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An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.

211 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 21, 2014

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Stacey Rourke

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5 stars
147 (47%)
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47 (15%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 99 reviews
Profile Image for Anna Kay.
1,321 reviews154 followers
October 1, 2015
So, I'm over here having a bit of a sad. I waited almost a year to read this, so I could save it for (hopefully) close to when #3 would come out. I gave in and read it yesterday -- I didn't hate it. But I didn't love it either, so I'm gonna break it down for you.

It felt rushed. The detail level/set-up was nowhere near the level of the first one and it kind of read like an action film. Ireland, Noah and Rip are the main characters again, but if you didn't know them from book one you'd think they were just paper cutouts to move the plot forward. Lots of one-liners, not a lot of genuine moments between them all. Plus, the attempt at romantic tension between Ridley (douchey/charming stockbroker who inherits Poe's curse), Ireland and Noah was very weak.

The actual plot of the book revolves around Ireland and the others attempting to find out who cursed her with the Horseman and why. Instead, they're lead to Ridley, who is afflicted with Poe's ability to raise the dead and see/be possessed by spirits. The only thing that balances him is contact with Ireland. She's death, he's life and together they can reverse Poe's mistake of bringing back his love, Lenore, who has become a bloodthirsty monster rampaging in modern downtown New York. Of course, this is after they let her loose on accident. I enjoyed the parts of the novel from Poe's pov, and the thing with Lenore was well done. The subplot of Rip's ghost of his younger self and his older self had "plot device" written all over it...not in a good way. After the emotional buildup in the first book, that event felt phoned in. The revelation of the identity of the guy who's been helping/following Ireland wasn't a very big reveal either. And the constant use of Ireland's Horseman persona and the encouragement of it by Noah especially, felt like an easy way to move along the action. She spends her whole waking life trying to suppress him, and suddenly he's an available and much used alternative -- a weapon that she still has no control over. Yeah, cause that makes total sense!!!

Overall, just meh and disappointing. Too much action, not enough character development and I'm especially disappointed that we know next to nothing about Ridley, who is now a main character. I'll read the next one, but I'm hoping for something more in line with book #1, in terms of content, length and style. Gotta support my Michigan author though. State pride is a thing I don't usually have, but whatever. Just go with it! :p
Profile Image for Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt).
570 reviews52 followers
April 11, 2016
*Copy provided in exchange for honest review*
"In death even our flaws are raised up on golden pedestals."
Six. Stars!! (again)
God, I love Stacey Rourke's characters so much! I fell in love with book 1 and now I have fallen for book 2!! The characters that were introduced in this one were amazing as well! Especially Edgar! He can make the hardest of hearts swoon into a puddle at his magnificent feet. And Ridley. Oh, don't even get me started. He can hold MY hand all he wants. Rourke is a master when it comes to creating the most amazing male characters (Noah too) and of course, a badass female lead.
The darkest of known tales clash together into a morbid story with intoxicating twists. I love the way Stacey brings together two separate lives, one in the past and one in the present, without making it confusing. In the contrary, it makes me the plot flow with it's intended chaos and tragedy. There's also so much humor that had me busting out laughing every single time. I love these books so much! I can't even begin to write it all down.
The twists kept coming full force and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! There was heartbreak and tragedy at every turn that added so much soul to the story. I teared up so much for so many reasons, I'm too attached to this series.
I can't wait for book 3!
Profile Image for Lynn  2 Girls & A Book.
633 reviews17 followers
September 8, 2014
It is rare that a book comes along that renders me unable to write a review about it. Not that Raven was a bad read; just the opposite in fact. I find myself befuddled when trying to write a coherent statement. How does one review the mind of Ridley and Poe? Well, here goes.

Rourke still brings the wit, humor and sarcasm that she is known for as she intertwines Washing Irving’s The Headless Horseman with the morbid, craziness that is Edgar Allan Poe. The cast you fell in love with from Crane; Noah, the strong, mostly silent type, Rip with his selective narcolepsy, and Ireland the Hessian, all return in Raven. This unlikely trio sets off for Manhattan in search of why and by whom this curse has been placed on Ireland. What they find only adds more mystery to their situation. Meet Ridley. Ridley is the character you hate to love. One the one had he is a total sleaze ball, but on the other hand he is a frightened man who cannot escape the torment of seeing ghosts everywhere. Ridley is your Edgar Allan Poe. Like Crane, Raven is a two part tale with Ireland and crew in the present and the past is told by Poe.

