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Seven Realms #3

The Gray Wolf Throne

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Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

517 pages, Hardcover

First published August 30, 2011

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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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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,445 reviews
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
261 reviews1,036 followers
February 8, 2023

I just inhaled this book. Then spent an entire day thinking about it. Unable to do anything else cuz I was in a book coma trying to digest everything that happened it was such great feeling *


Seriously, though! I keep getting surprised by all the plot twists, the DEVELOPMENT. Consider when we first started the series... we met a spoiled princess and an idiot villager. But now....

The village idiot has wandered out into the world, Han just trying to make a place for himself via determination, loyalty... FUCK I love him

The princess is *finally* becoming a badass queen,Raisa: she aint bossy, she THE BOSS.


Willing to work, get her hands dirty and do WHATEVER it takes for her people *even suck up to a lil wuss*,
“Somehow, Raisa managed to get through dinner without throwing up on the new king of Arden or anyone else. She accomplished that by eating very little”

I think she gonna be *just great* at this diplomacy stuff (✿◠‿◠)

Now a main complaint of mine (and others) about of the first couple books was that the action was minimal. And yes its true, at parts it was *sorely* lacking at beginning of the series.

The general plots of the first couple books were really more centered around building everything up to EXPLODE IN THIS FUCKING BOOK


This is an EPIC journey type book, with plot twists and intricate details that I WOULD DARE SAY MATCHES Sarah J MAAS


Of course, the secondary characters are still going strong with their own lil plot lines that just *so creatively intertwined* with our two main heroes.

Amon, willing to sacrifice everything, Micah, willing to fuck people over to accomplish his goals, Dancer... Okay wait did anyone see that coming?? cuz I sure as shit didn't


A detail I really loved about this series's writing style. And really specifically in this book was the freaking hilarious chapter titles! This is an under-appreciated addition and quality, that added so much to the book,

Picking up old Bones
The Price of deception
The Games Begin

Are just a few to spark your interest.


Guys... I was so captivated and enthralled with this book that I completely forgot to mark any quotes


Riiiiight? Y'all know how rare that is for me! I just inhaled this book, and didn't even think about how I was gonna review it till I was able to process everything. Highly highly recommend this series.

Moving on next book, letsss goooo!!!!
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
July 20, 2016
The best in the series so far!

I won't write a proper review now because I have to read The Crimson Crown ASAP, perhaps I'll review them together! Just do yourself a favor and read Seven Realms guys!
Profile Image for Anne.
4,053 reviews69.5k followers
May 10, 2016
Re-read 2016


Oh My God...why aren't more people reading these books?!

Even better the second time around! I'm so glad I decided to pick these books up again. I guess it was just a fear that they wouldn't be as good as I remembered them that kept me from cracking 'em open sooner, so I'm happy to report (unlike some of my previous favorites) this series still stands up to the test of time.
So, yeah.


Original review: 2012
This is my new favorite series. Without a doubt, I will be first in line to get The Crimson Crown when it comes out later this year.
Each book has progressively gotten better and better, and this time around I found myself walking around with the book in my hand waiting for an opportunity to start reading it again.

I'm not going to even attempt to re-cap the plot, because there is just no way I would do it justice. I will say that all of the characters, major and minor, are well fleshed-out and fully formed. Very few of them are totally good or fully evil, either. Seriously, this does not read like a typical YA novel. Cinda Williams Chima has really impressed me with these books, but this one in particular was just incredible.
Honestly, I can't see how she doesn't have a bigger following than she does.

I would highly recommend this entire series to anyone who enjoys a great story.
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,308 followers
February 9, 2017
❝She’d been born for this—and raised to it. She’d fought for it, and at times she’d thought she might die for it. She had a long history of tragedy and triumph behind her, and a lifetime of hard work ahead of her. It was time to get started.❞

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ¾

Though I still enjoyed The Gray Wolf Throne, I felt that it suffered the "middle book syndrome". The pacing of the story was consistently a bit slow throughout the whole book, and it definitely wasn't as great as The Exiled Queen. A lot happened but at the same time it didn't. Well, nothing that was too exciting or worth talking about.

The two things I did love within this installment was Raisa's character development and the increase in interaction between our two main characters, Han and Raisa.

In the beginning of the series, Raisa was nothing special to me. She was a lovestruck princess forbiddingly pining over her childhood friend turned Corporal. She was lost in the group of the many average, mediocre heroines I've read about that weren't really worthy of remembering. But come The Exiled Queen, Raisa really started to turn around. The snoozefest of a romance between Amon and Raisa also finally started to die down. Then when we get to The Gray Wolf Throne, Raisa completely surprised me. She has turned out to be quite the badass queen! Her character has evolved so much since The Demon King and has proved to be the rightful heroine that she should've been from the very beginning.

