Special Review: To be exact, this isn't REALLY a review for The Crimson Crown only--this is more like a series review of the entire Seven Realms Series which consist of:
The Demon King
The Exiled Queen
The Gray Wolf Throne
The Crimson Crown
I'm doing this mostly because I just recently reread this series, fell in love all over again, and don't want to take the time to review it in increments because I know what happens after each installment. I'm afraid if I try to review each book separately, I'm going to either spoil something or talking about something that happened in a future book. But overall, I guess I will focusing more heavily on the ending of the series, thus why I will name this review for the fourth and final installment.
Series Book Breakdown Ratings:
The Demon King: 4 stars
The Exiled Queen: 4.5 stars
The Gray Wold Throne: 5 stars
The Crimson Crown: 5 stars
Overall Average: 4.6 stars
Steph's Review: There will be small spoilers for the first few books, since I will be reviewing the series with The Crimson Crown in mind.
The Seven Realms series might be on the more tween-teen side of high fantasy books, but nonetheless is still remaining one of my all-time faves. While the series started off on a rather predictable note, Cinda Williams Chima improved the plot and language with every book in the series and turned an average magic-genre book (The Demon King) into a highly epic adventure. If I had started reading these books as a middle-schooler, I know I would have been maniac obsessed with these and been that "special" (and annoying) kid that forces every single last friend she has into becoming an obsessee with her :)
Now, I can't express just how utterly perfect the ending to Seven Realms is. If anything, people should read this series to bask in the glory of the epilogue to The Crimson Crown. All the angst, tears, screams of frustration, and cries of sorrow that readers have invested into the series is definitely not for naught, and all the turmoil she put both her readers and own characters through ends on a perfectly-pitched high-strung chord. It. Was. PERFECT, ok? You don't get a lot of series where the author can make a good ending without seeming like they tried to make a HEA. To me, there's a huge difference to me between an author who tries to make everything work out (and you can tell especially when things get ridiculous--e.g. Maximum Ride) and one who writes so smoothly that there can only be an HEA. Cinda Williams Chima, with this series, falls into the latter category. I will read anything she writes now because I have assurance that her books will retain quality.
In the final installment of this series, Han and Raisa have to find a way to battle their main opponent: The Bayars. Han has to fend off one of the most powerful wizards known to the Seven Realms, Gavan Bayar, and Raisa has to deal with the deceitful woos of Micah Bayar. They each have their own battles, but have the same enemy. The must not fail, or else it could spell the end to the Gray Wolf Line of Queens of the already fragile nation of the Fells.
For some reason, this book reminds me of the Greek story of Pyramus and Thisbe (the one about the two lovers who communicated through the holes and cracks between the walls that separated their homes) , except without the tragic ending. Han and Raisa come from completely different worlds but have the purest love for each other; they are really one of those great love stories that only come once every century. To the public eye, they would never be accepted as a couple, and they must work through the masses at the same time as battling their enemies to make their bright future. Han and Raisa couldn't always be together, and even if they were, they could only communicate shallowly--much like Pyramus and Thisbe whispering to each other through the few cracks in the thick walls that separated them.
The Crimson Crown has every element of my definition of a "good book"--a perfect harmony between suspense, action, an air of mystery, and the sweetest romance. The flawless writing contributes even more to this series more than anything, and simply, you just feel awesome while reading this series. I could not put any of these books onto my nightstand no matter how late it was; these books had a little voice I couldn't ignore that kept on calling me back to them whenever I tried to set them aside, and I would stay up until I finished the book. This entire series is a must, must read for all ages, a timeless fantasy that will always be a favorite!