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The Demon King (Seven Realms #1)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  32,208 ratings  ·  2,729 reviews
This novel marks the first giant step in a momentous sci-fi journey orchestrated by Cinda Williams Chima, the author of the popular Warrior Heir series. Its two chief protagonists are ex-thief Han Alister, an impoverished commoner, and Raisa ana'Helena, the headstrong Princess Heir of the Fells. The Demon King brings them together, creating part of a volatile mix of action ...more
ebook, 328 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Hyperion Disney Book Group
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Hanako This is a dual perspective book and one of the two perspectives is a guy. I know a lot of "girl books" have romance as a main trait, and as of this…moreThis is a dual perspective book and one of the two perspectives is a guy. I know a lot of "girl books" have romance as a main trait, and as of this book romance is not a central plot element. I haven't read the rest of the series yet.

I looked at your read shelf and saw that you had read the Green Rider series. Did you consider that as geared towards women? It looked like you liked it regardless. I wouldn't say that this book is any more geared towards women then the Green Rider books. (Although, it is YA fantasy instead of adult fantasy).
Hanako Nope. This book is very PG. There is some kissing and making out but that is about it. No detailed sex scenes.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eric Allen
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
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
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)
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.
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
“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
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
Sep 21, 2014 Kristalia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!!! (and those who love Lumatere Chronicles)
Final rating: /

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 only half time was i right. Other times blew me away and
Ash Wednesday
Mar 10, 2014 Ash Wednesday rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Miss Clark
Aug 19, 2011 Miss Clark rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
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.
The Demon King is, admittedly, a book that might lose your attention in the first two hundred pages. No one wants to be bored for that long. Generally, I give a book a hundred pages to catch my attention, and if nothing is striking me then I put it down. Thankfully, The Demon King was one of those books that I thought had enough interesting elements and characters that it might get better, and on the advice of a friend I ended up diving back in to the book a month or so later. I finished the las ...more
Can I give a book six stars?? I LOVED this! First book in a new series, set in a country where the Clans (artisan and warrior tribes who live in harmony with nature, a lot like Native Americans) and the Valefolk (valley/city dwellers) have lived in an uneasy truce with wizards, derisively called "jinxflingers," who use clan artifacts to conduct magic. There's a great spunky princess who chafes at palace life and her prospects for an arranged political marriage, a street lord ragamuffin thief who ...more
Apr 22, 2011 oliviasbooks rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like fantasy that involves princesses and magic
I've read the first 132 pages and also the last 78 - because I kind of was interested in what happend to Princess Raisa and Hanson 'Hunts Alone' Alister (a mellow cliffy, if you'd like to know. This is meant to be part of a trilogy).

I decided that I did not have to read the big chunk in the middle, because the story - though well-done - turned quickly out to be also well-known: An enjoyable, but average young adult fantasy with bad, bad wizards, stupid, easily misled queens, clever and not so cl
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
[EDIT May 3, 2015 - Listening to the audio - remembering why I LOVE this series that I first read two years ago!]
Before I wrote this I went to Amazon and ordered the other three books in the series. It was that good. Thanks again, Stacia, for a review that made me think I just might like this one. It was a little hard at first to adjust to another fantasy world after just finishing the 7th book of another fantasy series, but I did it! This world is far different than others I have read with the
Nikita Ompang
I struggled so much when I started with this one. I even considered abandoning this entirely. But with the ratings and reviews of goodreads people, I painstakingly flipped every page to finish this. And boy was I surprised when I found out that I'm almost done with the book. HAHA! YES! IT'S THAT GOOD! I didn't realize that I was starting to enjoy myself until I was halfway through it. I was so engrossed with the story especially with the brilliant world the author created. However, it would have ...more
Tadiana ♕Part-Time Dictator♕
Meh. It's not really sucking me in and my reading plate is too full right now, so I'm DNFing this at 25%. Maybe I'll pick this up again later; maybe not.

