Monday, November 12, 2012

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Chima


From The Exiled Queen: 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 he's left danger 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 she needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

Everything changes when Han's and Raisa's paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendship, cutthroat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

WARNING!: Spoilers ahead!

Extended Summary: Gillen, who is posted at Westgate, is visited by Micah. He ordered Gillen to send soldiers to go to the Demonai Camp to see if Raisa, the princess heir, is hiding out there. If the princess is found and is brought back to Micah, Gillen would be richly rewarded. Because of this Gillen agreed to send the soldiers.

Han and Dancer, who are both part wizard, are traveling to Oden's Ford. They reach a village where they run into the Queen's Guard that are searching for the missing princess heir. Fiona, Micah's sister, saw through Han's disguise and, with the help of others, tried to capture the two traveling companions. Han unintentionally used a hex, revealing to Fiona that he was a wizard. Despite the large group trying to capture them, the two traveling companions are able to escape.

Meanwhile, Raisa is traveling with Amon and the others in his triple of nine. She shared a tent with Amon and two others, but Amon switched tents with someone else after Raisa had accidentally rolled on top of him. She had awoken to see Amon in great pain. Ever since then, Amon had left the camp during the day, making Raisa wonder what he was doing. She snuck away from camp and found Amon practicing sticking, an art of fighting he learned at his time at Wien House. Raisa asked him to teach her sticking, which he does and ends up kissing her. Like before, he appeared to be in great pain. Then, Sloat and other members of the Guard, who were on their way to investigate the Demonai Camp appeared, and tried to take Raisa. However, Reid Nightwalker, Digging Bird, and other Demonai warriors shoot and kill the Guard, saving the day.

Han and Dancer stop in at a tavern for the night. They eat a meal and Dancer goes up to their room. While drinking cider, he watched a man named Boudreaux cheat at cards. Boudreaux demanded money that he "won" from his female opponent, but she wouldn't pay up. Han realized with surprise that the lady was Cat, the member of the Raggers that had replaced him as street lord. To help her out, Han played the man and won enough money to pay off Cat's debt, plus more. He asked Cat later what she was doing away from Ragmarket, and she told him that all the other Raggers have disappeared or died. Speaker Jemson paid her way to a temple in Oden's Ford, but she changed her mind on going. She asked to travel with Han and Dancer, but stormed away when she heard that they were going to Oden's Ford too.

Raisa and company reach the Dyrnnewater Cascades.  They climb down a cliff face, and the next day, they find Rivertown in ruins. While walking, Hallie disappeared. Garret, Talia, Raisa, and Amon made camp while the rest went out to find Hallie. They did not return, and, after they went to scout the area, Garret and Talia also went missing. Amon suspected it was the Waterwalkers' doing, so he asked for a parley. A man named Dimitri and his two counselors, Adoni and Leili, appear. They explained that Dyrnnewater was full of poisons. Even after they complained to the queen, nothing was done. Because the fish could not be eaten, raiders took food from the Fells and Tamron. In response, soldiers attacked Rivertown and many lives were lost. Because of the number of deaths, they planned to kill Amon, Raisa, and the others. However, Raisa talked the Walkterwalkers out of that idea and, in exchange for letting them live, Amon would take Dimitri's grievances to his father and the queen. Dimitri agreed to this and asked his counselors to leave him. Once alone, Dimitri mentioned the run away princess heir. Raisa gave him a scarf that had the emblem of the princess heir. "'Once the princess returned to Fellsmarch, you can use it as a token. If you ever need her help, or need to get a message to her, send this scarf along with the messenger, and I guarantee you will be heard'"(119). He gave Raisa his staff to send to the princess heir (which is actually Raisa herself). The other cadets are reunited with them, and they all leave.

Han and Dancer stop in at an inn where they saw a group of soldiers (with one leaking magic), a veiled Malthusian sister (part of the Church Malthus, a church that did not think highly of wizards), and a Malthusian priest. The priest looked at them through his spectacles and began calling them sinners. Marin Karn, the solider that was leaking magic, shooed the priest away and bought them some cider. After drinking it, Han realized too late that it was drugged with turtleweed.

They awake in a strange room without their amulets. Marin Karn, the priest, and Gerard Montaigne walk in. They debated on what to do with the uneducated wizards. In the end, Montaigne ordered Karn to kill time. Karn is left alone with them, and Han is able to trick him into releasing him. Han obtained his amulet and, with the help of Cat (who had been watching them in disguise of the Mathusian sister), they are able to escape. Because Dancer lost his amulet in the commotion, Han gave him his Lone Hunter amulet. Cat realized that they were both serious about going to Oden's Ford and decided to join them in their journey there.

Raisa and company reached Wien House where Master Askell requested to see Raisa. They speak about the special privileges that, unknown to Raisa, Edon Byrne requested for her. Afterwards, Raisa left his office feeling like she lost any chance of her staying in Wien House. However, she later found out that her special privileges had been approved, and she is allowed to stay in Wien House.

