kris's Reviews > The Exiled Queen

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
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's review
Mar 12, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 12 to 15, 2012

THIS BOOK, MY FEELINGS. Can I just start by pointing out there are NINE MILLION EVIL PLOTS AFOOT and how in the name of goodness are they all going to be wound up in the two remaining books?

Also: Chima doesn't seem to want to pull punches, meaning BIG TIME STUFF going down, meaning probable character death: WHO IS IT GOING TO BE? I wonder...


I was a bit put off by the back and forth in the early chapters--Bad Thing happens to Rai; Bad Thing happens to Han; Bad Thing happens to Rai; Bad Thing happens to--I got the picture. And then, of course, that groove was snapped once they arrived in Oden's Ford, focusing almost entirely on Han. It just felt a bit uneven?

But but but MAKEOUTS. Which, worth it, I think. I felt like the situation with Amon started out brilliantly--that sort of angst-y acknowledgment of how things stand, but the awareness that it could go no further? MY HEART.

But then all of a sudden, it was the Han and Rai show, which: yes. But at the same time! AMON!! I just wanted a bit larger buffer before my heart got pounded AGAIN.

Ugh, Han and Rai. I just love them okay. I adored Rai's reasoning for being with Han, how "[h]e’s brilliant, and he doesn’t let me get away with anything. I’ve learned so much from him — I think he makes me a better person."

BECAUSE YES. THAT IS JUST ALL THAT I NEEDED FROM THESE TWO AND THEIR MAGNIFICENT FACES. He makes her a better person! AND he doesn't let her get away with anything! He grounds her and she inspires Han and HEARTS IN MY EYES, EVERYWHERE.

I just have a lot of feelings okay.

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Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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Katie I just wanted them to GET TO THE SCHOOL ALREADY!

But ooohhhh. When they did! And when Rai tells him something like, "Well, you're going to look back at this moment and know why I hesitated and probably be mad, BUT I WANT YOU ANYWAY."

kris UGH THAT WHOLE SCENE IN THE BEDROOM, OKAY. I just love how they fit together in such a fascinating way: there's obviously untruths and partial truths between them but it doesn't matter because the reality of them is just so powerful.


Alex FIREWORKS ON THE ROOF!!!! ALL THE MAKEOUTS!!!! Seriously though, I was really hoping they'd manage to get a little somethin' somethin' before getting interrupted. BUMMER FOR THAT, BUT YOU KNOW.

My feelings on Micah Bayar are so mixed.

Katie there's obviously untruths and partial truths between them but it doesn't matter because the reality of them is just so powerful.

AHHH! YES! Normally that kind of things prevents me from really getting into a ship, but I think it might actually make it better here? Because they're both so AWARE of the lies and they have REASONS for them.

I'm pretty interested in Micah, but I think I do need MORE on him? And I'm not sure if I'll ever really get enough without getting his POV.

kris FIREWORKS. omfg, i FELT THOSE DAMNED FIREWORKS. As much as I am eating up the rest of the book / characters / growing political intrigue: the entire book just starts to sing the moment Rai and Han start interacting.

Micah is intriguing, but at the same time SO SNAKE-Y. I just want to get him pinned down somewhere so I can be certain he's not going to creep up and bite someone. :\


Because they're both so AWARE of the lies and they have REASONS for them.

EXACTLY. Their falsehoods are important and valid and will (hopefully) get discarded, but who they are when they're together is so much more important. UGH THE TENSION.

Grace AHHH. Yes. This is what I wanted to say. ALL OF THIS. From nefarious plots to fireworks to MAKEOUTS to more nefarious plots. And just everything.

Especially the fireworks.

Also, AMON.

kris FIREWORKS. Like, I started this one feeling kind of "..." about the obvious Amon / Rai, but The Exiled Queen handled it SO WELL that FEELINGS.



Grace FIREWORKS. BUT REALLY. And I really like how this is exploring so many different romantic options? It's obviously building towards something (see: FIREWORKS) but the protagonists are still teenagers and they're figuring things out and their relationships and feelings are shifting and WHY DON'T WE SEE THAT MORE OFTEN IN YA FICTION?

I am really worried Amon is going to somehow die and then I will be personally heartbroken because I CAN'T HELP IT. I LOVE HIM.

Not as much as Rai and/or Han, but it's difficult to love anyone that much.


kris See, as much as I find it realistic/impressive/true-to-life, I almost DON'T like it when there's a lot of shifting feelings? Like, YES but also IT HURTS MY POOR BELEAGUERED HEART LET'S BE REAL HERE. lskdjflkj

I am terrified that someone important is going to die (in addition to my personal guess of Dancer) and I just. I will have to add Kleenex to my Amazon order!!

omfg, can we just talk for a moment about how awesome it is that both Rai and Han are so...individual but so clearly a good fit and flawed and LOVELY. I ADORE RAI LIKE BURNING. And Han, too (even though he's a stubborn, thick-headed fool CLEARLY CROW WAS BAD CAN RUN AWAY!!!)!!

