The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima Book Review

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It’s taken several years, but I finally finished the Seven Realms Series. Perhaps I’m well past the age of the appropriate audience, but this ending felt lackluster after such a strong series. It was still a fair book, but not great in comparison to the first three.

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima paperback
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima


In the final novel of Chima’s high fantasy young adult series, the war that’s been broiling in the realms comes to a head. Raisa, now the queen of the Fells, must contend with all her enemies and bring together people who have been split for centuries. Han Alister, her wizard counselor, and her love interest helps Raisa bring the kingdom together, ensuring everyone has an equal voice. But they can only succeed if they’re honest with each other and bring the truth to light.

Characters of The Crimson Crown

In the past, Han and Raisa’s constant push and pull compelled me. But by the fourth book, it wears out. The will they/won’t they seesaw grew tired and left me unsatisfied in the end. All the relationships felt that way, really. Every dynamic, whether it was Raisa and Amon or the wizards versus clan stretched out too long. It was a relief when it finally came to an end. The prolonged tensions affected the characters’ growth. It felt like three books’ worth of development stagnated and fell short.


While the characters fell short, the story kept moving along at a pace that worked. However, it did feel a bit uneven as well. The political intrigue dragged a bit on both Raisa’s and Han’s sides. The end approached quickly and culminated in a neat little bow.

Cultural Influences

Throughout the series, I couldn’t help but compare the story to Tamora Pierce’s Trickster duology. Raisa represents the bridge between two peoples who cannot coexist: the colonizers and the colonized. She is the daughter of the queen of the conquering people and the chief of the clan people. It’s hard not to make the connection to the sisters in the Trickster duology.

It also bears acknowledging that both series are written by white women. While mixed characters are certainly worth exploring, a more deft hand is required. Both series create an interesting premise that reflects real-life issues. But they don’t go far enough to understand the nuance of such existence.

Rating Crimson Crown

3 out of 5 stars. I loved the rest of the series enough to finish it. But the book doesn’t stand too well on its own.

Find this book on my list and other books I’ve reviewed.

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