Oh and can we take a second to appreciate how great Han's character just is since The Demon King? He just gets better and better with each installment. Han always has me swooning in ever scene he's in and he doesn't even have to try.

Since the beginning, I've been desperately hoping for more Han and Raisa scenes. We get little to no interaction in The Demon King. We get a whole lot more chapters in The Exiled Queen but they were still separated for the first half of the book. Finally, we get to see them interacting for majority of The Gray Wolf Throne, and I couldn't be more happier. My shipping heart was dancing and doing flips and tumbles from the amount of Han/Raisa interaction we got in this book. I NEED MORE.

Overall, The Gray Wolf Throne was probably my least favorite of the series so far. It just suffered a bit of middle book syndrome and nothing exciting happened besides a few chapters here and there. I still enjoyed reading the book and I could tell that we are in for a wild ride in The Crimson Crown. Hopefully the finale will be much more exciting than The Gray Wolf Throne.
Profile Image for Nicole.
749 reviews1,932 followers
October 3, 2021
Why isn't this series getting more spotlight? It's been released years ago, yet I rarely see it around. It's high-quality entertainment. I wouldn't say it's an all-time favorite but it did manage to get 4 stars for every book so far. It also got better with each.

This will be a spoiler-free review.

This one started slow especially since we had a lot of traveling in the beginning but worry not, soon someone gets stabbed and then I couldn't put the book down. What's surprising about this book is that there was no climax scene. I was waiting for something big to happen (you know the typical 10-20% of any book but nothing shocking did). I honestly didn't mind that because it's not like there was a build-up for something that never happened. No, events were unfolding throughout the book and always new things came up.

As for the characters, you can't help but like them. Han and Raisa are smart and hardworking. They're brave and aren't like your usual YA fantasy teens. They have the maturity teenagers can display and are willing to work hard to get do what's needed. Another thing I love about this book is that the side characters have personalities! In most cases, they are just names that help the plot move along but in this series, I can't help caring about them and their plot arc. I'm also very interested in Micah's role in the last book. I wish we had more Han chapters but I also understand, in this particular book, Raise needed more. I really need to stress how sassy, charming, and just plain awesome he was in this book. He truly shone with his cunning mind.

The world-building was also very well done in this book and Chima spent just the write time on the seven realm politics, can't wait to see how they'll all play out in Crimson Crown! The writing was also smooth with just the right amount of description (I don't like lengthy descriptions). I'd say it's a YA high fantasy because of all the political intrigue but also magic and well-developed world-building. On the other hand, it's still YA because it's not that complex and the main actors are teens + you know, has the YA vibes.

Overall, this is a very fun series with solid plot, great world-building, and characters you can't help but root for. I'm very much looking forward to reading the last installment, which I have no doubt, will be epic. Also, if you're looking for good YA fantasy, you need to read this one. You'll have a great time spending time with those characters and reading their story. Keep in mind, it won't be WOW but sometimes, all we need is to be entertained. And the Seven Realms excelled at that.

Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
261 reviews4,943 followers
June 5, 2017
4.5 Stars. Can we just sit here for a moment and appreciate the level of detail and artistry put into this series? This series has rattled its way into my favorites list. It is nothing short of epic.

This book picks up exactly where book 2 left off. Raisa is running for her life, and you guessed it... Han is racing after Raisa. Pretty much the entire first quarter of this book feels like a race. Even my heart was pounding. This book felt much more action packed than the previous two - without the slowwww first half.

I don't want to spoil much more of the plot.. but I just want to express my love for not only the characters, not only the AMAZING world building, but the level of depth in the politics between the countries, clans, and wizard houses.

I do what to quickly touch on my feelings for the characters because.. ugh. I just have to.

His character development, determination, loyalty... UGH. I love everything about him.

She's grown up. She acts so much older than her age... and I can't help but absolutely adore her to pieces. Talk about a woman worthy of being queen.

Talk about sacrificial. I...ugh. I can't. Too raw.

Despite all his seemingly selfish actions... I just can't help but feel like there is a good guy in there somewhere. So whatever... I love him. Still. After everything.

For those of you racing through this series like me- expect a pleasant surprise of jam packed action and SERIOUS feels in this book.

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
849 reviews3,877 followers
February 15, 2021

Edit 03/12 : More I think about this third book (and trust me, it's in my mind A LOT), more I wonder why I didn't rounded up to 5. Done now - The Gray Wolf Throne and The Crimson Crown were fabulous in their own way and entered my favorites all the same. So 5 stars it is.

"Byrne, we need to do a better job of protecting the queen," he said. "Before we know it, she'll be showing off old battle scars to her ladies whenever she's in her cups. It won't help our reputations any."

4.5 stars . See? I knew that would come a day I'd admire Raisa. You show them, bloody princess. Watch out, everyone, because this girl ain't no figurehead. I won't mention Han's amazing self (almost) (my fingers are twichtching, trust me), otherwise I would never stop rambling and contrary to popular beliefs, I do sleep.



