When I read my previous reviews, I was confused by myself too. I am such a fan of this series. I will start over, less fan gushing this time.
The Crimson Crown is the final installment of the Seven Realms series by the author Cinda Williams Chima about the struggles of Han Alister who was born in poverty and found himself becoming an enemy against the great wizard family the Bayars and Princess Raisa ana’Marianna, an heir of the throne who was forced to fight for the future of her kingdom and is trying hard to unite her divided people against the incoming hostile enemies.
At the start of the book, it followed the previous book where Raisa claim the throne after the murder of her mother, the Queen and by doing so, she was thorn between her legacy and her love for Han Alister, the boy who she fall in love with.
Han Alister was heartbroken when he found out his love, Rebecca is the princess in hiding, Princess Raisa. But his ambitious quest for vengence against the Bayar for murdering his family drove him to assimilate himself in the politics as the guardian of the queen and thus gaining a lordship in process. Due to his own ambition, it troubled the Bayar who recognize him as a threat and constantly trying to hurt Han’s reputation as possible and the Demonai elders who found Han being too unpredictable for their cause.
With the threats coming from both Demonai and Wizard’s prejudices, Raisa and Han found its hard for other party to reach understanding. Raisa who had to take up the throne began to notice her queendom’s military strength is dwindling, loyalties divided among her people and the strife between Demonai and the Wizards is straining on her including the recurrent wizard homicides that all seemed to point to Han Alister.
What more depressing about this novel is that everyone seems to be against Han. Its not Han’s fault to be gifted nor for his past, he’s young and its a cruel world to be poor. Double standards posh people.
On the other hand, Crow revealed himself to be Alger Waterlow, the infamous Demon King who broke the world. However, according to the thousand years old Lucas, Alger’s friend and Hanalea’s consort, the Bayars had falsified history and blaming everything on the young Alger Waterlow. Because of this, the Demonai clan who had kept an eye on Han’s ancestory had tried all their best to suppress the gifted descendent of Alger until Han.
By claiming his birthright, Han finally have something to prove against the Bayars immense influence and cronyism. But this requires him to navigate his way around the intricate wizarding politics in the influential wizard council that was predominantly conquered by the Bayars.
Being an epic fantasy YA novel, the book doesn’t skimp on being a love story between Han and Raisa. I do find their naive relationship within this book doesn’t change much from the previous book and the conflicts added are too convinient and easy for both of them.
Half of the book is mostly about Han’s battle against everyone and somehow it does left a bitter unresolved aftertaste on me on how slightly disappointed it was as a finale of a series. I do find some characters are undone and was resolved in a hurry like Micah and Amon. I do love the plot that involved Fire Dancer and the past but the abrupt ending for most of the characters is simplified and it does leave too much hanging.
Honestly, four books is not enough to conclude the Seven Realms series. It deserve seven instalments and a tv series contract that rivalled Seekers or Game of Thrones. A lot of the world building was stunted due to letting the plot flows. In the previous books, the characters were sometimes travelling and constantly exposed to newer region and people. And there were less literary techniques and more ‘cue epiphany’ in it.
The ending seems to be too fan-pleasing. I like it intially but after a while, it hit me. I became a bit skeptic with some parts especially how it get predictable and convinient for the main characters that somehow doesn’t lift up to the expectation.
Its a tad disappointment after a year of waiting but on the bright side, it could have gone worser.