Today is a lovely day—after a week of sickness, I finally feel human again!
I’m delighted to share with you a story about some special humans that I read recently. And if that transition was a bit clunky, have some mercy on me. My brain isn’t fully up to par yet.
Lady Selene is heir to the House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.
As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy—a legacy that supports her people—or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.
Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.
One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?
I made the unfortunate mistake of thinking book 2 was already out when I began Mark of the Raven (it comes out at the end of April, just in time for you to finish this one ;) ). While I’m used to waiting a year or more for the next book in a series to be written, this one took me by surprise and has been quite painful to wait for.
Why? Because it was such a lovely book—and I need more!
Selene is an interesting protagonist in a difficult situation. I loved how Busse tweaked some fantasy tropes to tell a story that is unlike any I’ve read so far. There was a depth to the political, personal, and philosophical/theological landscape of the story that shows a lot of work and effort, and it drew me into its depths. I became invested in the characters early on, and that investment continued.
The suspense built and built as the story progressed, and though this is very much the beginning of a series, it still stood on its own feet well. I am firmly rooting for a couple of the characters, and I can’t wait to see more of what dreamwalking can be. There are also many other special powers (or “gifts”) held by characters in this series, and I look forward to seeing them play more into the story!
I also really appreciated that there were some slight hits at romance, but it did not overpower the story. Mark of the Raven managed to be very powerful while also very clean, and that is a rare and wonderful find.
If you like fantasy, dreams, cultures, tension, and a hint of angst, Mark of the Raven is just waiting for you to pick it up here. (It might even be on sale right now, because it was when I looked yesterday :) )
Have you read Mark of the Raven? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
A couple updates:
“Irellia the Night Walker” comes out on Saturday, March 23rd! I’m so excited to share her story with you! For now, you can add this short story to your Goodreads TBR here.
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