The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Action/Adventure, Suspense
Length: Full (528 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Lupine
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. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.
Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the theif-turned-wizard Han Allister can be trusted. She wants to believe it – he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive – and even they might not be enough.
The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hands of fate.
The Gray Wolf Throne is the third installment in the Seven Realms series. It’s full of action and romance as the paths that Han and Raisa have twisted around each other finally converge in an epic and large collision of hurt, betrayal, and love. Though Raisa stepped on Han’s trust and feelings for her, he still repeatedly helps her and is always the shadow behind her when she needs a shoulder to lean on.
Being in the court rather than out in the world was quite the change, and I appreciated the adaptation of the former street lord to the confines of blue blood life. Alister is just as manipulative and snide as those who live in the court, but he knows better ways to get what he wants. Raisa also has to struggle with the many callings of being a young queen, being pushed and pulled in many different directions, both in responsibility and in love. She’s got many options to marry, but she has to decide if her heart will choose over a political marriage for the better of the country. I like that Raisa has her head on her shoulders, and recognizes the many mistakes and wars that would be a result of an unwise choice in marriage. It’s an unusual thing to see such a high maturity level in someone her age, and I love to see how she takes on the many problems that are presented to her, and uses her mind. She also isn’t completely deterred by the many affections around her, the people trying to vie for her hand in marriage.
The plot thickens with the introduction of the plans to destroy, control, or use the throne. Many people want to have the Fells under their hand for war, for power, or many other things. Raisa has a lot on her plate. I thought the plot overall was good, but slow in some spots. I can’t wait to pick up the fourth book!