Reviews for Crimson Crown
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #2
In this concluding volume of the series, wizard, thief, and now bodyguard Han Allister longs to marry his charge Queen Raisa, but she's committed to a political marriage to save her quarreling queendom. The "jinxflingers" hate the native Demonai clans, someone is murdering wizards in the slums (and Han is the prime suspect), and the Ardenine army hovers on the border, waiting for an excuse to invade. Only by playing the multiple schemers off one another to heal the country can Han hope to win Raisa's hand. Here the promise of previous volumes is realized: the budding love story springs to full flower and the hints captured in thousand-year-old legends are borne out, while the stakes are ratcheted up to perilous heights. Betrayal, war, and the faith of lovers all come around to a glorious conclusion as Chima weaves together her geopolitical, magical, romantic, and even mythical themes on an epic scale. anita l. burkam
Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
Torture and treasure, treason and trust, and the triumph of true love: All come to fruition in the stirring conclusion to this epic fantasy series. Raisa ana'Marianna has claimed the Gray Wolf throne, but her grip is tenuous: Every faction--clans, wizards, army, flatlanders--both within and without the Fells hates all the others, and each pushes Raisa to accept its preferred candidate for consort. Meanwhile, Han Alister has taken his seat on the Wizard Council at the queen's command, but every other member secretly wants to use him or kill him. Furthermore, there are the mysterious murders of wizards, marked with Han's old streetlord sign; all this disarray signals a weakness that encourages invading armies from the South. Together, Han and Raisa seek the long-lost Armory of the Gifted Kings as the only way to avoid re-enacting a 1,000-year-old tragedy; but to wield such a weapon may well trigger an even greater catastrophe. Chima manages to resolve this impossibly tangled skein of politics, intrigue, history, prejudice and passion with style and grace. Grim scenes of shocking violence alternate with moments of tenderness and humor, and the high body count is balanced by the almost fairy-tale–romantic conclusion. While some of the depth and complexities of the supporting characters--along with the nuanced subtleties of their conflicting worldviews--are sacrificed to help demonize (or valorize) their respective positions, nothing can overshadow the cathartic satisfaction for those caught up in this sweeping saga. Simply brilliant. (Fantasy. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.