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The Demon King (Seven Realms #1)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  38,855 Ratings  ·  3,153 Reviews
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, c
Hardcover, 506 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Hyperion Books
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Milo Pringiers I don't see how people can categorize books for females or males i mean we all have different interests. Its a book with a dash of suspense, a…moreI don't see how people can categorize books for females or males i mean we all have different interests. Its a book with a dash of suspense, a sprinkle of romance but a ton of adventure. It doesn't depend on the Gender but more to what are your interests.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eric Allen
Jul 08, 2012 Eric Allen rated it did not like it
The Demon King

By Cinda Williams Chima

A Review by Eric Allen

Before I begin, I must say that I was not able to finish this book. I only got four chapters in before I couldn't take it anymore. This book fails on every level possible and imaginable. Let me count the ways. No Hook. No plot. No tension. No conflict. No compelling characters or events. No protagonist. No antagonist. No emotion. No color. No life. No story. No desire to read ANY further. No refunds? ...DAMMIT!!! My dislike for the book
Oct 27, 2009 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Three words; fa, reaking, awesome!

Now I remember why I love fantasy so much! Especially a kick-butt high fantasy like this one.

Chima has masterfully created an intriguing world, with a cast full of memorable characters.

The chapters somewhat alternate between Han and Raisa. Divulging the depth of each character and the world around them, presented in their own P.O.V. I love when authors do this. I like that connection you get when the story is presented in this format. I am emotionally invested i
Apr 27, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
THE DEMON KING was a perfect maelstrom of practically everything I love in a book. Court intrigue, captivating characters, intricate plotting, enticing romances, and brilliant world building coalesce to deliver the best high fantasy story EVER.

The characters in Chima's story are extremely well developed; each had their own unique personality that distinguished him or her as an individual entity, subsequently allowing me to easily love or hate them. In the case of Han Alister- LOVE. Han is a ref
Jessica (priceiswong)
Jan 15, 2016 Jessica (priceiswong) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own
WOW. Definitely adding this to my favorites list.
I'm mad at myself for waiting so long to read this...
If you love fantasy... READ THIS.
Cait Grace
Oh wow...oh wow oh wow oh wow. CAN I CONFESS THAT THIS IS MY NEW FAVOURITE FANTASY OF EVER!?!??! Because I am confessing. This is not a drill peoples. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. It has everything I want and love in an epic fantasy. Seriously the whole time I was just sitting there gasping, "WAS THIS BOOK WRITTEN FOR ME?!!? OMG?!?!?"

Epic Things This Book Has That Makes My Small Heart Pleased:
• It has a Matriarchy and a Queendom. YES THAT'S RIGHT FOLKS. WOMEN RULE. (Although there still is puzzling sex
Feb 07, 2016 Lexie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Wizards, street rats, warriors, and aspiring Overlords
Recommended to Lexie by: Cait Grace
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2016
Reviewed at The Honest Bookclub.


Han Alister:
• a drifter and a grifter
• a life of perpetual uncertainty
• a home he can't visit and a foster camp he can't call home.

Raisa ana'Marianna:
• a princess
• a life planned for her before she was even born
• a home she can't leave, far from a camp she calls her real home.

Han and Raisa are about to meet - in a world brought down by wizards but where wizards rule from the shadows, and in queendom run by a queen who circumvents conflict. They'll meet in stree
“History,' Mari muttered, as if she'd overheard his thoughts. 'Why do we need to know what happened before we were born?'

'So hopefully we get smarter and don't make the same mistakes again.”


This book was really good. Don't let my three stars dampen your spirit for reading this book.

The Demon King was an enjoyable read. I cannot say that this book completely blew me away but it was surprising and interesting. Hunts Alone aka Hans Alister was an a
Stacia (the 2010 club)
I have the hardest time reviewing fantasy books. I'm not sure why this is. Maybe because so much is constantly going on, it leaves me a bit stumped as to how to summarize everything in an eloquent fashion.

Fans of traditional fantasy, whether it be adult or YA, will most likely appreciate this series. The Demon King read very much like a slightly scaled down version of a good adult epic fantasy - not much was held back for the sake of a younger audience.

From the good to the evil characters, I fou
Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads

2/5/16 - ON SALE for $3.99:

Get it while the gettin's good! Buddy read leading up to Flamecaster starting on 2/22 in BB&B!
Aug 04, 2014 jade rated it liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
One thing you should know about the series: your feeling/judgment is likely to be quite different between finishing book 1 and the whole series. After I was done with book 4, I couldn't believe I'd only given this book 3 stars. In the end I didn't change the rating since I believe the influence of the three fantastic follow up books shouldn't be used to judge it. I won't say whether it's right or wrong to slowly build up the series, it's Cinda's style and she has earned my respect as an author w ...more
Aug 31, 2015 Twila rated it liked it
Shelves: slow-in-places
3 - 3.5 stars

This was my first ever Cinda Williams Chima book, and while I'm not in love with it, it was still interesting.
This is what I call an 'intro book'. It introduces us to the situation, backstory, builds up the tension and lays out the groundwork for the real action to come in future instalments. The conflict isn't very clear until the last couple of chapters. So it was basically just a set up for the sequel.

