Young Adult > Fantasy
(Seven Realms #2)
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, hunted by the powerful Bayar family, Han Alister makes a devil’s bargain with the clans. If they sponsor his schooling at Mystwerk Academy at Oden’s Ford, he will become their magical sell-sword against the power-hungry Wizard Council.
Han and his clan friend Fire Dancer undertake the dangerous journey south through war-torn Arden. Once in Oden’s Ford, it doesn’t take long for the smoldering feud between Han and Micah Bayar to kindle into flame. After several attempts on his life, Han knows he has to find a way to defend himself.
In the magical dream world of Aediion, Han meets the mysterious Crow, a wizard with a long-standing grudge against the Bayars. Crow offers to tutor Han in wizardry in exchange for his help. Han agrees, once again forced into a bargain he hopes he won’t regret.
Meanwhile, Han’s friends Fire Dancer and Cat Tyburn struggle with their own demons. Dancer is determined to become a clan flashcrafter, despite his charmcaster status. Cat carries a load of guilt, as the only survivor of the slaughter of the gangs in Ragmarket and Southbridge.
Resuming her disguise as gently-born Rebecca Morley, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna travels with her friend Amon Byrne and his triple of cadets to Wien House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. There she hopes she will find both temporary sanctuary from a forced marriage and the education she needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.
Much of Raisa’s education takes place outside of the classroom. As she mingles with students of all classes from throughout the Seven Realms, she forges the kind of friendships that don’t happen amid the cut-throat politics of the Gray Wolf Court. She also struggles to deal with her attraction to Amon—an attraction he seems determined to discourage.
When Han Alister asks the girl he knows as Rebecca to tutor him, she agrees. The streetlord turned wizard with the complicated past fascinates her, and he makes it clear the interest is mutual. But Han blames Queen Marianna and the Bayars for the loss of his family. As their relationship deepens, Raisa suspects that if Han knew her true identity, he wouldn’t want anything to do with her.
Literary Awards: Teen Buckeye Book Award (2011), Voya Perfect Ten (2010)
Book 1: The Demon King review
…I liked The Demon King better, I think. But this sequels has its own merits, so.. let’s put it this way: I really liked both books but, for different reasons.
The Exiled Queen chronicles Raisa’s time in Oden’s Ford, from escaping an arranged marriage to hiding in Oden’s Ford posing as a cadet. Han was also on his way there but going to the opposite side, where he was hell-bent on becoming a competent and powerful wizard worthy of his amulet.
This book was so hard to get into, just like The Demon King because the beginning was very slow! But, it’s worthy of investment. The Exiled Queen has that tone of Harry Potter..? Citizens of the Seven Kingdoms from different walks of life are learning to hone their powers and become a wizard. I didn’t like this part. Petty quarrels, diminutive discussions were boring to me.
Things started to pick up when the moment of Raisa and Han’s inevitable meeting approaches. I was so excited and giddy anticipating their reunion (of sorts)! And wow, I didn’t expect to swooon over Han. But I did! Over-the-top swoon. *blushes* He knows what he wants, alright. Oh, Han Allister. You swept me off my feet.
I pity Amon Byrnes. What a miserable situation you are in. But I felt no sympathy for him. Nope. I believe Han can beat him in a fight again and again. Even without magic. Ha!
Raissa‘s character was more of a seesaw. Indignant one moment, selfless the next. I cannot figure out if she did grow up, now that she was no longer pampered as a princess, or if she’s still this stubborn heir to the throne who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
The highlight for me? Han. He’s a go-getter, and smart. So smart. Hot-tempered yes, but I’m glad Dancer was there to ground him.
I think The Exiled Queen is more on character development rather than the plot. Raissa and Han dug deeper into their hearts on what’s more important: happiness to one’s self, vengeance, or the greater good of the Seven Kingdoms?
Cuffs Allister, you rock!
THE EXILED QUEEN by Cinda Williams Chima
Ebook, 593 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Disney Hyperion