Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.
One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her—including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.
The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards
Click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page
My thoughts while reading:
|03/01||page 137||27.0%||“I’m happy Amon’s here, he’s a lot nicer than Micah”|
|03/02||page 231||45.0%||“Well, that’s one way to introduce yourself I suppose… It makes other first impressions just seem so boring”|
|03/03||page 340||67.0%||“I want a Naming Day!”|
|03/04||page 506||100.0%||“Wow, way to end with loose ends! Just throw all those plot twists at us so we have to get the second book. Very sneaky…”|
My thoughts when I finished:
I’ll admit, I didn’t have incredibly high hopes for this. I’m not a huge fan of high fantasy, I find it too confusing keeping up with all the new places and languages. So I’m not exactly surprised that I didn’t love this. It’s more the reasons I didn’t love this that surprised me.
I could actually follow what was happening in this world pretty well. It was well explained, for the most part. I knew who all the characters well. I got involved in Han’s clan and street gangs. I was worried about who Raisa was going to marry to carry on the line. The history was the part that wasn’t explained well. All through the book there’s mentions of Hanalea, and, of course, the Demon King. But they never really explain who those two are. It’s sometimes implied. But with high fantasy, things like that need to be explained. They’re vital to the plot. Hanalea affects the entire line of Raisa’s family. And the Demon King makes the whole plot twist at the end happen. I needed it to be explained to me step by step. Not just implied.
I found the two characters equally as interesting for the most part. Sometimes I was more interested in Han, and a little bit bored with Raisa’s court life. That’s the problem with doing a book from two points of view. One always lags, because you get too interested in writing the other character. It might have been better from just one character, but there’s no way I could choose which one. Especially the scene where they met, and all the chapters afterwards. I was so interested in how Raisa was going to get out of that situation, but I couldn’t leave Han to just suffer on his own. I would definitely read them as two separate books. As one, they were unbalanced.
I want to carry on talking about this, but I’ve already started the sequel, the Exiled Queen. Unfortunately, it’s one of those series where the books blend together. I can’t carry on talking about the Demon King, because I’m not sure if it happened here or in the sequel. Hopefully I can carry on reading the rest of the series, because I’ve realised while doing this that I won’t remember the intricate details if I leave it too long.
It’s an okay book. I wish it was better, I really do. But without the world being explained, I can’t love it. It’s worth it for the great characters though!