Friday, December 28, 2012

The Exiled Queen, by Cinda Williams Chima

I continue to enjoy this series, The Seven Realms.  It is fantasy with a medieval setting.  Lots of horses and a feudal sort of society.  Political intrigue and a struggle to retain/grasp power in the Seven Realms is the unfolding story.  Although the plot line is familiar to fantasy readers, Chima does a nice job of making the story fresh with engaging characters who have enough development to keep sophisticated readers engaged.

The queen-to-be, Princess Raisa, has gone undercover to escape a planned marriage (I'm going to try and avoid spoiling the plot line of the first book, The Demon King.  Meanwhile, the other major characters Han Alister, Hayden Fire Dancer, Amon Byrne, and Micha Bayar all end up together with Raisa (in disguise as Rebecca Morley) at the magic and military schools at Oden's Ford. 

The love triangle (or is in a quadrangle?) between Raisa, Han and Amon continues with "doomed" love between them all.  The fourth in the mix is Micha Bayar and he continues to play a part in the connection between the young protagonists in the book.

Of course there is magic involved.  Han, Fire Dancer, and Micha are gifted magicians while Raisa  and Amon are not.  Much of the plot that keeps the reader going is how Han is learning about his magic and dealing with other magicians who would like to use him for their own purposes.  Han has the Demon King's amulet as his magic "piece."  The implication is that he is the heir to the Demon King's great powers.  The Bayar's would like to regain the piece and its power.

While Han is learning about his magic, Raisa is learning about fighting and how to lead her country.  There is a sort of "King Arthur" flavor to her learning about her kingdom in the role of a citizen rather than leader.  

I will be finishing the series and will let you know if it falters.  Otherwise, assume that I still find it worth recommending to young readers who enjoy fantasy.  I think it would be a great recommendation to young adults who play World of Warcraft of League of Legends.  The plot/settings will resonate with the video games they play and will encourage some reading.

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