"I look forward to it," Han said, displaying his streetlord smile. He tried to ignore the voice in his head - the one that said, Kill him now, Alister. Kill him now before he tries again."

Of course my lips are sealed because *SPOILERS*, but just know that our characters don't do dwelling on self-pity. They choose to keep going, to understand the other one without spending pages and pages moping and distrusting. This is so fucking refreshing, I swear. I love them with all my heart.


(except Han but that's only because he's not giving me any choice) (really) (that boy is wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL!)

These books keep getting better and better, and really, I wonder why I still feel astonished at the FEELS FEST that was The Gray Wolf Throne with all the heartbreak, political schemes, and a slow-burn romance that's driving me INSANE in the best way possible. I honestly don't know if the plot is more focused on the romance or if I am starving for more and building it up in my head, but I think that's the latter.

Still predictable and tropey?
Perhaps, I still don't give a damn one way or another.
Now, this is rare.

I should have known better. Watch me, showing no restraint and binge-reading them one after another. My my. I need a plan after book 4.

Real review to come. Maybe. Someday. Don't hold your breath, though.

PS. The wolf in my pict was taken here.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
614 reviews765 followers
April 22, 2018

This series is too fucking fantastic. I can’t... this is just too much!

I rarely RARELY ever read a book where I don’t come out the other end complaining about one thing or another. However much I love the book there’s always something that I’m let down by.
This is, by no means, the case here. By far, it is not!

Where do I begin? And why am I not giving this 5 starts?
I loved everything! The plot. The world. The political intricacies. My adorable, incredible characters. EVERYTHING!

Profile Image for Caitlin.
339 reviews698 followers
March 26, 2017
"Its unfortunate when so many people are trying to kill you that you can't sort them out."

I love these books. I love this series. I'm 200000% not ready to finish this series and leave these characters behind. I'm semi torn as to how to rate this book. This book was crazy intense and a lot happened in it but also a lot didn't happen. There were so many twists and shocking revelations, but plot wise there wasn't AS much happening in this book as there was in book 2.

Han and Raisa are phenomenal characters and I adore them both. Originally I struggled to love Han but damn that has changed so much. I love both characters equally and I fly through their chapters because of how hooked I am to this story and these characters and their journey. Also this ship needs to get back together ASAP or else I may cry.

I would love to see more of Amon in the next book because he seems to have really taken a back seat now. I just want more of him because I really like his character, however I do understand why he isn't as central anymore. I'm loving seeing more of Dancer I'm still iffy on the Bayars. I hate Gavan and Fiona is so messed up, but I WANT to like Micah. He's making it so damn hard to like him and I honestly want to stab him in the throat half the time so he'd just SHUT UP. Also whoever Nightwalker is, he needs to go die too because he's pissing me off. You aren't entitled to Raisa, please go die. We also find out that Crow is and let me tell you I didn't see that coming. I kinda thought maybe it was possible but honestly I had no idea who he was going to be. He's definitely adding an interesting dynamic to the story and adding way more drama.

I've given up on this review because I just want to go back to reading the last book in this series. So to sum up: basically everything in this book is going to shit since Raisa is now Queen and everyone wants to kill her and Han. Everyone is screwed. Bye

Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,981 followers
June 14, 2013
"Nearly all my life I've taken what I wanted, when I wanted it, with no thought for the future, since I wasn't likely to have one. Do you know how hard this is for me? Do you?"

4.5 stars Dear lord...the feels, the feels! The goodness train keeps rolling. Lives are at stake. Love is at stake. There's danger, magic and intrigue aplenty!

There are no dragons though. Ah well.

I still don't know what to say about fantasy books or how to sell them. If you don't read fantasy, you're really missing out (boo to the real world all of the time!), especially when gems like Seven Realms come along. This series explains many of the reasons why I like fantasy, especially when it's done right.

In fact, I don't even know if I can find one thing to complain about. Well...maybe one thing. The first 20% was ridiculously slow and I thought I'd stumbled into first book syndrome for a minute. I'll just chalk it up to the author laying groundwork for what was to come because when stuff started happening - hoo boy. Yes, I said it. HOO BOY.

Raisa's braver than I am. I would have stayed in hiding. After all, there were lots of boogeymen lurking in the shadows. I don't know if I would be able to sleep if I were her. What's that? Arrows flying at my head? Yeah...I'll pass. Thanks.

Everyone says the final book (number 4) is phenomenal and the best of the series, which means I'm super excited to read it. Unfortunately, I have to wait until July to use it for a challenge. *angry face*

Until that time comes, I'll leave you with a Han moment...
'She's tough for a blueblood,' he'd thought a lifetime ago. 'Maybe tough enough to be with me.' He hadn't considered that he might not be tough enough to be with her.

