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Summary: Reformed thief Han Alister will do anything to provide for his mother and sister. The only things of value that he could sell for a heavy price are the cuffs he’s worn on his wrists since he was little, but they are impossible to remove. They clearly have magic — as he grows, they grow. One day, Han and his friend confront three wizards setting fire to the mountains. Han takes the amulet from one of the wizards and learns that it once belonged to the Demon King, a wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With something this powerful, Han knows that the owners will do anything to get the amulet back. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa struggles with her freedom from an arranged marriage. The world shakes when these two stories converge into one, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards. This is the first title in the Seven Realms fantasy series for Young Adults.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and Up; read yourself: 11 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: This story is very involved! The beginning was very slow, with a lot of information and characters to take in. But, once the action picks up, this book quickly became on of my favorites. The whole time, I was intrigued by how these two stories would meet together in the end. The way it is done is brilliant! Even with all the plotting and action, there is a tiny bit of romance between the princess and one of her childhood friends that warms your heart. The only complaint, again, is that the beginning was a bit too slow. Besides this, The Demon King is an excellent addition to the young adult fantasy genre!
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Following the path of two parallel stories that converge into one will keep readers spellbound.
Cons: Teen reviewer notes that there is fantasy violence and mild sexual themes. She would recommend for teens 13 and up.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. It may be a slow start, but it becomes a page turner you can't put down. With all of the action and characters, it will be a great reference when you start reading the next book.
Educational Themes: As with many young adult novels with well-developed characters, there are opportunities to talk about life lessons, choices, consequences, and relationships. If you're reading aloud, there may be logical points to ask your audience for predictions.
Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.
Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult, fantasy, adventure, series
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2015
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.