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Seven Realms #4

The Crimson Crown

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A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed—Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. 

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’ Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she's falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it? 

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

598 pages, Hardcover

First published October 23, 2012

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About the author

Cinda Williams Chima

51 books11.1k 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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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,120 reviews
Profile Image for Natasa.
47 reviews28 followers
March 13, 2012
My reaction upon seeing the cover:

Seeing the release date:

Realizing how far the release date is:

Realizing how LONG I'll have to wait:

Understanding that even though the publisher is not to blame, it is STILL their fault it is so. FAR. AWAY:

Realizing that there's nothing I can do about it and accepting my fate:

And in the end, realizing I will always love Cinda Williams Chima for delivering such a MASSIVELYBRILLIANTWICKEDAWESOME series:

UPDATE: March 13th
Cinda Williams Chima liked this.

And then I was like

UPDATE: November 6th
Review to come :)
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
August 15, 2017
That feeling when you finish an incredible series

but then you realize you have to say goodbye

Mix the previous images and you have me. In the middle of the night. Trying to stay awake. Stomach grumbling with hunger.
It's the best feeling ever!
“History is written by the victors. The truth is, the villains were less villainous, and the heroes less heroic, than you’ve been told.”

A thousand years ago, Alger Waterlow fell in love with Hanalea, the Queen of the Fells. But their love was doomed from the start. Betrayed, tortured and imprisoned in an amulet, Alger was demonized by history. He became the Demon King, and Hanalea the brave warrior that rid the world of this evil. But history has its way of repeating itself. Raisa ana'Marianna is now the Queen of the Fells, and her reign is more fragile than ever. She has to prevent the clans from turning against the wizards while an enemy from the south is ready to march and everyone questions the 17 years old queen's capability of rising up to the challenge. And she eventually has to marry someone for political reasons and ignore her heart that beats for Han Alister, the only person the clans and the wizards hate with a loathing passion and may be responsible for heinous crimes. Han Alister on the other hand is determined to marry Raisa, even if that means allying with untrustworthy people and trying to find a mythical armory with weapons of terrific potential, while everyone accuses him of murder. Will Han and Raisa manage to save the queendom without sacrificing their love in the process?
“I am a Gray Wolf queen. We have never been graceful losers. And so, I do not intend to lose. I will fight you until the last breath leaves my body. You will not take me alive.”

I love fantasy. It's always been my favorite genre, and books like The Crimson Crown are the reason why. You can close your eyes and picture seiges and secret tunnels under the mountains and battles and illicit kisses under the brilliance of the moon. You can weild a sword like a warrior even though you've never seen one up close, you can feel the magic burning in your fingers waiting to be unleashed even though you're a mundane, you attend meetings that determine the fate of a nation you've never heard of, and you can do all these things because one person's pen is more powerful than a wand. People like Cinda Williams Chima are my heroes.

In The Crimson Crown the stakes are higher than ever, and I am so proud that both Han and Raisa rose up to the circumstances. Politics, war and magic, adventure and romance, The Crimson Crown is a blend of everything you could wish for in a YA fantasy book! The characters are not good or evil, they're always somewhere in between. Everyone wants to protect the people he or she is responsible for, from the Demonai warriors to wizards and council members and simple soldiers. Of course you'll hate some of them for their decisions, for messing with your heroes, but you can understand why they act this way, and for me that is a huge achievement. Take Micah, for instance. I still can't make up my mind about him because he tried to sink my ship many times, but I can't label him as a villain and that's kind of frustrating. Hating him would be easier.
“Complicated. And yet—simple. They were like two pieces of a failed star, drawn together by a shared history and a memory of illicit kisses.”

At first I was cautious of shipping Han and Raisa because they've proven that they will kiss anyone with a set of lips (is there a thing such as kissing addiction? Raisa could be suffering from it, just saying) but I was pleasantly surprised by the way their relationship developed. Raisa stood up for Han even when the entire world was against him, she put her faith in him and supported him, while Han did everything in his power, fought enemies and allies to secure a future with her. So yes, I ended up shipping them. Hard. With butterflies and giggling and all that stuff.
“But I don't want your throne."
"Then what do you want?"

I didn't cry during the entire series, but I did cry in the last two pages. It was the most suitable way to finish a story that started when two lovers were torn apart a thousand of years ago. Cinda Williams Chima, you are a true sorceress!

Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
838 reviews3,754 followers
February 15, 2021

Spoiler free for the whole series


*pushes The Crimson Crown in your hands*



This is how you end a series : BLOODY. FABULOUS.


Alright. I can think of some things :

1) WE ARE OUT FOR BLOOD. SO. We need IN YOUR FACE! moments with the villains and all those who annoyed the hell out of us. Yes, this is MUCH needed. Nothing's worst than anticlimactic confrontations. Give us GIDDINESS.

2) If you want to give us a romance, PLEASE SLOW DOWN, because the butterflies, here? They would never have had the same impact if not for the wait. My ship made me suffer along the way, but it paid up x1000.

3) NO NEED FOR CARDBOARD PEOPLE. Give us fleshed-out and interesting secondary characters - some we love to hate and other we'd defend with our *fictional* life.

4) We also need EPIC ENDINGS. No Mockingjay "I don't know if my ship really sailed or what". No dull as hell temporizing like In The Afterlight (I know, I gave it 5 stars at the time... I wouldn't now, honestly). The last book should always be the BEST of the series. If you want 600 pages of great battles, though, look elsewhere. This is not what it is about and I'm so glad it isn't. Alright, it is fairly predictable, but again, I. Don't. Care. Any book that manages to engross me like this deserves its 5 stars. Now, maybe I'm bewitched, and many readers will argue that nothing really happens and ... you know what? Perhaps that's just the point. It is not so easy to bewitch me, if I dare say.

5) Last but not least, you wouldn't want us to be disappointed in our main characters now would you? Take 3 stereotypes and call it a hero? Use idiotic misunderstandings to drive them through a painful joke of character development? NOPE. You do NOT want this. Try this instead : give us flawed characters in whom we can believe. Now make them grow. Then again. Then again. Now perhaps, if you're lucky, you'll have Raisa and Han - I just freaking LOVE them. Here are characters who know what that means to have a backbone.

Of course The Crimson Crown passed all these tests with flying colors.

Damn, I'm exhausted, I just know that a huge book hangover is coming, but it was so worth it.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
250 reviews928 followers
September 24, 2022
Raisa is finally queen *offically crowned but queen of my heart forever* and she's doing good. Really good.
“I have the life I want,” Raisa said. “Oh, I know it’s not perfect, and people are trying to kill me, and nobody in the queendom can get along, and we’ll likely be invaded soon, but other than that…”

She really is. Except for the whole....

The wizards and clans continue to fight and blame the other, wizards treating them like slaves and clans refusing to make more metals&give the wizards more power

The average folk are adjusting to a new queen who is young but murders are on the rise.

