Seven Realms: The Demon King

 

Hans Alister was your typical Fellsmarch streetlord. Cutthroat. Bloodthirsty. Dangerous. But he put that all behind him for the same of his sister. And then, one day he takes an amulet off of a young wizard. But it's not just any amulet. It was once owned by The Demon King. The evil wizard who almost destroyed the world. And the wizards he took it from will kill to take it back.

Raisa ana'Marianna is the princess heir of The Fells, destined to one day rule over the realm. After three years at Demonai camp with her father, Raisa had returned to court as the princess heir. But Raisa doesn't want to live the life that goes along with being princess heir. Parties. Dresses. Relaxing. She wishes to be like Queen Hanalea, the first of the Gray Wolf Queens, who destroyed the Demon King and saved the world from imminent destruction. Unfortunately, her mother, Queen Marianna has different plans. Ones that violate a thousand year old law in the Fells.

Follow Han and Raisa as they race to find safety in the seven realms.

 

 

/*** THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***\

**/** SPOILERS ARE PRESENT **\**

 

 

This series, the Seven Realms, is one of the oddest series I have ever read. None of the books by themselves are very good, that includes The Demon King. But when all combined together, they make a very good series.

Why I claim that this books is not that good, is because the plot moves so slowly. Especially with Han. Like nothing happens to him until he abducts Raisa. And with Raisa, its just the same thing over and over again. Her saying she doesn't want to marry anyone, but everyone else giving her suggestions on who to marry. It got kind of annoying at the end. I only kept reading the series because I already had the rest of them.

Now that I'm done with that rant, we can get on with the analysis of the story ...

 

Just so everyone gets this straight, the Naeming was negotiated by Queen Hanalea to end the line of Gifted Kings, establish the line of Gray Wolf Queens, and create some amount of peace between the wizard races and the spirit clans of the fells. In the Naeming, the only real rules taht were mentione were that a) Gray Wolf Queens were not allowed to marry wizards and b) wizards were not allowed into the spirit mountains where the spirit clans resided.

Just so we all got that straight.

 

Now onto Han's motto ... "arrows fly faster than jinxes". First off, that not necessarily true. A jinx could work after the caster was dead. A jinx could make the arrow or weapon disappear. Or slow down time. Or a hundred other things. So Han's motto is only somewhat true. But the point was, that magic can't always save you.

After that motto is introduced, Han acquires the amulet that causes so much trouble in this books and so much worth in the rest of the series.

And with the acquirement of the amulet, we meet a peculiar character: Lucius Frowsley. In this book, he is known as a drunk who makes liquor which Han than sells in Fellsmarch. But he also knows a great deal about this amulet. Like the fact that the Bayars would kill him for it with no remorse. Why would an old drunk know that? We'll find out later.

 

That's as far as we get with Han before we swicth viewpoints to Raisa. She had just returned from spending three years with her father learning the skills of the Demonai warriors. And she comments quite a bit about how she dislikes court life. She's definantly not your typical fantasy princess who gets dragged into situations. She WANTED something more interesting than court life. **Applause** Finally, a princess who wants something beyond the easy life they normally live. A lot of the time, it takes whole books for princesses to get to the point where they aren't constantly complaining about whatever conditions they are in that aren't usual to them. But Raisa embraced all of the situations she was thrown into (more so in the rest of the books than in this one). Raisa's character was one of the reasons I continued to read the series. That and the cliffhanger ending.

Our next topic, Amon Byrne. Raisa obviously has a large amount of feelings for him but again runs into the problem that they can't marry due to rank. But Amon was kind of an aggravting character especially in the later books. I know that as a member of the Queen's Guard he is sworn to protect the Queen and Princess's but he worried way to much.

With Amon's worrying we can ease into the subject of his worries; the secret passage that lead to Raisa's room in the castle. I understand that Raisa wanted it so she could have some secrets and privacy in the castle. But that passage is just asking for someone to sneek in to her rooms and do who knows what. Thankfully, she kept it, for it comes in handy later.

