*I received this ARC courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
I need to start off by saying that I absolutely loved this book. What really intrigued me about the story was the concept and the world that Davis created. However, because I liked the world and magic system so much I would've liked a bit more world building to better get to know the world I diving into. I also surprisingly ended up really liking the different POVs, which I normally don't enjoy that much - it just made perfect sense in this story. I just hope we don't get even more POVs in the next book because there are already quite a number of characters to follow and keep tabs on.
I really like the relationship between Lyana and Rafe, but I do feel that it was kind of rushed seeing as not much time had passed before things really started to progress. Also, I feel like Rafe sort of went in and out of character throughout the whole book? He was supposed to be suuuper loyal to his brother and felt that he owed him everything but went behind his back several times and was kind of selfish to be honest. I can't help but still like him for some reason though - it must be the dark-haired bad boy with a troubled past persona.
I'm still giving the book 5 stars here, even though it's more like 4,5 stars because I loved it when reading, and it has stuck with me in the days after I finished it. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next book and cross my fingers for more world building and no additional POVs than the ones in the first book.
I started this book not knowing much about it, but it completely surpassed my initial expectations. It is an extremely clever retelling of Tristan and Isolde with multi-layered, interesting and relatable characters, and a story world I want to read more about.
I'll be continuing this series for sure!
I'm sorry to say that this book didn't work for me like I wanted it to. It had all the promise and makings of a good YA fantasy but I knew early on that it wasn't 'biting' for me. THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE was a fantasy built around human/bird beings of different species. The characters were inviting in their description and there was nothing I particularly disliked about the main characters apart from Cassi (who made me smell a rat) and the sea king. Rafe, Xander and Lyana were interesting but not exciting.
My difficulties with this book, that left me in the dissatisfied/okay zone, related to a chaotic plot. I felt like many plot devices and story lines were mish-mashed into the story and I would have preferred a little less going on; it would still have had enough happening with a little less, if that makes sense. I hated the butchery of where the plot ended up and I don't honestly know how I feel about carrying on with the series.
I did like the descriptions of the physical geography of this world, the world above and below. There were dragons (just a little), magic, gods and deceit. I read this as a buddy read with Tilly Bookish Spoonie, so I do advise checking out her positive thoughts as a comparison to my experience.
Thank you to the author for the review copy through netgalley.
First of all, PLEASE tell me these is another book coming? Because it cannot end like that!
This is the best fantasy book I've read in so long!
Often in fantasy novels, there's a lot of world-building at the start before anything happens with the plot but I loved how The Raven and the Dove basically begins with action.
The story starts on the day of the courtship trials where the heirs from each of the seven houses compete in a series of trials during which matches - basically, arranged marriages - are made.
As a favour to his brother, Rafe agrees to pose as his brother Lysander in the courtship trials. The plan is to swap on the last day when the matches get made so that no one will ever find out. This gets more complicated when Lyana ends up saving Rafe's life, establishes a kindred spirit connection and spends the rest of the courtship trials determined to match with the raven prince.
Can I also just add that I loved the concept of the trials and specifically the fact that BOTH the young men and women get to compete and have the chance to pick their match, rather than just the old Prince chooses the Princess trope. This felt like such a fresh take on arranged marriage scenarios that often play out in fantasy novels.
If you are looking for a series (it has to be a series!) that has a beautiful avian-inspired world with interesting characters, shocking betrayals, forbidden romance and fiery dragons, The Raven & The Dove is for you.
Thank you SO MUCH to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this to review
Review on my blog, The Reading Fairy
The Hunter and the Mage: ?/5
Disclaimer: I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion.
TW: Blood, Fantasy Violence, Death
Rep: Black MC
"But dreams had a bothersome way of ignoring the truth, and hope made the impossible seem within reach."
Thank you NetGalley for giving me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
WHAT A SPECTACULAR READ WITH JAW-DROPPING WORLD AND MAGIC.
I was curious about this book when I found out about in on bookstagram. It actually managed to lure me in with its intriguing title and cover. But once I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it!