The wizard counsel wants a queen easy to maneuver and the clans want a queen who will fight but only fight the wizards.

War in the south is coming closer, all princes claiming to be king and willing to kill or enslave Raisa's people to make it true till suddenly! They're in the castle THEY ARE IN THE MOTHERFUCKING CASTLE PEOPLE!


But Raisa takes all of this with her usual sass and ass-kicking abilities.
“I just hope he doesn’t expect me to marry Kip,” Raisa said, shuddering. “I’d leap from the tower first.”
Cat snickered, and that set Magret to laughing, and soon they were all in convulsions.
“Even w-worse,” Cat cackled, blotting tears of mirth from her eyes. “Maybe he wants you to marry b-b-both of them.”
“I’ll make you a rope, Your Majesty, so you can hang yourself,” Magret said.”

Han found out her true identity and doesn't trust her but cant stand to stay away. Magic school continues with thr wizard teacher thinks Han is on her side, the devious clans trying to control Han, the Demon King's spirit is trying to possess Han AND NOW HE IS BEING BLAMED FoR MURDERS.


For fucks sake, can we give Han a break?

While the first book is acknowledging a slow burn, try to read to the second to really see how the series really builds up its big plot, provides interesting character dynamics, and just a whole lotta sass.

Because don't worry, he and Raisa are gonna do just fine
“Finally, he knelt beside it. “I told you to stay!” he muttered. “Don’t you ever listen?”
This was so ludicrous, the dog such an unexpected walk-on, that Raisa couldn’t help laughing, though her eyes were blurred with tears.
“A dog? You’re a wanted man, accused of treason, and you brought a dog into this?” She shook her head. “Is that fair to the dog?”


Definitely recommend this book/series! The characters are dynamic in that you are really able to relate to them and connect to them. You have to keep reading because you wanna see what they do next, not just to find out the ending. each book continues to build upon amazing layers of creative plots, dynamic characters, and hilarious lines.
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
259 reviews4,891 followers
June 5, 2017
Ahhh you guys... this was amazing. Ok but first I must fangirl..

That. Dance. Scene.

Holy blazers.

This isn't going to be a long review... but I hope to express just how epic this journey has been.I'm not even kidding... I got teary eyed at the end.

-Mild Spoilers-

Raisa's journey has been incredible. She is a heroine that I seriously LOVED rooting for. I was not at all disappointed as her journey came to a close. I felt so connected to her and in the end I just wanted all her sacrifices and pain to be worth it- and it WAS.

Oh and Han. What a man. Can we just applaud him for the fact that he made Raisa wait until he married her? He refused to be a backstreet lover. He refused to watch her be married off to another man and meet her in private. He made her a vow and he kept it. And he FOUGHT for her... non stop... UGH I can't.

My only complaints are that I wanted much more of Micah (I still believe he's a good guy and he got pushed off... I mean he DID save Raisa several times...) and Amon... after all that emotional turmoil, I just feel heartbroken over him. I feel very dissatisfied with his ending... we deserved more. Also, the writing was so deep and intricate but I feel like many scenes could have been much shorter. I don't need every footstep of every journey described. But whatever... I loved this anyway.

So in the end.. this was an INCREDIBLE and emotional journey and I can't believe I waited so long to read these.

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Maureen.
507 reviews4,201 followers
June 15, 2016
This freaking series man. Was not expecting to love it. Loved it so much.
This is a fantastic close to a fabulous series.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
April 2, 2016
Re-read 2016


Ha! I love it when a series I read years ago actually HOLDS UP!
Mostly, because that means I was right the first time, but also because it means...I WAS RIGHT.
Yeah. I'm that shallow.
Point is, book 4 was a fantastic conclusion to the Seven Realms series, and you should definitely give these books a try. Especially if you've been on the fence about this one.


Original review: 2012
Reading the last book in a series you love is always hard. I was so afraid this was going to be a disappointment (Mockingjay, I'm talking to you), but I couldn't be happier with the way Chima wrapped things up.
5 big fat stars!
The only thing I can't understand is why none of my GR friends have read any of these books.
What is wrong with you people?!

The Crimson Crown is a wonderful ending to the Seven Realms books, but if the author wants to...
*hint, hint*
there's still plenty of room to write a few more books in this world.
I, for one, would love to continue reading about all of the characters Chima has created.
Dancer, Micah, Melody, Cat, Willo..
Really, there are so many stories left to tell in the Seven Realms, that I refuse to believe this is the end!

If you haven't picked up these books yet, you don't know what you're missing.
The Demon King.
Read it.
Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
603 reviews731 followers
May 3, 2018
Cinda Williams Chima really knows how to write quality YA fantasy. 👌


What a fantastic and gratifying ending to a phenomenal series.
Han Alister, I wish I could make you real.
Profile Image for Jessica.
260 reviews3,563 followers
January 16, 2016
Man oh man. This series... The Seven Realms series definitely makes my favorites list!
Read this series!

Profile Image for Dorreh.
63 reviews198 followers
December 4, 2016
You know those times in life when you feel this deep chasm in your soul and all the emotions get sucked into it? That's what this book did for me.
This whole series was beautiful. From the first book it was a crescendo of ideas that were so exhilarating at some points of the book my excitement came out of me in waves. So you can only imagine what happened to me when this series ended so amazingly.
There are truly no word to describe how much love I felt for the characters, and the exhilarating consequences of their lives. Normally politics in books and stories bores me, but not in this case, everything about the way the events were played out made them interesting.
I'm normally never satisfied with the way series end. There's always that pang of regret after mulling over a story for so long, but after a really long while, this series surprised me. After being so good, I was waiting for the moment I would be disappointed, and then it didn't happen and I was like......."omgggggggg". Yup pretty much how I feel, a holy mess of emotions.
March 30, 2016

"He's the one steps away, right?" she said. "He knows this is dangerous turf-for both of you. He won't make his move until he knows he can win it all."
"But what if that never happens?" Raisa said.
"He won't settle," Cat said. "He'll wait forever if need be."

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Man..I was so excited about writing this review. I was so excited to show how much I loved, adored, cherished this series. But now, sitting here, finally able to type out my feelings I think….How could I possibly put into words just how much this series meant to me? We read a book or a series and we obsess about it ceaselessly, yet when it comes time to actually put it into words? It’s virtually impossible to capture that essence of what makes us so happy, excited, unflinchingly devoted to these characters. And yet...I can’t very well not try, right?

That's what you do when you love someone-you notice and notice and notice.

