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Seven Realms #2

The Exiled Queen

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Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

586 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2010

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About the author

Cinda Williams Chima

33 books11.2k followers
New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima comes from a long line of fortune-tellers, musicians and spinners of tales. She began writing romance novels in middle school, which were often confiscated by her teachers.

Her Heir Chronicles series (magic comes to contemporary Ohio) comprises The Warrior Heir The Wizard Heir . The Dragon Heir The Enchanter Heir, and the Sorcerer Heir.

Chima's Seven Realms series comprises The Demon King The Exiled Queen The Gray Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown ).

Her Shattered Realms quartet comprises Flamecaster ( 2016) Shadowcaster (2017) Stormcaster (2018) and Deathcaster (2019.)

Her newest series, Runestone Saga, marries Norse magic and mythology with swordplay (axeplay?) and romance. Children of Ragnarok releases 11.8.22, but is available for preorder now.

Chima is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron. Chima has been a workshop leader, panelist, and speaker at writing conferences, including the Northern Ohio SCBWI Conference, the Western Reserve Writers’ Conference, and the World Fantasy Convention. She frequently speaks to young writers and readers at schools and libraries nationwide.

Chima lives in North Carolina with her family, and is always working on her next novel.

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5 stars
24,855 (49%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,963 reviews
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
November 22, 2016
“Nobody's going to hand you anything. You don't get what you don't go after.”

Well, I wanted a sequel as mindblowing as The Demon King and I got it! I am under Cinda Williams Chima's spell!

“The pressure of past tragedies drove him forward - the need to escape reminders of his losses, and the desire to be somewhere other than where he'd been.
That, and a smoldering desire for revenge.”

After losing everything he cared about, Han Alister is on his way to Oden's Ford to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Mystwerk House, the academy for wizards, in order to become strong and fullfill his part of the deal with the clans. And exact revenge from the all-mighty Bayars. But Raisa is also heading to Oden's Ford, to attend the military academy and hide from her mother and the Wizard Council that wants to control her via a forced marriage and cause civil war in the queendom, while their enemies surround them. With only a couple of friends by their side, Han and Raisa have to study hard, practice even harder and make difficult decisions that may cost them everything they hold dear.
“But it's not enough to know right from wrong. You need the strength to do what's right, even when what you want most in the world is the wrong thing.”

The first 100 pages were really slow, but the rest of The Exiled Queen was an absolutely enthralling tale of magic, politics and survival! Of course I got a serious Harry Potter vibe but that's meant to happen every time I read about wizarding schools because J.K. Rowling is the Queen! The insubordinate student with the great potential that always found trouble (hello Harry Potter), the circle of elite students (hello Professor Slughorn), the pull to dark magic (Voldie? Is that you?) and the annoying brat you can't help but picture like this

there was a pattern that's for sure, but there was more. A strict military academy, travels to the realms of dreams, good manners tutoring, everything made up an intriguing story you couldn't stop reading! And the ever-present politics and conspiracies were enough to make you edgy and eager for answers!
“What's your heart saying now?”
“I'm in trouble.”

What prevented me for giving the fifth star even though I wanted to were the characters. There was Han, who survived the streets for being cunning, careful and methodical that all of the sudden started acting impulsively, recklessly and without thinking, endangering himself and his friends, while Raisa was reduced into a hormone-driven silly teenager. Her queendom was on the brink of war, but her constant concern was who she'd kiss next and whether Amon loved her. It was so frustrating, I wanted so badly to talk some sense into her thick skull!

She kept acting on a whim and making silly decisions like a petulant child instead of a future ruler (the letter? Really?), and I hated the way she treated Amon. She made a bad situation worse just because she couldn't have what she wanted. Raisa dear, just because Micah didn't kill you that doens't mean you should overlook everything he did, and you have to accept that your mother is a weak, bad queen. Denial will get you nowhere. And please, stop feeling dizzy and lightheaded every time someone kisses you! Your love life isn't more important than the fate of your world!

But if you overlook the wave of silliness that somehow hit the main characters, The Exiled Queen was a wonderful magical adventure, and I can't wait to start the next installment!

Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,313 followers
February 9, 2017
❝It's not enough to know right from wrong. You need the strength to do what's right, even when what you want most in the world is the wrong thing.❞

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

HOLY CRAP. This book was literally everything. The Exiled Queen was such a major step up from The Demon King. This series just keeps getting better and better with each installment. I'm saying this straight out: IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE SEVEN REALMS SERIES, YOU BETTER GET A MOVE ON BECAUSE YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

The Exiled Queen was absolutely flawless. The characters, the plot, everything, had me hooked. The only negative thing I can say about this book or just the Seven Realms series in general is that it starts off really slow. But I'm beginning to think that this is just a trend in this series so I strongly recommend just being patient and getting through the first 150 pages or so because I guarantee that the rest of the book will BLOW YOUR MIND.

Like most series in the literary world, each installment is an upgrade from the previous book, but it took me by surprise how much of an improvement The Exiled Queen was from The Demon King.

We move away from politics and the Seven Realms as a whole and focus more on our younger characters as they all step foot on Oden's Ford to attend the academy. Our characters going off on their own to go to school was the cherry on top of a fantastic book. I got major HOGWARTS vibes while reading The Exiled Queen. I can't even stop saying how great this was.

We got to see more of the characters finally interacting with one another, that being the Bayars and Han, and even Han and Raisa. We get more of Dancer and Cat! I liked Dancer in The Demon King but we never really got to see a lot of his character until The Exiled Queen. He was like the Ron Weasley of the Seven Realms. And I couldn't help but compare Micah Bayar to Draco Malfoy. Cat was also a pleasant addition to this installment. We definitely got to see her in action and although I was a bit wary of her at first, I took a liking to her towards the end. Fiona Bayar as well. Amon was probably the only one that I'm not sure I liked or not. I did before but not as much now. But I just loved seeing more of the characters rather than all the adults we had to deal with in the first book. It was definitely a breath of fresh air!

