Sunday, September 30, 2018

Not Really a Review: The Demon King

The Demon King

by Cinda Williams Chima
Book 1 of Seven Realms

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.0 Stars

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch.  Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family.  The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth.  They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea.  Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them.  Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago.  With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight.  She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets.  Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage.  She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her...

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

I'm not going to lie.  I really, really resent this book.

And I'd started this post four times, because I couldn't seem to find the right words to describe the struggle I felt while reading this book.  It was boring and monotonous.

Sure, the writing was great and the details were plenty... but sometimes you CAN have too much detail.  I'm sure I was drowning in detail to the point where I physically said aloud: "Why do I care?"

I like to see myself as fairly tolerant when it comes to books.  I have a pretty average standard and can overlook certain aspects in exchange for other traits a book may display more favorably.

The world had potential: Seven Realms, wars going on, a rich back-history of conflict, a legendary warrior queen who saved the world, some snippets of human drama between opposing groups of people who hate... well, just because the hate has been expanding for generations.  There is a lot of potential in this world.

But I'm not sure if I could find anything in The Demon King that was to my liking at all.  I didn't like the characters (except maybe Prince Liam Tomlin, what little appearance he makes with his witty banters and nonsensical responses), there appeared to be very little direction in the story line, despite the fact that you knew exactly where the story was headed, and (I repeat) there was too much info dump.

To me, the entire book felt like a prologue of sorts -- as if this one book was the build-up and back story behind the true story that has yet to begin.

So I resent this book, but not for all the things mentioned above; I resent this book because of the fact that the actual story doesn't even really begin until the end.  Things actually start to get intriguing in the last 20% stretch of The Demon King.

If I cared enough, maybe I could overlook the first 80% and be happy to continue the series.  I'm not sure if I'm feeling that generous though.


This book was read as part of my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader.

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in February 2014.

First Impression (originally posted on February 11, 2014)

This is the first book I'm reading for my TBR Pile Challenge...  and I'm almost afraid to say that it's not going so well.  I seem to have read the first four chapters without quite knowing what's actually going on... and maybe even shutting off my brain at some point.

I picked this book to be put onto my reading list in the first place because I like high fantasies and the summary sounded interesting.  I'm starting to think that there must have been a reason why this book did some hopping back and forth from me wanting to read it to me putting it into a "maybe read" category... and back and forth again.

Nonetheless, being that it is part of a list I officially posted in a reading challenge, I'll do my best to get through it.  Who knows, maybe it's just a slow start and I'll eventually end up liking it.

Of course, so many other books out there dying to be read right now as well....

This update was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in February 2014.

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