“The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2)” by Cinda Williams Chima
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.
Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.
I really liked the character growth of Han and Raisa in this book. Raisa is slowly gaining strength and independence. She’s not some crazy strong warrior woman because that would be a bit silly. She’s still Raisa but with a bit more. She’s learning to juggle her personal struggles with ‘professional’ struggles. What she wants isn’t necessarily what’s best for the Queendom.
Han is learning to navigate a completely different world. He did well but I appreicated that he knew he needed help and was able to ask for it. Well…he didn’t always ask for help but he’s starting to learn his limitations.
I was okay that most of the politics of the series took a back seat to the education of Raisa and Han. There were hints of what was going on back home and think the future books will tackle those politics.
I really enjoyed this as an audiobook! I think I’m going to finish up the series by listening to them.
The bottom line? Why did I wait so long to get back to this world? I really enjoyed it!