The Seven Realms is a world full of fantasy and Intrigue. The story will follow two significant monarchies; The Queendom of the Fells and Kingdom Arden. Once the Queens of the Fells ruled all seven realms filled with magical people. This series is going to follow a cast of characters but the main storylines follow Han Alister and Risa, the princess heir of the Queendom.
In the Fells, the queen rules the land but has close ties to the clans, who retain a certain amount of autonomy. Members of the clan play a significant role in the lives of our two main characters. Han is a tough young man who will do whatever it takes to scape out a living in Fellsmarch. When you are poor there are not many choices. But at least he has his good friend Dancer and can escape to the home of his clan friend from time to time.
As the series begins, Han is in the mountains with Dancer when some young, rich, wizards have set fire to part of the mountain. Han and Dancer confront these arrogant aristocrats and stop the fire. During the confrontation Han takes Micha’s amulet from him to keep him from using it to cause more trouble. I bet you have guessed that this confrontation has made both young men dislike each other. This relationship will be a consistent plot point throughout all four books.
Risa is the princess of Fells but has spent the last few years living with her clan family and friends, to include Dancer. She loves to be away from the pressure of court life but the time has come to step into her role as heir and start to learn what it means to be Queen. Part of being Queen is accepting a political marriage, but can Risa do this? Can she form a political alliance with the Prince of Arden, who is by all accounts a monster?
At the beginning of the series the reader will experience the story of Han and Risa as separate but concurrent storylines. However, as the books move forward, they meet and begin their adventures together.
When Han and Risa first meet it is at Odens Ford, a school that is roughly equivalent college. But Risa is not there as the princess of the Fells, she is there incognito with a small but loyal guard. I don’t want to spoil the books by telling you how the characters ended up at school. Just know that they do and Han thinks his new friend Rebecca is like any other student at the school.
Han is not a fan of the royal family, to his mind they our out of touch. How can they throw parties and have all the nice things in the world while there are so many poor, struggling people in Fells? Eventually, Han will discover his good friend Rebecca is in fact the princess. When she offers him a place on the Wizard Council, where he can make a difference, can Han overcome his prejudice enough to take it?
The Seven Realms series weaves in many stories and adventures for any reader to enjoy. We have the mystery of Han, the political intrigue of the Arden Kingdom trying to take over the north, but there are also the political machinations of the Wizards. If there cannot be a King in the north, then at least the Queen should be married to a wizard.
It is a bit complex to write about this series without giving too much away. So, let me say this, this series is a page turner. I first discovered Cinda Williams Chima with her book Flamecaster and loved her rich and detailed world so much that I was sad it was going to be about a year for another book. Then I discovered the first series and read them back to back. It was so much fun and adventure. As mentioned in another post, this series adds context to the follow on but each stands alone. If you want to get lost in a wonderful world of magic, intrigue, and dynamic relationships then read The Seven Realms followed by The Shattered Realms. It will be eight books of fun.