The Demon King (Seven Realms Series #1)

The Demon King (Seven Realms Series #1)

4.5 513
by Cinda Williams Chima
     
 

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One day Han Alister catches three young wizard setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against him. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars

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Overview

One day Han Alister catches three young wizard setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against him. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana'Marianna has her own battle to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of riding and hunting with her father's family. Raia aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Princess Raisa, heir to the Queendom of the Fells, chafes against the forced royal marriage in her future. Trying to support his family with odd jobs, Han can’t decide what life he wants from among the three he’s juggling—and past mistakes made when he was a gang leader keep surfacing to haunt him. Additionally, Han finds himself the unwitting owner of an ancient talisman taken from the land’s most powerful wizards, while Raisa faces the political maneuverings of those supposedly bound to serve her family. In elegant prose, Chima (the Heir series) constructs a complex but comprehensible world, where wizards and clans coexist in an uneasy and restrictive arrangement, brokered after the destructive actions of the Demon King, 1,000 years earlier. With full-blooded, endearing heroes, a well-developed supporting cast and a detail-rich setting, Chima explores the lives of two young adults, one at the top of the world and the other at the bottom, struggling to find their place and protect those they love. An auspicious start to the planned Seven Realms trilogy. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
VOYA - Melissa Moore
The mountain city of Fellsmarch is home to both Han "Cuffs" Alister and Raisa ana'Helena, but they might as well be worlds apart. Han has set aside his life of crime as the head of the Raggers street gang for the sake of his younger sister, Mari, and seeks to bring in through honest means enough to feed Mari and his mother. His best friend, Fire Dancer, lives outside town at the Marisa Pines Camp, and the two young men often hunt together. One afternoon, their mountainside hunting excursion nearly turns deadly when they encounter three young wizards causing trouble. Through wit and bravado, they escape with Han in possession of a very powerful amulet. Raisa, the princess heir of the Fells, observes things changing too quickly for her taste. Her mother, the queen, falls under the dangerous influence of the High Wizard, and civil war erupts in the surrounding countryside. Her childhood friend, Amon Byrne, returns from three years of training taller, more handsome, and a member of the Queen's Guard. Raisa's important Name Day (sixteenth birthday) quickly approaches, when she will be formally eligible for marriage. Not surprisingly to those familiar with the earlier Heir trilogy, Chima succeeds beautifully again in creating a fully orbed world. Her characters have depth and richness, and the two main characters (whose stories are told in alternating chapters) provide emotional vestment for readers of both genders. Themes of political and magical power, love, sacrifice, courage, and even revisionist history recur throughout the tale and offer the intelligent reader food for thought. The pacing of the narrative and revelation of secrets make the execution of the story itself breathtaking andan excellent choice for reluctant readers. A virtually flawless tale, this book will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next novel in The Seven Realms. Reviewer: Melissa Moore
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Han Alister was once a street thief and gang leader, nicknamed Cuffs for the magical silver cuffs he's worn for as long as he can remember. Now that he's reformed, he can't seem to escape from his past, and he spends much of his time hunting in the mountains with his clan friends. When he and his friend Fire Dancer meet a group of young wizards, Han comes into possession of a magical amulet linked to the legendary Demon King, not knowing that it will bring danger to him and his family. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa is soon to turn 16 and be named heir to her mother's throne. She becomes aware of intrigues that surround the queen, who seems to be strongly influenced by their country's High Wizard. Han's and Raisa's adventures and journeys toward understanding themselves run parallel throughout the book, intersecting only when the princess dresses up as a commoner and meets Han briefly. The conclusion leaves both Raisa and Han setting out on new adventures toward a common destination, leaving much to be resolved in their futures and in the future of their land. Chima shows a sure hand with details and history, and readers will be drawn into the lives of the two protagonists. Fans of magic, danger, and high fantasy will find a complex and involving world and be left waiting for the next volume in this exciting trilogy.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Rich characterization and exquisite world building make up for a leisurely pace in the dense first volume of a new epic-fantasy trilogy. Han Alister is a fatherless street rat, former thief lord and runner for the Clan tribes. Raisa is the Princess Heir, last in a long line of fabled warrior Queens. Their paths should never have intersected, had not both become enmeshed in the schemes of the wizards seeking to regain powers curbed for the crimes of the Demon King, a thousand years past. Now ancient talismans and grim portents herald murder and treason, and both Han and Raisa are forced to embrace heritages they can scarcely imagine. Chima forges an intricate world, alloying standard genre tropes in unexpected ways and inlaying intrigue amid a delicately crafted setting of history and legend. Dozens of characters, complex and distinct in personality, are placed with jewel-like precision, set off by dark glints of villainy. Few readers will mind reaching the end with the protagonists still separated by hundreds of miles only to realize it was naught but prelude to the real action; instead, they will clamor for the sequel. (Fantasy. YA)
From the Publisher
Han Alister was once a street thief and gang leader, nicknamed Cuffs for the magical silver cuffs he's worn for as long as he can remember. Now that he's reformed, he can't seem to escape from his past, and he spends much of his time hunting in the mountains with his clan friends. When he and his friend Fire Dancer meet a group of young wizards, Han comes into possession of a magical amulet linked to the legendary Demon King, not knowing that it will bring danger to him and his family. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa is soon to turn 16 and be named heir to her mother's throne. She becomes aware of intrigues that surround the queen, who seems to be strongly influenced by their country's High Wizard. Han's and Raisa's adventures and journeys toward understanding themselves run parallel throughout the book, intersecting only when the princess dresses up as a commoner and meets Han briefly. The conclusion leaves both Raisa and Han setting out on new adventures toward a common destination, leaving much to be resolved in their futures and in the future of their land. Chima shows a sure hand with details and history, and readers will be drawn into the lives of the two protagonists. Fans of magic, danger, and high fantasy will find a complex and involving world and be left waiting for the next volume in this exciting trilogy.—SLJ

