Friday, September 16, 2016

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

I've come quite late to The Demon King party, but I'm glad I did finally get here.  I enjoyed it.

The Demon King is the story of Han Alister, newly 16, reformed leader of a street gang and sometimes foster son on a clan as well as of Raisa ana'Marianna, about to be 16 (of age) when she'll be officially named as heir to the throne.  Raisa has also spent time with the clans, who feature prominently in the story.  Han is struggling to support his mom and sister and has few prospects, having given up on being in a gang to keep his sister away from the life.  When he and his clan friend encounter a wizard teen in clan territory, taking from him a wizard amulet, a chain of events start during which he'll meet Raisa (although he doesn't know it) and learn more about who he is.  (Which, by the way, I was asking myself all along, which I suppose we were supposed to, but I wondered why he'd never asked himself before why he was fostered with the clan.  It's not like everyone is.)  Meanwhile, Raisa is chafing under the increasingly strange dictates of her mother and court life after her relative freedom with the clan. 

I liked the story and found The Demon King very readable.  I did have some issues.  I thought Raisa was surprisingly naive for having spent time with the clan where she wasn't so protected.  I think Cinda was trying to make her seem her age and, perhaps that is the thought process of a 15/16 year old girl, but her lack of ability to figure out some of the things happening around her was a little frustrating to me.  Also, it felt at times that the plot was a little slow.  And there was the whole how could Han not think there was something special about him what with these silver cuffs that won't come off that he's had sense he was a baby and the whole clan fostering thing?  Those things kept me from ranking this higher than I might have given how readable this book was for me.  While I'm not feeling strongly compelled to start the next book, I'm interested enough that I will get it and give it a go.

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