains so much when he realizes his birthright.

In the reading of this, I felt major angst that everything would not be resolved. The journey for these characters is not easy and even 85% into this book, obstacles are still cropping up. The main theme in this story is love. There are so many great pairings even in the middle of a deadly conflict, these lovers find strength in each other and stand together. These characters have fought so hard to be together, been made to wait, to act in secret, and to lie to themselves. They get exactly what they deserve in the end.

This was such a fantastic fantasy series. Magic, betrayal, royalty, adventure, travel, love….it is all there and woven together beautifully. The writing is incredible and unforgettable. I am so glad I got to read these. I could not have asked for more from a series.

My Rating

The Seven Realms

My Favorite Video Inspired by This Series

About Cinda Williams Chima

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade and novels in junior high school. These days she writes fantasy fiction for teens of all ages. Her Heir Chronicles contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), The Dragon Heir (2008), The Enchanter Heir (2013) and The Sorcerer Heir (2014).

Chima’s high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown (2012).

Both series have been New York Times bestsellers.

Chima’s Shattered Realms high fantasy series is forthcoming from HarperCollins. The first novel, Flamecaster, is scheduled for Spring, 2016.

Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists. Her books also appear on numerous state awards lists and won the Buckeye Teen Book Award in 2011.

Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.

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By | 2017-05-16T10:51:27+00:00 Tuesday, May 16, 2017|2016 Challenges, 4 kisses, 5 kisses, Adventure, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Realtionships, reviews, Romance, YA|4 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.


  1. Alyssa May 16, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

    This series looks absolutely amazing! I love fantasy books with good worldbuilding and interesting class structures. Definitely going to look into picking up The Demon King. Great reviews, thanks for sharing!

    • Karen Blue
      May 16, 2017 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Thanks for checking out my reviews. I am so sad to leave this world, but anxiously awaiting the next book in the Shattered Realms series.

  2. Isn’t it awesome when you can just stay immersed in a world like that and binge on a series that satisfies you in every way? I haven’t read this series, but your reviews for these books definitely made me want to. I love a good fantasy where the characters are complex and move the story forward!
    I hope you’re doing well, Karen! <3 I've missed you!
    Check Out Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews’s most recent post- Review: Silver Silence – Nalini SinghMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      May 16, 2017 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Awe thanks so much Lexxie! You won’t believe how close I came to quitting my blog. I am so happy to be getting back into it. Thanks for checking out my reviews. Please read these soon, they are amazing!
      xoxo hugs!

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