May 16, 2011

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 9:37 pm by suebe2

The Exiled Queen
by Cinda Williams Chima
AR Middle Grade+

Princess Raini may be heir to the throne but that doesn’t mean she has much power.  To avoid an arranged marriage, arranged but illegal, she flees the country, hiding by enrolling as a students a military academy.  She finds life as a common student more challenging in many ways than life at court.

Just to make things even more complicated, she runs into Han Alister, her former captor.  He only knows her as Rebecca, the servant girl he kidnapped to allow him to escape those who were hunting him.  He is now attending school across the river from the military academy.  All along he had a wizard’s power but never knew it until the bracelets that kept this power in check were removed.  He has fled to the wizards school to learn to harness his power and protect himself and his best friend from the wizards who would do them harm.

I can’t tell you much more specific about the book without giving away major elements of the plot — which I simply refuse to do.

This book is an excellent choice for fantasy lovers looking for a challenging read.  With at least least two plot lines (one for Han and one for Raina) there is something to draw in both male and female readers.

While there are references to sex, it is also made clear that sex taken lightly leads to very serious consequences including children and the responsibilities that come with them.

Expect mystery and intrigue as the characters try to figure out who to trust, who various characters really are and how to harness their own abilities to stay alive.

An excellent fantasy adventure.


February 22, 2011

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 3:33 am by suebe2

The Demon King

by Cinda Williams Chima

Hyperion Books

AR 5.3

Han has forsworn life as a gang leader, giving up stealing and hustling for an honest income that won’t bring danger to his mother or sister.  Yet earning a living as an honest man seems impossible when everyone believes you are still street lord of one of the most powerful gangs in the city.  Not to mention the trouble that he stirs up when he takes an amulet from a young wizard who has threatened to jinx him.

Princess Raisa knows that there is more to live than what she sees within the palace walls.  How can she possibly rule when everyone knows more about life beyond the castle than she does?  Raisa wants to see the world beyond the Queendom and begins sneaking off to the temple to see what life is like for those less fortunate than herself.

It is at the temple that two worlds collide.

I can’t say much more about the actual plot of this book without revealing far too much.

I have read a number of Chima’s books and this is my favorite thus far although I enjoyed them all.  The world she has created is rich and complex.  Her characters are complex and wonderfully believable.

One of the things that will be most appealing, and also frustrating, for young readers is that the young characters, including the princess and Han, seem to have so few choices open to them.  What should they be?  What future should they choose?  Han isn’t sure, but it seems that each and every thing he might choose is denied him.  Raisa has even fewer choices facing the possibility of an arranged marriage much earlier than she realized was possible.

Fantasy lovers, both boys and girls, will find something to pull them into this richly woven story of destiny, treachery and loyalty.   If you haven’t sampled much young fiction yourself, try this story out.  You won’t be disappointed.



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