 

Going back to Han, now in Fellsmarch. He has hidden the amulet (though not very securely) but now his former street thugs are turning up around the city dead. I personally always believed that the amulet itself was killing the Southies. Micah had said the amulet was powerful and would probably kill anyone on contact, so I assumed it was now emanating power and killing people who came near it. I was pretty wrong, but somewhat right. Though never said outright, we can assume that it was the Bayar's killing everyone when they couldn't tell them where Han or the amulet was.

Aren't those Bayar's nice people.

 

Now onto a fun topic: the cruel treatment of people by the Queen's Guard. Honestly, it was fairly similar to how peacekeepers in 'The Hunger Games' worked; because they have power they can enforce anything they want however they want. Especially in Han's case. They tried to find any reason in the books to arrest and tortue him; FOR WALKING DOWN THE DAMN STREET. Come on. If you're going to try to arrest someone, at least get a real freaking charge, and no WALKING DOWN THE STREET  is not illegal. Even in Ragmarket.

 

With that, we get to the good part of the book. When our protagonists finally cross paths.

Raisa formulated some hair-brained scheme to help the people in Fellsmarch (not that I don't LOVE har-brained schemes) by donating some presents from possible suitors to the local school. Of course, that went well.

She gets down there and then gets freaking kidnapped by Han in like a hour. Now, why Han didn't like kill her, I'm not sure. He could have at least held her for ransom. But no. Lets keep her and do nothing. Now, that was a good idea. Of course, I am being sarcastic. Come on Han. Be that streetlord you once were.

And then after that, Raisa decides to lead a damn prison break. WHY??? What is the point. Why would you do your kidnapper a favor by freeing some of his associates and friends from prison. I am aware they were probably there unfairly, but why did she feel the need to do that. Its not like she could walk in, announce she's the Princess Heir and take credit for freeing people unrightfully placed in prison. She had to do in secret; as her alias Rebecca Morely.

I don't know why she did it but she did. And that thankfully fully accelerates the plot line and sets up the rest of the books.

 

Next topic: the Byrne line. It is said that the high wizard is 'bound' to the Queen of the Fells by old and deep magic. But what is little known, is that the captain of the Queen's guard is also bound; but in a different way. While the High Wizard is bound to an individual Queen, the Captain of the Guard is bound to the line. And its preserveration. With Raisa's life and liberty is severe danger from many sources, Amon becomes magically bound as his father is, to the line of Gray Wolf Queens.

And this binding gives some unusual powers. Like semi mind-reading. That was interesting. I am dissapointed to say that this does not really come up in teh remainder of the series, except briefly in, The Exiled Queen.

With that, we only have two more points.

 Point 1: The illegal marriage. Why Marianna thought this a good decision, I don't have any idea. We can almost certainly attribute the marriage the idea to Lord Bayar, but Marianna still had to agree.

Thankfully, Raisa still has decent morals and decides that going against the Naeming is a bad idea, and so she escapes. Barely. And now this becomes the main conflict in the series. Who Raisa marries and the Bayars trying to put their own person on the throne: whether its Micah or Fiona. 

 

And now, Han's magical abilities. The final chapter in the book reveals that Dancer is a wizard and that Han is one also. The magical cuffs that he wore were made by the spirit clans to keep him from using magic. Magic he inherited from the Demon King, his distant ancestor. This revelation was what made me continue on to the next book. And the fact that the Spirit Clans wanted him to train in wizardry, something they hate, and then return and be their representative to the wizards in the Fells.

The clans prove, somewhat in this book, and more so in later ones, to be hypocrits. They despise wizardry and yet allow not one but two wizards into their ranks and allow them to further train in wizardry. Of course, most books are full of hypocritical people and races.

Now with Raisa having fled the Fells, and Han a known wizard, things are about to get interesting in the next book, The Exiled Queen