Love. Love. Love. Why does fantasy turn me into an incoherent child who forgets how to review? I guess we'll never know because I have yet to figure out how to do this.

*exits stage right*

*realizes she went the wrong way and turns around to exit on the proper side*
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,534 reviews9,935 followers
November 19, 2015


I loved this book, I love this series! It just keeps getting better! Yay! I know the last book is going to be awesome too, although I dread what might happen!

So Raisa is out on her own waiting for when it's safe to come back home. One of the jerks is killing people left and right, she has assassins looking to kill her and other people so she needs to stay in hiding. She is worried about Han and Amon.

One day someone does come and finds her at an inn. I'm not going to say who because it doesn't end well for them and it was really sad :(

Raisa can see images of wolves who are the queens who came before her. Sometimes, they give her messages but it's always right before something bad happens and they can't tell her everything. It's one of those... just tell me times!!!!

She is in the woods at one point in time and she is talking to a wolf and I just love it, if you have been reading the series you will understand this quote from the book:


Raisa stared at her. "Who are you?" she whispered.
"I am Hanalea ana'Maria, who shattered the world."
"But..." As Raisa groped for words. Hanalea bowed her head and turned away. She broke into a lope, ears back, tail streaming behind her, disappearing into the shadows under the trees.




There are many characters in this book that were in the other books. Some don't make it and some who deserve not to make it ... didn't :)

I love Han and I was really sad when he was upset finding out who Raisa really was.. but... he got over it :) We shall have to see where that will lead or not lead in the next book!

The entrance Raisa and Han made into the kingdom was so freaking classic! I loved it. I wish I could give out spoiler but I just can't, just know I got chills when they and some of the warriors arrived and the look on the jerks faces that wanted her dead!!!!!!!!!!!!! And some of the hell Raisa gave to some people is just magnificent! I had a few choice other words for that moment, but I won't share those here. LOL!

But let me leave you with some parting words from the book:


Jemson lifted the ornate Gray Wolf crown from its velvet cushion, raising it high. "By the authority vested in me as Speaker of the Cathedral Temple of the City of Light, I crown you, Raisa ana'Marianna, Queen of the Fells, thirty-third in the new line."
And he settled the crown on her head.

On the dais, the Gray Wolf queens bowed their heads in acknowledgement of their new sister queen, and dissipated like vapors.



Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,184 followers
June 9, 2016
Another that may be more like a 4.5/5 stars

Starts off heartbreaking, but faded toward the end for me. I kept waiting for something bad to happen but I know it's coming next book!
Still loving these characters. I just love Raisa so freAKING MUCH GUYS. Team Raisa forever.
I mean everyone else is okay but RAISA.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,594 followers
June 3, 2023
Second read, I am a lot older and have read a lot more books since the first time I encountered this series. I still love it , but if I was rating it today, I would have gone with 4.25 ... I would still recommend it wholeheartedly, especially to younger readers! It is a perfect way to get into the Fantasy genre!👍❤️🙂

*** 4.75 ***

A buddy read with the biggest Fantasy enthusiast at BB&B!!!

I am the luckiest Fantasy reader in the world!!! Why??? Because since the beginning of the year I have been blessed with being introduced to some of the most amazingly talented authors and have had the privilege to read those already exceptional artists most exceptional contributions to my favorite genre!!! The book fairies have decided to be good to me this year, maybe feeling sorry for my none existent Real Life, and have made it possible for me not only to be able to afford said treasures, but with the help of my good friends on GR I get to widen my horizons and have buddies to discuss them with in buddy reads sent from the Stars for our pleasure!!! :-)

Another book in this series, another almost full 5 star rating!!! I am already in love with the world, characters, and magic in the series, and I keep on walking into their steps in order to see how are "we" going to untangle the whole clusterfuck of a situation we have here... I think I plan on stalking Han, Raise, Dancer and Cat until the author decides to stop torturing us, or no one is left standing... I just hope we get a good outcome at the end - will be satisfied with that, if a Happily Ever After is not possible...

So, this volume was full of action, hope, tears, and quite a few good and bad guys found their end..... Raise is growing, Han is starting to actually think, and Dancer is coming to terms with his origins despite the dark feelings all harbour about them... Raisa's grandma is driving me mad, the radical stands of the tribes and wizards insight me to unspeakable violence, and budding love is in the air... But overall things are still quite Grimm....

I recommend this series (to read in order), to all classic, epic fantasy lovers of all ages!!! It is worth the time and it has become a favorite of mine!!!

Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you be blessed with many good books!!!
Profile Image for Jessica.
264 reviews3,539 followers
January 16, 2016
Wow. This book was awesome. I read all 517pages in just 2 days...
In a way, I was sad for Han and Raisa to have to leave Oden's Ford... but I knew they would have to go back eventually. I really liked all of the character development since the start of this series.. I think it was done very well and it was very believable!

