Review: The Gray Wolf Throne

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Publisher: Hyperion

Series: Seven Realms #3

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Rating:  4.5/5 

Recommendation: Ages 15+

From Goodreads:

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.

In Book 2, The Exiled Queen, Raisa and Han are exiled to Oden’s Ford (Warrior and Magic schools respectively) and have plenty of their time absorbed in studying and staying alive. (And really, how amazing is it that our princess and heroine gets to go to a warrior school and learn to kill people battle strategy, politics and things she’ll actually need?) But by the end Raisa is betrayed and kidnapped, Han and her friends are searching in dangerous and war-torn territories, and the fate of the queendom hangs in the balance.

The Gray Wolf Throne picks up where The Exiled Queen leaves off. Book 3 ratchets up the tension by bringing all of the major players from books 1 and 2 back into the Fells, bringing some long-held secrets into the open, and adding frustrating new ones to the mix. Queen Marianna is murdered and Raisa must take the throne, without getting herself of her allies (some less honorable than others) killed in the process.

The Good:

  • Have I mentioned the diversity in this book? So great to read, especially coming from YA and Fantasy! Dear YA Authors- more of this please.
  • The Bechdel test? Passes with flying colors. Once again, YA authors (all authors) it’s refreshing to have multiple female characters, who talk to each other, about things that are more important than guys.
  • Strong characters, we’ve got ’em. Once again Chima succeeds in filling her cast of characters with really well rounded and interesting people. No flat, stock characters here. Be aware that everyone has a motivation, no one is perfectly good or evil, and everyone has an agenda.
  • I don’t know how to describe this book without letting you know how stressful it was. The tension runs high from page 1, and any lulls you hit are just there to give you a false sense of security so you’ll be easier to hit with poisoned arrows. You’ve been warned.
  • While I’m talking about stress and well-written characters I have to mention how frustrating-but-also-amazing it is that three books in with only one more to go and I still only really trust three characters not to stab each other of someone else in the back. I sometimes even have doubt about them. Given how much I read The amount of laughably evil, just evil, evil with no motivation other than being a big evil bad guy characters and pure, good, honest, incredibly boring but super nice characters I read. It’s like Christmas when all of the characters are grey and murky and messed up and real. Best.

The Issues:

  • Because certain parts of the book got so much screen-time (the battle/journey at the beginning for example) some other parts felt a little rushed, but overall this was a mild issue for me and didn’t rally hurt my enjoyment.
  • There were a couple of timeline inconsistencies. For instance when Raisa appoints Han to the council we’re told that the first meeting is a week away, yet we never see the council meeting, many days pass, and it’s still spoken of as if it’s in some undefined future time. There weren’t enough of these and they weren’t glaring enough to really hurt the plot, they just left me scratching my head once or twice. And I wanted to see that council meeting, darn it!

Overall the series is highly recommended and this book definitely didn’t disappoint. Read it!

If fantasy is your thing I also recommend Tamora Pierce’s Daughter of the Lioness Series.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Melanie McCullough on December 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    This series has been on my TBR list forever. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the review!


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