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The Demon King (The Seven Realms Series, Book 1): 1/3 Paperback – 5 Aug 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (5 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007321988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007321988
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for The Demon King:
‘The Demon King is a page-turner for any reader, regardless of age.’
Robin Hobb

‘Dozens of characters, complex and distinct in personality, are placed with jewel-like precision, set off by dark glints of villainy… [readers] will clamor for the sequel.’
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Cinda Williams Chima:

For The Dragon Heir:
Centuries of wizardly scheming, slavery and slaughter reap apocalyptic fallout in this final volume of Chima’s trilogy… Heroes and villains alike are swayed by achingly human motivations into disastrous choices with devastating consequences…The resolution is―like the end of childhood itself―tentatively hopeful, if not triumphant. A superlative accomplishment.
Kirkus.

From the Author

1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
When I was in college, I took a English literature tour to the UK that was transformational. I am still growing ideas in that garden. I’ve long been a reader of fantasy of all sorts, and The Demon King series has allowed me to indulge my love of high fantasy. I created the world of the Seven Realms for an epic fantasy trilogy I began a few years ago but never finished. I already had a magical system, a political system, a tragic history, and even a map! I loved living in that world, so I chose out some characters from that series and began to write The Demon King. It’s really a prequel to the action in the unfinished series. Which goes to prove that nothing is really wasted.

2. When did you start writing and how long did it take you?
People ask my husband when I write, and he says, “All the time.” I am relentless—I have to keep writing in order to find out what happens! So far, I’ve been able to write a book a year. It’s easier now I’ve left my day job, but other elements of the writing life are crowding in.

3. What was your writing schedule?
Morning is my best writing time. Ideally, I write all morning, and then do business after lunch. I come back to my writing when the business is done. I don’t watch television much—not because I disapprove but because it’s been crowded out.

4. Is writing an enjoyable experience for you?
I always tell would-be writers: don’t do it unless you love the process of creating story. If you’re doing it only for the money it will break your heart, because there is so much you can’t control. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Amid the slew of recent fantasy novels to hit the shelves comes this debut by a previously unknown writer that has managed to garner more than its fair share of exposure and acclaim, distinguishing itself very quickly in the genre. Add to that a recommendation by one of my favourite fantasy writers (Robin Hobb) and I was very much looking forward to sampling this book for myself.

Sadly, I don't think I'm the target market for this type of book. As other reviewers have commented- this is a title best suited to a teenage audience with all the angst and issues associated with that age group making up the substance of the plot. The emotional depth wasn't sufficient enough for me personally to become truly involved in the story. But that's not to say there isn't something for people of any age group to enjoy...

The characters take time to develop, but even in the beginning it's clear that Williams has identified and channeled the voices and personalities of her characters very well, especially those of Han `Hunts Alone' Alister (the common boy with the suppressed magical ability) and Princess Raisa (the haughty and pampered young royal).

As much as there is to applaud about this title, I found myself coldly appreciative of its positive attributes, rather than feeling as deeply involved as I wished to. My opinion by the end was that the book would have worked better with a single perspective. Williams has an above-average talent for depicting unique characters, and had her focus not been split between two differing protagonists and the reader been allowed to root for a single character, the plot would have been far more engaging.

So while a confident debut by a new fantasy writer, `The Demon King' reads like familiar fantasy fare, but one that I think still has possibility enough to warrant the purchase of further installments in the series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story sits well within the sub-genre of magical fantasy. There are the wizards and amulets, thieves, hill-folk, princesses and queens associated with the genre. The tale is well told, with plenty of action and a good deal of well-handled romance in the various relationships.
For me, however, it is a little formulaic and reminded me of several other books I've read in similar vein. Don't misunderstand me: this is a good story and it's well presented. But I found it a little predictable and recognised scenarios, character types, and story structures I've come across before and found myself wondering when such-and-such would happen. The author didn't disappoint me and I'm sure that lovers of this particular sub-genre will be delighted by the book. I prefer my fiction to be a little more surprising: I like to be led along a path and be presented with unexpected outcomes along the way.
The story moves at a good pace and the characters are well realised, as is the fantasy world the author has created here. I enjoyed the read, although I wasn't driven to read it in the way some stories demand attention.
So, a great book for lovers of this type of fiction. And a pretty good read in general terms, but, for me, lacking that something extra that would make it really stand out. Nevertheless, recommended for those who like their fantasy served in a manner they find comfortable.
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By Dinky VINE VOICE on 17 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
...to fantasy fiction for young teens, "The Demon King" unrolls in a richly imagined world. The characters and storyline are basic, but that is not to say they are dull: Williams Chima writes with enough of the right details to make lively characters and reasons to find the basic conflicts between said characters interesting. True, these characters are acting within settings that are not just fantastical but also well removed from the backgrounds of most average readers -- princesses, young soldiers, tribesmen, street kids -- and yet their issues and problems are recognizable. Balancing desires with responsibilities, attraction to members of the opposite sex, coping with parents who don't understand or with teenagers who disobey, policing against rampant hormones coupled with headstrong personalities, friendships, and feelings of rebellion will resonate with most teenagers and adults who have anything to do with teenagers. Williams Chima moves her characters through these, though, and on to explore wider social contexts -- different kinds of power, authority, varying social circles, poverty, crime, politics, responsibility -- all the while keeping them what they are supposed to be: teenagers. They don't magically turn into mature, calm young people but you can see them gradually growing into their potential adult selves.

The pace moves briskly enough but is awkwardly held up in a couple of places by dialogue almost fit to send you into hissing impatience. After all, time cannot be of that much essence if you feel like the characters are spending the next five minutes discussing and analyzing whatever immediate situation they're facing. "The Demon King", however, seems aimed towards readers moving into young adulthood, and you have to make allowances for the occasional in-depth focus. The hope, I guess, is to make said readers think.

Overall an enjoyable story. (Pretty impressive cover illustration, too.)
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love fantasy. It's "my genre" to be honest. I was brought up on Tolkein and Grey Mouser and have been an addict ever since. Not only do I read it, but it's the genre I write myself ... so I SHOULD like this book.

I really should.

But I just don't. I started reading and found it cliched and tedious. The desire to continue reading was not there because I found myself un-gripped - but the characters, by the plot, by the setting, by ANYTHING in fact. I now find myself feeling something of a fraud in writing this review because it is genuinely difficult to review a book where I spent the entire time I was reading it thinking "I wish I wasn't reading this".

Perhaps I should say little and leave the bulk of the reviews to others who might have seen something that I could not.
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