I mean, what’s the point, really, when so many other wonderful reviewers have done it a million times better than me and a thousand times before. What makes mine so special? Me? My review-why stop here and read this? For instance: Anna? Her review is just so perfect, and it shows just how much she adores this series, but makes it fun and exciting with her cute little visuals and adorable accent that is translated through the thoughts on her review. It’s simple, yet portrays every gamut of emotion she felt throughout the series with out being a screeching fangirl (which she is, if I do say so myself) and spoiling everything. I don’t know anyone who is more obsessed with these characters (I’d like to think my obsession is only a peg below hers, but I can’t be sure-she has got it bad) or who took better care in representing them and presenting them in a way that people become curious, despite their level of enjoyment for fantasy. If you’re reading this review, you’re likely one of my best friends who always reads them (I know who you are and I ADORE YOU). Or, you might be someone who thinks my ramblings are worth reading every once in a while. And hey, if that’s you? I admire your tenacity, I can be a bit much to take.

...He paused for a heartbeat, then added, "Though avoiding Nightwalker seems like a good idea to me."
"It's a match my father favors," Raisa said.
"Then your father is wrong," Han said. "Nightwalker thinks the world sprouted from his bunghole."
Raisa dismissed this image with some difficulty.

But that’s my point-This series isn’t simply about the adventures or the romance or the peril and action that shape how the throne is ruled and the towns destroyed-It’s so much more than that. It’s the soft looks between life long friends as things become complicated. It’s the touch of a street thug who might just be what you’ve been looking for your entire life without even knowing it. It’s the desperation shared with the person you thought you’d grow old with as that dream crumbles to ashes beneath your feet. It’s a character driven series. And if you don’t like, love, adore, obsess, care, or cherish these people that have been through literally every devastating thing possible…you have nothing.

"Haven't you heard about me?" he [Han] said, with a tight smile. "I'm really a very dangerous person." And he did look dangerous until he said, "Look, could you watch Dog for me while I'm gone?"

And if only I can show my love of the characters, and everyone can see how much I adore them, then I guess I’ll call my review a success. I’ll admit that-I don’t always just love books that aren’t all packed to the brim with romance and peril and desperate attempts at love while things begin to disintegrate before two young lovers’ eyes. I am becoming a person who adores character driven stories where we get to know a person inside and out in just day-to-day life….but I’m not always on board, especially with fantasy. So believe me when I say this is a breath of fresh air. Literally. I mean it.

Would she be required to sacrifice everything-every single person she cared about for this bloody throne?
Apparently so.

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So much love, loss, betrayal, and heartache are bestowed upon on our young characters, and seeing them go through each and every devastating event makes the vice-like grip on your heart tighter and tighter, squeezing until you can’t hardly breathe anymore, causing you to fall deeper and harder in love with characters you were already falling head over heels for after only a few chapters in book one. Raisa, the proud Princess who can’t wait to help her kingdom grow and become a better place, yet doesn’t want to be forced to marry. Amon, her best friend and soldier, the guy who would do anything to protect Raisa and the throne-even forfeit his own life. And so many more just like this…but none quite like Han.

He reached over and closed his hands over hers, the first time he'd dare touch her. He looked into her eyes. "This may sound arrogant, and I'm sorry if it does, but you're so alone, Raisa, and so am I. Didn't you ever wish you could have a...a partner? A friend? Somebody you could say anything to-where you didn't have to pick and choose words like a merchant at a market? Someone who wants you for yourself?"

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Han, who is many things without being conceited. Han, who would do ANYTHING to protect those he loved…even as that count becomes smaller and smaller, Raisa being his number one priority. Han, who makes your stomach drop and your heart beat way too fast with a simple smile, haunted eyes, a quick joke, his loyalty, his misguided love for Raisa becoming the real and true thing…Even if it wasn’t what he ever wanted or planned for. But that’s the thing about Han, you know?? He never wanted these things coming his way, yet he excels, he thrives, he becomes the best he can be-For he won’t settle for less…He wants everything . And that includes the girl who stole his heart right from underneath his feet. He’s used to being the thief…but as it turns out, she invaded his heart from the beginning, stealing his heart before he knew what happened to him.

He closed his eyes, breathed in, opened his eyes again as if to assure himself she was still there. "I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life."

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So, as you see, this isn’t the best review, but I loved these characters. They mean so much to me-every one of them. I can’t wait to someday get these gorgeous hardbacks for my shelf, and I can’t wait to re-read them again with my Han loving (creepily obsessed?) buddy who loves our random (and frequent) gush sessions about all things Seven Realms (okay, mostly Han, shut up). But, for now, I have to live with being tired 24/7 and having to finish this series much quicker than I wanted to and in less than desirable circumstances. It sucks, but that’s what re-reads are for. I didn’t get to enjoy the last three books as much as I’d have wanted to, real life and all that jazz, but it didn’t stunt my enjoyment, and that’s really saying something. So, for those of you still reading (doubtful), I hope that my love for these characters is enough to excite you and nudge you into giving Han’s journey a try. If not, oh well, more Han for me.

*Re-written seeing as my laptop shut off randomly for no reason whatsoever, just…UGH I’m too tired to care about making it all perfect again, so it isn’t nearly as good. So sad.*

For more of my reviews, please visit:


Would she be required to sacrifice everything-every single person she cared about for this bloody throne?
Apparently so.

Oh. My. Gahd. This series was beautiful, fantastic, other-worldy in it's ability to pull you in and wish you never had to let go. These characters (HAN!) have embedded themselves into my heart forever, and I will not likely forget them soon. Raisa and Han and Amon and Dancer and Cat...I can't even. And Han's loyalty (and Raisa's, for that matter) made my heart stutter with undiluted joy and cheer even when all hope was lost.

What started out as a curiosity on my part has became something that I:

A) MUST have on my bookshelf (Aaahhh Christmas will be a salty one indeed)
B) Will have to re-read again, and SOON
C) Will never forget
D) Will forever consider a favorite

Thanks to Jen for the gentle nudge by buying the first book for me for Christmas this year, and a begrudging thanks to the Snake that all but pushed me off the cliff. You both ROCK ♥

RTC when I can! Because....HAN! :P

Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews701 followers
March 31, 2017
"So many questions, so many stories that needed telling. A story of their own they needed to write. One with a happy ending."

I finished this book about a week ago and I still don't know how to write coherent sentences about how much I loved this book and this series. When I finished I was honestly in tears of happiness. It was a perfect conclusion to an absolutely amazing series. I'm just so happy and content with where this series went. I honestly cannot recommend it enough.

Let's just talk about the dance scene at the beginning of this book because DAMN I WAS DEAD. Raisa and Han are just the best representation of the demon king and the original grey wolf queen, Hanalea. Also I loved Han constantly playing the role of the demon king because he really is so much like him - not in a bad way don't worry. Basically all of these rumours came up around the demon king centuries ago and they're all pretty much bullshit and that's such a good representation of Han. He's underestimated and made into someone he's not.

“Oh, I am getting married," Raisa said sleepily. "You promised me that if I agreed to marry you, that you would make it happen." She extended her hand, the one with the ring Han had given her, and waved it under his nose. "So. It's time to pay up.”

