Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Series Review: Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima
Review: The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima
Release date: October 6th, 2009--October 23rd, 2012
Rating: Fantasy at its finest.
I already did a review for book one in this series, The Demon King, but I wanted to dicuss the last three in one because 1) the synopses for the later books are SO SPOILERY that I don't dare display them for your virgin eyes 2) I read them all in the space of a few days so they kind of blur together in the best way 3) I want to make you all read this series, and only those of you who've already ready the early books could read my later reviews, and that's just NOT ACCEPTABLE. Ergo, big massive group rave of a review.
(And by rave, I mean a TOTAL MESS, because I can't talk logically about this series. I've been putting this off for weeks because I can't do this series justice.)
Since the official synopses for this series are SUUUPER SPOILERY, I'll just tell you a little bit about what you can expect in this gorgeous, complex, political, romantic, and splendifferous high fantasy series. The Seven Realms primarily focuses on the Queendom of the Fells which is--surprise--run by Queens (it's a pretty awesomely fantastically feminist society hollaaaa). Sixteen-year-old Raisa ana'Marianna is the future queen, but just like the Fells itself, she's feeling pretty divided in her loyalties. She's fiercely smart and has spent her life training to be queen, but there's sooooo much shit about to hit the fan. Over and over and over again.
Diversity? Seven Realms has it. There's the Fells itself, which is divided between the Clanpeople of the mountains, who are hunters and users of earth magic, and the wizards, and then the Valepeople who are neither. Raisa is half-Clan, half-Vale, but her mother's government is being slowly taken over by wizards. People you THINK are evil have more to them, and the heroes make mistakes, and it's DELICIOUS. There are no true good guys and true bad guys, and everything is a pleasing shade of gray.
Then there's the fact that this series is packed with Ladies Doing Things(TM). Raisa, Fiona, Cat, Marianna, Willo, Dancer, Talia... LAYDEEEZ. Fells yeah.
Also lots of kissing for the sake of kissing and awesomeness like that. Raisa has the cosmic horn for a while there and GOOD ON YOU, RAISA. There are also hot boys doing things, like HAN FREAKING ALISTER, love of my life. He's a former street rat trying to make good, but nothing EVER goes right for him, and it's devastating. He gets pulled headlong into the political battle waging among the Queens and the wizards entirely against his will. But his character development--in fact, the character development of all the characters in this wide and varied cast--is remarkable. Like, just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.
This book also has, like, the OTP to end all OTPs but I can't talk bout it because it's probably spoilery buuuuut it's gorgeous and so full of equality and squeeeeee
Then there's the woooordlbuilding. The Seven Realms are a diverse, vast colleciton of kingdoms full of customs, lore, and history. There's war, and prejudice, and so much! Just all the things! Magic! Plots! Kissing! Politics! Wizards! Murder! Treason! Fireworks! Both literal and kiss-related! EVERYTHING YOU WANT! Seriously. Everything you want. There is so much depth and richness to this series. The first book is a bit slow, but once you get past it into the meat of the series...my god, I couldn't stop. I just read and read and screamed and threw things and cried and died because Han makes me feel things and oh my god RAISA and don't talk to me about SPOILER and SPOILER and gAHHHHHHHHHH
This has been a "review"! And one about as subtle as this gif, tbh
Just picture me doing this to you. Lovingly. For your own good.