I just love Han! It's so strange to see him fitting in so well living in the palace though... Well, of course he's still making enemies.
I love that the first half of this book, is all of our favorite characters trying to get Raisa back home safely. I was a little surprised that nothing really bad happened when she showed up for her mother's memorial though. I know she got shot after, but she was wearing armor so it turned out okay.
I'm just surprised the Bayars haven't done more. I kept thinking that she WOULDN'T get crowned by the end of the book and that we would have to wait until the 4th. I feel like she's learned so much and is going to be an amazing Queen!

I'm really excited to see what happens with her and Han, what happens with Crow, what (hopefully terrible) fate Lord Bayer will end up with... I'm also curious as to who is really killing all of the wizards in the streets and taking their amulets?
Can't wait to finish this series!
March 23, 2016

I have lost everything. Then he corrected himself. Every time I think I've lost everything, I find there's still something else to lose.

Here's the thing: I adore this series. I adore Han. I adore Raisa. I adore Amon and Dancer and Cat. I adore the subtle action and almost too perfect to be true romance. I adore the writing, the humor, the wit, and the friendships...but most of all, I adore how it makes me feel. As a reader, I've evolved in ways I never imagined possible. At one time, I would read a book and just be excited about the smallest things. Intense feels were not hard to come by a couple years ago. But now, at this stage of my reading life, I have pinpointed those small things that made me smile a little larger, obsess a little harder, lose my breath in the most shocking way...and I have almost, in a weird way, became a professional of finding what makes me tick. And, to be clear, if it isn't obvious yet: This series is what makes me tick.

He could protect himself-and if he failed, well, he'd been ready to pay the personal price for failure all his life. But how could he keep Raisa alive when so many enemies seemed bent on killing her? How could he become powerful enough to make a claim on her-to make her take him seriously as a suitor? How could he convince her to see him as a peer-someone who could partner with her in every way?

It's not only the writing or forbidden romance or peril to come. It's not always about a well-written story. I know I always say that's what makes me choose to read or not to read, but it's so much more than that. I mean, come on, if something can make me a crazy obsessive loon for a week (or the rest of my life, for that matter) then it surely is worth overlooking a few flaws, here and there. I mean-that's life. Everyone is flawed, believe it or not. Yeah, sure, I'd love to read the perfect book at the perfect time with every little thing happening just as I'd want it to all the time. But then I think-Chelsea, that's so GD short-sighted. You are compartmentalizing. You aren't opening up your mind and letting new things touch you in new ways. So, fantasy is my way of letting go, letting an author take me somewhere I could never fathom on my own..but this series is damn close to everything I could ever want in a story. Eerie when you just let things go and they are everything you could want.

She didn't know how long he'd been there staring at her, but it seemed to take him by surprise when she looked up and caught him. His usual street face was gone. In its place was a wistful vulnerability, a kind of feverish and hopeless desire.
Magret had said he had a hungry look about him. Was that what she'd meant? And what exactly was he hungry for?

It's no secret that the male lead in this story is the underlying factor as to why I am pushing through this series so quickly. I'll admit it: This young thief, ex-streetlord, wizard, etc. has stolen a piece of my heart. And the craziest thing is, he's not even reached his full potential yet. I mean, book one is my favorite so far, and he barely even shined (apparently)! I don't know-there is just something appealing about being pulled in when you didn't expect to be. The unexpected gives you so much more than knowing every little thing that might happen. So, when my tummy did a little flip flop when we first met Han in the beginning.....I knew I was going to be a forever fan of this series.

He threw his head back, the column of his throat jumping as he swallowed. Drawing a deep shuddering breath, he looked down at her again.
"Nearly all my life I've taken what I wanted, when I wanted it, with no thought for the future, since I wasn't likely to have one," Han said. "Do you know how hard this is for me? Do you?"

I didn't say much about the book because I don't feel like I should. For those that have read the series (Cough, Snake, cough) you already know what happens, so why recap? And for those who haven't, you won't be reading my review, most likely, anyway. So, who cares? My problem is exactly what I said below: I am forever cast out of this world by real life and demands that come at me daily from all sides of the annoying spectrum-Work, home-life (well, this isn't annoying, but reading Chelsea has no such qualms in saying so), and various activities I'd rather not have to deal with. They exist even as I do, suspended in a moment of time where I continually have to close the book and come back to reality. I can't wait to finish the final book this weekend...but waiting until then JUST might kill me. Sigh.

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Ahhhh I'm finally into that territory where my stomach is in ceaseless knots and my heart is consistently going into overdrive. The butterflies are abundant as love, loss, betrayal, and heartbreak grip at our two main characters, Han and Raisa, making me a happy happy Chelsea. I am already on book four and I am so mad I have to be at work while Raisa and Han exist in another world, going about their lives, living in a perilous existence I can't be a part of while I sit here stranded in reality.