Put your thinking caps on folks because Rourke is taking us back to high school as she weaves in a few Poe classics like, Lenore, The Tell Tale Heart and The Masque of the Red Death into her plot. These references are fairly obvious but it may spark your interest enough to go back and reread them as I did. It added to the story for me.

My favorite character in Raven is Lenore. She is bad ass and gives credence to the saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! What Lenore unleashes in Manhattan should truly make any man think twice before pissing off a woman again.

I loved this second installment in the Legends Saga. This story takes off on page one and never slows down. Stacey Rourke has unleashed another fantastic story for her readers to devour.
Profile Image for Beth.
3,129 reviews263 followers
November 8, 2014
We've seen twisted fairy tales, now with Rourke's brilliant writing we have twisted classics...and I love them. Age old favorites come alive in the Raven, a contemporary, suspense filled, mystery with a dazzling paranormal twist.

Ireland Crane is back. She is trying to track down the mystery behind her cursed tattoo in Manhattan. But she soon finds herself caught up in more than she ever imagined.

We've got horseman, ghouls and ravens, oh my.

I loved this story. Rourke hooked me immediately. Fast paced, non-stop nail biting action makes this story jump off the pages.

Now that Poe's writing has been added into the mix, I can't wait to see where Rourke takes us next. If the first two books in this series is anything to go on, Rourke will masterfully tie it all together.

Written by: Stacey Rourke
Series: Legends Saga
Sequence in Series: 2
Page Count: 340 pages
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Publication Date: September 21, 2014
Rating: 5 Stars
ISBN-10: 0692292721
ISBN-13: 978-0692292723
Genre: Fantasy | Mystery | Suspense
Find this book on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Cheree Castellanos Edits.
286 reviews26 followers
August 1, 2017
Absolutely amazing! I was fortunate enough to get to read an early copy of this and have to say, this book is sooo good! I loved Book 1, Crane, I thought it was so fun and creative and the characters were great! Super funny and the comradery is great between Ireland, Noah and Rip, and I think that was one thing that made this book that much better! Raven starts right where Crane left off. The trio are in New York, tracking down Ireland's infamous sugar skull tattoo and who the heck wanted her cursed. But just when they think they might finally get some answers, enter the dashingly charming Ridley. Poor guy. And don't forget about the devastating tale of Edgar Allen Poe, and the curse that just keeps on giving. Ridley is lucky enough to be damned with the curse to see the dead and give life, the curse bestowed on him by the ever giving Poe. And him and Ireland have a special bond, if not obnoxious and yet so fun. I loved Ridley, with his charm and crazy. And only together, life and death, can the nightmare that was unleashed be stopped. This is a winding tale that is so fast paced and gripping, I literally found myself holding my breath at times. And Noah....sigh, I love him! He is so funny and great! This book is all around just so funny! and scary, and crazy! I loved it! But leaves you hanging and desperate for book 3!
Profile Image for Pratr- Authors.
442 reviews10 followers
September 16, 2014

Yet another awesome chapter in the Legends series.

Stacey Rourke has captured my attention with these wonderful stories. All of my old favorites as a committed bookworm are here, drawn together by a fantastic young heroine and her devoted sidekick. In this book, the Headless Horseman meets the infamous Lenore, of Edgar Allen Poe’s broken - hearted lore. Filled with the same excitement, more touching tragedies, and a growing romance, it kept me captive from front cover to final page.

As in the first episode, Ireland Crane is still carrying her curse forward, trying to discover a way to be rid of it without passing it on to another. Her characters are engaging, her writing is excellent, the mixing of classic literature with contemporary action will keep even the most selective of teenagers reading and hopefully even interest them in exploring the original classics!

My only question now is when does the next one come out????
Reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock
5 out of 5 Fangs!
Profile Image for SB Senpai  Manga.
1,242 reviews
May 21, 2016
We have another winner here! This series continues to keep me guessing at every turn. I like this new interpretation of Poe and Lenore, Ireland is great and Rip is still my favorite character. One more to go!
Profile Image for Cupcakes & Machetes.
366 reviews59 followers
November 1, 2017
DNF at 63%

This installment just lost it's pizzazz for me. Which is unfortunate because I love Edgar Allen Poe and having a character cursed by the dark poet seemed like it would be a lot of fun. It also included one of my least favorite tropes; the love triangle.