Han and Dancer arrived at Mystwerk House and are assigned to stay in Hamton Hall with Belvins as their dorm master. They escorted Cat to temple school before going to Bridge Street to eat. When they go to eat at a tavern, they run into Micah and his cousins who were also staying in Hamton Hall. Han stepped in when Micah was trying to force a waitress to get them a table with magic. Han challenged Micah, and they shake on it.

The two wizards go to Gryphon's class where they are instructed to travel to Aediion, a sort of a dreamworld. Han paired up with Dancer, and they travel to Old Woman Creek. Once there, they exhange messages, as instructed by Gryphon. Dancer left, and, before Han can follow, a man named Crow appeared. He requested that Han became his student. If Han were to take Crow up on his offer, he would have to meet him in Aediion at midnight at Mystwerk bell tower.

One day, Han returned to his room to find it trashed. While racing down the stairs, he tripped over a wire. Micah's cousins tried to take his amulet, but Han screamed to get Blevins's attention. The cousins are scared away and Han is sent to the healer. Afterwards, Abelard (the dean of Mystwerk House) called Han to her office. She asked him to join her special study group of students. If he declined the offer, he would be expelled because he was a criminal. He agreed, but under the condition that he is under the dean's protection. Later on, Han decided to meet Crow in Aediion. When he arrived, Crow fooled around with him for a while before teaching him a spell to solve Han's burglar problem. Later on in the story, Blevins informed Han that the Bayars had to move out of their dorms because of a sudden rodent problem.

Han attended the first meeting for Abelard's group. Hadron, one of the members of the group, presented his topic, the existence of the Armory of the Gifted Kings. The Armory was a vast collection of magical pieces and weapons. "Han looked up form his notes-taking to see Fiona, head down, hand flying across the page. Micah...seemed transfixed, his...eyes focused on Hadron, his face pale and intent...was it possible that they didn't know where it was either...Maybe Han could beat them to it"(327). Abelard later told Han to be ready to present the topic of traveling to Aediion to the group.

Raisa, noticing that he had become less available, decided to wait for Amon in the common room. When he came downstairs, he is dressed up. He told her that he was busy and left. She decided to follow him and saw him with a girl in a parlor of the Temple School. Amon suddenly turned and looked at her, making her run away. Cat intercepted her and questioned her, but Raisa was able to get away from her. Afterward, Amon explained to her that his father had matched him with Annamaya (the girl he was with) and that Raisa and Amon couldn't be together because the bond that had been formed between them.

Cat told Han that she saw Rebecca (aka Raisa). This made Han want to meet her. He ran into her on solstice eve and asked her to tutor him to be more like a blueblood. She agreed to meet him in an upstairs room at Turtle and Fish on Tuesday and Thursdays.

Han introduced traveling to Aediion to the study group. They all go to Aediion, only for Crow to arrive. Crow tried to kill Micah and Fiona Bayar, but failed because he could not actually do magic on his own.

Raisa fell asleep in the library, only to be awoke by an assassin who claimed to be named Corporal Rivers. She killed him in self defense only to run into Micah Bayar. He offered to either deliver her downstairs to the other three assassins sent by his father or to take her back to Fells and marry her. She chose to marry him and Micah drugged her with turtle weed. Meanwhile, Digging Bird (renamed Night Bird) visited Han to deliver the message that he is needed back at home to protect the princess heir and fight against the Wizard Council. Han grudgingly agreed to return.

Raisa awoke to find that she was riding on horse to Fells with Micah, Fiona, the cousins, and Wil. They are suddenly taken captive by Ardenine soliders, only for Tamron cavalry to attack the soldiers. During the commission, Raisa is able to escape on Fiona's horse.

Like the first, the book ended with both characters heading in the same direction, only this time, they are heading home.


Book Rating: ★★★
Besides the fact that I got really tired of writing this summary, I really enjoyed reading this book. It may not be my favorite book of all time, but I love how Chima made each scene very interesting.

Character List
In order of appearance, new characters only

.Robbie Sloat: Gillen's duty officer
.Mace Boudreaux: the cheater at cards
.Barlow: line solider at Westgate
.Dimitri: Lord of Waterwalkers
.Adoni and Leili: counselors of Dimitri
.Father Fossnaught: Malthusian priest
.Marin Karn: gifted solider
.Taim Askell: dean of Wien House
. Pearlie: Talia's girlfriend
.Timis Hadron: a proficient
.Dilbert Blevins: dorm master
.Annamaya Dubai: a Temple student
.Rutha: the server was hurt by Micah
.Max: a provost guard
.Adam Gryphon: teacher of spell casting to newlines
.Crow: Han's tutor in Aediion
.Mordra deVilliers: young proficient
.Henri Tourant: proficient, Raisa's teacher
.Master Leontus: middle aged gifted healer
.Abelard: dean of Mystwerk House

For more details, visit the Cinda William Chima website

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