I hope to write a better review for this-quotes and all-hopefully tonight. But who cares, anyway...it will just be rambling fangirling anyway. lol.

Profile Image for Ann (annreads).
243 reviews311 followers
March 12, 2017
“I have lost everything, Han thought. Then he corrected himself. Every time I think I’ve lost everything, I find there’s still something else to lose.”

Let just say that this freaking book was everything I wanted in life and I couldn't be more happy about it!! I'm so in love with the story and this characters, I think I could literally read a million books about their adventures and I'd never get enough of them!
Now I'm super excited to read the last book, even though I don't think I'm emotionally ready! *THE FEELS MAN*

Honestly, this has become one of my all time favorite series ever and I HIGHLY recommend that guys read it because it's absolutely FANTASTIC!❤️

Profile Image for Sab H. (YA Bliss).
292 reviews98 followers
September 2, 2011
Rich, sexy, layered, enchanting, riveting and enthralling. I don't know how much more I can say about this series that wont be repetitive from my first two reviews. What I can say for sure is that rarely has any author achieved such excellence in high fantasy for young adults. Actually YA high fantasy is rare, and rich fantabulous world-building with three-dimentional fully-developed characters is even more rare. So this book and the rest of the series are truly a gem in their kind.

Cinda Chima is one heck of an author. She just makes this story better with surprises and twists everywhere. The writing always blows my mind and the fact that she manages to have astonishing writing, magical storytelling and a gripping plot in every single book is beyond amazing. Every character is unique. I love Han like a crazy person. Every scene is so powerful, so full of images, that it's hard to remember you are not there with them.

I stated when I first read this back in March that feel unqualified to write this review, because I feel so stubbornly biased. My passionate yearning for this book and my bleeding love for the story has made it so I cannot possibly find any wrongs in it. And that is true and will be true for the last book as well. So instead of raving some more I will tell you that if you want excellence you should read this. If you like Game of Thrones or books (or Tv shows) of the kind, you should read this. If you enjoy romances and royalty, you should read this. And if you don't read this, man, you'll be missing SO MUCH.
Profile Image for Katrina♡••.
405 reviews68 followers
July 5, 2016
I am almost finished with this series and I am heartbroken: ( I want more books!!!
So some of the images coming to my head while reading. FRTC




4.75* it is by far the best book so far! I did not like book 2 as much but this one really got down to business ( at some point I even had to fan myself)

Crow reminds me of

Feelings and moods going into this book...


Profile Image for Cori Reed.
1,135 reviews377 followers
June 29, 2018
Not AS good as the second book, but still phenomenal. If you love fantasy that features a lot of court politics this series is perfection.
Profile Image for Taylor of Alethkar ❦.
285 reviews78 followers
August 13, 2016
4.5 stars. This was absolutely fantastic. I’ll keep this super short and relatively low spoilers because not many seem to have read these novels and I’m itching to get on to the last book already. Oh the first half of this series was great, but it just upped its game monumentally in this third novel. I can officially say that I would recommend this series. All of you reading this review I’m telling you right now read these books. I am so glad I powered through book one and went on to read the rest, especially after finishing The Gray Wolf Throne. These books are so underrated, but my high fantasy heart loves them. Honestly the Seven Realms is one of the best examples of world building I’ve ever come across. It’s so unbelievably thorough, Cinda Williams Chima deserves so much more credit for weaving something like this if not everything else. I’m a sucker for high fantasy and this was so satisfying.
I am extremely invested in these characters. I would go to war for Raisa ana’Marianna myself. She’s not without her faults of course, but she is absolutely brilliant. I love how strong willed she is, but yet so self-sacrificing at the same time. And of course Han. He’s been through a lot as well and he just keeps on fighting. I’m really getting tired of everyone assuming the worst of him. I just love these two protagonists with all my heart, but I love them together even more. The mutual pining and jealousy is both the best and worst thing. Honestly if they don’t end up together, what was the point of it all? Maybe I shouldn’t say that, this is a fantastic story regardless, but still. We’ll see.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,192 reviews2,899 followers
November 6, 2011
I think I'm just going to copy and paste my review of The Exiled Queen and use it for The Gray Wolf too! Okay, not really.... but it would work!

This series simple continues to get better and better as it goes along. I desperately need book four PRONTO! I'm glad I was able to start The Gray Wolf Throne so soon after reading The Exiled Queen. The characters and the story line were fresh in my mind, and I believe that always makes for a better reading experience. Needless to say, it doesn't always work out that way for me, but I feel a more instant connection with the characters when it does happen. I will sorely miss this characters as I wait for book four. I feel as though they've became my best friends. I've watched Raisa grow from a somewhat spoiled and entitled girl to a smart and selfless queen. I've watched Han transform from a thief into a powerful wizard. I can always use a little more Han! I love these characters, and I love this story.

