Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima


If you have not read The Demon King or The Exiled Queen,
(get reading them!)
don't read this review yet!!

Release Date: August 30, 2011
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.
Isn't that the most beautiful cover?
(Bigger sigh...)
I can't believe I have to wait an entire year for the final book.
Just kidding. About the sobbing anyway...

I think it's pretty much common knowledge by now how much I love (love, love) this series. Let's be honest, I was a bit disappointed when I read The Demon King because I had heard so many people rave about it. I remember thinking Really? It's an alright book, but it's not THAT good. It's actually quite slow. Then I got to to last hundred pages and totally got it. All those people raving were right. Vindication! Those final pages were jam-packed with so much amazing-ness that I was heartbroken that I had to wait for the next book. Then, The Exiled Queen came out. My husband and family got me a Kindle for my birthday and The Exiled Queen was the first book I got on it. I had a 4-day-old brand new baby and I finished it before he was a week old. It was amazing from cover to cover (you know, figuratively speaking, since it was on my Kindle). Again I had the thought, Are you kidding me? Who decides that books in a series come out a year apart? I need his phone number so I can give him a stern talking to.
I digress.
As I read this book, the third installment of the Seven Realms series, I could literally feel the tone of the storyline changing. Shifting into something harder--more challenging, more heartbreaking, but also more hopeful. There were so many blows in this book, in quick succession, it almost knocked me out. I would wonder how things could get any worse, and BAM! It was always something. I was on the edge of my seat, practically falling off it at times actually, as I devoured this book. Funny, I didn't know I'd been so hungry...
One of my favorite characters, maybe ever, is Raisa. It's been quite the experience to witness her growth from child to adult, princess to queen. She didn't get very long to grow up, but she used the time she had well. If you asked me to describe Raisa, I'd tell you she has gumption.
As for Han, he's grown on me. I've liked him in all the books, but I was a little annoyed that he moved in on Raisa when I very much felt like she was meant for Amon. I do believe that my opinion on this particular matter changed during the course of this book. C'mon, can it be any more clear how much Han loves her?
I applaud Cinda Williams Chima. She's gutsy, she's fierce, and she's an amazing writer. I will most likely need bereavement leave when I finish the final book next year, but I love that her books have had that effect on me. And I know that when that time comes, she'll have something new for me to thoroughly enjoy.
If you ignored my "caution signs" at the beginning of this post, and read this review anyway without first reading the first two books, I hope you've gained enough insight into the series to want to read it immediately. It's probably my favorite series I've ever read, and trust me, I've read a lot of them!
Happy Reading!
**I received this egalley from the publisher for the purpose of review.

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