It was a difficult decision to abandon this one since it wasn't bad by any means, but it lost it's flair and without that flair, well...there just wasn't much there. I probably could have pushed through to the end since it's a short book but when you're not feeling it, what's the point? I thought it through like this, "Do I really care what happens to any of the characters at the end?" The answer is no, except maybe for Rip but still not enough so to continue.

Profile Image for Sadie Forsythe.
Author 1 book265 followers
February 7, 2018
While not bad, I didn't enjoy this one anywhere near as much as the first. It picked up directly after the end of book one, but I generally felt like the characters randomly went to meet some guy, who randomly had a tragedy befall him, and they all randomly went about trying to save the day. I actually wondered if I'd missed a chapter or two in there at some point, because it seemed to jump about.

It was still funny and the characters dropped lots of witty one-liners and I liked the pop culture references. Further, I listened to the Audio version and the narrator did a nice job. So, again, not bad, but a disappointment after book one.

Karen Krause did well with the narration.
Profile Image for Marni.
323 reviews62 followers
September 27, 2014
I would like to thank the author for providing me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.

As a child, I devoured all the classics. I couldn't wait for Halloween time to see the TV specials about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. I was draw to them, captivated by them and held them close to me all the years that followed. As an adult, I was looking at rentals, found one that didn't realize please me but almost still rented it because it was on Sleepy Hollow Rd. It's probably a good thing I didn't rent it, because knowing my imagination, I wouldn't have gotten a wink of sleep until about 5 minutes before the morning alarm went off. Stacey Rourke has taken this classics, matured them for the older reading audience and really made the characters her own and created her own Legends series.

In this book, as hinted with the title, the author has added Edgar Allan Poe into the mix. I will warn future readers, do not start reading this book while eating and if you are eating, don't be eating chicken wings like I was. The start is a bit gruesome, but thankfully I have an iron stomach and just kept winging it as I read on. In this story, you have your main characters from the first one, Crane. The Headless Horseman is as dark and devious as always, Edgar is as gothic as you would imagine, Ireland is searching for answers and of course doing so stirs everything the pot even more, and Rip, poor guy just wants some rest, in mostly the weirdest circumstances.

If you have read Crane, this book starts up right where that one left off. A very fluid continuity that at times stumps even the best authors, but Ms. Rourke takes it and runs with it. The characters all mix in a way that seals them together and the layers intertwine to make a sarcastic, fun, adventure of a story. Each character gets his or her due and the rapport will keep you glued to the story.

For me, there were times that I had a hard time getting in to the story. Some things were a bit off the wall that it just didn't seem like something that actually would have occurred. Yes, this story has a lot of paranormal things happening, but I'm talking about issues that weren't of the paranormal kind. I also had a hard time feeling some of the characters at times, but that happened sporadically, not through the entire book. Now these things could just be me. Honestly, my allergies have been kicking my butt off and on for the past couple weeks so it may be just my biology interfering.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a bigger picture on classics from the yesteryear and for those who may not know of the legends but like a paranormal thriller that is unique to what is and has been in the literary world. There are twists in the story, which keeps the reader interest and there is a definite shock and awe at the end with questions that will transfer into the next Legends book. A fast paced action thriller, that will have you wanting more.
Profile Image for Chris Torretta.
863 reviews38 followers
September 10, 2014
Amazing.. I am dying here.... the end! Oh my god... I loved the twist at the end! And Stacey lets you in on who the next book is going to be about!!! Totally perfect ending. Cannot wait for the next already!

Ok... fangirling done... Wow! This is so good.

Firstly, you will want to read the first book. It's a fantastic story but this without that would feel weird. Although this storyline is more about Edgar Allen Poe, they are entwined. This actually picks right up where the first leaves off so without the knowledge of the first, you will be lost!

Secondly, once again I am loving the characters. Even more characters in this to love. I love them all. ALL. OF. THEM! How is that even possible? Much like the first book the characters in this are extremely snarky and just downright funny at times. I love their attitudes and how they are handling a very awkward situation.

And then there is Edgar Allen Poe. I'm a huge fan. I love him. Much like reading about The Headless Horseman I was worried that Stacey Rourke wouldn't quite hit the nail on the head but not only did she do just that, she put her own spin on the stories! Hands down, it is amazing writing.

