A QUARTET of BOOKS
for reading on chilly nights
by Kitty Griffin
Take a beautiful, stubborn Princess.
Give her two suitors.
One a devilishly handsome young magician,
The other a magically handsome young devil
Shake it up.
Add one adventure tumbling into another scattering all the pieces again and again
As they reassemble
And the young devil becomes a handsome wizard
And the young wizard turns to deviltry
That is the Seven Realms Quartet written by Cinda Williams Chima
Told from two points of view, (occasionally adding in others) the story begins with the street lord, Cuffs Alister, who has left his home of Ragmarket to go up into the hills to go hunting with his friend, Dancer. There they discover three underage wizards using magical fire to help enhance the Queen’s own hunting adventure.
In the heated exchange that follows, Alister ends up with a flash piece, a magical amulet that will become the key to a long forgotten puzzle.
Weaving back and forth, the reader is taken from the Castle of Fellsmarch and the trials of Princess Raisa, with the trials of Han Alister, or Cuffs as he’s known. For he wears a silver band on each arm, bands that have been on his arm since he was a young child. Bands that won’t come off. Bands that mark this feisty young man who has given up ruling the streets of Ragmarket so that he can work several odd jobs in order to support Mam and his little sister, Mary.
Just as the author weaves back and forth with the two characters, the Seven Realms of the story also weave. For there is the Demonai Camp, the camp of the fierce warriors who are pledged to kill wizards. The clans people with their bronze-colored skin are a quiet people living in the hills. There are the Wizards, kept under control by the amulets they must get from the talented clan craftsmen. Anxious to be set free of this binding, dark wizards keep trying to find ways around the restrictions. There are other Kings anxious to marry Raisa to gain dominion over her country.
Everywhere the reader looks there is danger waiting, for Raisa’s mother appears to be a weak queen. Is she under the influence of the dreadful Gavin Bayar?
Who will Raisa chose? For she obviously loves the son of the Captain of the Queen’s Guard, Amon Byrne. Oh, he’s a handsome, strong young man with powerful arms she could easily fall into.
Will she fall for Micah Bayar’s charms? Are those real or conjured charms?
In the background pads Demoni warrior, Ried Nightwalker, a stern, handsome man who captivates many ladies of the court.
This is the joy of this series. The tension remains taut throughout. The characters are desperate, but more importantly, you want them to win. They are more than likable, they are alive.
I listened to all three books and didn’t tire. The reader, Carol Monda, has a very distinct voice, pleasant to listen to.
After finishing the three books I started asking around and lo and behold, a number of my friends have read the series and they agree, a well-done, enjoyable fantasy.
This series is suitable for ages 9 to whoever enjoys well written fantasy!
Book One: The Demon King
Book Two: The Exiled Queen
Book Three: The Gray Wolf Throne
Book Four: The Crimson Crown