Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms # 3)

Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: August 30, 2011 
Pages: 517
Buy It: Amazon / B&N

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. Still, 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 as good as 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.


Ow, Ms. Chima you did it to me again. How could you?

I must admit that at the beginning of this book, I was really hesitant about getting into the book. I don't deny that I liked the other two books in this series, but the ending of 'The Exiled Queen' just left me wanting for more of an ending. Like I said in that review, the ending just didn't do anything for me and I was constantly finding myself just not really caring any more about characters that I love. So I must say that I was pleasantly surprised when I was automatically pulled right back into this world and the amazing characters and I found myself jumping for joy (even though I had been worried if I would remember everything that had happened since it had been a while since reading 'The Exiled Queen'). And I loved the fact that Ms. Chima didn't keep Han (my 3rd favorite male character) and Raisa from one another for over half the book like she did in the last two (that being one of my biggest problems with this series from the beginning). And then I found myself crying when Raisa had to break the news to Han of who she truly was because I knew it was going to break his heart, for crying out loud he had just professed his love to her. Which knowing this character as I do by this point, he can say with a good certainty that he has never said to another female (outside of family) before. Not to mention the fact that both Han and Raisa almost died, ow how my heart fluttered at that point.

However, despite the fact that the beginning of this book had me enamoured and I didn't want to put it down for anything, the middle of the book started to drag for me. After the first few chapters I got it, I got the point. Raisa was back home, she was doing everything she could to stay alive, to try and win back Han's trust and to make it through to coronation and become Queen of the Gray Wolf Throne (since her mother was killed in this book). But I couldn't help but finding myself wanting more. I can understand why Hand is trying to keep his distance from Raise, to only what is absolutely necessarily to keep her alive. He has no future with the future Queen of his land and he knows this, he is nothing but a common thief turned wizard (sure he happens to be distantly related to the Queen through blood - but it's a fact that about almost no one, not even Raisa knows) and it would never be allowed for them to marry and be happy with one another. But gracious did I want to see at least a little bit more love between Han and Raisa. Yes, there were 2 sweet scenes between them that gave me hope for their future happens together, but I guess after 3 books I was just hoping for more then a few random kisses between them (there was more hot and heavy loving in 'The Exiled Queen' then there was here). [Insert a sigh of disappoint here].

And while Ms. Chima effectively made me to lose any and all desires to ever find out that I have royal blood in me, she was unable to excite any other emotion in me during the ending of this book except disappointment at the ending. I just found myself saying 'WTF!' just happened here? The ending of the book just lagged. It felt to me as if Ms. Chima didn't know how to genuinely end this book and she just put it together to get us to the fourth book in the series that comes out in about a year or so. It just ended, there wasn't (at least for me) any closure at all. And while I know that it's the last book in the series job to wrap everything up and finish off a series for readers, I still like it when a book can wrap it's own storyline up before it throws you into the next part of it's story.

Also one of the biggest thing's that bothered me about this book was the fact that it was practically forgotten about that the 'Demon King' was still in a matter of speaking living within Han's talisman. And that Han had pissed him off and had sworn to somehow fix the problem and get his advice and help. From the middle to end it was never mentioned and that part of the book seemed like a big issue to me. I mean how do you forget about the strongest wizard to ever live (and one that helped to break the world)? HOW!!! [sigh] I guess that will be addressed in the next book to come. [keeps her finger's crossed].

& while the entire time all that is going through my head is, 'How could you do this again to me Ms. Chima?' I must admit that I do genuinely enjoy this series and that I look forward to reading 'The Crimson Crown' and seeing how Ms. Chima wraps up Riasa and Han's story and finds them the true and magnificent kind of love they both deserve.

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