The one and only downside, once again right about halfway I started getting tired. I'm not sure what it is but it takes until about that 3/4 point to pick back up for me. And that is not to say that her writing is not fan freaking tastic, because it is, but there is a point where I just want to take a nap and then come back. I had to push through both books but let me tell you, it is SO, SO worth it. The storyline doesn't hiccup too much and the characters really are worth your time.

Definitely be ready for a third. Some questions are answered but more often in this story they are not and I had even more questions than at the beginning. I did not feel that this took away from the story AT ALL.

In short: Amazing story telling. I want to read more of her work. Cannot wait for the next!!!


This review was originally posted on Creating Serenity
Profile Image for Veronica of V's Reads.
1,528 reviews41 followers
October 24, 2014
Young Edgar Allen Poe had an auspicious beginning: cut from his mother's womb by his (literal) witch of a grandmother, he was cursed with the power to raise the dead. But, at what cost? His soul? And, when they rise, are they the same? (Think PET SEMATARY) He is hounded by angry ghosts, furious that he refused to use his power to avert death, which drives him to madness and alcoholism--until he meets beautiful Lenore. Shame that Edgar was not destined for a happily ever after. No, death crouches on his shoulders and waits for the chance to destroy anyone he loves.

Ireland Crane is on the hunt to decipher who cursed her to channel the Hessian--the Headless Horseman. With her boyfriend, Noah van Tassel, and Rip van Winkle at her side, she's, well, she's in trouble. The Horseman wants out to cause murder and mayhem--only Noah's love and a playlist filled with country music can keep that murderous spirit at bay. Rip gets a pang of narcolepsy whenever he's frightened, and Noah can only handle so much, especially when it seems Ireland's affections might be shifting.

Ireland crosses paths with Ridley Peolte in the course of her investigation. This suave King of Wall Street had a seemingly Midas touch--until he touches Ireland. Moments later he's attacked by an unkindness of ravens. Does Poe's spirit now inhabit Ridley, as the Hessian does Ireland? His mind is plagued by the same visions Poe's had been, and he frees the final monster Poe created--one who has the power to kill Ireland and free the Hessian's spirit into the world. The only peace Ridley feels is when he has direct contact with Ireland's skin. With Noah around this is a fairly awkward arrangement.

Oh, and we get a good look at the puppet master who set all this in motion when he injects Ireland with a serum that assists the Hessian to possess her. Will the Hessian's power and Ridley's reincarnation abilities be enough to take out Poe's beast rampaging through modern NYC?

I truly enjoy the mix of story lines, from Poe's life through Ireland and Ridley's experiences. The pace is brisk, with sharp turns and ghastly spins. Lots of ghosts, a few monsters and, well, a creative romp of a tale.
Profile Image for Michelle .
466 reviews116 followers
August 20, 2015
My Review:

 It would be safe to say that this one was my favorite in the series. It’s also safe to say this is one of my favorite series. I can’t even explain how much I love this book. One of my favorite author’s is Edgar Allen Poe, I have read his stories and poems so many times, I can give great detail in explaining the stories, as weird of a guy as he was I found him and everything he wrote to be fascinating. When I read the synopsis for this book and realized that Ireland, Noah and Rip were going to be encountering the essence of Edgar I got chills. This story is once again told in the past and present, It was like reading two stories that came together as one at the end and I think it was so nicely written and extremely well down. The chapters are labels with either Edgar or Ridley so it’s never confusing as to who the story is about. The end gave me the goosebumps, I can’t wait for the next one.
Oh Noah can I love you anymore…yes, yes I can. I snort laughed quite a bit in this book and some parts I had to put down to stop giggling over what was said. This book I had a bit of a heartbreak and I might have got a bit misty eyed. Ireland is a complete badass and I absolutely adore her. I do feel bad for her but I also think a part of her might enjoy what she is.

This book has a touch of horror, a bit of romance, lots of amazing action and some really funny parts. The next book needs to come out ASAP. I can’t wait to see what happens and I loved that the themes are literary type themes. Oh my god this is just so well done!!! I can’t wait to see what happens next. Stacey once again wrote an amazing book/series that I just can’t get enough of.

Recommend 110%

Profile Image for Pili.
1,164 reviews216 followers
September 23, 2014
I was extremely curious about this series because I love gothic novels and paranormals mixed up so when I had the chance to review them for the blog tour, I jumped at it and am I glad that I did!

Where Craven was the story of Ireland finding herself dealing with her curse and finding a way to share her body with the Headless Horseman, this one continues to build into that but adds a few new elements that are quite a treat in themselves, namely Edgar Allan Poe and Lenore!