Princess Raisa, heir to the Queendom of the Fells, chafes against the forced royal marriage in her future. Trying to support his family with odd jobs, Han can't decide what life he wants from among the three he's juggling-and past mistakes made when he was a gang leader keep surfacing to haunt him. Additionally, Han finds himself the unwitting owner of an ancient talisman taken from the land's most powerful wizards, while Raisa faces the political maneuverings of those supposedly bound to serve her family. In elegant prose, Chima (the Heir series) constructs a complex but comprehensible world, where wizards and clans coexist in an uneasy and restrictive arrangement, brokered after the destructive actions of the Demon King, 1,000 years earlier. With full-blooded, endearing heroes, a well-developed supporting cast and a detail-rich setting, Chima explores the lives of two young adults, one at the top of the world and the other at the bottom, struggling to find their place and protect those they love. An auspicious start to the planned Seven Realms trilogy.—PW

Rich characterization and exquisite world building make up for a leisurely pace in the dense first volume of a new epic-fantasy trilogy. Han Alister is a fatherless street rat, former thief lord and runner for the Clan tribes. Raisa is the Princess Heir, last in a long line of fabled warrior Queens. Their paths should never have intersected, had not both become enmeshed in the schemes of the wizards seeking to regain powers curbed for the crimes of the Demon King, a thousand years past. Now ancient talismans and grim portents herald murder and treason, and both Han and Raisa are forced to embrace heritages they can scarcely imagine. Chima forges an intricate world, alloying standard genre tropes in unexpected ways and inlaying intrigue amid a delicately crafted setting of history and legend. Dozens of characters, complex and distinct in personality, are placed with jewel-like precision, set off by dark glints of villainy. Few readers will mind reaching the end with the protagonists still separated by hundreds of miles only to realize it was naught but prelude to the real action; instead, they will clamor for the sequel.—Kirkus

Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
In the fourth novel set in the magical Seven Realms, reformed street thief and gang leader Han Alister struggles to keep his mother and sister fed and healthy. Han spends much of his time with his friends Dancer and Bird in the mountain camps of the clans, the ancient families of craftsmen, traders, warriors, and healers who live in the mountainous Hanalea. One day Han and Dancer are hunting when they find three wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain. A scuffle ensues and Han takes a mysterious amulet from Micah Bayar, heir to the most powerful wizarding family in the land. Han learns that the amulet has an evil history; it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world and caused the historical event known as The Breaking, the consequences of which all of Han's culture is based. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa, heir to the throne of the Fells, has her own struggles: her mother, the Queen, is getting too close to the High Wizard Bayar, who is influencing her in ways that go against all the rules of the queendom. Raisa feels trapped like a bird in a cage with her new responsibilities and obligations as the heir to the queendom and her budding interest in her old friend and now protector Amon makes everything more complicated. Han and Raisa's two worlds collide when Han learns that he is actually the last remaining descendant of the Demon King, and Raisa must save herself as the heir to the warrior queen Hanalea. Fans of the "Seven Realms" series will undoubtedly find this title exciting and will be familiar with the characters' backgrounds, the dynamics of the "Seven Realms" history and society, and the many roles and aspects of each societal segment and character. Readers new to the series may struggle at first to understand the nuances and relationships of characters in the alternate world in which the book is set, but the excellent plot and strong character development make this novel a compelling read on its own. What would be useful for readers unfamiliar with the previous books is an index that provides some reference to the relationships between different families and segments of society. Recommended for readers ages 12 and up who enjoy adventure and fantasy. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423121367
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Series:
Seven Realms Series, #1
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
105,486
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 11.06(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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