Monday, 13 September 2010

Raven's Shadow Review

Raven’s Shadow
- Patricia Briggs

Publisher: US – Ace Fantasy

For many years the city of Colossae was a haven of magical study. As generations of wizards pushed the limits of their abilities, an evil entity was unleashed that could only be contained by the sacrifice of their city.From the ashes of Colossae, the Travelers emerged - roaming the world to ensure that the Stalker would remain imprisoned forever.
Seraph is a Raven mage and among the last of the Travelers. Unwelcome among those who fear magic, the wizard clans have been decimated by the very people they've been sworn to protect. But Seraph is spared a similar fate by the ex-soldier Tier - and together they build a life where she is no longer burdened by her people's responsibility.
But now Tier is missing - or dead - and Seraph's reprieve from her duty is over. Using her magic to discover her husband's fate, Seraph realizes the Stalker's prison is weakening - and only she can fulfill her ancestors' oath to protect humanity from destruction...

I’m a big fan of Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series which Urban Fantasy all the way (Werewolves, shape-shifting coyotes, Vampires the whole nine yards)– as well as being much fun to read. However before Mercy, Patricia wrote straight fantasy novels and this was my first trial run at her back catalogue. First off this is a much smaller page count than most fantasy books – no big 700 pages tome that can double for a door stop, but a nice light 300 pages. This makes it an ideal fantasy novel if you want to stretch your reading zone a little but you’re been afraid of some of the weightier fantasy novels out there – as an introduction to fantasy you can certainly do worse! In addition the hero and heroine weren’t young twenty-something’s’ finding their way in the world but a mature couple with a family. Add to these an easy to read style, likable characters and a slightly different magical structure based on 6 elements or birds and it is a book that can probably be described as fantasy ‘lite’ which I enjoyed thoroughly. I sped through the pages, following Seraph and Tier, learning about a threat first of all to their family and then watched as the threat widened to include the Traveller race of people and later the whole Empire. While this book has a decent ending there are still some threats hanging over our heroes and I’ve ordered the next book Raven’s Strike to find out how it ends! It may not be the best example of fantasy but it was an enjoyable journey and one I would recommend for a few fun hours

Recommended if you’re a fan of Mercy Thompson or Karen Miller’s Awakened Mage series. 8 out of 10

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