This series amazes me... the intricacies of this word, I am seriously awed when I'm reading. Just the imagery and the imagination that Chima possesses. It's one of those "wow" moments. Everything in these series just comes together and works to beautifully. As I said in my review of The Exiled Queen... it's addicting!

I'll say it again... one of my most favorite fantasy series ever! And one of the best books I've read all year!
Profile Image for Donna.
1,192 reviews
November 24, 2014
Holy crap. Absolutely fantastic. Crap, crap, crap. Why crap? Because after THE DEMON KING and THE EXILED QUEEN, what do I have left to say?

The world is still as utterly fantastic as it's always been. Richly colored and full of life, Chima hasn't let it slip by as a sacrifice to the greater plot. It still plays its role magnificently, hanging out just on the edge of the background and foreground, being its own character but knowing when not to be overwhelming.

I'm all for Han and Raisa but there was a piece of me that rooted for Raisa and Amon too, despite how implausible (even more so than her and Han) the relationship was. It did end up going down the route it was destined to go down (as intoned in the second book, the Byrnes are not about to break the line any time soon, 1,000 years of history supports that). Even though it went where it was supposed to go, I couldn't help but feel a little bit sad. For as long as it was pushed off, the harsh reality could be ignored. No more and it was a bit of a hard pill to swallow. But they both swallowed it because they had to.

The mounting tension between Raisa and Han is just phenomenal. When he finds out just who Raisa is, it's heartbreaking. You want to tear through the pages and slap some sense into him but it's Han. He's far too steadfast for something like that. But they're forced together anyway (in a more professional manner) so any ill will Han does have towards Raisa he's forced to swallow it back for the greater good.

But Han's resilient. He knows full well he's being used but he flips the situation to his advantage. He finds all of the holes that would end up benefiting him while performing his duties and he takes them. He makes sure that he plugs those holes with his desires first and foremost. You can't help but be impressed by someone like that. He holds his own against the bluebloods and he deserves some respect for that.

Raisa is still infinitely awesome. After multiple attempts on her life she continues to land on her feet. Like Han, she's fully aware that she's being used by everyone around her, not to mention being underestimated constantly (bad on those doing it) but she's had enough political upbringing to view things from all sides. She doesn't make hasty decisions and knows strategy like no seventeen-year-old does. I don't feel like I'm reading about someone so young but about someone even older than me for how she holds herself. I love her more and more with every book.

And the ending? Cruel to the point of barbarism. If I'm not mistaken there's one more book in the series yet to come out. How long do I have to wait for that one???

If you haven't started reading this series yet, you really need to get on it. It's such a relatable, engaging high fantasy novel that I think even someone that isn't the biggest fan of fantasy will get pulled right into it. Sure there's magic and wizards and a whole new world but it's about the people, first and foremost. And the people are just so dynamic and intriguing that you won't want to take your eyes off of them. THE GRAY WOLF THRONE is a fantastic piece of the SEVEN REALMS puzzle. This series just keeps getting better and better. I'm going to have to create a sixth bite rating for the next one.
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews525 followers
July 29, 2016

”You are better than I expected.”
“I am always better than people expect,” Han said.

Oh come on, don’t tell me you didn’t think a little bit of that guy.

I loved this book by the way! Love love love love love.



I’m just going to madly flap here and there, over the overwhelming levels of squee, like a fish out of water.

One thing I noticed and liked about this is how each of the characters have grown in a pace that doesn’t screw with logic. Especially Raisa. I like the way how Raisa still second guesses herself, how she can still be petty and cruel in her seventeen-year old mind. It has only been a year since the events covered in The Demon King after all. This was a great study on how to develop characters believably and how to make the reader fall in love with them slowly. It is that kind of falling after all that makes these characters last in our hearts beyond the final pages and the limits of our imagination.

I am loving the new, yet underplayed dynamic between Amon and Han.
”Byrne we need to do a better job of protecting the queen,” he said. “Before we know it, she’ll be showing off old battle scars to her ladies whenever she’s in her cups. It won’t help out reputations any.”
Amon nodded without smiling. “I agree. We need to do a better job, and we will.”

The deadpan is so strong on that boy. These two should have a novella together while knitting sweaters, talking about random, domestic things while not talking about random, domestic things. And cats.

Anxiety behind the There's a political clusterfuck looming in the horizon, forcing everyone into a deliciously precarious situation. YAY! It’s such an intricate, layered web Chima managed to weave thus far. It’s insane how everyone here pretty much has personal plans, selfish stocks and hidden motives that drive me mad with speculation on what’s going to happen in the final book.