Our two main characters Han and Raisa finally started interacting more but it was practically just a little tease! We got a taste of them as a couple and now I just have to have more. Cinda Williams Chima honestly takes slow burn romance to a whole new level. Our main characters are literally dancing circles around each other the whole book and only directly interact for a few chapters. But when they do... GAH. I'm constantly swooning and fanning myself.

The Seven Realms has easily become one of my favorite series of all time and I still have two more books to go! I can't imagine how much better those next two will be. The Exiled Queen ended on such a high note and I'm just dying to start The Crimson Crown. More Han and Raisa please! <3
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
261 reviews1,040 followers
September 24, 2022
I honestly started this series with low expectations but the writing just captivated me with such visual characters that I felt like I was there with them.


Raisa is my fucking queen, just slays everyone.

I love her so freaking much. Her character grows so much during this series, she becomes more confident yet kinda learns how to deal with her temper *respect*

“The wolves surrounded her, tongues lolling, ears flat, bumping their great heads against her middle, nearly knocking her over.
“Great lot of good you do me,” she grumbled. “Why can’t I teach you to attack wizards on command?”


Raisa's sass made me laugh so hard at times. She is so practical yet a dreamer. A warrior yet learns to manipulate in politics with the best of them. And she makes mistakes. So so so many mistakes. But she keeps trying and keeps sassing the shit out of everything-including magical beings.

Now can we give a little shoutout for the group dynamics! I love adore reading about friendships-- Han and Dancer are a brilliant example of how to build such an iconic duo of complex characters that support each other

“Dancer’s blue eyes glinted with amusement. “Now say, ‘Copperheads are little more than leeches on the body of society—a necessary evil.’”
Han laughed. “I don’t think I can manage. Guess I’m not cut out for this.”

They continued to be hilarious troublemakers together, figuring out how to live as wizards and studying


This book also incorporates legit training *thank gawd* and the characters don't unrealistically master their abilities overnight.

“The library’s closed, Alister. I thought everybody had already gone.”
“Sorry,” Han said. “I fell asleep.” He paused by the desk. “What day is it?”
The proficient grinned. “You need to quit working so much. It’s Sunday.”

I HATE it when books go poof now you all-powerful, congrats kid.

But the best part part this book is that FINALLY Raisa AND Hans plot lines TWINE TOGETHER


Guys this is the slow-burn developing relationship<---and that shit is so rare it practically on the endangered trope list

And then there's this scene. This fucking scene that broke my heart. Han learns how much he loves Raisa via her secret identity and he just reflects over their times together.

“She was prickly and proud, used to ordering people around and getting her own way. She was smart and opinionated—she could talk the tail off a dog. But she was fiercely kindhearted—she’d cross the street to give a coin to a beggar, and always backed the underdog in any fight. She’d shed tears over Mam and Mari—though she’d never even met them.
She demanded a lot—but demanded even more from herself.”

And then our ending. Will Raisa ever see Han again and if so could they build a relationship after so many lies?

“And what did she expect to build on that shaky foundation? By the way, Alister, I’ve been lying to you for more than a year; I’m actually a member of the royal family you despise. There’s no future for us, but I’d still like to be friends.”

Well fuck I hope so. Next book please!!
Profile Image for Tani.
245 reviews258 followers
May 21, 2018

The saga of the Seven Realms is continued by The Exiled Queen right from the point where its preceding book The Demon King left off. The Exiled Queen shows more about character development than the previous book. This enchanted saga takes a step ahead to bring the readers an entanglement of different characters, a new perspective on the intentions of the characters and has introduced the venerable but neutral educational system of Oden’s Ford (is it only me who feels that it sounds similar to Oxford?) . Set in the backdrop of a war, the book has shown the repercussions and aftermath of such terrible and unpredictable times.

The book begins with Hanson Alister and Raisa ana’ Marianna travelling to Oden’s Ford, a boarding school, each carrying the weight of their past. So it's predictable that they're going to be in crossroads again. While Hans learns about the utilisation and power of his magic and the lifestyle of wizards and blue bloods, Raisa is focused on training herself to learn more about a life of a soldier to make herself a better queen in the future and being cautious at every turn to keep her identity a secret. Unlike in the preceding book, the protagonists learn to adapt themselves in the new surrounding, use their strengths to benefit themselves rather than showing it off with arrogance and learn to have different personality than the one they're habituated to. The resolution of the protagonists for retribution and bringing out welfare of the Fells has intensified. The secondary characters have made the story more ebullient and entrancing. The life in the boarding school was brought under spotlight to let us get more acquainted with the world of the Seven Realms. It was unique as it shows the combination of the academic patterns of the soldiers and the wizards. The world building and plot of the book was gripping and intriguing like it's previous book. The story is going to offer you an unexpected mixture of twists and turns which will compel you to grab the third book. The characters are layered with various shades and their roles in the book will leave you guessing and second guessing everything. There is a slow burn romance between the protagonists which is rare and unique in its own way but you're going to be disappointed again because they meet each other after the first half of the book. The chemistry between them is tested time and again which is quite similar to what happens in real life and it's quite rare to find the protagonists having different lives which doesn't involve having each other's constant presence.

Well, here comes my ranting. Honestly, I'm disappointed with the pace of the story. Like the first book, the book drags and drags and drags to the sea of boredom. The pace of the story in the first book was excusable but this time I don't think the suffering slow pace was necessary. Either the book should've kept up with the same pace as the pace with which the first book ended or the pace of the story should've been increased. Instead of that, we get the slow pace which frustrated and annoyed me like hell. There were too many unnecessary nitty-gritty details in the beginning. I wanted more of the relationship between Hans and Raisa.

Anyways, the book was more promising about the interesting things to come.

Thanks for reading my review. Happy Reading! 😊
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
851 reviews3,882 followers
February 15, 2021

Let's be real, okay? If I didn’t have to get up in 5 hours, I would dive in The Gray Wolf Throne RIGHT NOW.

