The Demon King (Seven Realms Series #1)

The Demon King (Seven Realms Series #1)

4.6 517
by Cinda Williams Chima
     
 

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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

Overview

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. The thrilling debut in a new high fantasy trilogy, from New York Times bestselling author, Cinda Williams Chima (The Dragon Heir).

Editorial Reviews

This novel marks the first giant step in a momentous sci-fi journey orchestrated by Cinda Williams Chima, the author of the popular Warrior Heir series. Its two chief protagonists are ex-thief Han Alister, an impoverished commoner, and Raisa ana'Helena, the headstrong Princess Heir of the Fells. The Demon King brings them together, creating part of a volatile mix of action, magic, and danger. Empathetic characters; wizardly attacks.
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423136149
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Series:
Seven Realms Series , #1
Sold by:
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE -EBKS
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
22,391
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Cinda Williams Chima (www.cindachima.com) is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, and The Dragon Heir. She wrote her first novels in middle school. Cinda is a graduate of The University of Akron and Case Western Reserve University. She lives in Ohio with her family.

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Demon King (The Seven Realms Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 517 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is really one of the best books that I have read in a long time. When I first bought it, I thought that it would be one of those books you read, then put it on a shelf in your closet and forget about it. I couldn't have been more wrong!! This book has excellent plot, well thought-out politics (but they don't dominate the book), beleivable characters, and just a bit of romance. It reminds me of the Farsala Trilogy. It should appeal to any fan of fantasy fiction. The only thing I regret about buying this book, is that now I'm hooked and the sequel hasn't been published yet! Whatever you do, DO NOT PASS THIS BOOK UP!!!!!!
Solstice-Ballad1 More than 1 year ago
Cunning and deeply woven with parallel characters both of equal intrigue and complexity. Han and Raisa--each characters' story is told by alternating chapters and at the end of each of their chapters is a suspense that keeps the pages turning. Excellent read! can't wait for the next installment!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was looking at this book I wasn't sure. Figured I'd start if and if I didn't like it could always take it back. Was I WAY OFF on that presumption. I started to read it and I couldn't put it down. This story is written well, with courts, lords, guards and princes and princesses from other realms not to mention the street dwellers of the city. I love the way Chima blends the Native Indians into this story - especially with courts and court life, very different but a great feel to the story. It tells the story from 2 main characters prespectives: Hanson Allister and Raisa ana Marianna. You go through the events that are taking place in each of their lives which are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum that will mold them into what they will become. Chima starts to slowly mesh the characters lives together. The next story I believe will pull them together in ways that will surprise us all. However, I did envision the cuffs that Han wears much larger then the ones that are shown on her website. I can't wait for the next book to come out. Oh why do these writters do this do us - make us wait to find out what will happen. This would be fantastic on the big screen. Bravo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I was reluctant to read this book, but boy am I glad I read it! I think it's one of my favorite books of all time. There's not a time when I got bored. Cinda Williams Chima truly is a writing Genius.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This whole series was one of the best i have ever read!!! I love the suspense, the romance, and the adventure. This is definitly for teens and young adults. The romance between han and raisa wad very intriging. I would definatly recomend this book! The heir series is also very good. Go check it out!
Rov3r More than 1 year ago
this book is like the other books that i have read by this author: The Warrior Heir books. it is like an echo but a very good echo. it kept me on the edge of my seat making me want to read it over and over again. it keeps the readers on their toes not knowing what is going to happen the Han and Dancer and if Amon and Raisa will get together. Or what will happen with the wizard family and Raisa's mom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They should make a seven realms movie or tv series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a great book if you like her other series you will like this one even more. If you call your self a reader then read this book and the next book in the series. i just finshied the 3 rd and its just as good as this one...another good series is The Heroes Of Olympus
LaconicJennie More than 1 year ago