Ireland keeps on trying to find answers for what/who/why brought on the curse onto her and if it was thoroughly intentional or not and while looking for the answers, she and Noah and Rip find themselves embroiled into something that makes them realize this is bigger than they thought at first, having left Sleepy Hollow for New York in their search.

We get alternating chapters in alternating POVs, we follow Ireland, Noah, Rip and their newfound member of the gang on their search in present time, but we also follow Edgar Allan Poe's life and woes, having a new backstory of darkness that makes reading those chapters a treat, with the wonderful and creepy gothic darkness vibe that they have.

This was an extremely fast and engaging read that had me turning pages in alternatively mad pace to see what will happen next and slowly to enjoy the creepy gothic feel to it. I absolutely adore how well the author mixed both and managed to have that darkness present all over the book but never being too overwhelming. The ending was yet another cruel but not horribly so cliffhanger and really leaves you pinning for the next book, hoping to get some more answers to the many unanswered questions, new and old! Very well deserved 4 stars to this one!
Profile Image for Lindsay.
Author 4 books52 followers
July 7, 2015
WHOO! A nailbiter ending has me itching for book 3! Stacey brought some new historical figures into the story with this sequel, and I’m so curious to see who else we have yet to see added into the mix.

I love the new characters! Well, maybe “love” is too strong a word for this mixture of emotions I feel. Ridley is our newest main character, in modern times. I love his sass, especially when it comes to pushing Noah’s buttons, but I feel like I really can’t trust him either. He always seems to have one foot out the door. Some really interesting chemistry going on there though… We also have a new villain! The twist to this is that I have a hard time seeing her as all evil. I felt sorry for her, but I guess that goes hand in hand with a heroine who isn’t entirely good, right? Blurred lines all around!

Stacey’s writing ability really shines with the different characters. Her writing style changes between past and present, fitting perfectly with the style of the time. Add in some gruesome ghouls, and some hilarious dialogue, and it’s a solid read that will appeal to a wide audience.

As with the previous book, I did still find a few problems with homonyms (passed/past) but the editing is better in this book. I’m so thrilled with this series all around, and can’t help but wonder… when’s the next book out??

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Maria Lynn.
340 reviews141 followers
December 31, 2015
If you read my review for Crane (Book 1) you know that I debated whether or not I should throw in the towel because of my inability to connect. I also mentioned that I was SUPER glad I didn't because this series is unbelievable! To quote myself from the previous review, "This series is just so rich in classic fictional history it's a dream come true!"

In this second installment we explore the life and work of Edgar Allen Poe via The Raven, while Ireland Crane still tries to deal with the force within herself (The Headless Horseman) that seems to be growing more powerful, restless, and...hungry. Raven is slightly darker and grosser than Crane, mostly because we're dealing with one pissed off Ghoul (who's physical body has not aged well) seeking revenge. It never failed that every time a particularly ghoulish scene came up I was eating lunch/dinner. Seriously. Every time.

I could appreciate the characters way more this time around and grew to love their quirkiness and sarcastic sense of humor. This story was even more captivating and left me on the edge of my seat. Add in Ridley Peolte and I wasn't putting this one down for anything! I definitely recommend giving this series a go, you won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Christy.
192 reviews6 followers
September 7, 2014

I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.
What do you get when you mix snarky attitude with a monster who has a conscience, why Crane but Mrs. Rourke was not done there she just upped it another level with Raven. With an amazing flare for darkness with a dash of light we step into the twisted story of Poe and his truest love. Ireland and her crew take on this new twist in their story with the same heart and action as before.
This book was impossible to put down and I mean literally, I tried and was back at it within minutes. I could go on and on and say so much but I won’t because you simply stated you have to read it to appreciate it. I will say this I could not be more pleased with the nods to Mr. Poe works subtlety woven into the story, it makes me want to go break out his complete works and read some old favorites.
All I can do now is sit in wonder and wait for the next one!
Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for Kami.
Author 2 books62 followers
September 23, 2014
This book starts out terrifying with a witch feeding a nasty, macabre concoction to a baby. I was immediately drawn into this grotesque tale of the baby Edgar. The story then moves to Ireland, Noah and Rip van Winkle as they continue their investigation of the Headless Horseman and his connection to Ireland. I really like the Edgar half of this book a lot, so much so that I was trying to hurry through Ireland's adventures so that I could get to the Edgar chapters. I am a fan of Edgar Allan Poe and creepy Gothic horror. This was a definite good, creepy re-imagination in the style of a Gothic horror ghost story. I enjoyed it immensely. That reveal at the end is definitely spectacular. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Jasmine Lace.
Author 26 books2 followers
August 2, 2018
I am a big fan of Shakespeare, folklore and mythology. So, when I come across film, tv series or novels that dabble in these topics, I'm immediately down to experience the writer's craft of reinvention. I have to respect the art and boldness to take loved stories and make them the writer's own.