“You couldn’t keep your mouth shut? I’m calling you Glitterhair from now on. Or Talksalot.”

I don’t know what is it with these books that keep me captivated and compelled to read more and more and more. The characters' growth is fantastic, my boy Han fascinating, the plot way more surprising but it still contains several tropes that I usually don't like - including an heroine who "loves" several boys, BUT for once in a way that I can accept and understand, and without the constant change of mind that drives me nuts. Also, is this really love? She's confused and unsure, and that makes her more believable than ever. Raisa might be flawed, but she keeps going whatever happens and doesn't let heartbreak go in her way. The girl has goals, and boys aren't going to change them.

Don't be afraid, though : the story does NOT focus on the romance at all, and the characters have responsibilities way more important than falling in love. Think betrayals, clans, wizard's rivalries, old charms... What's not to love?

Moreover, the secondary characters are fleshed-out and their actions do have impact on the story - Dancer, Kat, Micah, Fiona, Amon - they all add something interesting and none of them is wasted. Also, HAN. Just give me a break, okay? The guy is wicked and adorable at the same time, how can I resist? Torn between his thirst for power and revenge and the deals he made, our Han Alister evolves into someone I loved to follow. But above everything else, I love that none of the characters is either good or bad. GREY EVERYWHERE, I tell you.

The plot keeps thickening and promises a hell lot of action in the next two books, with all the threads linking together and the menace on all the characters' heads more and more present.

Anyway, off to bed I go, after these ramblings that may or may not be morphed into a real review tomorrow depending on my ability to restrain myself from reading book 3 (= closed to none). Oh hell. I'm addicted.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
June 4, 2016
These FREAKING books man.
I love the characters, I love the word, I love the plot. I love everything about them.
Raisa is such a great character and I really love how the author includes tropes I'm normally so tired of seeing but twists them in such an interesting way that I love them and they are fun to read.
GAH so much love for this series so far.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,536 reviews9,960 followers
July 9, 2022
Reread 2022. I just don’t love the books as much as I used to. I still like them though. I’ve traded in my physical copies and will get them if they are ever in a kindle sale.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾


5 Stars

I loved this book better than the first! I'm hoping they all keep getting better!

All of the characters both good and bad end up at the same school! They are all set up in different houses. You have wizards, learning to fight, book work, etc.

And Raisa who was such a little twit in the beginning of the first book, has redeemed herself even more in this book. I still believe she will make a great Queen. I feel sorry for her and Amon. She has known him all of her life and wants to be with him but since he's a part of the Queen's guard he is below her status. This means nothing to Raisa and she wants to make it work no matter what anyone says, but there is a little hiccup in that situation. I won't give out the spoiler. It's just sad, but that's the way it goes.

Raisa runs into Han at school and starts tutoring him. I'm hoping maybe something will happen with these two as they can be all powerful together and destroy the jerks in the book!

Raisa is actually going by the name Rebecca Morley so no one will recognize her as the princess, as she ran away from home. Her mother, the queen, has been enthralled by her Captain of the Guard and lets just say that's a whole other crock of....

Han has no idea she is the queen. He met her as Rebecca back in their home land. Some really horrible stuff has happened to Han and I really hope this doesn't turn him evil, it is a huge possibility due to his heritage. Now, don't get me wrong, he can kill off all the jerks in the book and that is fine. I just don't want him going down the ole He Who Shall Not Be Named road! Han is in the same building as Dancer and they work together on learning their spells etc.

There are some cool new characters in the book and some that I'm not too sure about yet.

And there is stupid Micah and his crew in the school trying to cause trouble for Han as usual. He does something kinda nice at the end, but you can't trust him. He's probably putting up some kind of front.

I love this series so far and I hope it continues that way. I think anyone that likes young adult fantasy, sword and sorcery type stuff would like this book series as well. You be the judge of that :)

Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
March 17, 2016
Re-read 2016

If you you were on the fence about the first book, I'm begging you to give #2 a chance!


This is where everything starts to come together & make sense in a big way.
In The Demon King, Han & Rasia's lives only intersect for a small portion of the book. I believe the main reason for that is because the author wanted each of them to have full backstories, including other romantic interests. I love that both of these characters have been in love before, and that their boyfriends/girlfriends weren't horrible people. It adds a touch of realism to the storytelling...in my opinion.
But in this, Han & Rasia's lives intertwine a bit more at Oden's Ford, and (bonus!) there are some huge spoilery REVEALS that happen in this one!
I'm probably botching this review, but (again, in MY opinion) The Exiled Queen is where shit really starts to get good.
Read it!


Original Review: 2012
I didn't want to finish this book, but I mean that in a good way. I just didn't want to have to stop reading!

I thought the plot was great, even though I'm not normally so in love with how Fantasy is written. I usually find it a tad bit boring when it comes to the world-building in this genre, and I'll admit it...the weird names usually throw me for a loop. However, the way the lives of the main characters in this story were interwoven into each other was so interesting, that I couldn't help but enjoy reading every last bit of this book.
It also possibly helped that I could (I think) pronounce all of the names.

One more thing I want to mention, and then I'm going to go...
I've got The Gray Wolf Throne in my hot little hands right now, and I can't wait to start reading it!
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,598 followers
May 8, 2023
*** 4.25 ***

A buddy read with the fantastic Fantasy lovers at BB&B!

Started with the travel of all our young characters, be it good or bad, unknowingly ending up in the same town, same school and at the same time - talk about a coincidence:-)

Once at the school, our 4 main characters, Han, Raisa, Amon and Dancer all have to deal with the typical for being the new kid at school issues on top of the never ending blows their respective faiths have dealt them by the virtue of their births... The constant game of hide and seek would have been funny had it not been for the life and death steaks. Treacherous allies and ruthless enemies are everywhere and trust is a rare commodity. Can true friendships survive the assault and could new love bloom among half truths and expectations of betrayal??? Well, read it people, I am not telling!!!