I absolutely adored our 2 main characters in this book but I did still want a bit more from some of the side characters. I've said it before, but Han was a character that I didn't overly care about in The Demon King but I definitely grew to absolutely love him throughout this series. He's just a precious little cinnamon roll and I love him endlessly. Raisa was instantly my favourite character when I first picked up this series and my love for her has just grown. She reminds me of Cleo from the Falling Kingdoms series and I could instantly see her potential - she wasn't just a spoilt princess that everyone made her out to be. She has some serious guts and she makes an incredible Queen. Together this ship is just amazing. I love them together - although I wish there was more of them together.

I would have liked to see more of Amon being happy. I mean I guess we don't really know if he is happy with his arranged marriage wife - I hope they are because he deserves the world. Honestly, I'm still shocked that he didn't die. I was pretty certain that he was going to die sometimes throughout this series but I'm pretty happy that he lived. Dancer gave me an absolute heart attack so many times in this book but thank fucking god he's all good because I can't cope with character deaths. I wanted to absolutely kill Gavan Bayar from page 1 (thank god he died) and I still feel incredibly sorry for Fiona. She had potential and I feel like something else could have been done for her character. Poor girl. But, I wanted more from Micah. He has so much potential as a character and I feel like he didn't do as much as I wanted him to. Hopefully in the spin off we see more of him because I need him to be helpful and not a piece of shit. I HAVE HOPE FOR YOU MICAH. YOU'RE JUST UNDERESTIMATED BUT I UNDERSTAND YOU. I'm so happy that Crow got his happy ending too and the way this book ended was so sweet and I'm feeling all the feels.

“Crow walked toward her, arms outstretched like a man in a dream, which he was, in a way. Sometimes a dream is enough.”

As always, a shit tonne of stuff happens in this book and I was honestly stressed for the entirely of this book. I just love this series ok.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,955 followers
July 7, 2013
"Everything's a risk."

In the Seven Realms, truer words have never been spoken.

4.5 stars I'm so sad to see the Seven Realms series come to an end.

Mystery! Intrigue! Adventure! Danger! Magic! Fighting! Forbidden Love! How many rounds of awesome can we squeeze into one book? I don't know the final tally but the count is high (along with the dead bodies).

Han is incredible. Were it not for him, this series wouldn't have had the same edge to it. Everyone likes to root for the underdog, and Han had a full deck stacked against him. His ability to take repeated life-beatings and keep on pushing forward endeared him to many a reader.

And it didn't hurt that he had crazy ninja skills.
As if in answer to her prayers, someone swarmed across the ceiling of the cathedral, swinging from one fixture to another, finding handholds where none existed. He dangled over their heads, arrows pinging all around him, then dropped to the floor.

I'm still a softie for Amon though. I like those protective types. Always have. Maybe he wasn't all magic flash and ninja technique, but he'll always have a place in my heart. I wish

The best part about Crimson Crown was that it gave us plenty of happy without crossing every t and dotting every i. We got enough to satisfy without knowing exactly how everything in the future would be laid out.
"I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life."

Few authors know how to end a series right and this is one of them. Happy cheer for a job well done!
Sometimes a dream is enough.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,612 followers
February 10, 2016
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Wow! It's the end..... I know this series has been out for some time, but still.


So Raisa is Queen and people are trying to tell her what to do, kill her, marry her off....blah blah blah. She's having none of that!

Raisa and Han are still trying to find their place with each other. Hmmm... I can't give out spoiler so I can't mention that.. crap. Let's just say they want to be together still but it's a hot mess.

Raisa is trying to incorporate the wizards and the magic users into the kingdom. She wants to have a kingdom where everyone gets along. Good luck with that, but she doesn't give up.


AND that stupid Lord Bayar is still causing trouble and he is just evil, so damn evil. He should have been called the demon king! He does some really bad stuff in this book, but he gets his time and he gets it in a rather lovely way :-)

Oh oh, there is this really cool part where Bayer gets put in his place. Its' a MILD SPOILER SO...

"Excuse me?" Lord Bayar said, "What did you say?"
"I vote for Hanson Alister for High Wizard, to replace you," Gryphon said. "I believe that means he wins."

I love it, some other really cool stuff happens in that meeting but I will leave it to you to read. It's one of those happy dance, in your face jerk, kind of moments. :-)

I liked Gryphon's character, we find out some stuff about him in the book, it's sad and eye opening as well. Poor guy. And I love Dancer even more in this book when I find out more about him. And there is Cat.. the list goes on, there are a few great people in the book.

Anyhoo, not only are people trying to kill the Queen, they are trying to frame Han for all kinds of wizard deaths and putting things around that make him look like the one. And you know.. I never would have thunk who it turned out to be. 0_0

We also get to find out the secrets of the Demon King. There is a whole bunch of stuff that opens up with that revelation. It was a "wait what?" moment for me.

All I have left to say is that the four books in this series are awesome and if you have been thinking of reading them, just do it.

The Gray Wolf Queens live on as wolves.

Freaking makes me tear up me being a wolf lover... the queens will always be there.......

Last sentence in the book ↓

Sometimes a dream is enough.

I believe that with all my heart and soul!
Profile Image for B .
114 reviews12.1k followers
December 9, 2018
This has been such an amazing, compelling ride. I started the series earlier this year and I’m so so glad to have made that decision. Following Han and Raisa was long and occasionally difficult but the end results are completely worth it. This world is so well thought out and it makes me happy to know there’s a companion series that I can start now that I’ve finished the Seven Realms!
Profile Image for Ann (annreads).
243 reviews314 followers
April 14, 2017
“So here's the truth - I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you're not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You're as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what's best in themselves. You've changed my life. You've given me the words I need to become whatever I want. I love how you talk to lytlings. You don't talk down to them. You respect them, and anybody can tell you're actually interested in what they have to say. I love the way you ride a horse – how you stick there like an upland thistle, whooping like a Demonai. I love the way you throw back your head and stomp your feet when you dance. I love how you go after what you want – whether it's kisses or a queendom. I love your skin, like copper dusted over with gold. And your eyes – they're the color of a forest lake shaded by evergreens. One of the secret places that only the Demonai know about. I love the scent of you – when you've been out in the fresh air, and that perfume you put behind your ears sometimes.
Believe it or not, I even love your road smell – of sweat and horses and leather and wool.
I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.”

Wow guys, just wow. Words are not enough to describe how incredibly brilliant the ending of this series was! Everything about this books is just amazing and I'm SO happy with how things wrapped up!
I know I said it in one of my previous reviews but Cinda Williams Chima's writing literally blows me away. I love how she managed to build and develop the story, slowly unfolding things through out the whole series. Seeing how everything came full circle at the end was honestly the most amazing thing ever and I'm still not over about everything that happened, not to mention that freaking epilogue *OMG IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL I CANT EVEN* *cries*
Even though the series it's over, I came to love all this wonderful characters and their stories so dearly much, I'm most definitely not planning on letting them go anytime soon! *cheers to Han and Raisa, the most epic badass couple in the entire world*❤️

Seriously, if you guys haven't read this series yet, I HIGHLY recommend that you give it a try because it's absolutely FANTASTIC! So much love to one of my favorite series ever!

