If you haven't read The Demon King, don't read this review. I'm afraid there are some SPOILERS! Just know that I absolutely LOVED The Exiled Queen!
You can't always run from danger...
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.First Sentence:
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.
Lieutentant Mac Gillen of the Queen's Guard of the Fells hunched his shoulders against the witch wind that howled out of the frozen wastelands to the north and west.So The Exiled Queen has been sitting on my TBR for quite sometime. Mainly because it took me awhile to get my hands on the first book, The Demon King, which was awesome (see me gush about it HERE). I'll try not to ramble on too much. :)
I'm always a bit nervous when it comes to reading sequels to books that I absolutely love. Because there's always the chance that I won't enjoy it nearly as much as the first one, but The Exiled Queen was just as good and epic as its predecessor (even though it took me a little longer to read it since I had less time to read this week).
For me there is one thing that will always make or break a fantasy series for me, and that is characters. Which is why I love The Seven Realms series so much because the characters are just some of the best I have read. The MCs, Han and Raisa, are two of my absolute favorite characters to read about because I love how fully you are drawn into the emotional turmoil that they both struggle with.
Another reason I loved The Exiled Queen would have to be that in the span of just two books, both Han and Raisa have grown as characters. You see them learning how to deal with the new roles in which they find themselves after the conclusion of The Demon King.
While The Demon King seemed to have focused more upon Han and his story, The Exiled Queen was more about Raisa and the aftermath of her mother trying to marry her off to wizard in the first book. I loved how this book reaffirmed the strength of character that Raisa has, it was also interesting to see she copes when pushed to the limit of her abilities.
Even though there was slightly less action in The Exiled Queen, I think that the intersecting of Han and Raisa's path helped to move the story along. That being said, The Exiled Queen is still fraught with tension and mystery that totally left me wanting to both read faster (so I could find out what would happen next) and to slow down and savor the book (now I have months to wait for the third book).
With just about every book I read, there's always one thing that I liked best about it (usually a scene), and The Exiled Queen is no exception to that. What I loved most in this book would have to be Ms. Chima's ability to create this amazingly multi-layered world filled with such strong characters.
There is NOT a single thing I would change about The Exiled Queen...well except for the cliff-hanger ending! Gah! What am I going to do while I wait for The Gray Wolf Throne to come out.
Final Verdict: The Exiled Queen is fantasy at its best and Ms. Chima's writing is phenomenal. The Seven Realms is one series that I just cannot recommend enough.
I'm not sure how I'll survive waiting for The Gray Wolf Throne to come out in September.
The Exiled Queen earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
The Demon King
The Exiled Queen
The Gray Wolf Thron
Dear FTC, This book was received for an honest review. All views expressed are mine and were in no way influenced by outside forces.