But, always: RAIII.


But yes to everything else. <3

message 11: by kris (new) - rated it 4 stars

kris I DON'T WANT HIM TO DIE!!! But he's perfect sidekick bait, you know? And he's clearly torn about what's right and so CLEARLY has to commit to a side and then DIE TO PROVE HIS POINT! It's SCIENCE.

And also, then Rai can comfort the crap out of Han.


But yes to the comforting.

Grace Haha, that's very true. This is really more a problem I have with contemporary YA, which I feel like I've discussed ad nauseum, but I really do like exploring the shifting feelings? I mean, not all the time and I like knowing who to root for. But then, I also have a tendency to pick out ships that will inevitably get my heart trampled anyway, so I am just a masochist like that. I picked up on Amon/Rai heartbreak feelings right away and it was like it was MEANT TO BE.

Oh, oh. Yeah, Dancer is probably also a good guess. And I know Queen Marianna basically has to die. I am just hoping somehow that Rai gets to talk to her one more time?

OMG, can we talk about how as I was reading the stuff about Han and Crow my thoughts were "COME ON HAN, HAVEN'T YOU READ HARRY POTTER? THIS IS A BAD IDEA." (Um? I don't even know. This is what I latched onto to get me through that part because WE ALL KNEW HOW IT WAS GOING TO END.) And yes, I AGREE. Both Han and Rai are so individual and wonderful and flawed and growing and good together but also clearly going to stumble along the way some. MY PRECIOUS FUTURE RULERS.

I love so much about Rai.

ALSO, I love the little queendom-centric comments that are almost throwaway but help with the world building. Like Han wondering how other kingdoms know the king's heir is really his. Things like that.

Grace OH, yeah, so no to the Dancer dying thing.

But yes to the comforting.

There should be lots of comforting.

And also MAKEOUTS.

And hopefully more fireworks.

message 15: by kris (new) - rated it 4 stars

kris THE THOUGHT OF HAN RULING IS JUST LIKE THRILLING TO ME? Because he's so clearly got this worldview that needs to be shared and respected, but then he's also so bitter and cynical AND JUST. ksdjlfkdj and can you imagine him and Rai bickering in the throne room together. UGH THE HOPE I HAVE FOR THESE TWO.

THE WORLD BUILDING IS SO DAMN IMPRESSIVE THAT I ALMOST HATE IT FOR BEING SO GOOD?! Like, as a writer. I hate how impressive it is because how do you do that, Cinda Williams Chima? HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

I get really attached to my ships REALLY FAST which makes ~shifting feelings feel like naughty betrayal (even when it's true to characterization and actually makes sense within the context of the plot)! Because I'm already like "RAI: HAN IS THE DUDE OKAY?" and so when she's like "makeouts with Micah! angst with Amon!" I'm like "GIRL. YOU IN DANGER."

It's very scientific and not at all ridiculous.

Grace laksdflj stop making me want these things already. OCTOBER IS TOO FAR AWAY!!!!! (bickering in the throne room may become my fourth Yuletide request, WHAT OF IT?)

I have more to say about this, but my brother showed up at work and I need to finish editing this will so I can go home. SO. HOLD THAT THOUGHT.

Grace OKAY, BACK. (I know you were worried.)

I just really love how COMPLETE the world building feels. How well thought out and how it just sort of is there, instead of HITTING YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH IT. I want to be able to do that.

Shipping IS very scientific and never at all ridiculous. I do get attached quickly, but in certain cases I can multiship and this seems to be one of those cases. As in most cases, my heart belongs to one pairing above all. BUT AS LONG AS RAI IS HAPPY, I AM (PROBABLY) HAPPY.

I need you to start reading The Gray Wolf Throne. Just FYI.

message 18: by kris (new) - rated it 4 stars

kris I missed you!

IF IT IS, LET ME KNOW. I have never participated before in Yuletide but I might have to consider it if I had a chance to fulfill that prompt!!

My response to your multiship explanation is: WORD. With the exception that this series doesn't inspire multi-shipping tendencies. Rather, it's kind of a raging, twitching NEED to see Rai and Han bicker and bellow and challenge each other and then fall into fervent makeouts.

I WILL START IT. Probably this weekend! (And yes, you'll have it done by then and I'll be late to the part AS ALWAYS, but: it's because I don't think I can read this book with regular interruptions? I MIGHT GO BANANAS. And the the weekend should give me the solid hour bank I need to GO TO TOWN ON THIS SUCKER.)

message 19: by kris (new) - rated it 4 stars

kris ...So I just woke up and it took me until 2 minutes ago to realize that it is in fact Friday, aka the weekend.

...I'll be starting it tonight.


Hahaha, I actually put it aside last night because I feared getting too involved in it and not being able to sleep last night or work today. We may finish at about the same time because I also have my brother here this weekend. WE CAN HOLD EACH OTHER. As I am sure we'll need to.

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