Cynthia here! Today I’m excited to recommend a book by an Ohio native! She was born in Springfield (that’s where Ben was born as well!), and taught at the University of Akron from 2004-2009 before leaving to write full time. I absolutely love her stories and her creative nature! In her first fantasy series, The Heir Chronicles, most of the story actually takes place in Ohio! The main characters get to go to Cedar Point for a class trip and I remember reading it and thinking “I’ve been there! How exciting!!!” Without further ado, here is today’s recommendation, The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima.
Han Alister, a former street lord of Fellcastle has given up his thieving ways in order to prevent his younger sister from joining the dangerous lifestyle. In order to survive he now supports his family by running errands and selling hunted items that are rare and difficult to find. While hunting with his clan friend, Fire Dancer, they get into a quarrel with a group of young wizards that ends with the change of possession of a magical amulet from the wizards to Han. Not knowing the full implication of the effects that this particular amulet will have on him and the danger that will follow, Han pockets it thinking he could at least make a few bucks. Princess Raisa is soon to be 16, where she will be named heir to the throne of her mother, Queen of Fellcastle. Born to a royal mother and a clan father, Raisa had the opportunity to live outside of the castle for 3 years in the care of her father’s clan. Once returned to the kingdom, Raisa begins to question the eccentricities of some of the Queen’s actions, noticing also, that her mother is strongly influenced by the country’s High Wizard. Will Han be able to outrun his past or will his past come back to haunt him? Is Raisa ready to be heir to the throne or does she still have much to learn?
My above summary really doesn’t do any justice to the book but really it’s difficult to summarize a story with 2 protagonists! I therefore think it’s even more impressive how Cinda Williams Chima wrote of a world not only through a princess’ view but also the world from that of a former street lord. Each chapter alternates between Han and Raisa driving the book with nonstop action. I enjoyed Han’s character a lot! He’s got a smart mouth, he’s loyal to his friends and he loves his younger sister ferociously. Raisa on the other hand was harder for me to understand. Sometimes, she is so mature and goes above what I think she would do but other times she just seem like a silly little kid. Ultimately though, she always tries to do the right thing.
The story is so full of information and detail and it really was told in such a beautiful way! I love the corruption, the struggle for power, the fights, the history lessons and the mysteries that came out of every chapter. This particular book was all about character development and understanding that their future journey is shaped by events in this book. This book does have a huge cliffhanger though and I guess we’ll just have to continue the journey with Han and Raisa!