‘Crimson Crown’ concludes series
The Seven Realms series was going to be a trilogy — it had been announced that way on author Cinda Williams Chima’s website. But three books were not enough for this fantasy epic; even the immense combined length of The Demon King, The Exiled Queen and The Gray Wolf Throne couldn’t contain it. So Book Four, The Crimson Crown, was needed to bring the story to its conclusion — and it, too, is massive.
Loyal readers will remember Princess Raisa, heir to the Gray Wolf Throne; she now is being crowned queen, and reminds everyone — and herself — that she cannot marry for love but for the good of her kingdom. She’s still being pursued by Micah Bayar, the young wizard, and Nightwalker, her father’s choice. But her destiny, of course, is Han Alister, who has risen from his street origins to a position of power on the Wizard Council.
Some of this was accomplished by negotiation and politics, but the book has plenty of action. Everyone knows legends of the chaos caused by Alger Waterlow, the Demon King of a thousand years before, when he was attacked by other wizards for eloping with the queen, Raisa’s ancestor. Han has been communicating with Alger in a spirit realm, and the secret he learns can save the world — or destroy it. There is treachery, breathless romance and a fabulous trove of lost wizard treasure, all told in Chima’s bright patois of cobbled-up anachronisms.
The Crimson Crown (598 pages, hardcover) costs $18.99 from Hyperion and is recommended for ages 12 and older. Chima, who lives in Strongsville, is an alumna of the University of Akron. Her Heir series, also originally a trilogy, will be expanded by two more books.
The Seasons of Sugarcreek Amish series also was going to be a trilogy — Winter’s Awakening, Spring’s Renewal and Autumn’s Promise — never got a “summer” installment, and Loveland author Shelley Shepard Gray is sticking to the designation, calling Christmas in Sugarcreek a companion novella.
It tells of three couples and their romances in the 10 days before Christmas. Judith worries about Ben, who’s in town to sell his family home, bringing with him a vague and possibly undeserved bad reputation; her brother Caleb, in the most interesting story, wants to get close to Rebecca, who has a secret she thinks is shameful. Newly married Lilly and Robert’s story is unmistakably inspired by a much more famous one.
The 275 pages include excepts from two of Gray’s other books. Christmas in Sugarcreek costs $12.99 from Avon Inspire.
Seven Hills Community Center (7777 Summit View Drive) — Shelby resident Aileen Stewart signs her storybook Fern Valley at the Christmas Craft and Holiday Gift Fair, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (4015 Medina Road, Bath Township) — Chuck Spinner signs The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing, a nonfiction recounting of a 1946 Illinois train wreck, accompanied by railroad enthusiast Joe Tait, who was a child living within miles of the crash site at the time. Tait also signs his memoir (with Terry Pluto) Joe Tait: It’s Been a Real Ball, 1 p.m. today. Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss, signs Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss, noon Saturday.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake) — Marilou Suszko signs her book (with Laura Taxel) Cleveland’s West Side Market: 100 Years and Still Cooking, 2 p.m. today; humorist Mike Polk signs Damn Right I’m from Cleveland, 7 p.m. Friday; former Cleveland Browns cornerback Hanford Dixon signs Day of the Dawg: A Football Memoir, 2 p.m. Saturday.
Olmsted Falls Community Church (7853 Main St.) — Taxel and Suszko sign Cleveland’s West Side Market, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday.
Burton Public Library (14588 W. Park St.) — Don Philabaum signs The Unemployed Grad, and What Parents Can Do About It, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Registration requested; call 440-834-4466.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma-Snow branch, 2121 Snow Road) — Gail Bellamy discusses and signs Cleveland Christmas Memories, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library (13866 Cedar Road) — Taxel signs Cleveland’s West Side Market, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Newscaster Lydia Esparra signs her children’s book Heaven is All Around You, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday; Terry Pluto signs Faith and You, Volume 2, 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Happy Dog (5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland) — Taxel and Suszko sign Cleveland’s West Side Market, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Loganberry Books (13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights) — Michael Ruhlman signs Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, 7 p.m. Friday.
Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland) — Brent White and Tony Marini launch their book and activity kit Pennie the Christmas Pickle, 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Elder-Beerman (4095 Burbank Road, Wooster) — Ann Freedlander Hunt, great-granddaughter of the founder of Wooster’s former Freedlander’s Department Store, signs Gone But Not Forgotten: A Freedlander Legacy, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Berean Christian Store (1100 30th St. NW, Canton) — Russell A. Minar signs The Mirror of Freedom, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma Heights branch, 6206 Pearl Road) — Taxel and Suszko sign Cleveland’s West Side Market, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.