Title/Author: The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher/Date published: Hyperion, October 23rd 2012
How I got this book: how could I resist buying the shiny hardcover for this one?
Goodreads summary: "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 cut-throat world of blue blood 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 finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?
A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series."
**WARNING: SPOILERS LIKELY FOR FIRST 3 BOOKS IN THE SERIES**
You guys, I just GUSHED about this series over on the Broke and the Bookish yesterday. But in case you haven't seen that, let me remind you how much I enjoyed The Demon King, The Exiled Queen and The Gray Wolfe Throne.
So, now that you're all linked up, I'll start with the actual review. Or gushing. Either.
I love this world that Cinda Williams Chima has created. I love it so much that even if it's incredibly dangerous and I'd most likely be killed, I wouldn't think twice about going there given the chance. It's so rich with different cultures and people, I just love it.
Han and Raisa cannot seem to catch a break, the odds are so against them that I was almost ready to give up hope for a happy ending. But I'm an optimist at heart, so of course I had faith in them to make it work. Even with pretty much everyone out to kill them.
I love how both have matured over the series and I loved the few scenes they had together. It's not easy, but they share a love that's true and it's enough.
This final instalment had me on the edge of my seat most of the time, there's never a time when you can rest easy, because there's always some new trouble lurking around the corner. I almost decided to cancel plans with my family in order to read on, but managed to resist. This story was in my head the whole time I WASN'T reading it and that to me is the sign of a good book and wellrounded characters, when they can exist not only in the author's imagination, but in mine as well.
I feel very passionate about this series and all of its characters, be they good guys or bad guys. I wish horrible, painful, slow deaths on the ones I consider bad guys. I really hated Micah in The Demon King, but over the books he's sort of grown on me. I still wish he were different, but I don't hate him with the same passion I do his father. His character has hidden depths and I do believe he really loves Raisa, even though he way he shows it isn't really ideal.
There were some twists and turns that surprised me, which I loved and I also really enjoyed learning more about Alger and Hanalea's story. The way their story got remade makes me wonder how history will be taught in a couple of centuries.
Basically, this series is just plain awesome and you all have to read it. Reading The Crimson Crown felt like reconnecting with old friends, I cannot believe how much I've missed the Seven Realms and its characters! I repeat the statement I made on The Broke and the Bookish yesterday: this is YA fantasy at its best and it doesn't get much better than this. Thank you Cinda Williams Chima, for sharing this amazing story!
My rating: 5+ stars