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. Still, 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 merciless hand of fate.

The Gray Wolf Throne is the third book in the Seven Realms series by Cinda Willians Chima and picks up almost immediately from where The Exiled Queen ended. Having narrowly escape Micah Bayar when their group was ambushed by one of the feuding kings of Arden, Raisa begins the dangerous journey to claim her throne while trying to stay one step ahead of those who’d see her silenced. Han has been recalled to the Clans as war with the Wizards looms. When he finds Raisa–whom he knew as Rebecca–injured in the mountains, it sets forth a chain of events that will either strengthen or shatter the Gray Wolf Throne.

I absolutely loved this book with the constant sense of danger being the greatest draw, especially for Raisa. From the beginning of the book there’s a steady stream of people trying to kill her and I lost count of the assassination attempts. Even after Raisa makes it to Fellsmarch there are still attempts on her life and she is surround by people who seek to use and manipulate her to their own ends. I was literally on the edge of my seat for most of the novel, trying to figure out the who, what, and why, and whether or not Raisa would survive long enough to deal with it all.

Han was another compelling point to this book. I loved the burgeoning romance between him and Raisa in the previous book and looked forward to seeing how it developed in the third. It isn’t surprising that their relationship turns sour after he learns that Rebecca Morley is the princess heir he so despises, but if Han is to get what he wants–including some freedom from the Clans–he’ll have to do everything in his power to keep Raisa breathing.

Some of the questions in the last two books that had been floating around in my mind were answered in this one. You learn Crow’s identity as well as that of Dancer’s father. Both came as a shock–especially Crow’s reveal–and I admire how Chima expertly wove these buildups into the backdrops of the previous two novels. I won’t reveal the specifics, but these answers alone make the books worth reading. Of course, more questions replace the old; was Queen Marianna’s death accident or murder–and if the latter, whose responsible? Whose murdering mages and does Han have anything do with it? And who is trying to kill Raisa?

All of these questions and more hang in the air as the book ends. Raisa has been crowned queen, but many troubles loom, especially from Arden who is now under the rule of one king whose made no attempt to hide his designs upon all the realms. And what about Raisa and Han? Can they ever be together, even though a marriage between a Queen and a Wizard has been banned for a thousand years?

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