The Crimson Crown is written by Cinda Williams Chima. It was published in 2012 by Hyperion. It is the fourth and last book in the Seven Realms series. Chima’s website can be found here.
Spoilers for the Seven Realms series.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
“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 cutthroat world of blueblood 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 uncovers a secret believed to be lost to history, a revelation powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can save his queendom?”
“I’m not sure I should be giving anyone political advice,” Crow said. “But it’s easy to get so mired in the mud of day-to-day politics that you never get anywhere. It’s not enough to be against something or someone. What do you really want?”
“What do I really want?” Han looked Crow in the eye, took a deep breath, and said it aloud. “I’m going to marry the queen myself.”
Crow blinked at Han. His image brightened and solidified, and a brilliant smile broke across his face. He extended both hands toward Han, resting them on his shoulders, gazing fiercely into Han’s face.
“I believe you may be my descendant after all,” Crow breathed, his eyes alight with a feral joy.
“Listen to me, daughter,” Averill said. “You must dismiss Alister as your bodyguard. Do it now. He should not be housed so close to you. If you don’t take action, we will.”
“What do you mean by that?” Raisa said, her throat gone dry.
“We are Demonai warriors,” Elena said. “We know what to do with jinxflingers who present a danger to the Gray Wolf line.”
Raisa looked up, and all she saw were implacable, unforgiving clan faces staring back at her. They will do it, she thought. They will do it and they will tell themselves they are doing it for love of me.
And suddenly she couldn’t stand to be in this conversation a moment longer.
She drew herself up. “You are my father,” she said to Averill. “And you are my grandmother,” she said to Elena. “And you are duty-bound to me,” she said to Nightwalker. “If you take action against Hunts Alone without my permission, we will be at war.”
Warnings: Violence, war, and some scenes and dialogue that get a little racy.
Recommended Age Range: 16+
What I Liked:
Wow! What a finish! I could barely stand to put this book down. So many things were answered and revealed in this book, things that were brought up all the way back in the first book, like Han’s clan amulet and the situation surrounding Lucius Frowley. It was a really thrilling read, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it.
So, when I was reading The Gray Wolf Throne I was a fan of Fiona/Adam, but that was when I thought Fiona would turn out to be good (and Micah bad). That was flipped around in this one, and Micah’s the one who marginally redeems himself. I was not expecting Mordra, though. Not at all. Also, Mellony’s a little young, but perhaps, in time, it will be Mellony/Micah?
The clan/wizard tension was especially heavy in this one, and it was especially frustrating. Poor Raisa, having to deal with all that (but also, fantastic Raisa, for not backing down!). And the book doesn’t end with everything being magically wonderful and happy between the two groups, either, which is wonderfully realistic. The end points to progress and hope, and that’s enough, and it’s wonderful.
I loved the machinations Han was pulling, even if it alienated him from allies.
What I Didn’t Like:
The end (with Han and Raisa) was a little cheesy, but the epilogue was cute.
The Crimson Crown really delivers in the action and thriller department, and concludes the Seven Realm series wonderfully. A lot of stuff happens in this book, probably because the first three books before it are basically a set-up for this one. I had a hard time putting this book down. I would definitely say this series was worth the read.
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