Profile Image for Nikita.
150 reviews47 followers
December 6, 2014
The cover. OH MY FREAKING GOD!!! I think I already have an inkling of what will happen!! WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE OCTOBER!?!? Darn! Can't it be like, TOMORROW!?!

I feel miserable now that one of my most loved series is finally over! But, oh what a way to end it! I'm all teary-eyed and looking stupid. I wish there's more of Han and Raisa and Amon and Micah and ALL OF THEM. I just love the characters so much, as well as the story. It's not easy letting them go. *sniffs*
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews524 followers
July 23, 2016
So many questions, so many stories that needed telling. A story of their own they needed to write. One with a happy ending.

Easiest rating I ever had to give. For sheer entertainment alone.

It’s true, I ever only started on this series because of this book. So it was a bit of a winded, intricate and LONG ASS wait to get to this part but this, HOLY SHIEEEEET, this was certainly worth it!

So. Many. Feels.

Everything that happens in Hanalea’s Graden is fucking quotable.

I can’t handle Han. I just can’t.

It’s near reflex for me to be extremely critical of romance in any given setting because we’ve all read our share of romances right? And it’s the easiest in the storyline to nitpick on, especially in YA-High Fantasy. You come across reviews about certain series saying “make no mistake about it, this is YA romance guised as High Fantasy” as if its a bad thing. It seems like its the hipster thing to target, sadly.

But it will also be unfair not to credit where credit is due. I am not the biggest fan of sappy dialogue, there were scenes here that didn’t agree with me… but it’s always a marvel when the simplest words, in the proper context can melt me into a puddle of mush.
Didn’t you ever wish you could have a… a partner? A friend? Somebody you could say anything to - where you didn’t have to pick and choose words like a merchant at market? Someone who wants you for yourself?

The loneliness of these two characters, the impossible circumstances they need to overcome, the subterfuge, the betrayals…. and everything else in between.

I’ll be a complete hypocrite if I claim I loved this for the politicking and the courtly intrigue or the world building. I still find some loopholes when I expected something far more solid in terms of imagination. Because while the plot was intricate, some of the concepts I’ve seen before elsewhere, especially certain details in The Exiled Queen and The Gray Wolf Throne. But this delivered where those two failed for me.There were moments where in lesser hands these could have taken Angst via the Great Path of Misunderstanding, but thankfully it didn’t. Love conquering all is such a cheesy, exhausted concept but when done right, it can really take one’s breath away.

Best. Courtship. EVAAAAAAAR.

Structurally, The Crimson Crown doesn't feel complete. It runs on a manic pace and then ends by jumping off on a jagged edge leaving you on an uncertain freefall. Exhilarating yet open-ended. Though I kinda like it for that oddity. It takes nothing away in terms of entertainment and it leaves a door open for a revisit... Hopefully as an adult fantasy series. With lots of sexytimes and dragons and sexytimes, please!

It’s sad not everyone is automatically inclined to read High Fantasy as, say Contemporary Romance or Erotica, and whenever I see a friend review those kinds of books with much dissatisfaction, I couldn’t outright recommend High Fantasy or YA books because not everyone really dabble in them. It’s quite sad what we miss out on with our reading prejudices and limitations. I find this genre has been one that has most frequently reduced me into a blubbering mess of a fangirl.
Sometimes a dream is enough.

Am I squeeing? Why yes I am.

Also on BookLikes.
Profile Image for Taylor of Alethkar ❦.
280 reviews79 followers
August 18, 2016
I loved and adored this final book, it was the perfect finale. I’m going to miss these characters so deeply, I already do. I honestly can’t believe it’s really over. Now that I have the whole picture I can say that this was honestly one of the most well-written series I have ever read. Really, the Seven Realms deserves far more credit than it gets. I have so much to say about this fabulous world and characters I have come to feel such emotion for. If you’ve yet read to these books because you’ve heard less than flattering things: all I can say is to give it a real chance. Yes, the first book can be a bit difficult to get through, but it’s just the first piece of the puzzle and this series truly deserves to be read.
So the Seven Realms is a magical world of royalty and nobility, wizards, the clans, and many more kinds of folk that we see little of for the most part, given that the series revolves mainly around one particular realm: the queendom of the Fells. In this world, the legend of the Demon King (a wizard who lived a thousand years ago) who is supposedly responsible for the Breaking, throwing the world into chaos, and Hanalea, the warrior Gray Wolf Queen who defeats him in the legend. As a result of all this, the Naeming forbids Gray Wolf Queens to marry wizards, and the clans (who practice only natural magic, herbs and the like, as well as provide flashpieces - usually in the form of amulets - for wizards) hate High magic and all those who practice it, and use the Naeming to keep wizards in check. Really, the indoctrinated racism in this series is sickening at times - on all sides. Complete with derogatory terms, discrimination and even murder practically whenever it’s possible for some to get away with it really. This series was also, obviously, very heavy on politics. If only real life politics were as interesting as these. The entire world setting in these books was just phenomenally built, I really can’t say it enough. It’s worth the read for that alone practically.

