The Gray Wolf Throne is the third book in the Seven Realms series. It is written by Cinda Williams Chima and was published in 2011 by Hyperion. Chima’s website can be found here.
Spoilers for the Seven Realms series.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
“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. Still, 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 as good as 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.”
Raisa pulled on the ring, struggling with it. “It’s too tight,” she said. “It won’t come off.”
“We’ll see about that,” Gillen said. “I’ll cut it off if I have to.” His hand snaked out, and he seized her left wrist, yanking at the ring with his right hand.
Raisa straightened her arm, allowing Byrne’s dagger to fall free of her right sleeve. She had to catch it, and she did, gripping the Lady hilt. Gillen was focused on the ring, wrenching at it, swearing.
Raisa rammed the blade through soiled wool and the soft flesh of his belly, up under the rib cage, as far as it would go, until the crosspiece rested against his shirt.
“Be careful, Hunts Alone,” Willo said, her voice low and urgent. She glanced around as if to make sure no one else was within hearing distance.
“I’m always careful,” Han said. He couldn’t help looking around as well.
“I mean it. If the Demonai realize you are in love with her, they will kill you.”
“Who says I’m in love with her?” Han retorted, avoiding her eyes. “Where do you get that?”
Recommended Age Range: 16+
What I Liked:
I am just eating these books up. Seriously, I can’t get enough of them. I had to exercise self-control and read some other books before I continued reading this series; I didn’t want all four books reviewed back to back, although I suppose I could have done that.
All the politics in this book is so aggravatingly delicious (or deliciously aggravating?). All I really want is Raisa to succeed and kick out all the terrible people who are ruining the country. All her dealings with these people, however, really highlight her growth and what she learned during her trip to Oden’s Ford.
There are so many mysteries to be answered, and the last book is shaping up to be one heck of an action-packed rollercoaster, what with all that needs to be resolved. For example, how are Raisa and Han going to finally get together (because they so totally, obviously are)? A centuries-old tradition has to be broken for that to happen. I’m excited to see what Chima does in the last book.
Whose side are you on, Micah? For that matter, whose side are any of these characters on? The only ones you can be sure about are Raisa, Han, and Amon. Everyone else is up in the air. The lack of answers is making me suspect everyone, even Dancer, Cat, and Magret.
What I Didn’t Like:
This book didn’t have very many big reveals in it, just more questions. The only big reveal was Crow’s at the very beginning of the book, and, honestly, that would have been better suited for the end of the previous book. Nothing was revealed in this book, and it just leaves a lot for the last book to resolve. I was expecting something terrible to happen in this book, to hook you in to the next, but nothing did, unless you count the epilogue (which I didn’t, because that particular thing was already brought up earlier, so it wasn’t a surprise, and it was obvious that the thing was going to head that way). So, I didn’t really get any questions answered, and it was a little annoying, but it’s still not the end, so I’m hoping the last book will fulfill my desire for resolved endings.
I still feel like a little bit could have been cut out, but not as much in this book as in The Exiled Queen.
The Gray Wolf Throne doesn’t really answer any questions but simply brings up more questions, which can be aggravating if you really want to start seeing things getting resolved. It’s a little maddening. However, Raisa’s growth is great to see, and Han and Raisa have some pretty good moments between them. It’s really easy to see that this is really just a transition to the last act, the calm before the storm.
Coming Up Next: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima. I’m going back to my once-a-week posts, so this will be up on Tuesday next week!