Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Thoughts on The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

This one is probably my least favorite in the Seven Realms series, quite a disappointment since the last one. The ending was not as dramatic as I expected from a four book build up, and a lot seemed to be left unresolved or unsatisfied.


Series: The Seven Realms, Book 4 (final book)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure

Rating: 4 stars


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.



This one is probably my least favorite in the Seven Realms series, quite a disappointment since the last one. The ending was not as dramatic as I expected from a four book build up, and a lot seemed to be left unresolved or unsatisfied. It is hard however to review just this book without any major spoilers. So instead I want to talk about the series as a whole (minor spoilers for people who haven’t read any books in the series or my previous reviews).

The characters in this series are extremely vivid. They all feel alive from the start, with a few exceptions. First, Fire Dancer does not seem well-developed until maybe the second book. This may be because he doesn’t play as large a part in the first, but I still found a large improvement in the realness of his character in The Exiled Queen. Second, Raisa’s abilities and interests don’t seem very consistent. You first meet her in the palace, where she seems to fit right in to the court life of parties and courtship. But then you learn that she spent time in a clan camp riding horses and shooting arrows, and later in book two she goes to train as a soldier at Oden’s Ford. Neither of these things feel like they fit her character at the beginning.

Another thing I am disappointed in (to get it out of the way) was the lack of Amon Byrne in the last two books. He is barely present at all, and Raisa, although she claims to still love him in her own way, seems to almost forget about him at times. Although I knew they could never be together, his presence was still sorely missed.

The plot is almost at Harry Potter level (but without the hidden Latin symbols as far as I am aware). The relationships feel real, even if they are all very different. The author takes life seriously and understands that the first handsome boy you ever meet will not necessarily become your husband the following week.

Again, I would recommend this book to lovers of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce, and any High Fantasy or Adventure.

This is definitely not the last time I will read this series. It has certainly earned its place along with many others on my list of favorite series.


2 comments on “Gwen’s Thoughts on The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

  1. classybooksxo
    July 8, 2014

    This is one of my favorite series’. I’ve read it twice already and will probably read it again in the future. Great reviews. :)

    • gwenkate
      July 8, 2014

      Thank you! And yes, clearly I loved it too! I see you liked the Graceling series as well — we have a similar taste in books :-)

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , .
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