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Honors and Awards

  • 2019 Named as one of the Ohioana Library's 90 favorite books published by Ohio authors in the last 90 years.
  • A VOYA Perfect Ten
  • VOYA's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Booklist 2009
  • Starred review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • An IndieNext Winter Pick, 2009-2010
  • 2010 Lone Star Reading List (Texas Library Association)
  • 2010-2011 Arkansas state teen book award list
  • 2011 Volunteer State Book Award Nominee (Tennessee)
  • 2011-2012 South Carolina Junior Book Award Winner
  • 2011 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults list
  • 2009 Barnes & Noble Best Teen Book

Demon King Reviews

Review from The Horn Book, January 1, 2010
Readers follow the highly likable characters in plot strands that touch and separate and re-form, creating an ambitious web of politics and intrigue. .. Despite their complexity, the story lines hang together strongly and propel the characters through discoveries regarding the truth of the thousand-year-old tales of Queen Hanalea, vanquisher of the Demon King, the wizard who caused a magical catastrophe called the Breaking. Whether reveling in the fairy-tale-romance details of Raisa's coming-of-age party, evoking life on the street, or inventing a complex clan culture, Chima delivers a high-interest, high-action story already racing toward a sequel.

Falcata Times, March 25, 2010

It’s got touches of Eddings, backed up with a touch of GRR Martin and its an offering that carries not only a great pace but solid characterisation with emotional hooks and ties. Readers off all ages will love this offering and if you’re looking for a title to encourage a reluctant young reader then this is going to be it. A real gem and I really can’t wait for the subsequent releases.
Review by Melanie Smith
Click here to read the full review.

...Chima infuses her writing with humor, action and tension throughout. Her characters are strong and complex, with enough modern flavor to satisfy readers and keep them rooting for the good guys. The Seven Realms itself is a fresh new world with vibrant scenery and an entirely different set of rules. And even though it’s over 500 pages, don’t be intimidated --- it’s the kind of read that soars on by until you can’t remember where the time has gone. You’ll end up finding that you finish all too quickly, and then you’ll be wishing for a little more. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

"Demon King has everything traditional fantasy fans are looking for: a vaguely “long ago, far away” setting, a lovable rogue, a rebellious princess, and of course, maps on the end pages. But it is also more politically complex than the average contemporary fantasy, containing at its core a struggle between a darker-skinned local people (the clans) and the fair-skinned ruling class (the wizards). Chima’s follow up to her Wizard Heir series promises to be even more popular than that series." -- Hayden Bass

2009-2010 Winter Indie Next List
Here's the recommendation from Sarah Todd:

The Demon King: A Seven Realms Novel by Cinda Williams Chima
(Hyperion Books for Children, $17.99, 9781423118237)
"Cinda Williams Chima's latest is a phenomenal story of wizards and street rats, stolen artifacts, and secret passages, and, best of all, Han and Raisa, heroes for whom you'll root immediately. If you're looking for fantastic world building, snappy dialogue, and a plot that makes the pages fly, look no further." --Sarah Todd, Children's Book World, Haverford, PA

* VOYA Review – The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
From Voice of Youth Advocates, October 2009
5Q-5P-M-J-S (a perfect score in quality and popularity)

Themes of political and magical power, love, sacrifice, courage, and even revisionist history recur throughout the tale and offer the intelligent reader food for thought. The pacing of the narrative and revelation of secrets make the execution of the story itself breathtaking and an excellent choice for reluctant readers. A virtually flawless tale, this book will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next novel in The Seven Realms. –Melissa Moore.

Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

…The world-making here is especially effective, with a multiplicity of settings and societal segments that interweave with one another while providing separate layers of interest and intrigue. Magic use and lore provide another such layer, but not at the expense of thoughtful and complex character development and the unsettling questioning of the mythology that grounds the precarious balance of power. Han and Raisa are convincing as impulsive teens who are nonetheless emergent leaders, and readers will eagerly await the next installment of their adventures.

Kirkus - The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
September 15, 2009

Rich characterization and exquisite world building make up for a leisurely pace in the dense first volume of a new epic-fantasy [series]. .. Chima forges an intricate world, alloying standard genre tropes in unexpected ways and inlaying intrigue amid a delicately crafted setting of history and legend. Dozens of characters, complex and distinct in personality, are placed with jewel-like precision, set off by dark glints of villainy. Few readers will mind reaching the end with the protagonists still separated by hundreds of miles only to realize it was naught but prelude to the real action; instead, they will clamor for the sequel. (Fantasy. YA)

Publisher's Weekly Review of The Demon King
September 28, 2009

With full-blooded, endearing heroes, a well-developed supporting cast and a detail-rich setting, Chima explores the lives of two young adults, one at the top of the world and the other at the bottom, struggling to find their place and protect those they love. An auspicious start to the planned Seven Realms [series].

Akron Beacon Journal The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Review by Barbara McIntyre
Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chima layers on new characters, locations, mysterious silver cuffs and magical amulets, with evocative language and imagery. The adversaries are multidimensional, with motivations beyond power and greed. The Demon King is a Francois Villon tale for teens.

Kidliterate Review
Posted September 4, 2009
Here’s the bottom line: THE DEMON KING rocks.
Click here to read the full review.

Holly Hill reviews The Demon King for WeReadBooks