Series: Seven Realms, #3
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Category: High Fantasy/ Adventure/ Romance
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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 thief-turned-wizard Han Alister 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 that might not be enough.
The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.
Both Han and Raisa have grown so much since the first book. Han used to be an ex-street lord, doing what he could to support his mother and sister. So much has changed for him since then, and I can definitely say that I am proud of the development he has grown through. He does still have a ways to go. But what I enjoy seeing is his cunning smarts and how he follows his heart. He is a perceptive character and I loved watching him use that to help him and those around him.“She's tough for a blueblood, he'd thought, a lifetime ago. Maybe tough enough to be with him. He hadn't considered that he might not be tough enough to be with her.”
Raisa has also grown quite a bit since the first book as well, though not as much as Han in my opinion. But I can see the maturity more now in Raisa. She is a romantic at heart, but she has calmed down a bit with the flirting…since she has met Han. What I still enjoy about her character is her strong will and determination to put her throne, others, before herself. Though she is hotheaded, she’s a strong willed young woman.
Of course, they still have growing to do, but I am amazed by how much they have grown since the first book. But I have to say it is the budding romance that I enjoy so much between them. Though I do wish there were more romantic and sweet scenes between them. I can really feel the developing love they have. And I also can’t wait to see where their love will go and how it will test them both.
This book is also filled with quite an array of characters. I enjoy so many of them! But I also have to mention the villains in this tale. They are quite the evil bunch, manipulating and conniving. I enjoyed them just as much as the side characters!“She'd never felt safer -- she'd never felt more alive than when she was dying in Han Alister's arms.”
Those many might find the pacing of this book to be a bit dragging, I felt for a high fantasy it was well done. I loved the action that was mixed in with the slower scenes. The plot is thickening and the world is growing magnificently. The development in characters is also such a joy to watch.
All in all, I absolutely love the complex and diverse story that Chima has developed. Each book seems to bring and answer questions while adding intense, gripping action, cutthroat politics, magic, and a star-crossed romance. I adore this series and the characters! And I can't wait to start the last book in the series! I do recommend this series for those who enjoy a very diverse high fantasy world filled with politics, adventure and magic!