Spoilers for books 1-3 now
One of our main protagonists is Raisa ana’Marrianna, who we first meet as princess heir to the Gray Wolf Throne, and later becomes Queen after her mother Queen Marrianna dies an awfully suspicious death. Raisa is a firecracker with a surprisingly vulnerable heart and a crushing duty to her people, and I absolutely adore her. In the first book, Raisa was nearly forced into marriage by her spelled mother and the dispicable High Wizard to his son Micah, a wizard Raisa didn’t love, which was forbidden by the Naeming and would lead to war with the clans, and so was forced to flee her queendom. She travelled to Oden’s Ford, a military-like set of schools for soldiers and wizards respectively, with her best friend Amon - the son of the Queen’s Captain of the Guard who are sworn in to protect the law and the Gray Wolf line. Raisa loved Amon, but Amon’s magical bond of duty to her line would not allow them to be together. Heart broken, Raisa accepts that she will marry for political advantage as all the Queen’s before her, and throws herself into her studies. It’s at this time that Raisa once again crosses paths with Han Alister. Early in book one, Raisa left her palace to provide jewelry to fund the poor, and found herself taken hostage by the Streetlord “Cuffs” Alister when he was cornered by soldiers who would throw him back in gaol - a prison people rarely left alive. Han was - to Raisa’s surprise - relatively good to her and kept his distance, despite being completely unaware that it was the princess heir he’d taken with him at the time. Raisa had thought on her feet and called herself Rebecca. She was told later that Han was dead, since he’d faked his death in hopes of evading the Guard. When Raisa later went into the academy at Oden’s Ford under the name Rebecca Morley, and discovered Han was alive, she was thrilled, and began to unknowingly and unwillingly fall in love with him, despite that he now knew he was a wizard.
Han was the first protagonist introduced, when he first met Micah Bayar and took a powerful serpent amulet from him, which was later revealed to have belonged to the Demon King, painting a target on his own back. Han had lived the majority of his life with Cuffs on his wrists that grew as he grew and never came off - resulting in his Streetlord name with his crew. When they were finally removed by the clans he’d fostered with, as a result of a deal with them to study and train at Oden’s Ford with the eventual objective of taking down High Wizard Bayar and the Wizard Council, Han discovered that the Cuffs had been absorbing his High magic. He was told he was a wizard and a descendent of Alger Walterlow, known as the Demon King of legend, and Hanalea, who had actually been in love with Alger, and so was very distantly connected to the Gray Wolf line. Han agreed to the deal, because Bayar and his children - Micah and Fiona - were responsible for the deaths of Han’s mother and sister, they’d burrned them alive when they could not locate the serpent amulet. His long time friend Hayden Fire Dancer was also revealed to be a wizard of unknown decent, as a result of an assault towards his mother. At Oden’s Ford, Han’s powers grew, and he travelled to the in-between dimension of Aediion. There he met an unknown and mysterious wizard named Crow, who began tutoring him secretly in Aediion, vastly improving Han’s magical ability in a very short time. Also in Oden’s Ford, he was shocked to once again cross paths with Rebecca, who he’d taken and released. He finds himself falling for her. Their relationship develops slowly in the months at school, since ‘Rebecca’ had agreed to tutor him in etiquette - at Crow’s request - with the story of being the previous servant to the Bayars. Han later discovers that Crow had been draining him of power and periodically possessing him, and so ceases to trust him.
At the end of book two, Micah Bayar discovers that Raisa had been hiding out at the academy and kidnaps her with the intention of taking her back to the Fells to marry her. Han is unaware of this, and knows only that Rebecca and his enemies - the Bayars - have disappeared from school at the same time. The clans call him back to the Fells to prevent princess Mellony from taking the title of princess heir in Raisa’s mysterious absence, and so leaves Oden’s Ford, willfully leaving Dancer behind in hopes of protecting him, and is determined to find some trace of Rebecca along the way. Finally in book three, Han finds ‘Rebecca’ near dead - since Raisa is being hunted by those who would see the succession changed - and nearly sacrifices his own life to save hers. When they each wake in the camp, Raisa finally reveals the truth to Han. At first he feels extremely betrayed and used, and refuses any attempt on Raisa’s part to repair things. Eventually, though, he’s able to admit to himself that he still loves her and becomes determined to have her hand. He turns to his Dancer, and his old crew - including his friend Cat, who’d been with them at Oden’s Ford - and to Crow. He demands the truth from his tutor, and Crow admits that he had no magic of his own because he is only a remnant, and is no longer alive in the true world. He reveals that he is Alger Waterlow, much to Han’s disbelief. Thanks to Lucius, an immortal old man who’d employed Han as a young child - who was also once best friend’s with Alger, Alger’s story is confirmed. In the midst of all this, Wizard’s were being slaughtered in the queendom by an unknown assassin who was attempting to frame Han, with far too much success. Raisa is also being vied for by many different suitors, most influential being the clan Demonai warrior Nightwalker, who was also Raisa’s father’s choice for her hand. Raisa, being in love with Han, wanted to prolong any marriage alliance as long as possible, while at the same time being crushed under the weight of what may be best for her people. At Han’s request, Raisa had agreed to make him her personal bodyguard and gives him a seat on the Wizard Council, irking the clans who he’d made a deal with. Han and Raisa are both constantly pining after each other, which is unbelievably frustrating, but Han worries for both their lives if anyone discovers their feelings for each other, and so still attempts to keep Raisa at arm’s length most of the time.

Finally some spoilers for this book. The Crimson Crown was extremely stressful, and an intense emotional rollercoaster. So much needed to be tied together, and Han and Raisa’s relationship was in the balance. It would have killed me if these two idiots hadn’t ended up together. I’m gonna go character by character here, starting with Dancer.
I should have called his dad being Lord Bayar. He’s the most ruthless killer in the whole queendom, and the series’s main villain. Of course he would be deplorable and hypocritical enough to rape a clan woman and get her pregnant. One of my favorite parts of the entire book - more like the entire series - was Dancer and his mom confronting Bayar in front of Micah and the Wizard Council, with Han’s help of course. It was epic. I adore Dancer. He’s had it rough, being raised clan and then shunned for being a wizard. I loved how he came to respect himself and be grateful for his power, how he used both High magic and nature magic and was amazing at it. I also really liked his relationship with Cat, they were so different and yet so compatible. And I loved that Dancer was always there for Han.

And Cat. Her character development was a beautiful thing, she started out as just a gang leader back in book one, but eventually came to recognize her talents and put her street skills to the best use. Her friendship with Raisa and Magret was adorable in this book, and who doesn’t love a girl who’s wicked with her knives?

Amon and his Gray Wolves squad were sort of a less important presence in this later half of the series, but I’m glad he ended up relatively happy all the same. And I’m glad most of the lot of them lived through the series at least.

Micah and Fiona were both just unbearably annoying. Fiona was nothing more than a conniving brat from minute one and her death was basically a relief. And Micah, I understand that he really did have feelings for Raisa and was a relatively good and loyal guy when it came down to it, but I just cared nothing for him. His constant determination to frame Han or ruin his already dismal reputation was just beyond irritating. He just made me want to shout The girl does not want you! My constant reaction to him was more or less just something like

 photo image1 2_zpsgpaxffyg.jpg

Speaking of annoying: Nightwalker. I never trusted this shady fucker. Playing Bird and treating her like trash, constantly trying to get in Raisa’s pants, kissing up to her dad every chance he got. Every time he was even mentioned was irritating. Though I admit, I did not peg him for the mystery wizard killer at all. It was another thing I maybe should have been able to predict but was just completely caught off guard by. And he killed Queen Marianna! Oh my god I literally gasped out loud! I thought it was Bayar!! I can’t believe he had the audacity to try to kill Raisa though.

“Here’s what I think!” Raisa practically shouted, like she was speaking at temple. She layered her voice with as much scorn as she could muster. “My mother was unfaithful to my father, which was their business, not yours. And I had the temerity to say no to you.”

Nightwalker was so self important and practically worshipped, no one even suspected him. Well, except Bird. I didn’t expect Raisa’s rescuer to be Bird at all. The poor girl was just used and talked down to the entire series. Her death was really unexpected and sad. She was honestly the last person I would have thought would die, but at least she took Nightwalker with her.

“All I ever wanted was to be Demanai.”

 photo image3 7_zpsmt2iakk7.gif

Rest in peace baby girl.