My 12 y.o. son thinks this is an AMAZING fantasy series (his favorite, except for Percy Jackson. And maybe the Ranger's Apprentice series. And . . . well, you get the idea) but so far it's reading like any number of other fantasies I've read before. My son says there's a great payoff in Book #4 ("the best ending ever, Mom!") but I was all O__o
Megan (YABookers)
I went into The Demon King with high expectations, but fortunately it did not disappoint. I thought the world building was splendid . I loved the mix of clans, wizards and royals and it was all very well done. While the pacing was slow, I never really found myself getting bored which is always a bonus. I really loved the interactions between Han and Raisa, just a shame it was only a couple of chapters, I would have loved to have seen more! I personally did not like how the women were treated ju ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

The time has come the blogger said to read of many things. Of scheming wizards, of amulets and queens. The Seven Realms series has been one of the big holes in my YA reading. Friends have been urging it on me strenuously this year, and very suddenly the time came for me to read it. As I was warned, The Demon King is a bit slow, but, by the end, it was really picking up speed.

Slow almost doesn’t seem
Not completely sure about this book. After reading some reviews it seems that either you love it or you hate it.
I read this book because my librarian recommended it to me, she seemed so excited to having me reading some high fantasy that I accepted it. My last fantasy book was Finnikin of the Rock, so you probably understand that set the bar pretty high.

I'll be honest: I didn't think I would finish this book. First of all, it was an almost 500 pages book but also because I had zero expectation
I am not generally a huge fan of YA - yet in so many ways this book sidestepped the common pitfalls of the genre. It involved several viewpoints and layers of complexity, the young set of characters did not face the usual sets of problems, and the potential for a love interest between them, is, at this stage, not going to be predictable. Where some coming of age stories charge headlong into cliche, this one provided a few interesting twists. Straightforward storytelling, with a deft finish, cons ...more
Melissa Proffitt
Adapted from my write-up for the YA/MG Book Battle and the comments on that post.

I'm not a huge fan of epic fantasy, but I enjoyed this very much. It's an extremely exciting story, everything you’d want from an epic fantasy: multiple viewpoint characters, dark magic, plots against the throne, and at least three factions all at odds with each other and the promise of more in books to come. I particularly like the strong worldbuilding and the fascinating backstory, with the intersection between le
I'm sure I will have some actual coherent thoughts on this, at some point.

But for now, let me just say that my basic reaction to this was: "Oh, so this is what all the fuss was about."
Victoria Scott
I'll admit, I didn't have incredibly high hopes for this. I'm not a huge fan of high fantasy, I find it too confusing keeping up with all the new places and languages. So I'm not exactly surprised that I didn't love this. It's more the reasons I didn't love this that surprised me.
I could actually follow what was happening in this world pretty well. It was well explained, for the most part. I knew who all the characters well. I got involved in Han's clan and street gangs. I was worried about who
Whitley Birks
See more reviews on my blog

I didn’t notice this blurb on the back of the book until I was almost done with it:
“Few readers will mind reaching the end with the protagonists still separated by hundreds of miles only to realize that it was naught by a prelude to the real action; instead, they will clamor for the sequel.”
And I really hate how accurate that is.

Except for the part about ‘not minding,’ that’s really the book in a nut shell. Nothing happens until the end, and at that point, you have to
Before I continue, I want to say one thing: I tried to like this book. I really did. Fantasy is my favorite genre and this book seemed to be right up my alley, so I gave it a chance. However, within the first few chapters, it started to feel like more of a task than something I actually enjoyed. But I continued reading, with the hope that it might get better. Needless to say, that didn't happen.
This book was TERRIBLE. The plot was absolutely ridiculous and moving in too many directions at once,
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Are the Heir Chronicles and the Seven Realms Series related? 2 11 Mar 25, 2015 08:11PM  
Kids/Teens Book Club: Recommendation 5 110 Mar 22, 2015 10:18AM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. YA/MG fantasy novel [s] 3 32 Mar 21, 2015 04:57PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Demon King -> Buddy Read 3/1/2015 17 3 Mar 01, 2015 06:18AM  
Is this a good book? 19 97 Feb 07, 2015 12:12PM  
Read-a-Long with ...: The Demon King | Chapters 1-10 2 73 Jan 09, 2015 01:11PM  
Read-a-Long with ...: The Demon King | Chapters 21-END 1 10 Jan 07, 2015 09:05PM  
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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)
The Warrior Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #1) The Wizard Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #2) The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2) The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms, #3) The Dragon Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #3)

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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.” 41 likes
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