Monday, November 1, 2010
The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima (The Seven Realms #2)
I couldn't wait to read this book, having just finished The Demon King last month. TDK was a strong contender to be my favorite read of the year so far, but that was only until I read The Exiled Queen. I think I have a NEW favorite book of the year!
I tend to expect the middle book of a trilogy as the weakest of the three. it's purpose is tying up loose ends from book one and setting up events for book three, so the plot may be weaker than the other books. Not so, here. I jumped right back into Raisa's flight from a forced marriage and Han's journey to the wizard academy at Oden's Ford. Since they were both at Oden's Ford, I knew that Raisa and Han were destined to meet again, and they do, although not as I had expected. The entire time I was reading TEQ, I sensed the inevitability of evil winning this battle. I just wanted to know how Han and Raisa are duped, since you know both are expecting an attack. (And I'm not giving anything away here -- once you start reading, you too will sense impending doom!) So while it does tie up some things from book one and leave you hanging for book three, I don't think it's a week plot at all. Many twists in the story kept surprising me, so that I basically gave up trying to predict what would happen next. I love it when that happens!
Filled with intrigue and the sense of an upcoming betrayal, I found The Exiled Queen a fabulous story, one difficult to put down. Ms. Chima's efforts here has me setting extremely high expectations for the next book of the Seven Realms. It's an 'A' book for me!
Note: The Exiled Queen is the second book in a continuing story. I highly recommend that you read the first book, The Demon King, before attempting this one. Otherwise, you may be completely lost!