This book was written beautifully and the plot thickens with every passing chapter... The characters are growing under the difficult circumstances and the best and worst are coming into the light... And if you are a Fantasy lover of the ages between 1 and 111 years old I promise you to enjoy it!!!

On a separate note, the Head Wizard and Mac Gillan HAVE TO DIE!!!

I am anxious to get to the next book and wish all of you Happy Reading!!!
Profile Image for Jessica.
265 reviews3,537 followers
January 16, 2016
I know this is going to be a really tough book for me to review.
I loved this book, just like the Demon King, but there were definitely some parts of it that I liked less... but then again I really did love seeing our characters in new places and finally working a lot more with magic. So there were some aspects that I sort of enjoyed MORE I guess.. I don't really know.

I've heard a lot of people say that this book was slower than The Demon King, and unfortunately I agree with them. Although, it still didn't take me long to read.

I'm definitely not happy about the cliff hanger... I'm really glad I already checked out book three from the library!
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,982 followers
May 3, 2013
Yay! I love fantasy again!!!

Yet, I still hate reviewing fantasy - with an added emphasis on the word hate.

Most books = Point A to point b.

Fantasy books = Point A intersects with person C on the way to meeting person F at point Y.

How the heck do you review that?

I'll reiterate what I've loved about Seven Realms so far. These books meet the criteria for what I'd like to see more of in YA fantasy. There is action and adventure. There are plenty of varied characters from all walks of life. There is an element of romance without it choking out the rest of the story. The books will appeal to a broad base of readers, even lovers of adult fantasy. Nothing here feels dumbed down or excessively youthful. In fact, I'd say these books are more mature than a good portion of the adult crap I've read lately. No joke.

Whether you're new to fantasy or it's an old love, I'd say this series is worth checking out. It has a little bit of something for everyone.

I might add more later, but maybe not. Fantasy still owns my ability to review, apparently.
Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews698 followers
March 26, 2017
"Nobody's going to hand you anything. You don't get what you don't go after.”

I really enjoyed The Demon King so I went in with pretty high hopes for this book and I was not disappointed at all. This book was great - even better than The Demon King. I seriously wish that these books didn't have such a slow start! Although, I definitely think that the way this book left off, we (hopefully) should be getting a faster start since everything is going to shit. Okay, so basically it was slow for about 100-200 pages of this since our characters were all travelling to our weird school thing where you can be basically any career ever.

I'd definitely say that Han's chapters were more interesting this time around. I did enjoy his chapters in The Demon King but he was just far more interesting in his new situation. Raisa is just as good as ever and I honestly just love her. Her page time was definitely cut shorter though since Han had a lot of stuff to go through and learn.

Let me tell you that there's so many feels and potential ships in this book. Every sort of interaction between any characters had me thinking: DO I SHIP IT?! Let's just say it right now: I ship Han and Raisa a lot. This is my end game couple and I will go down with this ship. Their relationship grew so much and I need so many more chapters of this pair interacting.

"Rai," Amon said, taking her hands in his. "Whatever you do, don't fall in love with him."
Raisa nodded, knowing it was already too late.

Some other feels: Micah is a very confusing character. I'm torn between wanted to keep an open mind on him but sometimes I just want to punch him in the face. I feel like he has such potential and he would make a great ally if he would stop listening to his stupid father. I'm hoping he has some great character development! Also, Fiona could have some good character development if she wasn't so EVERYTHING IS MINE AND I AM ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING. I just want the Bayar's to fix their shit and be good allies. Amon is a character I'm high key waiting to die. Hear me out, I like him and I don't want him to die BUT he's such a killable character. He's Raisa's guard and I would run out of fingers if I tried to list every guard that died in a book. I'll actually be shocked if he survives all of the book.

Profile Image for Nicole.
750 reviews1,937 followers
November 12, 2020
Although not a lot of events took place in this book, it was enjoyable nonetheless. Spending time with the characters in their daily academic lives wasn’t boring at all. Rtc.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,643 reviews1,512 followers
April 16, 2016
Re-reading for the release of Flamecaster with some peeps at Buddies Books and Baubles

Original Review

Definitely for Fantasy Lovers of all ages.

Han and Raisa are both now headed separately to Oden’s Ford for training. Han needs to learn how to harness the power inside him to be able to fulfill the deal he made with the clans. Raisa needs to hide from her mother and a forced marriage she didn’t want until it is safer to come home. There seems to be danger around every corner for both of them.

Raisa is traveling under the guise of Rebecca Morley with Amon Byrne and his triple. She has hopes of learning how to be a warrior queen like Hanalea. With the help of Amon she is learning how to fight and the feelings between them blossom but he made a deal with his father and Honor Duty and the magical bond seem to be getting in the way.

Han made a promise to the clans in exchange for the money for his training at Odens Ford but it is a dangerous place with Micah Bayer around. It seems everyone wants to use Han in some way for their own ends. But he finds an unlikely mentor named Crow in the dream world. Han is busy trying to learn as much as possible and stay alive with all the ‘accidents’ happening around him. Han runs into Rebecca and they form a friendship. Han needs to learn how to be a blueblood and Rebecca agrees to teach him.

This book has so much description in it. The fantasy world is completely built up and there is a real feel for the characters development. No one seems to be all good or all bad they all make good and bad decisions. There were some very heartbreaking moments and others you wanted to cheer for. Han is a very likeable scoundrel and never seems to forget his roots. Raisa is learning how to be a better Queen. While living with real people she gets sense for kingdom and yearns to do better than her Mother.

