The Seven Realms #4 (final book)
by Cinda Williams Chima
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 23, 2012)
Mark on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
The Seven Realms Series is made up of The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, and now, the last book in the series, The Crimson Crown. If you are a fan of high fantasy, you will not find a more well-written, emotional, intense, phenomenal series than this one. This is, hands down, my favorite high-fantasy series ever, and quite possibly my favorite Young Adult series ever. Each book is better than the last, and when you finish reading, all you want to do is pick it back up, and read it all over again. If you're an audiobook lover, Carol Monda reads this series and does an amazing job. Either way, you will fall in love!
What makes it so good?
My words will not do this series justice! First of all, the world-building is just a cut above anything else I've read. Every time I start reading one of these books, I'm completely immersed in this world. It exists. I feel utterly attached to every character and every location. Ragmarket is real! I can envision riding horses in the Fells, or sitting around a fire on Spirit Mountain. This place is a part of me now, and so is every character. I love Raisa and Han like they are real people. I feel like I know them and care so deeply about what happens to them. The way the books are written, in alternating viewpoints, makes you connect with them so much more. And I've never read a series with more character development than in these books.
Then there's the incredibly detailed plot. I'm talking Harry Potter level here. There are things in book one that you don't even realize are important until book 4. There are things you are blind-sided with when, looking back, you see that the signs have always been there. It's obvious that Chima had this entire series planned from the beginning, and planned beautifully.
The relationships develop over the course of the entire series. Most books bring the main characters together in book 1, then spend the rest of the series throwing things (mostly a second love interest) at them to keep things interesting. The romance in this book is SO much deeper, more meaningful, and intense. I can't tell you how much I ached for them. It was just done so perfectly!
The Crimson Crown:
A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed—Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love.
Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she's falling in love.
Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?
At a Glance:
This book, this finale, this masterpiece, was everything that I could have hoped for, and so much more. Just when I think there is no way that Chima can top herself again, she comes at me with this book.
The Crimson Crown was an emotional roller coaster! I can't tell you how many times I wanted yell, or laugh, or cry, and just grab Han and Raisa and tell them to just KISS ALREADY, and love each other, and forget the world!!! Of course they couldn't do that, and I'm sure I wouldn't be nearly as enraptured if they had, but oh, the torture!
So much happens in this book. And of course, with that cover, the whole time I'm wondering, "What's going to happen to Ragmarket?' Every question was answered, and answered so surprisingly. I was totally taken off guard at some points, and I loved it. There was so much action, and fighting, and backstabbing, and mystery, and plot twists, and for the love of all that is holy, the romantic tension!! Honestly, this series may have ruined me forever, because how can anything else ever compare?
This is one of those series that I wish could go on and on forever, so I'm incredibly sad that this was the last book. However, if there ever was an ending that could completely satisfy me, this would be it. I'm so happy with the way everything was tied together. That's not to say that there wasn't heartache, or difficult things to swallow, but the way Chima wrapped everything up was just so incredible. The only good thing about it being over is that now I get to start back with The Demon King and enjoy it all over again.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Mass, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Poison Study by Maria V Snyder