The story and the writing were addicting, it only took a day for me to finish it. And holy heaven, the world was amazing! It's like I've ever read before. The novelty itself was compelling, but there were more things that got me head over heels with this book. I can't wait for the sequel!
I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do! Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you feel the need to discuss things
If world building was the only aspect I was looking at, I would give this book all the stars. Different avian kingdoms (all birds, different kinds) come together to participate in a contest where they choose their next queen/king through a series of tests. Davis takes her own sweet time to develop these kingdoms, with their special features and nature and their standing in the entire kingdom. The Sea of Mist is well described, giving it the villainous voice it deserves. There is a spy hiding in plain sight, there's magic that exists but whose purpose cannot be ascertained and there are Dragons (you'll be disappointed, I promise).
But the whole love story fell flat. Lyanna is hot tempered and used to getting her way. She is fierce when required, takes risks and is way too excited about things for her own good. Xander is her mate (ignore him, because everyone else does). Then there's Rafe, the bastard (I'm sure that has your attention), misunderstood, broody and stubborn. Also the guy Lyanna is in love (?) with. This slow-burn romance doesn't burn at all. The chemistry is missing, there's no character development and the whole angle is absurd.
The twist and turns, however, had my attention because things truly happened (in an earth shaking manner). The cliffhanger at the end is making me look forward to the next book and I just hope that the author rectifies the problematic areas because God knows, this story has potential.
3.5 rating for me. This book has a beautiful cover! I really enjoyed the premise of this book a lot and the characters were interesting too. Since there are so many different perspectives things got a bit muddled for me and while it wasn't a huge deterrent for, I didn't feel like the romance was that strong.
*Received a free e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*
What happens when you take one of the most famous love triangles in medieval literature and add a dash of fantasy with a handful of feathers? You get The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis.
The Raven and the Dove is the tale of two starcrossed lovers: Lyana, princess of the doves, and Rafe, the illegitimate brother of the prince of the ravens. A whirlwind romance leaves them both in an impossible place, stuck between their feelings for each other and their political positions. While this is happening in the skies, in the world below, a conspiracy rages as King Malek seeks to fulfill an age-old prophecy, using whatever means necessary.
My favorite part about this whole book is the beautifully lush world-building. I love the concept of the different avian cultures and the lore behind the magic system. It's all wonderfully fantastical and makes me excited to read more stories set in this realm. I also quite liked the backstories of each of the characters and how they were shaped by the circumstances which were out of their control.
That being said, this book was certainly always going to have to fight an uphill battle. Love triangles are notoriously difficult to pull off, and this one struggled a fair bit. In the best love triangles, you feel equally torn between both options, creating an absolute maelstrom of emotions. For this triangle between Lyana, Rafe, and Xander, I couldn't bring myself to root for Lyana and Rafe, our Iseult and Tristan analogs, because I could not get fully invested in their romance. To me, it was too fueled in physical attraction and wonder without either party bonding over their own insecurities and similarities. As such, by the time the great reveal happened, I did not believe in the romance enough to quite justify Lyana's continued tolerance of Rafe with the betrayal hanging over them.
The whole time, I was rooting instead for Xander, who worked so hard to make the relationship work despite everything. He, too, is caught between a rock and a hard place, trying to be a good man despite having his happiness snatched away from him. My sympathy for Lyana and Rafe always dissipated whenever I thought about what they were doing to him, and that made this book incredibly frustrating in the worst way possible. In fact, at the climax
You know what they say: bros before hoes.
At the very least, we have an interesting player in Cassi, who has her own fair share of secrets. The end of the first book places her in a unique position to act as her own agent for the first time in her life. But she's in for a lot once the truth comes out. Can't wait to see that whole thing unravel.
The setup for the rest of the series is intriguing enough given how many tantalizing hints about the world below we've been given. This book falls into a very predictable plot structure, but since most first books in a series do, I'll give it a pass. Here's to hoping that the plot gets more windy and complex with the rest of the series.
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