I just finished The Gray Wolf Throne. Basically it goes like this: Han Alister, the main character, is a gang-leader-turned-wizard. He hates the queen and other nobles, because they are in part responsible for the death of his mother and sister. But when he finds out he is a wizard, he makes an agreement with the clans to serve the Gray Wolf Line and the queedom of the Fells in exchange for the sponsoring of his education at Mystewerk House, the wizard academy at Oden’s Ford.
Then there’s the other main character, Raisa ana’ Marianna, princess heir of the Fells. Despite being a princess and the heir to the throne, she doesn’t lead a cushioned life. Some people are out to kill her because they want to claim the queendom of the Fells as their own. She has already run away from a forced marriage, which displays headstrong character. The people who want her dead would rather see her sister Mellony on the throne, someone who has always been in the comfort of court and is easily influenced by others in power.
Han and Raisa eventually meet at Oden’s Ford, where the latter is assuming the pretense of a cadet at Wien House, the military academy. When Raisa goes home to assume the throne, she takes Han on as one of her body guards. She needs people she can trust to watch her back.
First of all, Cinda Williams Chima is one of my favorite authors. Her descriptions make for amazing visual imagery. Secondly, I admire Raisa’s smarts and strength. She’s not a push-over who can be easily swayed by good looking guys. But, honestly, this book’s pace was a bit slow for me. Chima usually balances action and adventure with fantasy politics well, but I felt this book had more politics than the others. But I still liked it. Go give the Seven Realms Series a read.