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The Demon King (Seven Realms, Book 1)

The Demon King - Cinda Williams Chima Riddle time.

What do you get when you combine Aladdin, The Newsies, and Merlin?

No, not Disney's newest hit movie, although that's a fantastic idea. You get The Demon King. I know...what? It doesn't make sense, but it works.

This is the story of Princess Jasmine and Aladdin Princess Raisa and Han, the royal who isn't satisfied with just pretty dresses and court life and the former streetlord just trying to get by. Not so much Raisa and Han, since the majority of it is two separate lives running parallel to one another in a way that doesn't annoy you because you just know that when they collide completely its going to be epic.

So this is what the story has that I absolutely love:

*Street gangs run by kids in the midst of a turf war and a leader who decides to retire at the ripe old age of sixteen. Did I wish they ended with a big musical number? Obviously.

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*Wizards. Who doesn't love wizards? Especially the charming kind with a powerful father that gives you the chills. I sort of like Micah even though I know I shouldn't. I have a feeling if really given the choice of forcing Raisa to marry him he wouldn't have done it. I have faith that he will redeem himself...hopefully.

*The Royal Guard. You had me at a soldier with a sword. I love Amon. I will proudly wear a Team Amon shirt.

*A princess who isn't shy with the boys. Raisa is so refreshing. In the obvious ways she's wise beyond her years and makes the hard decisions, and sometimes wrong decisions, you expect a proper heroine to. But in others she's just a teenage girl because she wants to spend her summer being wooed and kissing boys. And she will if given the chance. If you were in hidden corners of ballrooms or dark passage ways with attractive boys, what would you do? Me too.

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*An ending that leaves me rushing out to get the second book. Or in my case, rushing to my libraries website and placing a hold on it.

In summary...everything I love about fantasy books, and just books in general, has been packed into this. Not in a way that has you groaning about having everything, including the kitchen sink. But in a way that has you excited that it has everything, including the kitchen sink. There is a very important difference.