I had previously read the Warrior Heir Series when I was in middle school and I absolutely loved them. I was hesitant on reading this book for very childish reasons but I decided to give it a chance! It isn't a very intense book like the Hunger Games, it was pretty predictable at times (but this may just be me), but it still made me want to read the book all the same. The book feels like a pretext to the entire series. Most series each book has it's own story but this one feels like it is just a part of a really really large book. All in all I cannot wait to start the next book in the series. I can only hope that it will be just as great as this one. But this one is a good indicator that Ms. Chima has not lost her spark! MUST READ.
HamburgerHelper More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy fantasy, I think you will truly enjoy this book. Everything about the book, plot, characters, action, interrelationships between the characters is very well done. I couldn't recommend it any more highly. I would also very, very highly recommend the "Heir Chronicles" ("Warrior, "Wizard" and "Dragon" Heir books).
Rayito93 More than 1 year ago
this is the first book i have read by this author. But i cant waitfor the next book in the series.there book is full of suspence and action. at the end you dont know what the charecter is going to do next. which makes you want to keep reading the seriese.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A throne in jeopardy, a lost magical lineage., and a princess with a mind of her own. This story is a wonderful beginning to an amazing trilogy! Can't wait for The Crimson Crown!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story that stays with you long after you finish the last sentence. I could not put this book down and am eagerly awaiting the last installment!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Love Loved this book I picked this up while I was away on a business trip and immediately went and bought the other two. The characters are interesting and I love the fired queen and the thief turning over a new leaf for himself and his family.
lilberry More than 1 year ago
In this book we meet Raisa ana'Marianna a naive girl in a dangerous way, she is the next in line to become queen of the Fells and she discovers she really knows nothing about what is happening on the "queendom". This realisation strikes harder when her childhood friend Amon Bryne, son of the captain of the queens army, comes back home whit a new view of the world as a soldier. As a consequence she decides to battle her lack of knowledge on her people by disguising herself as a servant girl and see what life really is for the common folk, finding more than she expected to find. Then we have Han Alister who is an ex-thief now trying to live an honest life for his sister Mari, he now works as a delivery boy and has a great relationship with the clans. One day when he was trying to find a way to make some money he ends up hunting with his friend Fire Dancer who is clan born, they encounter some wizards that shouldn't be there and get tangled in a mess by taking away one of the wizards amulet. Afraid that the wizards would come back for revenge Han decides to hide the amulet for he soon discovers he has made some strong enemy's. Now he must try to stay alive while he becomes the prime suspect of killings happening to his old enemies and friends. This book is pure gold in the sense that you want to know about the way this world works, the story behind it and the politics that makes it all go around. Even tough both characters seem so different but this works great for the story because of their difference we get a wide view of what is going on in the Fells. This book is really worth your while, you get a full universe with a broad spectrum of stuff going on, you get to know about the past of this world, the story of this character and what makes them click and how they grow before your eyes. Cinda's description of the world in general makes it all come to life, and a little addicted to it, because even tough its complex its easy to understand and invites you in.
thecollector0 More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book last week and I just could not put it down. It has it all, murder, mystery, magic, intrigue, and romance. I highly recommend it.
BMWJOE More than 1 year ago
I am an avid Steven King and Michel Creighton reader and this story was as spell binding as either one of these. It is her best yet. I look forward to the next one. Great read. Once I started on it I could not put it down. Covers all emotions.
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
