Mark of the Raven: Dive in review.

Hello, I’m posting a dive in review today for Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse. Mostly because this Friday I’ll be posting a review  for book two, Flight of the Raven, as part of the blog tour. I thought you might want to hear about the first book first so you can either read it in a three days or avoid spoilers for this book by not coming back to hear about book two.

Mark of the RavenLady Selene is the heir to the Great 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?

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58383678_10156297355360208_3797897425025236992_oMorgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the FOLLOWER OF THE WORD series and the steampunk series THE SOUL CHRONICLES. She is a Christy and INSPY Award finalist and recently won the Carol Award for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel. Visit her online at http://www.morganlbusse.com.

Mark of the Raven: Dive in Review.

Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse, is a gripping fantasy tale, with detailed characters and deep world building.

The main setting of Castle Rook has a very Gothic feel to it, even though the setting is meant to be medieval I think. It has secret passages and grand halls, and hidden secrets. It’s as though the entire building is shrouded in shadows and haunted by mystery, completely consumed by the hate leeched off of its past inhabitants.

The world building is astounding, seven great houses rule seven nation states. To help the seven houses each was given a gift. Water, Fire, Wisdom , healing, light , Courage, and Dreams. (I still think courage stands out as not being very useful, but they have dragons so that makes up for it.) I have a soft spot in my heart for story worlds featuring hereditary elemental gifts.

I can not say enough good things about this book. I loved the build up as Selene learned to use her gifts and the mystery as more of the inter house politics came to light. But most of all I loved the Characters.

The third Person POV characters are Lady Selene from House Ravenwood (the dreamers), and Lord Damien from House Maris (the water benders). The former is a conflicted young woman who has just learned that she comes from a family of assassins. The later is a young man who, because of great tragedy, has found himself as the leader and protector of an entire nation. They are both well written characters who are both flawed, but yet seek to do the right thing.

The thing I loved most was the romantic aspect. Selene and Damien are not a love at first site couple. In fact they seem convinced that they could never feel anything for the other because heirs do not marry other heirs. It’s a slow build up, more curiosity than anything. They are so different from each other.

Another thing I loved was the way religion was handled. In this world there are two forces. The Light and The Dark Lady. The light is more powerful than the dark and the light shines brightly inside the souls of it’s followers. The Dark Lady seeks only her own power.

It is Selene’s doubt’s about the Dark Lady and her curiosity about the light that shines in a young man’s soul that truly sets this book apart.

This is book one of a saga, so be forewarned that l you will be left wanting more, but rest easy knowing there will be more to come.

*I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher for review and promotional purposes. A favorable review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own*

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jorie
    May 31, 2019 @ 17:49:24

    Hallo, Hallo —

    I decided to do something different today and typed in a search for “Mark of the Raven” to see if anyone on WP was writing about the novel I still feel like I have a bookish hangover from reading! I had a tour stop for “Flight of the Raven” today (via Prism Book Tours) however, I had to combine my reviews as with 4x migraines this May, my readings went a bit wonky…

    I am so thankful I had the tour to help introduce me to Busse’s dimensional sphere within the Ravenwood Saga!!! I am still pondering all the twists & turns within the dramatic story-line!! Definitely one of my favourite #FantasyReads for #WyrdAndWonder – but also for the year in general!! Eek. And, to think I only just learnt of this series approx. six months ago!

    I was so overwhelmed by the characters, the setting and the heart of the story I totally forgot to mention the Gothic Medievalism to the locale!! You really nailed it by saying that as I felt this myself as I was reading it – the foreboding alone and the darker elements within this serial arc are how I would equate that observation because at first I didn’t feel this was a Dark Fantasy until.. wells, we all reached that ‘point of no return’ which was the crust of the issue with a certain ‘Mum’.

    I also agree about the spirituality undertones and how the conceptional religious heritage is treated through the perceptions of whom the Dark Lady and the Light actually are referencing throughout the saga. I loved how this was non-traditional in the sense of what you might expect from an INSPY narrative but also bang-on brilliant for delivering the kind of High Fantasy you’d expect within a tightly conceived plotting that makes you ache for “Cry of the Raven” next year!!

    So happy I stumbled across your lovely review!!

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Flight of the Raven: Dive in Review | C. O. Bonham

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