This is a great second book in the seven realms series, definitely better than the first book as all of the character develop and really grow. There is a little bit of everything for fantasy lovers. Sure there are so plot devices that maybe didn’t need to be there but I liked the book so much I ignored them. Be ready to want to dive into the next book right after finishing.
March 15, 2016

Agh! HAN! Now, I'm not guna lie....I loved book one WAY more than this. However-my track record is that I almost ALWAYS hate book two in a series, because, well, things are still developing. Hey, don't blame me. I like the build-up, but I'm fucking ready for this epic book three and four now-LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

Due to the fact that I KNOW book three and four will be epic thanks to my lovely Dark Pup, I have no doubt this series is about to get real fangirlish for me.

You've been warned.

For more of my reviews, please visit:

Profile Image for Melissa.
362 reviews623 followers
July 19, 2016

I'm actually writing this as I come to and end of the third book. Why, you ask? Because despite my blatant dislike for the first book, and my not so impressed mood of the second book, I do believe this is a series worth trying. It actually reminds me of a couple of series, that while I despised the first book, the latter ones came to grow on me until I couldn't help but fall in love. Hopefully, that is the case here.

While they seem to have no clear plot or drive, as you read, you see many tibits that will ultimately come together, or at least I'm assuming, to make a worthwhile story. Now yes, this review is definitely being influenced by the third book, but the fact that I dove straight into the third book without even pausing to write a review for this one holds bearing of its own.

The characters are growing into likable people you can root for. The line of loyalty is being blurred and one thing I have come to love is the grayness of it all. No one is wholly good or completely bad, they're a mix of both and that in it of itself, is something rarely found in YA literature. New characters come into play, new alliances are forged, betrayals come to light. The plot, and I do say this loosely, is thickening and I, for one, and excited as heck to see the outcome.
Profile Image for Lexie.
224 reviews198 followers
February 3, 2016
No, really. This book is the lovechild of Harry Potter and The Name of the Wind, with an extra pump of sass and hilarity, except it's set in a queendom, and everyone's some version of a half-blood mutt. It's basically all my favorite things in one.
Profile Image for Samantha Franks.
87 reviews
July 20, 2010
I like Cinda Wiliams Chima. Her previous books had her on my 'will watch with eagle eye' list. But the Seven Realm novels have landed her smack dab in the middle of my 'need to cyber stalk write like her' list.
See, I like huge fantasy books, but I do agree, some of them can get dull. I didn't have that problem with this one. Instead of focusing on ornate descriptions and oodles and bunches of fantastical creatures, The Exiled Queen is full of characters that I love. While the plot is great and the writing is superb, it was the characters that really made this novel.
Raisa, the princess, is not the typical fluff ball. However, she isn't the now-typical 'I am a warrior princess' either. She's brave and flawed and stubborn and smart. Oh, and she really has this issue with kissing boys she shouldn't be kissing.
And speaking of that . . .
Let's just talk about Han, the main male character. Because, generally, fantasy novels do have great guys. But they aren't always crush worthy.
Yeah . . .
Han is. A reformed thief who can cheat at cards or slit a throat, Han is now becoming a magician. And through the whole book, even when I wasn't busy thinking Why are there no reformed thief-now-magician boys in my high school? I just liked him.
The villians are believable. And the support characters are just as fleshed out as the main ones. You want to be the friend of Dancer, Han's closest comrade, and you laugh as Raisa's roommates try and set her up.
Sequels are not always so hot. But honestly, I liked The Exiled Queen more than the previous novel. (Oddly, a pattern that seems to be repeating itself -- I liked Linger more than Shiver, Catching Fire more than Hunger Games, and now The Exiled Queen more than The Demon King.)
Still, the first is definitely good. I'm not saying that it isn't. I'm just saying that I think the second falls more into the 'Fantabulous' category. Cinda Williams Chima took on a subject that many people totally couldn't. It would have been easy for this to fall flat, or to bore me, but it didn't. I was too busy falling in love with the characters.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,157 reviews311 followers
July 4, 2018
Another great audiobook with my kids! I think I agree with all the other reviewers who say they like this second book even better than The Demon King.

The worldbuilding continues in layers and, since we got such a good foundation in the first book, the richness of it really shines through here. I love that Chima continues to deliver very thorough independent stories for both Han and Dancer and for Raisa and Amon. This means that by the time Han and Raisa actually meet up (quite a ways into this book) they each feel like fully realised and independently strong characters.

My kids certainly enjoyed this as much or more than the first book. Normally we listen to audiobooks while driving in the car but towards the end of this, they were both wanting to listen to it at home just to see how it was going to end. Needless to say, we started book 3, The Gray Wolf Throne, immediately on finishing this one.

This is a great series so far, with a lot of depth and an interesting story and characters. It's perfect for both younger audiences as well as those who enjoy YA fantasy, and an excellent choice to read or listen to together.
Profile Image for Amelia, free market Puritan.
349 reviews34 followers
June 2, 2016
Ahh, what can I say about this series? It's like George Martin fantasy for younger audiences (only that's not exactly fair to George Martin - at least the guy knows how to create dynamic, intriguing characters. Chima's Seven Realms series, by contrast, is populated solely by wet noodles). Boo. I don't recommend this series, and I won't be continuing with it.

Longer review of the overall series
Here's the thing...this series really frustrates me. This is the kind of series that screams 'READ ME AMELIA! You're going to LOVE ME!' Because, see...I lovelovelove high fantasy, probably more so than any other genre/subgenres. Most books that deal with magical and/or fantastical elements are set in the modern world, so true high fantasy novels get my attention faster than cake with icing and the smell of popcorn.
Plus...look at those covers. LOOK AT THEM.
So all these things said, I really wanted to like these books. I wanted so much to enjoy them, love them, and recommend them. But...I didn't. And I most certainly do NOT recommend this series, whatsoever.

