Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Where is the Demon King?


I thoroughly enjoyed Cinda Chima's Warrior Heir, Wizard Heir, and Dragon Heir. The plot and the characters were interesting and the pacing kept the story moving at a fast clip. I liked the twists and turns of the Warrior Heir and never being absolutely sure who could be trusted. I remember reading the beginning of Wizard Heir and gasping at the tragedy that occurs within the first couple of chapters. The series had me hooked from the beginning. I was sad to leave those characters behind.

It's not surprising, then, that I've been anticipating Chima's new series for months. When it finally arrived, it came at a time I had no time to read it. Twice my hold came in and I had to give it up and  put myself back at the bottom of the hold list, which was quite frustrating. Last week it came in again, and I decided to bypass another book in favor of reading this one at last. I intended to immerse myself in this new world, whatever it was, and expected to savor every minute. So it gives me a pang to have to say that this new series isn't grabbing me like the Heir series did.

  • It's 500 pages long. I'm on page 360 (note: I've now finished the book), and the action is only now kicking into gear. I enjoy reading long books, but that's an awfully leisurely set up.
  • Dancer's secret has finally been revealed. How many more pages before Cuffs learns his? (Answer: about another 80)
  • I still don't feel I know Amon and Dancer very well. Cuffs and Raisa are a little more fleshed out, but not as well as the Heir characters were by this point in their books. The only character I'm really invested in is Cuffs, and by this time, they should all be more important to me.
  • That being said, I still think Dancer is getting a rough deal, and I want to see how he works that out.
  • The timeline seems a little shaky. More than once, the implication has been that several days have gone by, but another character's scene  referencing the same events will indicate that only one or two have. Not a big issue, but it keeps tripping me up as I read.
  • At this point, the plot doesn't seem to be showing us anything new. A weak queen, wizards who have more influence than they should, political upheaval, and four (at least) teens with talents and abilities that will put them smack in the middle of the mix. I want something to surprise me. Is it coming?
  • Lots of foreshadowing makes me suspect that the pace is about to pick up dramatically, just in time for a great cliffhanger ending. 
  • Now that I've finished the book, I can't say we got a cliffhanger. But I do think the next book in the series will be much more action driven, now that all the pieces seem to finally be in place.
  • Yes, I'll definitely read the next book in this series. I may not be enthralled by this one, but I'm still a Chima fan.

Anyone want to yell at me and tell me I'm wrong, wrong, wrong? Anyone out there who agrees?

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