Oppositely, a death I was on the edge of my seat for for all four books: Lord Bayar. Oh man, can I just say how much I love that he literally got eaten alive? If anyone’s actually reading this at this point you might say well he didn’t actually feel it. Still! Let me have my happiness. Damn but he deserved so much worse. Honestly the whole time I was just picturing him as Lucius Malfoy I can’t even pretend I wasn’t lol. Though Bayar was worse I’d say. I wish I could say I can’t believe he literally locked Han in a dungeon and tortured him, but yeah I totally can. Sayonara asshat.

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Ah Han my Slytherin af babe. No one can even argue with me at this point, I literally lost track of how many times some person or another referred to Han’s ambition. And he was so cunning, especially in this last book. It was literally unbelievable the lengths he went to for Raisa. He’s so conniving and clever and I just live for it. The constant manipulation was so impressive. The whole damn world out to get him and still comes out on top. He went through the ringer for it, though. Reading the torture chapters was really difficult. And it was both heartbreaking and beautiful that Alger would go through something like that again when that was how he literally died, just so that Han could have some relief. Their dynamic was gut wrenching. I loved what Han did for Alger at the end more than words, bringing Hanalea’s wolf form into Aediion to be able to see him. I admit I shed a few tears. Or I should say a few more tears, since I cried quite a bit in this novel. Mainly for Raisa.

Raisa thinking that Han was dead was absolutely the worst part of this.

“Alister’s dead?” Lord Hakkam sputtered, as if offended by the inconvenience of it all. “Already?”
Amon gripped Raisa’s shoulders, holding her upright so she wouldn’t fall.

Raisa cries, I cry. That’s basically been a solid rule for the entire series. So when Raisa starts sobbing well, what can I say. Ugh. It was the worst.

I loved every single Han and Raisa moment we got in this book, but the proposal was the cutest thing I can’t even say how cute. And their wedding!! That was all I really wanted right there. I love how everyone had no choice but to let it happen. I just love this ship so much I hate how underrated this series is I want to be able to discuss how much I adore these two in detail.

I think this has probably been long enough, though it’s probably only about half of my overall thoughts for the series. It was just perfection.
Profile Image for Andye.Reads.
843 reviews427 followers
February 22, 2015
The Series:

The Seven Realms Series is made up of The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, and now, the last book in the series, The Crimson Crown. If you are a fan of high fantasy, you will not find a more well-written, emotional, intense, phenomenal series than this one. This is, hands down, my favorite high-fantasy series ever, and quite possibly my favorite Young Adult series ever. Each book is better than the last, and when you finish reading, all you want to do is pick it back up, and read it all over again. If you're an audiobook lover, Carol Monda reads this series and does an amazing job. Either way, you will fall in love!

What makes it so good?

My words will not do this series justice! First of all, the world-building is just a cut above anything else I've read. Every time I start reading one of these books, I'm completely immersed in this world. It exists. I feel utterly attached to every character and every location. Ragmarket is real! I can envision riding horses in the Fells, or sitting around a fire on Spirit Mountain. This place is a part of me now, and so is every character. I love Raisa and Han like they are real people. I feel like I know them and care so deeply about what happens to them. The way the books are written, in alternating viewpoints, makes you connect with them so much more. And I've never read a series with more character development than in these books.

Then there's the incredibly detailed plot. I'm talking Harry Potter level here. There are things in book one that you don't even realize are important until book 4. There are things you are blind-sided with when, looking back, you see that the signs have always been there. It's obvious that Chima had this entire series planned from the beginning, and planned beautifully.

The relationships develop over the course of the entire series. Most books bring the main characters together in book 1, then spend the rest of the series throwing things (mostly a second love interest) at them to keep things interesting. The romance in this book is SO much deeper, more meaningful, and intense. I can't tell you how much I ached for them. It was just done so perfectly!

The Crimson Crown (if you haven't read the series, don't read further)

At a Glance:

This book, this finale, this masterpiece, was everything that I could have hoped for, and so much more. Just when I think there is no way that Chima can top herself again, she comes at me with this book.

Frustrated Bliss:

The Crimson Crown was an emotional roller coaster! I can't tell you how many times I wanted yell, or laugh, or cry, and just grab Han and Raisa and tell them to just KISS ALREADY, and love each other, and forget the world!!! Of course they couldn't do that, and I'm sure I wouldn't be nearly as enraptured if they had, but oh, the torture!

So much happens in this book. And of course, with that cover, the whole time I'm wondering, "What's going to happen to Ragmarket?' Every question was answered, and answered so surprisingly. I was totally taken off guard at some points, and I loved it. There was so much action, and fighting, and backstabbing, and mystery, and plot twists, and for the love of all that is holy, the romantic tension!! Honestly, this series may have ruined me forever, because how can anything else ever compare?

Bitter Sweet:

This is one of those series that I wish could go on and on forever, so I'm incredibly sad that this was the last book. However, if there ever was an ending that could completely satisfy me, this would be it. I'm so happy with the way everything was tied together. That's not to say that there wasn't heartache, or difficult things to swallow, but the way Chima wrapped everything up was just so incredible. The only good thing about it being over is that now I get to start back with The Demon King and enjoy it all over again.

Book Doppelgangers:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Mass, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
Profile Image for Katrina♡••.
405 reviews68 followers
July 13, 2016
After finishing...

When there are so many obstacles but your ship is on the verge of sailing

Characters are kicking butt!!!

Raisa is great!

Han is like

I love it!
Profile Image for TheBookSmugglers.
669 reviews1,985 followers
January 20, 2013
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

**NOTE: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS UNAVOIDABLE SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 1-4 IN THE SEVEN REALMS SERIES. If you have not yet read the first four books and want to remain unspoiled, look away!**


Newly coronated as Queen of the Fells, Raisa ana' Marianna has inherited a Queendom on the verge of collapse and civil war. The Demonai Clans, led by her father Averill, pressure Raisa to marry one of their warriors; meanwhile the Wizards, led by the Bayar family, also have their plans to increase their power and legitimacy by intermingling their bloodline with that of the Gray Wolf Throne, pressuring a marriage between Micah Bayar and Raisa. This environment is made even more volatile as Clan children are kidnapped by opportunistic wizards, while in turn wizards are being hunted and killed in the queendom's slums. To add insult to injury, while the Demonai and Wizards at each others' throats, tensions mount from outside the Fells as neighboring kingdoms make their own proposals and prepare attacks in the hope of capitalizing on the unrest and internal strife.

As Raisa grapples with these impossible pressures to marry for political alliances, she also faces one of the most difficult predicaments of her young life: the desire of her own heart, an impossible love for Han "Hunts Alone" Allister. A street thief-cum-powerful wizard, Han is the only descendent of the great Demon King who broke the world, Alger Waterlow, a secret that makes him a much feared by Demonai and Wizard alike. As Han learns the truth of his lineage, of the Naeming, the Demon King and of Alger's beloved Hanalea, he begins to hope that he can break the cycle of death, squabbling and fear, bring peace to the Seven Realms, and win Raisa's heart.

