THE GRAY WOLF THRONE
Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Seven Realms #3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: August 30th 2011
Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.
Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.
“The time will come when you will be forced to make a choice.
When that time comes, choose love.”
The Gray Wolf Throne is a rollercoaster of emotions and it is absolutely amazing! This is definitely my favorite book in the series, by far. Where in The Exiled Queen things were a bit slow, this installment starts with a bang and keeps up its steady pace throughout the story. A lot of things come to a head, making this a book filled with action, royal schemes, romance, secrets, and reveals.
After each installment in the Seven Realms series, I fall more and more in love with Cinda Williams Chima’s writing. The careful world-building that makes this series so wonderful still goes strong, expanding even more as the plot develops. The characters become more and more complex, too, as they face new challenges and overcome obstacles.
I honestly can’t convey how much I loved The Gray Wolf Throne. I read it in one sitting, stopping only so I could whisper about how amazing this story is. Everything is elevated to a new level: the writing, the plot, the risks the characters take. It is a delight to go on this journey with Raise, Han, Amon, and so many others.
The aspect that wins me over, as you can probably tell by now, is the world-building. There is so much more of it this time around, as it seems to be the norm when it comes to the series. Each installment brings new information and a different scenery, as well as more characters for us to get to know. Chima does a fantastic job juggling all of those things together, and still weaves a story and plot that hooks you right from the start.
There are also so many great twists in this book. Some of them you can figure out if you pay attention to details, but others take you completely by surprise. That makes reading an incredible experience, as the story keeps you guessing but also gives you enough clues to solve the mystery by yourself.
Romance is still a thing in this novel, but once again it’s not made the focus of the story. All of the relationships that do turn into something are developed, which makes them all the more sweet. And to counter that, we do have some deaths, which are heartbreaking and sad, and made me tear up a little.
As I said before, The Gray Wolf Throne is my favorite book in this series so far. It takes the story and characters to new levels, it has amazing twists, and it’s a wonderful reading experience. It also leaves you wanting more, but also dreading getting to the final book. Just like all great Fantasy series should. 😛