Shed fought for it, and at times shed thought she might die for it. She had a long history of tragedy and triumph behind her, and a lifetime of hard work ahead of her. It was time to get started. Well, nothing that was too exciting or worth talking about.

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Publication date: August Hardcover: pages 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. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood.

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. 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 heartless hand of fate. And, after getting to meet and speak with the lovely Cinda Chima following BEA this year, my excitement was stoked to nigh impossible levels. I could not wait to tear into this novel.

Thinking he and the friction he has with the Bayars is the reason they have kidnapped her for why else would they care about a mere lower class serving girl? When he has all but given up, Han finds Rebecca — mortally injured and near death in the bitter cold of the Spirit Mountains.

Han manages to save her life using his magic, nearly killing himself in the process, but when he awakes he finds his world turned akimbo: Rebecca Morely is none other than Princess Raisa. Bitterly betrayed, Han finds himself enmeshed in a political power struggle for control of the Fells — and as hurt and angry as he is, he cannot bring himself to leave Raisa.

And while no one, save Raisa and her oldest friend and captain of her guard Amon, seem to trust Han, both the Princess Heir and the former streetlord know just how much is at stake. The Gray Wolf Throne raises the stakes of the series and turns the heat up a hundredfold from the prior two books.

And, all I can say is, yes. Finally, the series hits its stride and becomes everything it hinted that it might become in earlier installments. Finally Han and Raisa are back together for better or for worse , and they both know exactly who they each are — and must deal with that knowledge. Finally, Raisa is forced out of running and into action, becoming the Queen she was born to be.

And, oh sweet queens of the Gray Wolf Line, how I loved this book. The overall series arc comes to a critical point in this third book, as Raisa must find a way to secure her throne lest it pass to her younger, innocent or is she? There is much politicking in this novel, as Raisa struggles with the Wizard Council that clearly wants her dead, assassination attempts from an unknown source, an army that may or may not be loyal to the queens of the line, and the Demonai Clans with their own sets of prejudices and fears despite their loyalty to Raisa.

All of these complications are nuanced and carefully considered by the new monarch, and finally we see not only how tenacious Raisa is as a character, but her dedication to her family, throne, and the Fells, too. It was a great day. It was a terrible day. Raisa had never felt braver. She had never been more frightened. She had never been lonelier. She had never felt more loved. And now she was on her way home.

This time around, he has Raisa — whom he is furious with and betrayed by — and he vows to be more careful with the Queen he cannot help but love. I did love that in this book, Amon and Han have come to an understanding and friendship finally!

Dancer, the copperhead and wizard, also has his own huge revelation in this book, and struggles with prejudice from both the Clans and the Wizards. The Gray Wolf Throne finishes on a high note for the new Queen, but also with a foreboding message for the final book in the series.

There are still a number of loose ends and obstacles for Raisa and Han to face, and I cannot wait for the next volume. As it stands, The Gray Wolf Throne is absolutely recommended, and one of my favorite reads of the year. It was risky to sit out in the common room of a tavern every night. Especially here. Bayar would prefer to intercept Raisa before she crossed the border into the Fells. She needed to be visible to the people she wanted to find her.

Somehow she had to get home, reconcile with Queen Marianna, and confront those who meant to take the Gray Wolf throne away from her. The name Rebecca Morley was no longer safe. Too many of her enemies knew it.

These days she called herself Brianna Trailwalker, a nod to her clan ancestry. Her story was that she was a young trader returning from her first journey south, held up by the turmoil along the border. After a month in the limbo of Fetters Ford, she knew the regulars at the Heron—mostly pilots from the ferry service on the river, and the blacksmiths, farriers, and stablers who serviced travelers along the road. Locals were in the minority, though. The town churned with the comings and goings of wartime.

Raisa scanned the room, picking out the strangers. Two Tamric ladies occupied a corner table for the second night in a row. One was young and pretty, the other sturdy and middleaged, both too well dressed for the Heron. Likely a noble lady and her chaperone fleeing the fighting to the south. You can download the full chapter HERE. Additional Thoughts: Make sure you stop by later today as we have Cinda Williams Chima over for a guest post!


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