Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Series: Seven Realms #2
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
You can't always run from danger...
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 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.
THE EXILED QUEEN is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.
Han and Raisa are still awesome - even more so really. Each one has his/her moments that dropped my jaw or made me laugh out loud. They continue to be their bad ass selves and they also grow a lot in this book, getting stronger in their abilities and confidence and learning a lot along the way. The secondary characters get further fleshed out as well. We see a lot more of Micah and Fiona, as well as Amon, Cat and Dancer. I really liked Amon in the first book but felt particularly sympathetic toward him in this one, the poor thing.
As in the previous book, Han and Raisa go about their business for a while before their paths intersect. There's a good bit of traveling, with some trouble along the way, of course, so it doesn't get boring. Through the characters' travels, the reader gains a more in-depth understanding of the world and politics. This part of the story really helps a lot in giving a visual picture of what is going on throughout the seven realms - it enhances and helps to clarify a lot of the politics and war information that is being discussed in the first book through character experiences and visual imagery. Once the characters arrive at their schools the story opens up a lot. And things also begin to get more serious as destinies start to unfold. It ends with some character decisions that will have readers waiting impatiently for the third book. It also leaves the reader with some interesting questions - and theories regarding the answers!
I loved this book just as much as, and probably even more than, The Demon King, and I definitely can't wait to get my hands on the third book as soon as it is released.