The fourth and final book in Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series, The Crimson Crown has a whole lotta gravity and expectation attached to it - I have read and loved each of the books in this series, and Chima has somehow topped herself with each new entry. While this is an amazing feat, it also means that The Crimson Crown had a lot to live up to - but I'm happy to say that this ultimate book is a beautiful, brilliant sendoff to a truly fantastic series. In short, The Crimson Crown delivers, big time, and I freaking loved every second of it.

From a pure storytelling and series-ending perspective, The Crimson Crown finally answers the big, series-spanning questions at the heart of the Seven Realms books. Will Han and Raisa find a way to be together, despite the myriad obstacles in their path? Will Raisa be able to find a way to unite the clans and wizards (or "copperheads" and "jinxflingers"), without tearing her queendom apart? What is the real truth of Hanalea and the Demon King, and what is their true legacy? Not only does this final volume address these questions - it answers them with deft skill and care, making this a satisfying and rewarding read. To put it plainly, these answers are worth the wait. I especially love the truth about Hanalea, so loved and cherished as a saint by the people of the realms, and the villainous Demon King, who is so universally reviled. History is written by the victors, and after a thousand years the revisionists have done a hell of a job hiding the truth of the star-crossed love between Hanalea and Alger. The way this particular past doomed love plays out in the future, with Han and Raisa fighting against incredible prejudice, is beautifully done.

On a character front, the thing that impresses me so much about this series is how much the characters have grown and changed over the course of five books, in particular Raisa and Han. Raisa has gone from a slightly spoiled, slightly superficial princess who is easily duped by a pretty face, to a cunning, wise, and fair-handed queen. Han, too, has grown from a brazen young street lord to a wizard and powerful ally - albeit with a street lord's sensibilities and determination. If The Gray Wolf Throne was Raisa's book (and it really was Raisa's), The Crimson Crown is more Han's, as he understands just what he wants and sets his mind to getting it. I love that his trust issues - very true given his past and how everyone treats him - come to roost here, and he has to learn the hard way that he cannot keep secrets from those he loves.

Beyond Han and Raisa, the secondary characters are similarly wonderfully developed - from Raisa's father Averill to Han's former gang-mate and Raisa's lady in waiting/bodyguard Cat. But the real standout to me in this book is, surprisingly, Micah Bayar. I love that Micah isn't truly a bad guy - he's kind of the Jamie Lannister, the Draco Malfoy of this world. That is, he starts out terrible but is revealed to be a nuanced guy with hidden depths. And, at the core of his actions, despite all of the questionable and self-serving acts he undertakes, he truly cares for Raisa. That is cool.

There's a betrayal and a secret villain (whose identity is nicely hidden and executed), a buried legacy, and traitorous doings. There are answers, action and romance aplenty. Basically, The Crimson Crown has it all, and ends the series on a pitch-perfect note. I loved this book, and I now face the heartbreaking task of kicking a book off of my top 10 of 2012, because The Crimson Crown absolutely MUST be on the list.

Wholeheartedly recommended - if you love fantasy, strong characters, and truly awe-inspiring long-lead storylines, read this series.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
January 8, 2019
MY HEART...OMG...it's all full of the warm and fuzzies but also the why did so many people HAVE TO DIE to get here?!? And that SHIP...THAT SHIP! I don't even know what to do with myself right now. I'll have to re-read something because there's no way anything else will compare to all the feels I have for these books, not so soon after finishing the series. Except maybe her new book, which I just so happen to have in my hands...but I don't want to taint what I felt for the Seven Realms characters in the Fells before I move on to another realm.

This is seriously going on my all-time favorite series list. And I know what I'm asking for for Christmas...the box-set, duh. :P
Profile Image for Taylor.
464 reviews134 followers
June 15, 2021
“History is written by the victors. The truth is, the villains were less villainous, and the heroes less heroic, than you’ve been told.”


I'm crying happy tears. The Crimson Crown was such a fantastic conclusion, and it gave me everything I wanted in terms of a series finale: action, high stakes, political intrigue, war, love, and death. It's such a bittersweet feeling when you finish a fantastic series like this, and I'm so sad to see that it's over.

I love the characters in this series with all my heart. They're flawed, capable, interesting, and incredibly endearing.

Han is a badass, vulnerable ex-thief turned wizard who has completely stolen my heart. God, I love him so much. I just wanna wrap warm blankets around him and give him a hot mug of tea. He deserves the world and you can't tell me different. Sure, he makes mistakes and kept way too many secrets from his friends, but he's learned and grown so much since book one. I ADORE THEE, HANSON.

Raisa is my QUEEN and I love her to death . I really didn't like her in the beginning of this series, and now she's my favorite character. I swear, seeing her coming into her own and become the warrior Queen she was destined to be made me feel empowered, made me feel proud to be a woman. She's fierce, kind, fiesty, and I want to be her. I elect Raisa as Queen of the Planet.

The side-characters are also wonderful. Fire Dancer is such a sweety and he's not just Han's best friend: he's a badass on his own. Cat was hilarious and fiery, and her and Dancer's relationship was the CUTEST. Night Bird was a compelling character, and she's grown a lot since book one as well. Amon is the captain of the Queen's Guard, and he's basically a person who looks like he'll kill you but he's actually a cinnamon roll. He deserves the world.

Micah Bayer...yeah, I hated him. But I liked the fact that he was never really the villain of this story. Sure, his father Gavan is the absolute worst, but Chima never set him on a certain side. He walks the line between good and evil in an interesting way, and even though I personally wanted him to jump off a cliff, he was an interesting antagonist.

The relationships tugged at my heart, and made me cry several times. The friendships were so damn sweet, and the romances were heart-pounding. I rooted for Han and Raisa's love story until the very end, and I toiled over the angst and miscommunication and tragedy. These two...they killed me.

The plot in this book never dulled for me. Characters that I love were constantly put in positions of vulnerability and danger, and I was always on my toes. At one point, I was screaming at the book and shaking it because I needed to know what happened next.

The way that Chima paralleled stories from the past with the present plot of The Crimson Crown was ingeniously heart-breaking, and it presented important truths: history is written by the victors, prejudice can go both ways, and those we love aren't perfect.

All in all, I thought this was a fantastic conclusion. I can't praise this series enough; if you've read The Demon King and weren't that impressed by it, please read the second book. The books just get better and better, and The Crimson Crown is definitely my favorite book in the series.

It's over. I want to cheer, and I also want to cry, and I'm just so overwhelmed.

Now, on to The Shattered Realms series!
Profile Image for Ana.
143 reviews29 followers
March 3, 2020
THIS SERIES WAS PERFECT. Im crying. That last chapter ended me. Im so so happy I decided to read all of these books. I love this world, I love the characters, I love the story. Cinda Williams Chima is one of my new favorite authors and I honestly cannot wait to read the spin off series!! Im ordering the first one right now. Im seriously in awe, this was such a good ending. I loved every minute of it. 100% recommend if you are looking for a classic well rounded YA fantasy series.
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