Friday, May 24, 2013

The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

This book needed another edit to pick up the pacing and cut out the romantic natter. Not that I don't like a bit 'o romance here and there, but I prefer more plot intrigue and character development than the petal peel plot of "He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not."  The repetitious pattern of Hans wondering if Raisa had betrayed him and vice versa made the pace plod and felt like a dandelion gone to seed with predictable plot points and action thinly scattered throughout the pages. The "I love you" scene where Hans gives a couple of pages of reasons why he loves Raisa was over the top and didn't quite fit with the wishy-washy wondering of whether or not she betrayed his love as obstacles cropped up preventing them from moving forward in their interest for each other. While this is a popular novel with students, I didn't think it was well-written and was disappointed in it as a wrap-up of the fourth book in the series.

Raisa has been crowned queen of the Fells and the division between the Clan and wizards is threatening a coup within the government. Han in an effort to help her joins the Wizard Council only to find his life threatened at every turn. When an attack from the kingdoms from the south threatens everyone, people must decide to either work together or not. Han doesn't really care about the Fells. He wants to marry Raisa and sets a plan in motion against great odds.

The theme of prejudice toward others of different races and intermarriage never really achieves depth because the supporting characters don't really change and grow. The father and grandmother are bigoted and at the end seem so one-dimensional in their treatment of Raisa and Hans. More could have been done with this to elevate the tension and show tolerance and understanding. Micah has an interesting character arc along with Crow. They both make choices to not be cruel to others. Hans has to learn to trust people but I never really got into his development. I knew he would change so it didn't hold my interest.

In the end I got annoyed and bored with Hans constantly being blamed and everyone trying to convince Raisa he's guilty while she claims he's innocent. The only part that I found interesting was the flesh-eating birds and the twist at the end, but they were few and far between. This book is entertaining, but don't expect much plot or character depth.

2 Smileys

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