Johannes's Reviews > The Crimson Crown

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
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Oct 24, 12

bookshelves: fantasy
Read from October 23 to 24, 2012, read count: 1

As most of you know, this is the finale of the ”Seven Realms”-series. That means that most of the plots we have been wondering about will come to conclusion in this book. However, there are still some plots that haven’t been addressed in the Crimson Crown – mostly those concerning the other six realms. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see whether Cinda Williams Chima will choose to return to this world in another series.

I know that some of you have waited for a long time for this last book. I count myself lucky that I only found the series a few weeks ago and hardly had to wait any time at all in comparison.

Now, for the start of an actual review:

The narrative is tempered and well paced, but sometimes a little less coherent than I would have liked. The various subplots sometimes work well together, but at other times, they can get in each other’s way. On a good note, there is an abundance of plot-twists, and fortunes change rapidly – thus, the suspense is kept high throughout the book.

There are a few characters that are allowed to show intriguing new sides of themselves – for example Mellony, who, although she still comes through as rather naïve and spoiled, still managed to grow and show strengths that we hadn’t seen before. Whoever said that she took after her mother wasn’t kidding, though – Mellony certainly have a penchant for becoming the damsel in distress.

Opposite to Mellony in this regard is Raisa, who seems to grow more self-confident and intelligent in every new book – I have always been a sucker for a strong female lead character, so this is a major plus in my book. The two main-characters are still mostly caught in the age-old dance of “want to but can’t” – personally, I would have preferred them to be more assertive in this regard, but I realize that this is a large part of what’s keeping the tensions in the book penned up.

As for the racial tensions that have been apparent throughout the book, I have to say that I am glad to say that in this book, someone finally speaks up. Another recurring theme is how bloodlines play in to the actions of individuals – most significantly how the roles set out for families a thousand years ago still appears to be valid today. This is a thought that is utterly alien to me, as I hope that no one really believes that an individual’s personality is cemented by what ones forefathers did millennia ago.

The various persons, who were described as turncoats or cowards in earlier books, are proven as such in this book – for once, I would have hoped to be positively surprised. Unfortunately, this incline towards predetermination of character serves to make the plot more predictable than it would have necessarily had to be.

In the beginning of this book, my feelings of respect towards Micah & Fiona had started to grow – I thought that we might be starting to see new sides of both their characters. However, I am disappointed to say that, just like large parts of the supporting cast, their characters are rather flat and two-dimensional. They are essentially both their father’s cronies, and only act otherwise when their - for lack of a better word - libido urges them on. I readily admit to especially high hopes for Fiona, whom I hoped would be revealed as more than what she had been described as in the first few books.

In some parts, I would say that the book has been reminiscent of a Molière-play, where people continually seems to have had either extremely poor, or exceedingly fortuitous timing. In my mind, these are all things that make the plot less believable – however, I am willing to concede that this may be a question of personal taste. I was glad to see that somewhere around the middle of the book, a semblance of honesty finally started to arise between some of the main characters, allowing them to actually start acting at least semi-rationally.

The ”mysterious” murders meant to frame Han was a subplot that I had high hopes for… unfortunately, it only really got a short mention, and a somewhat disappointing conclusion towards the end of the book. As for the perpetrator, well – let’s just say that I wasn’t surprised. However, I have to admit that I was disappointed at how little mention Mariannas murder got – in my opinion, a few of the neglected subplots could easily have fuelled another book. But then again, everything has to end sometimes, doesn’t it?

As for the ”devastating truth concealed by a thousand year-old-lie”, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed. Perhaps I got my hopes up for a startling revelation from the synopsis, but the big secret was mostly along the lines of what I had expected ever since reading the first book, with some minor modifications in logistics.

For those of you who have been following the series, it most likely won’t come as a major surprise that there will be some fighting in this book (and no, I don’t mean of the “bar-brawl”-variety). All I am willing to say at this time is that I’ve always preferred a “scorched earth”-approach to warfare, but perhaps that’s just me.

In conclusion, definitely a good read – if you’ve already read the rest of the series, you will no doubt be highly anxious for the conclusion. But… I am sorry to say that it could have been much more, it feels like a somewhat hastened conclusion to a series that deserved better.

There seems to be decorum of photos accentuating the text here at goodreads, and thus I feel the need to explain why I have an utter lack of said photos. The explanation is twofold: First, this is my first serious review (by which I mean longer than a few lines), and I simply don’t know how to add photos. Second: I really don’t see the point – I don’t read picture books anymore, so why should I write picture reviews?

Now, for one last (perhaps not very surprising) revelation: And so they lived happily ever after…
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Reading Progress

10/23/2012 page 145
23.0% "Really interesting start of the book - can't wait to find out how it ends... have grown to rather like Micah & Fiona, and hope they won't be casualties in the proverbial slaughter that seems to be coming."
10/23/2012 page 269
44.0% "In the beginning of the book, I had started respecting Micah & Fiona more, but now it seems like they're up to their old tricks again. A shame really that everyone in this book seems to be defined by their bloodline, where the Bayar appears to be evil personified.

As for the 1000-year old secret, it's quite frankly along the lines of what I expected. Was hoping to be surprised, but alas..."
10/23/2012 page 269
44.0% "In the beginning of the book, I had started respecting Micah & Fiona more, but now it seems like they're up to their old tricks again. A shame really that everyone in this book seems to be defined by their bloodline, where the Bayar appears to be evil personified.

As for the 1000-year old secret, it's quite frankly along the lines of what I expected. Was hoping to be surprised, but alas..."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Clinton I love your reasoning behind not using pictures lol


Johannes Haha - thanks, glad to hear that someone agrees with me.


Tammie I enjoyed your review and agree with your points on Raisa growing stronger and more confident in every book (and I would also add more mature), on the whole bloodlines determines character thing, and on being disappointed that Micha, Fiona, and Mellony didn't actually change or grow for the better. Oh and those flashing, moving pictures are incredibly annoying and can really take away from the review itself. I tend to skip reviews that include lots of those.


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