The Crimson Crown completes Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series in a wonderful, outstanding fashion that makes the reader not only appreciate the book by itself, but the series overall. Queen Raisa and Han Alister, friends and both distant descendants of the infamous Demon King and legendary warrior queen Hanalea, try to bring together the peoples of the Fells in their own ways. Raisa uses politics and her authority as Queen while Han uses his street smarts in an attempt to outmaneuver schemes of several Wizards, however both find themselves stymied or unintentionally ruining the other’s plans. Then the mysterious deaths of Wizards on Han’s home turf and everything points to him, things start getting really difficult.
As Han attempts to keep his promise to the Clans, gain his revenge on the Bayars, and attempt to win Raisa’s hand in marriage he continues to consult his magical mentor Crow, his ancestor Alger Waterlow and infamous Demon King, to learn his secrets and later the true events of a 1,000 years before. Even with all his plans falling apart, Han discovers the lost Armory of the Gifted Kings, only to fall into the hands of the Bayars just afterwards at the same time Fells is betrayed and invaded by Arden. Literally things go from bad to worse for both Raisa and Han, it looks like there will be no happy ending.
However, it was then that Chima showed her talent as a writer as she crafted a believable series of events that resolved the various storylines set up not only in the first half of the book but in the previous three books to a satisfying conclusion not only to the book but the series as well. Not everyone the reader has met survives, not many “villains” get redeemed or die, betrayal by friends or family occur that result in either deaths or lose of trust, and the external enemies are still a threat. It is because the Seven Realms series doesn’t end like a fairy tale that makes this book so outstanding, its about how two individuals from different backgrounds were able to confront a 1,000 years of history to be together and start changing their homeland in a lifetime of work.
If you like good fantasy, or good storytelling, or good characters, or all three(!); I recommend this series to readers of all ages.