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
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Purchased
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 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.





    1. Why do you show up everywhere and hurt me? Excuse me, I need to go sit with my feelings in the corner and cry.

  2. I'M SOLD. I'm going to now jump out of the window (pssh who needs doors?) run to the local bookstore and FREAKING BUY THIS WHOLE SERIES. Your raving has done well, young grasshopper. I know feel obliged to ship "the OTP of all OTPs" (I'm holding you to that) and just fangirl for a bit. Gah. :D

  3. [insert standing ovation gif here]

    This is the most perfect review of this series. Seriously, I could not have said a single thing better.

    So, indulge me for a second while I retreat into our shared obsession and point out some super awesome parallels that have occurred to me:
    1. Han Alister/Bellamy Blake- Boy faced with a terrible set of option while trying to do the best he can to protect his family and feeling like he's failed at every turn, occasionally making terrible decisions and taking the easy path (Han as street lord, Bellamy in early season 1) but ultimately knowing what they were doing was not right and trying to be better and protect the people they love by any means necessary.
    2. Raisa ana'Marianna/Clarke Griffin- High society girls raised to be a certain way but but being so much more than what people expect of them, facing down their opposition with a steel will, putting their people first and sacrificing their own happiness for the good of all, making hard choices and always doing what they think is right.

    I could probably go on but it'll devolve into scary, senseless, all-caps keyboard smashing and I've upset myself so I'm going to be done now.

    1. I'm just going to hit you with another "so do you ever think about X because I do" analysis and we'll see who wins. Me, I'm talking about me.

  4. I adored these books. They are as close to the kind of books I am trying to write as anything that's out there. Loved them. Thought the ending was a little weak.

  5. AHH. The Seven Realms series is definitely one of my favorites in the entire UNIVERSE, I just love Han and Raisa and the whole crew so much. I even love Micah :'( I just can't say anything but "I love this" cause I just REALLY love it, and really appreciate that I pushed through the first book because I had a LOT of issues with it. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!!

  6. YESSS. This series is super duper great and excellent! <3

  7. YES YES YES. This series has it all. SO MANY FEELS. Gahhh. You summed it up about as coherently as I could have.

  8. Okay well I wasn't HOOKED after book one, which explains why I haven't read the last three even though I own them. But clearly I need to remedy that this year, yes? OTP to end all OTPs... but I do love Mac and Wes in the Archived currently, so we shall see ;)

  9. Well hello there books. I know how I'm going to be spending my weekend! I like to consider myself ADDICTED TO ANY AND ALL THINGS FANTASY AND MAGIC AND WIZARDS AND ahem, sorry where was I? I right, I ADORE high fantasy, and this is like catnip to me. Barnes and Noble, here I come.

    Also hm, who can resist a combination of my two favorite things: kissing and FEMINISM.

  10. Okay, so I started this series forever ago, and gave up 10% of the way in. I'm going to clear off some space and try this one again, because this seems like a secret favorite of most bloggers.

    Time to give this one another fair shot.

  11. How can I not read this series now?! I'm planning to read at least a series a month. I already have the first few months mapped out but just added all these books to my TBR because of your awesome reviews.

  12. The cosmic hoooorn!!! It's crazy how spoilery the backs of the books are, I accidentally got spoiled when I looked at Exiled Queen! Ahh. This series really is fantastic. I read the first two books on the slow side and loooved the last two but now I'm tempted to give them all another go because COMPANION BOOK IS COMING TO SHATTER THE REALMS AHHHHHH. The Beyonce gif is super perfect! I'm glad you loved this series :D It's so amazing for so many reasons.

  13. I really want to read this series! I love that fact that I can gloriously binge them all now, which is a MAJOR bonus. But really, just the way you've described it (particularly the talk of SHIPS and great female characters) is convincing me that this MUST happen! I can't wait to get my hands on copies of the books in the series for a great binge read ;)


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