The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3) – Cinda Williams Chima

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9409469 (1)Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana”‘Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen. 
Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it–he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive–and even that might not be enough. 
The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

 

The Exiled Queen left off with Raisa being kidnapped and Han Alister leaving school to go find her. Bear with me, I have not read the second installment in about a year, and I’m a little rusty. The Gray Wolf Throne starts off with us finding out that Raisa got away from her captors, but she’s in a bit of a predicament. Everyone seems to want to kill her. Lord Bayar, the High Wizard, and the man who has sucked her mother, The Queen, under his spell is sending everyone within his power after her, even the Queen’s own guard. With her own people after the Princess Heir, Raisa must learn to fight for herself and depend on others to keep her from harms way.

Han Alister is completely smitten with the girl known as Rebecca Morley. Little does he know that Rebecca is actually the Princess Heir, Raisa ana’Marianna. He has made it his mission to leave school and hunt her down. But seeing as it appears as if Rebecca has been taken from the school against her will, he fears that he may be too late to rescue her.

On a blind turn of events, Han and Raisa eventually reunite, only to discover that her right to the throne is fading away. Now Raisa must fight for her control and ownership of the crown. And who better to be at her side than Han Alister?

 

Cinda Williams Chima has one of the most beautiful, interesting and creative writing styles that I have ever seen. I fell in love with her writing in her Heir Series, and I’ve embraced the magic once again in her Seven Realms Series. The world that Chima creates is so heartfelt, so well thought of that she floors me everytime I read something written by her. It is obvious that Chima dedicates herself to her writing.

I have met people who have started reading the first book in the series, The Demon King, and have put it down because they were bored. And I always say the exact same thing. Stick. With. The. Book. The Demon King starts off very slowly, and it does not pick up until half way through the book. I was bored out of my mind the first of half of The Demon King, but when it started to pick up, I couldn’t tear my eyes off the page.

The Exiled Queen was full of action from page one, and it is by far my favorite book in the series. I was devastated when that book was over. I just wanted more Raisa and Han. And, of course, Micah and Fiona, because I have some sick love for the both of them.

Like The Demon King, The Gray Wolf Throne starts off very slowly. So slowly, that I almost put the book down for awhile. As it was, it took me over a week to even finish it. Unlike The Demon King, The Gray Wolf Throne did not hit its peak and pick up. There was a spot around page 100 that the book switched from boring to interesting, but it never switched from interesting to fascinating. A large chunk of the book is dedicated to everyones travels, which can get very boring. I wanted to read less about everyone riding on horses to get to their destinations and more about the magic and wonder that surrounds The Seven Realms.

One of my biggest complaints, and one I’ve had since book one is that the chapters are way too long. The chapters are about 20-30 pages without any breaks. There are absolutely no stopping points in the chapters, so if you don’t finish a chapter you’re going to be left very upset for not finishing the scene you’re on. I know that this is probably a silly complaint to have about a book, but I rely on my stopping points, and I am not pleasant to be around if I have to stop in the middle of a sentence.

I honestly felt that this book was lacking so much in order for Chima to prepare for the last book. There is a lot of detail and questions that needed to be released in order for the last book to finish up well. And while I have not read the last book, I am anticipating it to be off the charts amazing due to the boringness that I had to suffer in The Gray Wolf Throne.

What was interesting to me was the development of the characters. For starters, I grew to love Han even more than I already did. By the end of the book he is a mature man who is willing to do anything to defend the throne, whereas he used to hate queens and everything they stood for. On the other hand, I disliked Raisa’s character throughout most of this book. I found her whiney and hardheaded, and I just wanted to smack some sense into her. I also didn’t like the fact that Raisa had to make a decision about who she was going to marry. Now, this complaint doesn’t really relate to the book, because I know that that’s how things worked in the past. But I just want to say that I am going to be VERY upset if Han and Raisa are not allowed to be together in the final book.

It is really hard for me to give this book 3-stars because the layout and detail were so amazing. I was in love with the pictures that Cinda Williams Chima placed in my head, and I just wanted to dive head first into the world that she created. But I was bored throughout most of this book, and detail doesn’t matter much if I can’t connect with the story. I am hoping beyond hope that the last book is amazing. The Heir series was genius, and I fell in love with the previous books in this series. But I didn’t feel the love for this book.

 

Pages: 517

Publisher: Hyperion Books

Publication Date: August 30th, 2011

Rating: [rating: 3]

 

Teaser Quote: “The bluejacket girlie rode like a clan warrior, but there was no way she’d escape. It was a private life-and-death contest that had nothing to do with him.
He told himself he should ride on, grateful that the chase would keep them occupied while he took a different path.
But what had he told Rebecca when she’d asked what he meant to do when he returned to the Fells?
‘I’m tired of people in power picking on the weak. I’m going to help them.”