Plot wise, there were some things that I think could have been done differently. But what really killed this series, for me, were the characters. The two "protagonists," Han and Raisa, were yet more examples of characters that I felt obligated to care about, but really disliked.
Raisa is yet another of those heroines who thinks the world revolves around her and whose sense of self-preservation borders on extreme, and Han...just don't get me started on that loser. The supporting characters didn't leave much of an impression, and I really wish that three characters in particular - Amon, Micah, and Bird - would have been axed entirely.
More than any other genre, it seems like fantasies are the most removed from reality and the reaches of real-world restrictions. They are the most magical, and traditionally, the most epic. And I guess what really disappoints me is the lack of 'epic-ness' with this series. Plus...there's another quality that traditional fantasy characters have possessed that sadly seems to be rapidly diminishing: true heroes.
In the past, fantasy characters were noble. They were virtuous. Yeah okay, maybe a little innocent, but still...they were inspiring, and they represented innocence, integrity and goodness. No, Frodo Baggins was not 'street-smart.' He wasn't snarky, smooth-talking, or edgy. Neither were any of the hobbits, really, unless you consider Pippin and Merry's ability to persuade Treebeard to fight against Saruman "smooth-talking." One of the greatest young adult fantasy series of all time is the Chronicles of Prydain, and its protagonist, Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper, didn't have any of those personality traits, either. I guess what disappoints me is how cliched the "sassy angry chick" and "smooth-talking bad boy" characters have become, even in high fantasy. The tone of the Seven Realms books, one of the few true high fantasies of current YA lit, is just so different from traditional fantasies and so similar to the majority of other YA books out there. It's attempting to be edgy and subversive, because edgy and subversive is COOL, donchano? Except...not. Also, in my original review I mentioned feeling like the target audience is a bit off. The design and marketing skews young, but the series reads like fantasy "Degrassi"
To be fair, nothing I've mentioned here is exclusive to Seven Realms alone. Quite a few YA books I've read recently have had one or several of these elements, too. So while I love the explosion of YA literature in the last 10-15 years, and while I am glad that "kids today" have more options than when I was a kid/middle-schooler, I wish that they could experience the kind of high fantasy characters I grew up reading and loving.

In my opinion, Chima's Seven Realms series is the YA equivalent of George R.R. Martin's books ("edgy fantasy."), and therefore, they are not books that I would recommend - either to my friends, students, or family members. After all, a book's cover doesn't tell the whole story...
Please let me say again that this is just my opinion, and just my thoughts.
Profile Image for Taylor of Alethkar ❦.
285 reviews78 followers
August 8, 2016
I want to say first off that I enjoyed this book so much more than book one. And really, I can’t explain why, but I’m going to try. With book one I felt like nothing was really going on almost, but now it feels more like it was just the first puzzle piece and couldn’t be fully appreciated without seeing the rest of it. I feel as though I’m in the middle of the story, and then the book is bam over and I have to run and fetch the next one to keep going. It’s not like cliffhangers, really, because that implies a certain level of resolution. This series genuinely just feels like one long book split into four parts. And maybe that sounds bad, but it really isn’t. I like it a lot actually, I’m just not used to it. That’s the best explanation I give. But what is so lovable about this series is absolutely it’s characters.
Before I get into that though I want to ask someone who has read these books, if anyone has, to hear out my question and answer in the comments if you would. The question contains spoilers obviously, as does the rest of the review so if you’ve yet to read them you’ve been warned.
It was revealed at the end of book one that Han was descended from the Demon King, and apparently so was Raisa. And that’s cool and everything, but I ship them pretty hardcore (I’m not sure I’m supposed to I can’t really help it but nevermind that). Raisa has even expressly stated more than once that she loves him. Is the shared-ancestors thing an issue?? Because the Breaking was a thousand years ago, there’s got to have been at least 40 generations separating them (especially with how young they marry in the Seven Realms). I’m not sure if they can even be classified as related anymore. I don’t know, someone please tell me if this ever even comes up or if I’m just biting my nails over nothing.

Now, anyways: Han. Oh my love. In book one I loved him, but in this book he came into himself so well. I’m so proud of how gifted he is. I love his charm and his sass. I am just sort of really annoyed that he still doesn’t know who Raisa really is at this point. When he was delivering his whole speech to her about blaming the Crown and she just sat there and took it I could not believe. I’m sick of him being ignorant about this, I just really want him to find out. That’s all I ask at this point.
And Raisa. Baby girl gives her heart away entirely too easily. I felt awful for her about what happened with Amon. I mean, I want her to be with Han so I wasn’t like pissed or anything but the guy you love taking some vows and then literally being in pain and sick to his stomach if he gives into any desire for you at all. That’s just rough. And Raisa is a sweetheart she didn’t deserve that. I hope that she doesn’t get her heart broken again with Han, that would break my heart. Raisa is also a badass though. The scenes where that creep tried to rape her and she took him down.

“You touch me again, you arrogant Ardenine swine, and I swear on the blood of Hanalea the warrior, I will geld you. Do you understand?”
Tourant nodded violently, sweat beading on his forehead.

Or when that assassin came to kill her and she took him out. I was just so proud of her. She can be elegant and proper one second and savage the next if need be. I adore her character. One thing, though. Something is going on with that ring she’s got, and I’m ridiculously curious. When she tried to take it off at the end there and it wouldn’t budge, red flags galore. I expect answers.

The Bayars are such a pain in the ass. We know the High Wizard is a sociopath. But both his children are just psychos. Fiona was less annoying just because she wasn’t trying to kill Han every five seconds, but Micah was just intolerable. Like, give it a rest. And then kidnapping Raisa so she’ll be forced to marry him. Just. Wow. Micah’s just a problem that needs to be hushed in my opinion.
And speaking of problems: Crow was the shadiest of the shady from minute one. I have sooo many theories about this guy that I couldn’t even voice them all. Every time Han would meet with him I would get so anxious. Everything about him said not to be trusted and lo and behold.

