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The Demon King (Seven Realms #1)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  46,110 Ratings  ·  3,721 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)
Katie I'd probably say 15 and up. The most "adult content" is some kissing in the first book. The rest of the series there's some part of making out and…moreI'd probably say 15 and up. The most "adult content" is some kissing in the first book. The rest of the series there's some part of making out and groping. But that's about it.
Also, there's a good amount of politics in it since it's about a princess and war and control over the realms.
Overall, an incredible series.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Jul 15, 2016 Katerina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Hanalea's blood and bones, I just found a new obsession!!

Wow. It's been a while since the last time I read YA fantasy, and I'd almost forgotten why I love this genre so much! The Demon King certainly had its flaws, but it was so riveting and bewitching that I lost the X-Factor final last night in order to finish it and I suspect I'm going to spend the following days lost in this series, with coffee and ice-cream as my sole companions! Burn you social life!

And by fun, I mean books.
“Han always s
Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)
Jul 03, 2016 Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee) rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Wow! I'm really surprised to say that this book blew me away. I only decided to pick this series up because I have the Flamecaster on my shelf and I didn't know that it was actually a follow up to the Seven Realms series. I wasn't sure what to expect from The Demon King but my expectations were pretty high considering how I went into this book comparing it to the Falling Kingdoms series. Although this book did have similarities to Falling Kingdoms, it's definitely its own separate story.

One of t
May 31, 2016 Maureen rated it really liked it
Probably even more like 4.5/5 stars

I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did - I just got it on a whim and thought this will be fun! And it was fun, and hecka addicting.
I loved the world building and the story, but mostly I just loved getting lost in a fantasy book without a lot of complicated magic systems and things to keep track of. It was so fun to just lose myself in it.
It took a bit for me to get into at first but once I was in I WAS IN TOO DEEP.
Definitely loved this and will
Sep 18, 2016 Samantha rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelf
This book lays a good foundation for the rest of the series, but it definitely drags at times and the story doesn't really get started until the end. I love the protagonists. They have a ton of room for growth. My biggest complaint was the abundance of love interests, but at least it wasn't the main theme of the story. Just a pet peeve of mine. I plan to continue with the series and I'm excited to see where it goes.
Re-read 2016

I'm bumping this one up a star! LOVED IT!
But I'm seeing a lot of mixed (bad and/or DNF) reviews from friends, and it suddenly strikes me...


Hmmm. Well, I will admit that this is a pretty slow book in the beginning. In fact, it takes quite a few chapters to get to anything that I would personally consider even remotely interesting. I'm thinking that, perhaps, the reason I enjoyed this so much more the second time around was because I knew where everything was headed.
And make NO mistake
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

Here went my night.

Yes, you read correctly. Despite my reading slump that drove me to DNF more books that I'm comfortable with yesterday, despite today being my last day of vacations and as usual busy as hell, despite the objective flaws of The Demon King, I couldn't stop reading for the life of me, and closed my reader at 6am pretty exhausted.

Worst is, I'm fighting the urge to start The Exiled Queen right now, and I can count on the finger of one hand the number of times it happened with a
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
Cait • A Page with a View
THIS WAS SO FUN! 4.5 stars (almost 5 but it took me a bit to get into the story).

I tend to avoid the more "adult" fantasy books (I hate differentiating between YA and "adult" books with those stupid terms, but work with me here) because there are so many unnecessary descriptions and characters. I just want something concise, fun, and not terribly serious. I was a little concerned in the first 100 pages of this book that it would go in the tedious direction of "adult" fantasy books with character
Robin (Bridge Four)
Re-Read with my crew at Buddies Books & Baubles starting Feb 22, 2016

One of the best things about this book for me is that in YA usually the MCs meet and instantly it is all about them being together. Raisa is 15 almost 16 so I really like that the author has her meeting different boys (she has quite a few suitors) and playing the field a little. She doesn't just fall in love with the first of second man/boy to show an interest in her. The same goes for Han....he gets a little kissing time t
Cait (Paper Fury)
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
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
Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things
YAS. Thank goodness- another legit series to get into!!

Wahoo... Okay. Initial thoughts....This is going to be a quick review because really I just want to read book #2 after all the raving reviews from friends... (though I'll probably come back and update this review later. Whatever.)

So here we go.

The world is MY kind of world. Quarreling kingdoms, forbidden magic, clans... street gangs... yeah baby. Love it.

