The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Bad luck has followed young Han Alister his entire life. That doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. When he unwittingly steal a powerful talisman, the ex-streetlord finds himself hunted by one of the most powerful wizard family’s in the queendom. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir, must navigate the dangers of a fragile court. The queen seems all too ready to lean on the opinions of her advisor, High Wizard Bayar, and Raisa suspects all is not as it seems. With the truce between the wizards and the Valefolk hanging in the balance, trusting the wrong ally could prove costly.
Great start for a series! I was hooked from the first few chapters. The characters were dynamic, likable, and well-distinguished. (Personally, I loved the nobel and tender-hearted Amon.) Each character stands on his/her own, and it was fun to see how they crossed paths through interventions of fate and chance. The Bayar family makes a formidable, Malfoy-esque enemy that has the reader squinting and shaking their fist. Chima also crafts a believable, well-mapped world in which her characters live. This fantasy is an excellent addition to the summer reading list for lovers of adventure, romance, and magic. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.