The Demon King
Cinda Williams Chima
I feel like this could be a pretty good series, but I was constantly rolling my eyes at the ignorance of the main characters.
The narrative goes back and forth between our two main characters, Raisa who is the heir princess and Han (aka Cuffs) a former street lord. Basically, there are three types of people in this book: wizards, clanspeople, and regular people. Raisa is the daughter of the Queen and her consort, clansman of the Demonai group who absolutely hate wizards. Raisa just spent some time with the clans, but has returned home to her mother and the kingdom for her 'name day' (16th birthday) that allows her to be of marriageable age. Her mother is determined to find her a good match, and the high wizard who is always whispering in her mothers ear agrees. Raisa has no idea what is going on in her kingdom, or even in her castle. I find it hard to believe that up until now no one has been concerned with the type of Queen she will become, or even what she knows about her people. Even after she is exposed to the hunger and violence of her streets, she's too busy thinking about the boys she's kissed (there is quite a lot of kissing in this book).
Cuffs used to be a street lord, but abandoned his position in a promise to his mother to live a better life. However, he's missing the money that came with the thievery and tries to find another way to provide for his mother and sister. A run-in with some wizards on forbidden land leaves him in possession of a powerful amulet which seems to bring him trouble at every turn.
As I said before, I think this could be a good series but the first installment felt like a lot of infodump. We learn about the history of the Queenship, the different areas in the land, different families, and even different types of people. It's a lot to take in, which is probably why it's 500 pages. The problem is, when we're not being loaded up with information, we're left wondering what the hell the main characters are thinking. I could see every 'twist' 10 mile away, and even when you think whatever that twist is will be revealed, you're wrong. Wait another 50 pages and then you'll finally be relieved of the characters stupidity. The ending had some pretty good reveals, and I think that the second book has a good premise, but will also probably be much too long.