I enjoyed picking Han’s streetlord brain, how he applies his methods in protecting Raisa, furthering his plans and how I hope he ties both goals together. I’m a bit cheesed off by his current fashion choices and the whole Alger Waterlow business is too horcruxy, Tom Riddle-y for my tastes. But putting all that in perspective with the path both he and Raisa seem to be on, it stops to niggle and piles on the intrigue. Would lessons be learned? Would history repeat itself? What price will both pay?

Oh fine, I’m going to stop this pretend review and just squee relentlessly on all that Han-Raisa dialogue that was just…
”There’s something about a roof, isn’t there?” Han said. “It makes you feel like it doesn’t matter what’s going on below. All of those things that get in the way of your dreams - you’re above them. Anything is possible.”
“Anything is possible,” Raisa repeated.

As I've said... squeeing. Fish out of water style.

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Profile Image for Molly Mortensen.
441 reviews211 followers
May 15, 2018
The cliffhanger is resolved (for the most part) in the first chapter and by the second we get the answers to the last book's biggest mystery, who is the mysterious Crow? (I was completely right!) I wished we'd gotten these answers in the end of the last book!

This book took me forever! It might be the third book but it had a big case of second book syndrome. After an eventful beginning not much happened to advance the story. This really should've been a trilogy.

Raisa's back to being a cranky princess again. She even says she knows she's being unreasonable! Even when she means well she comes off abrasive. We keep being told how good she is with words but she's really not good with people.

Both our heroes have been keeping secrets and it's finally time for them to come clean. (Mostly ) Usually I like revelations but I had a feeling these were going to go badly. Han's rather unreasonable about the whole she lied to him thing. Maybe they're a good couple after all.

Chima's world building isn't the most inventive but I love her words for wizards and amulets. Usually I hate slang and Han has moments where his street slang is too strong but overall it really adds to the world. Another nice touch is that when a charmcaster/jinxfinger heals they take on their patients symptoms.

Amon gets a point of view again! (Just one chapter.) I'm so glad he's back friends with Raisa and that she realized how unfair she was to him. Not much Dancer this time but more Cat. And there's even a little of Raisa's solider friends. I wish we'd seen when they found out she's a princess!

Who died?
Profile Image for Justine.
1,155 reviews311 followers
July 31, 2018
Another excellent installment in this impressively rich young adult fantasy series.

Listening to this series on audiobook this summer with my kids (10 and 13) has been a great experience. The story is so detailed and rich, providing entertainment for all three of us. I'm quite invested at this point and looking forward to the final book, The Crimson Crown. Raisa is a strong and likeable heroine, and the former scoundrel Han continues to mature into an equally endearing male lead.

My daughter's favourite is Amon, the honourable friend and guard, and she continues to hope for an ending that will satisfy her: "I know they have other stuff to worry about, but maybe they will all end up together in a polyamorous marriage."

Can I just say how much I love that?
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
308 reviews1,450 followers
February 9, 2018
I'm so curious to see where this series is going. I have many thoughts! I need to finish this series soon so I can do an in-depth discussion. The characters are bothering me less and less as they grow as people, and each book has gotten better than the last. This is quickly becoming one of my favourites!
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
902 reviews1,810 followers
March 13, 2016
Third book in Seven Realm series and what a book it was! This book was everything what I want from a penultimate book in a series. It was intense, full of shocks and surprises, faith, sacrifice, trust and treachery.

So many small stories that author has started in previous books intertwined here and were given an astounding conclusions. But the worst thing is those conclusions are now part of a bigger and more intense plot. My imagination is running wild right now thinking about how all this is going to end. How Clans and Wizard’s Council will react to the dangerous magic which Han is capable of or how Han will be able to rein himself from turning in to evil? I just want to know answers to these. Then of course there are Micah, Amon and Dancer, our secondary characters but each is able to turn the tables.

But this book simply belongs to Raisa. It was hard for me to believe her transition from a heart broken, frail teenage to a Queen who made people to obey her with her cleverness, confidence and strong will. She still is heartbroken but never let it affect her decisions she made to keep her kingdom safe from enemies out on the border and within her own council. She knew everyone who seems a friend could be enemy and she had to be very careful. And she was mighty impressive when it was time to rule the kingdom.

Author has created such a magical world in this series that I had a difficult time coming out of this world and it was sad. I don’t know how I will survive final book.

Enjoyed every minute of reading this.
Profile Image for Victor.
277 reviews4,731 followers
February 21, 2017

AAAAAAAAAA essa série é perfeita, maravilhosa! Eu amei esse livro, assim como os outros, mas acho que foi o mais sem acontecimentos até agora, e consequentemente o mais fraco. São basicamente 400 páginas de tramas políticas e formulação de planos, com pouca ação e prática das teorias que os personagens formulam. Claramente um livro de preparação pro último da série (que espero que seja cheio de eventos e não me decepcione).
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