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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blog Tour: The Demon King

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Grade: 3.8 / 4 stars out of 5
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari.  Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell.  For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes.  They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

Raisa ana’Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight.  She’s just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai camp – riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets.  Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.
Quite honestly The Demon King is a fantasy adventure readers' dream come true.

The novel is told through two perspectives, Han and Raisa, where they each live separate lives in two distinctively different worlds. This enables the reader to fully grasp the dynamics the political and physically world. A world that stretches from the countryside, to the alleyways, and to the crevices of the castle. Even without the aid of a map one can easily picture the world in the mind through the descriptions and hints.

This separation of worlds also creates this juxtapose that the reader finally sees in the end as Raisa travels throughout her land without the carriages and guards and Han discovers the truth behind the silver cuffs.

However, The Demon King is definitely on the slower side in terms of pacing and development. It becomes obviously clear that The Demon King is the first installment of a series and that it is merely the set-up for the main plot. It’s a tedious read, I will admit, with loads of background information and history contexts that will leave readers frustrated. [Trust me, I had my brother read the series first and whenever I asked how he was liking the novel, he kept saying that there was no plot yet.]

But do not give up just yet. The novel does reward the reader in time.

Because I find this statement hilarious I have to just say it. My brother calls Raisa a slut. While I will not go as far as calling Raisa a slut, I did find Raisa to be promiscuous. She has had her fair share of kisses at the age of 15, which is the opposite of what I had pictured for a princess: pure, shy, and sweet. Instead Raisa takes charge and has a firm desire to be a good queen to her people. Lessons taught to her from the other side of the family—the clan side—where girls can become warriors.

It is different a modern twist to the novel where girls can more than one first kisses just as boys do (especially Han).

The Demon King does have plenty of twists, some predicted right from the very beginning and others that came from left-field (ensue: holy WTF!). Though it could just be me. See, now that I think about it, a lot of it makes sense. Okay I am totally losing my train of thought and gibbering along nothing.

I would definitely, positively recommend this novel for readers who enjoy fantasy novels with 80% action and 20% romance. The Demon King is a detailed orientated novel that has its pros and cons.

Cover: B+
Source: Hyperion on behalf on blog tour
Published paperback: August 31, 2010
Purchase via Amazon

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