Amon is just a sympathy case. Dancer getting with Cat was welcome but predictable, I liked it alright. Hallie and the rest of Raisa’s friends were great I loved their banter and such. I don’t have much else to say, I’m looking forward to book three.
Profile Image for Katrina♡••.
405 reviews68 followers
July 2, 2016
Summy of feelings



Full review to come

I can't wait to start this!!!! I loved the first one and I love that I have the other books out already so I won't have to wait! ( I think they're out) the characters are amazing and fun and I just can't wait anymore. I am gonna start now.
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
260 reviews4,947 followers
June 29, 2016
Well THAT was a whirlwind of crazy emotions... and I freaking loved it.

So ok. The first half of this book is completely dragging... slow, but still somehow rich and somewhat interesting... but I was definitely wondering when all our characters were gonna be thrust back together. (Also uhm... hello Harry Potter world.) Whatever. I still adore this world. Slow building or not, it is completely fascinating and so well put together.

Holy crap of the world... the second half of the book. Er ok.. maybe more like the last third... I can't remember... because once it hits.. you're done for. I feel like I still have whiplash or something.

I don't even know how to handle the rest of my feels so this is all I got..

Amon. Good freaking heavens can I please hug you. My heart just breaks for you WHY ARE YOU SO PERFECTLY SWEET and UGH. FEELS. FEELS. FEELS.

Raisa . Congrats. You've made it to my all time favorite heroines list. (Can we just appreciate for a moment that she's badass- but not unbelievable? Like she's the perfect blend of young/naive but strong willed and completely determined and unswayable. She's not going down without a FIGHT.)

Han. Why the frolic are you the sweetest thing under the sun? Like how can I not love this boy? Ugh. Like I even need to say this but um...Adorbs. Cuteness overload. FEELS.

Micah. Whatever you know I'm destined to find you intriguing. Sorry not sorry that I really like you.

But seriously guys- this series is a blast. I absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a hella-fun and crazy wild journey.

Yeah ok. I promise to update this review later and make it more coherent.

My Blog ~ Instagram
Profile Image for Victor.
277 reviews4,740 followers
December 29, 2018

O segundo volume da série foi muito bom, mas não superou o primeiro. Não sei se perdi o ímpeto, mas senti que não li com o mesmo ânimo. A história toma um rumo completamente diferente e os personagens passam a maior parte do livro no cenário restrito de uma "universidade". Ótimo pra quem ama uma vibe meio Harry Potter ou O Nome do Vento, mas eu gostaria de ter explorado mais desse universo fantástico.

As descrições, os cenários e os personagens ainda são maravilhosos. A trama talvez tenha se enrolado um pouco e perdido o foco em coisas desnecessárias, tornando a leitura um pouco mais lenta. Ao meu ver, o livro todo é uma transição pra um terceiro volume, onde as tramas políticas vão realmente acontecer. Foi um pouco decepcionante ler o livro tendo o sentimento de algo "filler". Mas, de qualquer forma, toda a história continua interessante e dinâmica.

Estou ansioso pra ver como tudo vai se desenrolar, mas por enquanto preciso de um tempo pra refrescar e ler outra coisa. Não é o tipo de série pra se ler todos os volumes, um atrás do outro (pelo menos pra mim).
Profile Image for Nouf *LostinFantasy*.
145 reviews130 followers
November 17, 2016
“But it’s not enough to know right from wrong. You need the strength to do what’s right, even when what you want most in the world is the wrong thing.”

4 stars! (Would give it 3.5 to be objective but my enjoyment level pushes it up).

I'm having such a great time reading this series!

The setting is different from the first book -- the characters go to neighboring wizard and military schools! I really enjoyed the school setting. And for a while in the book, the characters in the wizard school (Han, Dancer, Micah, Fiona...) have no idea that the princess is in disguise and enrolled as a cadet across the bridge with Amon and his crew.

And I'm not usually a fan of school settings -- it's part of why I'm not a fan of contemporary YA -- but here, it's more like a year long training and preparing for the dangers and war building back in their home.

The web of intrigue and political conflict keeps twisting further in the queendom despite our MC's being away from the conflict and in school. But there's lots of plotting and secrets surrounding them and reaching them. (I still need to know who Crow -- Han's mysterious tutor -- is!).

The book starts a bit slow (a chunk is spent with them being on the road on their way to the school), but then picks up the pace and I couldn't put it down!

I enjoyed the character development the most in this book!
Just because you’re the enemy of my enemy don’t mean you’re my friend, Han thought.

In the first book, I couldn't get a feel for Han's "streetlord" side very much. And near the end, his feelings after everything was taken from him didn't get much focus. But in this book, it's all over him -- his anger and hate towards his enemies, his drive for revenge, and his daring attitude. And he's in the same school with his enemies and "blueblood" wizards he never thought he'd have to measure up against. More than that, despite every powerful person trying to use him for their own agendas, he's kind of using them for his own interests and plans too. I'm excited to see how that works out in the next books (I expect lots of trouble for him)!

Raisa really could become one of my favorite female MC's!
I tend to stir people up, not settle them down.

She has more reason to doubt herself, she's in disguise, she's out of her element but works hard to learn and adapt. But outside of her refuge, she's still in the focus of every twisted and dangerous plot. In the previous book, she's wondered if it's just the dress and jewelry that make her a princess but now, she has none of that but retains that strength of character that shows the queen she'll be. Except when she's trying to navigate her love life...

To be honest, I wasn't as annoyed by the love triangle as I might have been. It helps that I like both the guy characters -- Han is great of course, and Amon is a perfect cutie pie that I adore so much!! But she doesn't fall for them at the same time and I think the feelings and heartbreak she goes through teach her something about herself that just adds to her character growth.

Raisa and Han's interactions (and romance) are also interesting because he still thinks she's Rebecca Morley, former upperclass tutor, and not the Princess heir -- who he's already grouped with all the people responsible for the terrible things he went through.

And did I just mention how much I love Amon? Because I do! It's a shame he didn't get even one POV chapter in this book, but he's still a prominent character. I know that the "good", loyal, and steadfast characters aren't people's favorite but I tend to like them as much as the morally dubious ones. Especially when they're tortured but take it in stride like Amon.