Up until the ending, the book is basically about the characters going about th
Jan 05, 2016 Kristalia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!! (and those who love Lumatere Chronicles)
Final rating: 5/5 stars
Final rating - for the whole series: 5/5 stars

I have felt irresistible need to review this even after i finished with all of the books from Seven Realms a month ago. So final rating for whole series would be 5 pure stars from me. Prepare yourself to be blown away by this book/series!

It was exciting, amazing and intriguing all the way! The plot of the The Demon King and the whole series itself was just amazing. I had some thoughts about who was supposed to be who, and onl
Dec 26, 2015 TL rated it liked it
Recommended to TL by: don't remember
Buddyread with Melissa Will link her review when she is finished:)

Overall impressions:
Writing : 4 stars
Characters & Worldbuilding: 4.5 stars
Plot: 3.5 stars
Pacing: 3 stars
Miss Chima's writing draws you into the world right away and I found myself caring about these people fairly quickly. Han Alister was my favorite, the clans and the people there a close second. Raisa, while I was rooting for her and loved her spirit, never warmed up to her completely till near the end.

The world-buildi
Melissa Martin
Jul 27, 2015 Melissa Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy-all

I loved this book! I'm very excited about this series. It's off to an awesome start!

I love most of the characters in the book. The two main stories revolve around Han and Raisa. Han is a poor boy that lives in the towns outside of the kingdom. He has some kind of cuffs that are around his wrists and I wonder what these could be there for?... He does his best to take care of his mom and sister. At one time he was the leader of a gang, but he saw the error of h
Nov 04, 2015 Chantal rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
3.5 stars

A very enjoyable read and a solid YA fantasy. Although the book is quite long, it never dragged and I wasn't ever bored. I really liked both of the main characters. However, I did have a few problems with it, mainly how predictable the plot was and how many fantasy tropes it contained. I'm aware that this was published a while ago and thus is a precedent to many other YA books but by the end is was still a bit too much to handle.

I was going to give this book 4 stars but I really didn'
Ash Wednesday
Mar 10, 2014 Ash Wednesday rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the Girl of Fire and Thorns series who want better complexity and more Aladdineering
Recommended to Ash Wednesday by: Practically everyone from The Rated YA-MA Group
”The world was full of secrets, apparently, but maybe he didn’t need to know them all.”

Okay, everyone can put the pitchforks and flamethrowers away, I did end up loving it. And I’m looking warily at my galley pile because this series has the potential to take over my life for the next couple of days should I choose to let it.

First books in High/Epic Fantasy series are tough to judge solely on its merits. Because more often than not, the merits are pretty boring. If you’re lucky enough a
Robin (Bridge Four)
This is on sale today Feb 5 for $3.99 if you love YA fantasy series.

The Demon King

Re-Read with my crew at Buddies Books & Baubles starting Feb 22, 2016

Original Bad Review (this is one of my very first) May 2013

We follow two separate characters of Raisa the princess and heir to the throne and Han Alister a street wise boy with a pair of magical cuffs on his wrists that he has had since infancy. This installment of the seven reams series had a lot of world building to do. By following the two
marlene  (bokhjerte)
I absolutely loved this book!

What I love about this kind of fantasy books is the world-building.
In this book there's a map printed on the inside of the cover, and just looking at it, and reading all the different names of places and kings and queens at the beginning of the book made me a bit skeptical. Now, after I've finished it I feel like I've been to a whole other fantastical world. Now I know all of the places, and I just love the world of the seven realms!

There are two strong main-chara
Sep 15, 2014 Alexa rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
I really liked this one!

Let's start with my favorite part: Han.

I think we have all been conditioned by Disney to like street urchins; it's the Aladdin effect. (Or maybe just me!) I have to say I really liked this character; he was smart, simple, direct.

"I'm thinking that there are other reasons not to murder people beyond the fact that there's no swag in it, as you say," Jemson said mildly.

"Yeah, well. I can sing any song you like, you know that," Han said. "I'm just being straight with you
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Well, I think I found another series that will have me staying up late at night and waking up before the dawn to sneak a few chapters.