The pace was a little slow to start but I didn't mind too much. I think most of this bo
Jessica (priceiswong)
Apr 06, 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.
Full Book Discussion on YouTube:
Feb 07, 2016 Lexie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Wizards, street rats, warriors, and aspiring Overlords
Recommended to Lexie by: Cait (Paper Fury)
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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
4.5 stars
Aly's Bookish Wonderland

My slump is officially over. The only problem now is: do I carry on with the Pokémon Readathon, do I finish my towering TBR or do I carry on with this series?

I need more Han. And Raisa. And Amon. I NEED MORE. *flails*
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ (of BADGER and Snake)

He called her Briar Rose, he said, because of her beauty. And her many thorns.

It's not often that I find a YA fantasy series that enraptures me the way this one did. It's no secret that I am very picky when it comes to reading these, as well. Needless to say, I've been side-eyeing this series for FOREVER, yet I have never taken the plunge. I've mentioned it to a couple of my closest friends and have felt there was something special about it for a long while. So why not leap right in then? I
“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
Victor Almeida
Jun 06, 2016 Victor Almeida rated it it was amazing
SENSACIONAL. Não tem outra palavra. Já soube logo no começo, de tão forte que me envolveu nas primeiras páginas, que o livro todo seria fantástico.

A história é incrivelmente complexa, cheia de detalhes e subtramas, mas ao mesmo tempo muito fácil de compreender. Ela se constrói na sua cabeça, junto com esse universo maravilhoso e personagens únicos, que quando você vê, está completamente imerso e não consegue parar de ler. Eu, de verdade, não conseguia fechar o livro no fim de um capítulo sem a v
Destini Mia~ ♕ Sassy Lassie
NO TIME TO STOP I NEED The Exiled Queen.

I will say this, however. The Demon King is like a lump of carbon (I know, I'm a poet). With, you know, some heat and pressure and polishing, it can be a diamond. The story is there, the characters are there, the writing is there... all in needs is a bit of refinement. The author has laid the foundations and I have the utmost confidence that this series can turn into something incredible.

.:: RATING 3.5 STARS ::.
☆☽Erica☾☆ I'll pass on this.

Since I didn't get too far, I'm not gonna rate it, but just say my thoughts on it instead.

First off though, let me just affirm that I really wanted to like this. Like really wanted to. Tons of people swear by it and I've heard such rave reviews of it for a while now.

But alas, here we are. So if you love this book and plan on reading this and sending me angry messages about how I'm wrong or whatever, please just stop now. Go do something happy. I'll wait.

Melissa (Ever So Mela)
I just... I mean...le sigh

And disappointing Thor must be the last thing we do (I mean look at that face!)

But back to the The Demon King... I just felt this was lacking in every aspect. It was an underwhelming, unimaginative, unbelievably predictable, boring story.

The Writing...
The writing was plain and while I'm not one to nitpick about the lack of prose, the writing style was just missing a spark that made me want more. It was ordinary and uninspiring which in the end made this book longer tha
May 29, 2016 Lela rated it really liked it
What an excellent start for a YA Fantasy series.

This has been on my tbr list for a very long time. The only reason I got around to reading it is because, the author recently released a new series Flamecaster set in the same world, that has been getting amazing reviews, and everyone recommends reading this earlier series first. Which I didn’t mind, because I’ve always wanted to read this series and I’m always game for YA Fantasy series.

I was seriously not let down. You’ve got a great world build
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
Feb 23, 2016 Choko rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
*** 4.55 ***

A buddy read with my wizards at BB&B!

I loved it! What else can I say? The Old School Fantasy feel that this book exudes is magnetic and magical! Someone said it was also very obviously written by a woman, implying that this somehow diminished its value as a Fantasy.... I call that bull! This is a story strong enough to attract and keep both male and female audiences enraptured with it on its own merits, regardless the gender sensitivity of the author....

The world building is met
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

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
Sarah (thegirltheycalljones)
Well well well.
I have no idea how many stars I want to give this book.
I didn't adore it, I didn't hate it. I was quite bored during this reading but when thinking about the book, I don't have a rush of anger and I don't make a "I just bit in a lemon" face.
Honestly, I didn't really like it but I don't want to be mean with it?
Weird feelings.

The plot is classic fantasy. Villains want to overthrow the current power, aka Stupid Queen, and conspire in a not-very-subtle way in order to do so.
My main fe
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
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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.

Her Heir Chronicles series (magic comes to contemporary Ohio) comprises The Warrior Heir The Wizard Heir . The Dragon Heir The Enchanter Heir, and the Sorcerer Heir.

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)

Share This Book

“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.”
“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.”
More quotes…