Life in the Fells hasn't been easy for Hanson Alister. He's left a life of crime behind and now is just trying to keep his mom and younger sister off the streets. While hunting in the woods one day with his friend Fire Dancer, the two come across a trio of young wizards who should not be anywhere near the mountain. Trying to make the wizards pay for their trespass, the boys take an amulet of magic from their leader, Micah Bayar, not having any idea how powerful said amulet is. But Micah's father is the High Wizard and he knows exactly how powerful the amulet is and will stop at nothing to get it back. As distant from Han and his troubles in the streets is Raisa ana'Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells is struggling with her own set of problems. Even though she's only 16, he mother wants to marry her off as soon as possible, a move which Raisa can only see as bad for everyone in their country. Unlike her flighty mother the Queen, Raisa wants to take a more hands-on approach to the monarchy, but continually meets resistance at every turn. When Raisa's clandestine escape from the palace takes an unexpected detour and she ends up in the path of 'Cuffs,' her entire outlook on the city - and the criminal himself - will change. There are so many good things going on in the Demon King. While I really enjoyed Cinda Williams Chima's Heir series, I often found myself not completely focusing on the story at hand, but The Demon King? It shares no such flaw and is miles above it's predecessors. Fabulous world-building, flawed characters with closets stuffed full of skeletons make this an unputdownable read even though it boasts a weighty 512 pages. I will confess that it did take me a good 50 or 100 pages to really get into the rhythm of The Demon King. Perhaps it was the setup of so many characters and different cultures, but I did have a hard time at first connecting. But boy howdy, once I got Ms. Chima's groove - I was moving fast and hard through the Fells so completely caught up in the story, I was more than miffed when it ended unexpectedly. Cliff hangers!! Gah!! I don't know how to handle the wait. And speaking of characters, let's talk about Han for a moment: the boy is a chameleon - he's a dutiful brother and son who is trying his hardest to keep his nose out of trouble when the easiest way for him to protect and provide for his mom and sister would be to return to his life of crime in the streets. Han was fostered with the Marisa Pines clan, a group who live separate from most of the people in the Fells: full of earth magic and splendid craftsmen where everyone has a story; a past and a future. Han would like nothing more than to be a part of that structure. Then there are the silver cuffs on his wrists he's had since birth, which no blacksmith has ever been able to scratch, no less remove. And ironies of ironies is that they are one thing he could really sell for money but simply won't come off. Han's emotions are full of turmoil and you Just Know he's got a past full of secrets that will make everything understandable if only you (or he) had all the pieces. Trust me when I say I'm sticking around to find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books brought my productivity to a grinding halt. I marathoned these books in a week because I simply couldn't put the books down. I highly recommend these books to anyone. The developement of the charcters kept me glued to the pages because of how unique they are. I loved Han's point of view especially because I was never certain what tricks the former streetlord had up his sleeves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. The author does a great job of developing the characters, and they feel so much more real than characters in other books. Also, the intricacy of the Seven Realms creates a memorable setting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book and the other three in the series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Grey Wolf Throne, and The Crimson Crown) so may times it's almost weird. They captivate you and suck you into a completely made up world that is described and built so well that it seems as real as our own world. In the first bolk you are effectively sucked into the two lives of Princess Raisa ana'Marianna, and former steet lord Han Alister. Raisa is heir to the queendom, but finds she knows nothing of what is going on outside, and very little of what's going on inside. Han stopped eunning on the streets because he wanted his little sister to not have to end up running the streets as well. It isn't as easy, however, and his old reputation never leaves him. How the book is worded and the speech of the characters is peefect. Chima employs exellent word choice which deepens the world and its life. The characters are dynamic and believable. There are many personalities, and each is unique. The magic is wonderful, and the romance isn't over powering. The events are hardly ever predictable. Thanks Cinda for such a magical and memorable series. -Rylee Wyatt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My girlfriend actually bought me this. Like other people i figured it was just going to collect dust but soon it hooked me. I bought the other three on my nook immidiatly because i couldnt wait to drive to the store and back. The story of han and rai is my all time favorite and i highly recommend this to people who arent usualy into this genera. Chima intricatly wove this tale to entertain readers of all types. Best of luck putting this down once uve started.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pick this book up now. Really though, do it. Fantasy readers everywhere will fall in love with this book, and its part of a series, so the adventure just goes on. I really havn't found a book that I've gotten into like this in a long time, and am now starting the thrid book in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not nake me long to read all 4 wish there was a fifth thanks for the good read Cinda Williams.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lovable characters; great, creative plot.  loved the whole series!