The author is doing a great job at taking a handful of characters and weaving their story together with chance meetings and I can't wait to see what book 2 has in store where I feel that all these characters will finally come together!
Amber (Books of Amber)


So. The Demon King. I fucking loved it. There are so many things about this book that I adored, and it’s really difficult to break it down into bits for you and I don’t think I can remain calm. You have been warned.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Princess Raisa. She i
May 17, 2014 Danae rated it liked it
Once again I have to rate a book lower than I would like because of the annoying female protagonist. This book would've easily been 4 stars (closer to 5 if I hadn't guessed the plot twist at the very beginning) if it hadn't been for Raisa. There were plenty of times I wanted to throw the book across the room because of her. I truly hope she grows up throughout the rest of the series because I WANT TO SLAP HER IN THE FACE. Her complaining about not wanting to marry, or that this or that "wasn't f ...more
Miss Clark
Aug 19, 2011 Miss Clark rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2010 Hannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy, series
This book was intoxicatingly amazing. I was stunned by Chima's writing in this because I'd read her Heir series and liked it well enough, but this was just BREATHTAKING! Her plot was absorbing and unique, her characters were equally so, and the romance was just...whew. It made my spine tingle and my face flush. It was all too wonderful and I simply cannot wait for the next book in the series.
Aug 05, 2015 Books_forever rated it really liked it
4,5 stars
I really liked this book. The plot is really interesting, never boring, and the characters are very enjoyable.
The world building is fascinating: we just get a few glimpses of what is happening in the other realms, but we can see how what's going on there affects the decisions made by the characters.
The society is split in wizards, flatlanders and the clans, a population that lives in the mountains: it's really cool seeing how different they are from each other and how they interact. E
I find it so intensely satisfying when I come across an excellent read that I want to shout it from the rooftops. As I do not fancy climbing roofs when its raining, the blog will have to suffice. I have had this series on my reading list for quite a long time. And I will confess that the cover, while very interesting, did not have pretty girls or sparkly boys to tempt me to pick it up sooner. But as my interest in the paranormal genre gradually wanes, I turn to my first love, fantasy. So I put t ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
It's not exactly a fast-paced read, but I enjoyed it enough to grab the second book in the series. If you're a true lover of fantasy, then you will probably enjoy the descriptions of the clans and all of that stuff...much more than I did, anyway. It wasn't as bad as adult fantasy tends to be, so that may be why I enjoyed the book.
It read more like a book that's setting up the next book, if that makes any sense.
I'm rambling, aren't I?

Ok. I really liked The Demon King, and I'm going to read th
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Loved it so much that when I looked down and realized I only had an hour left of the audio, I immediately bought & downloaded the next book in the series. I will admit that I was a little iffy on the narrator at first, but I think that might have been because the book was just a bit slow in the beginning. I'm glad I stuck it out because this is definitely going to be a new favorite series. And although I'm late to the party, I'm pretty ecstatic about the fact that I can read all the books ba ...more
Sep 30, 2015 Mason rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
My feelings are a bit muddled. Personally it feels like this book was a lot of set up and world building, and not a ton of story. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, I really, really enjoyed it, and if I didn't already own the entire series, I'd go out and buy the next book soon. But it just felt a tad jarring of a read. Not the greatest opening to a series I've ever read, but it seems like the books get better as they go along.
Rivka Ray
Jan 04, 2016 Rivka Ray rated it really liked it
Update: I'm rating this 3.5 stars and rounding it up to 4. Review to come.
You know how an ending can make or break a book? Well I was all prepared to give this book a solid 4 stars until that ending. I really enjoyed the book, but something felt wrong about the ending. I can't quite place my finger on it. Now I don't know what to think. I'm going to need a brew over this one a while...
Official Review:
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New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima comes from a long line of fortune-tellers, musicians and spinners of tales. She began writing romance novels in middle school, which were often confiscated by her teachers.

The Warrior Heir was named to Voya’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2005-2006, is a 2006 Booksense Summer Reading Pick, was named to the 2007-2008 Lone Star Reading List,
More about Cinda Williams Chima...

Other Books in the Series

Seven Realms (4 books)
  • The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)
  • The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms, #3)
  • The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4)

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“Well, I believe she went in to rescue some Raggers from the pits,” Cuffs said. “She wasn’t all that specific.”
“She went in to rescue — why would she do that?” Amon gripped the ironwork, studying the streetlord’s face. Was he lying? And if so, what was the purpose?
“Guess she’s kind of taken with us,” Cuffs said. “You know, the glamor of the gang life and all. Getting beat up every other day, arrested for crimes you didn’t commit, long nights in gaol, sleeping in the cold and wet. It’s...seductive.” He raised an eyebrow.”
“A vocation is not something you slap on, like a coat of paint, and change whenever you want. A vocation is built into you. You have no choice. If you try to do something else, you fail.” 46 likes
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