Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Release Date: September 28th, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book
Others in the Series: The Demon King
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Stars
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.
This, by far, is much better than the first book. I was actually captivated for once and not completely annoyed with the characters. I don't know what happened but it seemed like when the character's were thrust into a new environment they just took on a new form and brought to life.
Raisa, for once, thought rationally. I actually felt sorry for her and Amon, because of everything they had to go through. But, I feel like when she went to the academy and started learning new materials, she started to take her ideas and started to sort them out. I don't know what's going to happen with her and Amon, because obviously Cinda has other plans for both, but this is only the second in the series, so I'm hoping for something surprising to happen.
As for Han, I was laughing at all the moments for this poor guy. A once theft-turned-wizard now has to mingle with the blue bloods, and he sticks out like a sore thumb. Of course he would have to deal with the likes of Micah and Fiona, because nothing would be interesting. And there a lot of good moments between the three of them.
At Oden's Ford, Han will learn to master his skill as a wizard, but soon he gains unwanted attention from people who are playing on all sides of what could be an impending war in the Fells. And everyone wants to make sure that Han is on their side. Especially, with his new wizard tutor, Crow, who has his own agenda up his sleeves that could prove deadly to Han.
This book, I feel is packed with much more action than the last one. I feel like there's a lot more going on, and the complicated political situation in the Fells has gone from bad to worse in a matter of months. And then there's the romance. The love interest for these characters seemed to take center stage a little more, but I think it's because now that all the main characters are within a school and not spread out across the realm, paths are bound to cross and people will spend a little more time with each other. I won't say who ended up with whom or what happened, but they are all interesting.
Overall, I feel like this book had a little more in everything, which proved to be in Chima's best interest. The book felt more alive to me because now I could put myself into the character's shoes and feel what they do. I felt like Chima did an excellent job making the character's believable. There wasn't much instant love, because that would make such a crappy book.
It was well written. There was an oops, because at one point Raisa refers to herself as seventeen, when she is only sixteen. But it was only one scene and I'm not so mean as to drop a star for one little grammar mistake, besides it's not like I'm the editor of this novel.
It was captivating, imaginative, adventures, romantic, and full of secrets and suspense at every dark corner that leaves the character's questioning who is trustworthy and who is the enemy. This book will keep a reader on their toes.