Another wonderful character is Dancer -- who I wish had a bigger role than just Han's loyal BFF. But I loved the addition of Cat as their friend too, and I actually shipped Cat and Dancer the second they met even though she's so awful to him!

As for Micah, he spent most of the book being a rip off of Draco Malfoy, and I was disappointed because he showed a lot of potential as a gray and morally confused character in the previous book. But near the end of the book that potential creeped back up (only in scenes with Raisa, apparently), so I'm back to being a bit interested in what his future choices will be.

There's a lot more characters in this book and you don't know who to trust, and who could be a future threat or ally! It's fun!

But the series is still tropey so far (there's some Harry Potter/Hogwarts deja vu here and there), but I don't mind that. It's still such an engaging read and overall the story keeps building and is keeping me hooked!

I've already started the following installment!

Profile Image for Molly Mortensen.
441 reviews211 followers
May 7, 2018
I'm not a fan of journeys. Why couldn't we just start at the school?

No real villain in this one. Micah was more bully than baddie and Fiona was sorta likeable. Crow could be a villain, but I don't think he's evil. (That's not to say I'd trust him.)

I love magic schools! But although the book was still good, the school and the magic were disappointing. We got one magic lesson, ONE! In the whole book!

Also, very few new characters were added, considering there's a whole school full of new people. We meet one annoying student girl, but that's about it outside of Micah's friends. Han also only seemed to have one teacher, (that we saw or heard about) asside from the dean. They're both good characters, don't get me wrong, but a magic school book this is not.

Since we also had to spend time with Raisa. She was much nicer this book, less princess-like and selfish. But she'll never be my favorite character. I loved that she has friends now. Though it was disappointing how little time she spends with Amon.

It took more than half the book for our main characters to meet up again. Their getting to know each other was more bicker than banter but their new relationship wasn't all bad. I do wish they'd just be friends. I know, I need to get past that because obviously they're going to be a couple. Ugh.

Things get exciting at the end, just in time for a cliffhanger!
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
309 reviews1,453 followers
February 8, 2018
4.5/5 stars! Raisa, the character that bothered me in the last one bothered me less in this one, but she still has a long way to go! The series is near perfect for me other than how annoying I find her. I'm excited for the next one!
Profile Image for nicklein.
401 reviews79 followers
December 15, 2017
This would be a very upsetting book if (a) Raisa didn’t escape, (b) Han didn’t plan to take the road which leads directly to Raisa and (c) I didn’t like the synopsis of The Gray Wolf Throne so much.

The first chapter was the best recap ever because my memory has failed me yet again. As much as I hate Gillen and wish him to be gutted, I liked reading from his perspective. I kinda remembered what went down with TDK, which was good because I was reading chapter 1 too slow for my liking.

The next couple of chapters flew by because I had one goal in mind: to get to the reunion of Han and Raisa before sleeping. And...with that (stupid)mindset, I almost finished the book. Yay me. Not because they reunited near the end but because it was so good. I was intrigued by everything — mainly everything that’s happening in the Mystwerk House.

I’m not a big fan of Raisa here, to be completely honest. I hate how she claimed to be pining for Amon but also acted totally in love with Han a minute later.

“Whatever you do, don’t fall in love with him.”
Raisa nodded, knowing it was already too late.

Me iz confused.

I still ship her with Han so bad though. So. So. Bad. You don’t know how many times I wished for them to hook up whenever they meet. The wait nearly killed me. It was worth it though.

“I live in the present,” Han said, “because the future is always chancy. When it comes to being with you, I’m willing to take the risk. Are you?”

Hanson Allister — what a great name for someone so dumb at times. I’m so glad luck’s on his side because he did a lot of stupid things in this book. Goading Fiona at the west gate? Accepting drinks from a stranger? Picking a fight at Micah not even hours before getting to Oden? Trusting Crow? The list goes on. I was getting tired of it but it’s part of his charm I think.

Han is still my favorite character in this series though, despite his recklessness and arrogance.

“Grief was like that. It gradually faded into a dull ache, until some simple sight or sound or scent hit him like a hammer blow.”

I loathe the Bayars.

I hate how I didn’t feel Dancer’s presence here.

I hate how every character seems to be in love with the main characs. My eyes nearly stuck at the back of my head from rolling them too much.

Amon reminded me so much of Chaol. It was driving me nuts. I want to ship him and Raisa but I had a feeling it’s doomed from the start since TDK that’s why I refuse to ship them no matter what. I’d be mad to ship them, they’re a ticking time bomb of heartbreak.

“But it’s not enough to know right from wrong. You need the strength to do what’s right, even when what you want most in the world is the wrong thing.”

Still refusing.

Anyway, how could you be so naive to think that you’re in love with someone but be giddy at the thought of another person’s touch and still remember how that person touched you when he took you hostage before? Yes, I’m looking at you, Raisa.

This book has drained me as if I’ve been at Aediion for a week. That’s the truth.

My head is aching so bad right now for lack of sleep. I’ve been reading nonstop for at least 8 hours, took a quick doze and picked up the book again to finish the last hundred pages. It was exhausting and I. Loved. Every. Minute. Of. It.

I can’t sleep without knowing how it would end.

Afterward, I reached for the third book immediately because I can’t live for the next 12 hours without reading the synopsis of TGWT.

Book, what have you done to me?

I’m scared to pick up TGWT even though the synopsis satisfied me. I don’t know why. I think I need assurance.

I need to know whether Han and Raisa will get married (aaaaaaaaaaaaa they betta) and rule Seven Realms together.

But at the same time I’m terrified to find out they don’t and I end up ditching the series. This only proved that I only live for my ship. Ughhhhhhhh I hate myself.

I’m still on the fence if I’m going to pick up TGWT right away. Welp, wish me luck and read this series at your own risk. It’s really, really, really great but it also has the potential to drive you crazy.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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