Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
So The Exiled Queen has been sitting on my TBR for quite sometime. Mainly because it took me awhile to get my hands on the first book, The Demon King, which was awesome (see me gush about it HERE). I'll try not to ramble on too much. :)
I'm always a bit nervous when it comes to reading sequels to books that I absolutely love. Because there's always the chance that I won't enjoy it nearly as much as the first one, but The Exiled Queen was just as good and epic as its predecessor (even though it took me a little longer to read it since I had less time to read this week).
For me there is one thing that will always make or break a fantasy series for me, and that is characters. Which is why I love The Seven Realms series so much because the characters are just some of the best I have read. The MCs, Han and Raisa, are two of my absolute favorite characters to read about because I love how fully you are drawn into the emotional turmoil that they both struggle with.
Another reason I loved The Exiled Queen would have to be that in the span of just two books, both Han and Raisa have grown as characters. You see them learning how to deal with the new roles in which they find themselves after the conclusion of The Demon King.
While The Demon King seemed to have focused more upon Han and his story, The Exiled Queen was more about Raisa and the aftermath of her mother trying to marry her off to wizard in the first book. I loved how this book reaffirmed the strength of character that Raisa has, it was also interesting to see she copes when pushed to the limit of her abilities.
Even though there was slightly less action in The Exiled Queen, I think that the intersecting of Han and Raisa's path helped to move the story along. That being said, The Exiled Queen is still fraught with tension and mystery that totally left me wanting to both read faster (so I could find out what would happen next) and to slow down and savor the book (now I have months to wait for the third book).
With just about every book I read, there's always one thing that I liked best about it (usually a scene), and The Exiled Queen is no exception to that. What I loved most in this book would have to be Ms. Chima's ability to create this amazingly multi-layered world filled with such strong characters.
There is NOT a single thing I would change about The Exiled Queen...well except for the cliff-hanger ending! Gah! What am I going to do while I wait for The Gray Wolf Throne to come out.
Final Verdict: The Exiled Queen is fantasy at its best and Ms. Chima's writing is phenomenal. The Seven Realms is one series that I just cannot recommend enough.
I'm not sure how I'll survive waiting for The Gray Wolf Throne to come out in September.
The Exiled Queen earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.