The Exiled Queen
(Seven Realms #2)
Published By: Hyperion Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2010
Page Count: 586 pages
Source: Novel Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult Fantasy
First off…these books are SOOOO involved and long. I have to say that each time I pick up the next book, I’m a little intimidated…as I’m used to generally much quicker reads. But I have to say that once I sink into this world, I forget all about that and enjoy getting sucked in.
The Exiled Queen continues where The Demon King left off…with our main cast of characters setting off, in separate routes, to Oden’s Ford. Oden’s Ford is like a school/university. Soldiers go there to learn to be soldiers, some go there to learn the ‘delicate’ arts, and some wizards go there to learn to perfect their craft. It’s really like a small town, but as you can guess if you read the previous book…the wizards seem to be sectioned off on their own…where there is little interaction with the rest of the community.
Mild spoilers from the previous book will be hard to avoid to be forewarned.
So, Raisa and Amon, and their triple are heading to Oden’s Ford, partly to escape the long reach of the Bayars and Raisa’s intended marriage to Micah. The arranged marriage is purely for political reasons, so that the wizards have the power they feel due them. Even though Raisa did have some feelings for Micah…she rebelled at the thought of being forced into something she felt was both dangerous and just wrong. Their journey to Oden’s Ford is not an easy one, and there was a lot of discovery along the way. I will say that I’m glad that the entire book was not about their journey, however.
Han and Dancer have also made their way to Oden’s Ford, and their route was not without some adventures themselves. Trouble always seems to find Han no matter what…but in the end…he and Dancer got to their destination in one piece.
I so enjoyed the character development in this book. I really feel I know the characters a lot better…especially Raisa and Han. Raisa is brave and smart and an awesome heroine. She stands by her convictions, but we also have to remember she is young…16/17…and she still wants to enjoy her youth as well. But she never strays far from her responsibilities. She feels everyone else’s plights right to her core. I KNOW she will be an excellent leader one day…and that is the part of the story I am most looking forward to…when she comes into her role and fulfills her destiny.
Han has accepted his fate as well…and as such, finds himself, in this story, being pulled in several directions. The war between him and the Bayars is heating up, with revenge for the losses he suffered at the forefront…initially. That is…until he reunites with ‘Rebecca’.
I think I verbalized the word, FINALLY, when they realized they were in the same locale. But what I found really unique in this story is that their relationship is not being rushed along. They spend time together and you can magically see how they are falling for each other. Their love story is not all hot, steamy and sexy…and rushed…even though there is a fair amount of kissing. It’s just an honest and believable love story that I think will eventually be cemented as the story unfolds.
Once again, the author paints pictures with her words...all the different locations our characters found themselves in were pretty vividly painted in my mind. I love that.
And just as things were humming along…and they were all finding their groove in Oden’s Ford…BOOM…all hell breaks loose. Of course, this all happens in the last quarter of the book. However, the lead up is not boring. What I have found with this story is that it requires patience. I guess I’ve read quite a lot of YA stories where things just truck along at a fast pace, and boom, the couple is epically in love with very little development. This is not the case with this story. So pack your patience and just enjoy the ride, like I am doing!
My review for The Demon King can be found here.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.
Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.