Saturday, December 29, 2012

Who Deserves the Throne?

The Gray Wolf Throne (A Seven Realms Novel)
Raisa has lied to many people, but the lie about being heir to the Gray Wolf Throne to the man she loves is the most painful. When her throne and life are threatened, Raisa is willing to do anything she can to protect the line. Even if it means alienating the one boy she knows is not only unimpressed by her position, he despises all blue bloods, especially the queen. In The Gray Wolf Throne, Cinda Williams Chima's third book in the Seven Realms series, we watch Raisa become the queen we knew she could be even before she is crowned. 

Raisa has been hiding out waiting for Amon, but she knows she can't hide out in a taproom forever. When Amon's father appears and tells her things aren't safe there anymore, she knows he is one of the only people she can trust and goes with him. On their way back to her queendom, they attacked with such brutality that the attackers are sure they have done away with the princess heir. To her surprise, they are her own soldiers sent to hunt her down. But unbeknownst to Raisa, Han, the street thug turned wizard, is trailing the girl he knows as Rebecca. What he doesn't understand is that Rebecca and Raisa are one and the same. But to him, being the heir to the throne makes her the embodiment of everything Han despises.

After saving Raisa from her own traitorous soldiers, Han learns the truth about the girl he cares so much for. Meanwhile, things back in the city are going poorly and news of the queen's death means a new queen must be crowned. But not everyone wants the strong willed Raisa to sit on the throne. With the wizards led by the sneaky Bayar family doing everything they can to keep Raisa from making it to her own queendom, it is time for everyone to put aside their differences and help the queen. But that doesn't mean they have to like it. Or trust one another. But can they save the throne?

In another stellar installment of Chima's, we go deeper and deeper into the world of the Seven Realms. Not only is the world incredible, deep, and magical, but the characters are as well. Raisa is among one of my favorite female leads in all of YA. She doesn't cower or wait for people to help her, she knows what she must do and her duty comes before her own safety. I love this about her. Even when she was an intractable princess, she had the gumption and bravery to be a queen someday, and in this book you see that tenfold. She doesn't let the power around her scare her and isn't afraid to make deep changes, even if they make her great enemies. But the relationship between her and Han is so intricate and delicate, you find yourself racing to more scenes with the two of them together.

This series is simply phenomenal. If you love high fantasy and have enjoyed any stories by Cashore, Marchetta, Maas, etc., you will love this series. It is a beautiful world built in a land you can see so clearly you would think you were there. I can't wait for the final book, but I will be sad to see the story go. So fantasy, you say? Here it is!

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