Cinda Williams Chima is an American author. She has written the Heir series and now she's working on The Seven Realms Trilogy. Her official website can be found here.
A REVIEW OF CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA'S THE DEMON KING
The Demon King begins with a "bang" when Han and his friend meet young wizards who are setting fire to the mountain. This leads to a confrontation and Han takes an amulet from one of the wizards. He doesn't know what it can do, but he keeps it. Meanwhile Raisa, who is a princess, is hunting with her mother and the fire is coming towards them. After this strong start Cinda Williams Chima introduces the characters and their lives to the reader and then she begins to move the story forward.
Han is an interesting characters, because he's been a thief and he's tried to take care of his mother and little sister. He wears cuffs on his wrists all the time – he's been wearing them for ages and he can never take them off. I think it was nice that Cinda Williams Chima described Han's harsh family conditions without sugar coating, because it added realism to the story. Raisa is a princess, who seems to have a good head on her shoulders. She's excited about her suitors, but she also wants to do different kind of things before she gets married. Han and Raisa are convincing and likeable characters – their feelings, hopes and fears felt realistic. The author explores their lives in an intriguing way. The other characters are also interesting, especially the blind man Lucius and the clan woman Willo.
The Demon King is a traditional young adult fantasy book. It has everything a fan of traditional fantasy can hope for – princesses, wizards and magic etc, but it also contains political things, which aren't usually handled in young adult fantasy books. It was surprising that the author had decided to add political things to the story, because many other authors would've avoided them.
I know that many readers are probably fed up with traditional fantasy stories, but The Demon King is worth reading, because it's more complex than several other books. This book will appeal to many readers, because it contains adventure, intrigue, humour, magic and romance (the author has done her best to create a good and entertaining story). I'm sure that many young adult readers will be thrilled to read this book.
When I began to read The Demon King I had some doubts about its quality, because there are several young fantasy books, which are too simple and boring for adults to enjoy them. Fortunately this book turned out to be an entertaining, intelligent and thought-provoking book. It's nice when a book surprises you this way.
Because The Demon King is the first book of a trilogy, the author spends a lot of time building things up for the sequels. This is good, because in my opinion fantasy series must have a good start or the story won't be strong enough to keep up the reader's interest. The dark history of the world is fascinating and it offers a good background for the story. The political system is also fascinating, because the author has created a believable system.
The British review copy, which I read, doesn't contain a map. Fortunately the map could be found from the author's website, so I printed it for myself. The printed map was useful, because I could see where all the places were.
The Demon King is a good traditional fantasy book for young adults. I can recommend it to young adult readers.