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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blog Tour: The Exiled Queen

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford.   But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind.  Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets.  Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford.  If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen. [description from Amazon]
This review is going to be much shorter than The Demon King, just FYI.

With The Exiled Queen, the plot begins to thicken and quicken as well. The world of magick unravels more and exposes several paths that some might not have foreseen. There are several introductions to numerous additional characters.

Cinda Williams Chima retains the flow of the novel and presses forward without a hitch in this sequel. One of the biggest concerns I had was if the transition would be awkward and clunky and delivered different than The Demon King. It wasn’t happily enough 

The novel focuses more on character development than with the big picture. Here is my analysis for the trilogy: The Demon King is the heavy-handed background and general set-up; The Exiled Queen is the development of characters; and the final installment will be the giant climax and pow. Stepping back, this formula makes sense. In the here and now, however, it is a bit unfulfilling unless you have all three books at the same time.

The characters are definitely a joy to read especially Han. Readers, prepare to be swooned. I love the dynamics of the relationship between characters even more so than individually. I love the shy talks, the familiarity that comes through with dialogue, and the strong sense of justice. In particularly I think it is possible to find a relatable character for each reader.

This review is far more general than I had hoped, but here is a little warning: be on your toes. Also prepare to cyber-stalk Chima once you finished.

Cover: B+
Source: Hyperion for blog tour
Published in hardcover: September 28, 2010
Purchase via Amazon

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