Monday, October 10, 2011

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Monday, October 10, 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. ( Publisher's Summary from Goodreads)
Reasons I chose this book: After reading a rave review by Sab at YA Bliss, I just had to check this entire series out. I am a big audio bluff and cannot even think about driving anywhere without tuning into a book. Consequently, I listened to the first two books in this series: The Demon King and The Exhiled Queen and totally fell in love. Unfortunately, The Gray Wolf Throne was not in audio format so as soon as I finished the second book I ran out and bought The Gray Wolf Throne.

Reasons I Liked or Disliked the Book: How do I begin to tell you how much I loved immersing myself in the world Cinda Williams Chima has created. It is a world of beauty, magic, and political intrigue, fraught with danger, and romance. Chima is a masterful story teller who knows how to transport readers not only through luscious and vivid prose, but with characters who burn their way into your heart and beg to be loved and loathed. This is high fantasy at its best. I truly adored Raisa ana Marianna and felt the same loyalty to her as all the other characters whose chief goal in life was to protect and serve. I felt drawn to her struggles to become the kind of person who deserved to take her place as the next Gray Wolf Queen. Forced to grow up too soon and face those who want her dead, I feared for her safety and watched enraptured as she grew from a young girl whose only wish was to be kissed and courted to a young women who desired to correct the evils of a kingdom on the verge of collapse. I also fell madly in love with Hans Alister, the street lord turned wizard. His heroic deeds were only over shadowed by his good nature and larger than life love of family and friends. As a couple Rasia and Han are two of the best. Torn between the destiny they have no control over and a love that seems impossible,  I ached and longed for their happiness to be achieved together.
Sadly, The Gray Wolf Throne ends too soon to find out whether these two larger than life characters will find their way around all the obstacles that are keeping them from each other. I will be waiting impatiently to read more about the Seven Realms.

Reasons I would recommend this book: If you love fantasy then you have to read this. If you love epic love stories they do not get more epic than this. If you crave action and intrigue then look no further. And if you seek great characters who live long after you stop reading then you have got to read this series. 

Thankfully, a fourth book, is slated to be released next fall, and I also found this amazing video, which embodies the essences of the books.


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