This is the main reason why I read Stacey Rourke´s Raven (The Legends Saga Book 2). The novel is about Ireland Crane's search to find out more about her tattoo and her ability to turn into the bringer of death, the Headless Horseman. As she is accompanied by her boyfriend, Noah Van Tassel, and her friend, Rip Van Wrinkle, Ireland comes across a handsome stranger who is also cursed. They are strongly drawn together in their quest to hunt down the demonic form of Edgar Allen Poe´s Lenore.

I loved Poe's narratives. The readers see the problematic, cursed young life of Poe and the demons he is dealing with as well as find out the story behind him and his beloved Lenore. The story hits on the reasons for Poe´s peculiarity while giving the audience snips of incidents that were influenced in his later writings. As an English teacher and a student of Literature, I was excited and enthralled by that part of the book.

The problem I had with it was sometimes I found myself zoning out while I read and would have to read again so not to be confused by the next plot point. Plus, Ireland's story was heavy with pursuit and conflict of her demon coming out and killing everyone. It got stale sometimes. It may be better as a TV series than novel.

Rourke has won many awards for Young Adult Fantasy. Plus, her proses are lyrically horrifying in their description of gore and terror. And she adds good one-liners in her comic relief. Therefore, we know she is a fantastic writer.

Maybe it’s more about me and the genre. I prefer to read dramas, romances and thrillers. I rarely read fantasy. I rather watch it. With that in mind, at the end of the novel, I felt the story was okay. It could have been told in 100 pages rather than over 300 pages, though.
Profile Image for Dannica.
701 reviews24 followers
November 1, 2017
I was kind of frustrated with this one. The first book in the series, Crane, tells the story of a woman possessed by the spirit of the Headless Horseman, and this one brings her and her comrades to New York, where they meet a man possessed by the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe. So...I like Poe. I expected to like this. But I kind of just didn't. For the following reasons:

-I know Poe better, so I get more frustrated by the fact that the book barely attempts to reference his actual life, instead saddling him with a love interest, the famous lost Lenore.
-The plot was not nearly as well explained this time, or at least the supernatural elements weren't. I think it's setting up for the third book in the series but.
-Love triangle time! I actually kind of liked the new guy, Ridley, at least more than the very bland Noah Van Tassel. But he's still an overexaggerated ladykiller who is barely given any character outside of his caricatured sex drive and his role in the plot. The only reason I like him better than Noah is that Noah is now a Standard Action Guy with a side of jealousy issues because of Ridley.
-In-group petty quarreling takes up WAY too much time.
-And as a result, the book really drags and is just hard reading. You feel like it's a chore, because you just aren't invested in these characters' adventure anymore. You know it's going to end well--they're all treating it incredibly flippantly. So why should you care that a banshee is flying around New York?

There were a couple things I did like. Rip remained an interesting character, and the flashbacks were still somewhat compelling. But overall, I just thought this book was kind of boring. Would only recommend if you really liked Crane.
Profile Image for Diana Kathryn Plopa.
Author 41 books23 followers
May 15, 2017
This is book two in the "Legends Saga", and it is just as compelling as the first. The author has a wonderful ability to take a story and a character we thought we knew well, and infuse a new sense of tension, excitement, and detail that surely, the original author would have exploited, had he been as creative.

Put aside everything you think you know about Edgar Allen Poe and his history, for this story will introduce you to his parents and his wife in a way that you never could have imagined. Couple that with the strength of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and continuing curse the Headless Horseman, and you’ve got a riveting tale that will not relent.

The new subplot characters we meet along the way, and the ones the author brings with her from book one, "Crane", enrich the connectivity to the old legend and add, simultaneously, a relief and an apprehension to the challenges they all must face together. This book was so compelling, that I must admit, I ignored many of my household chores simply so I could read. It is mesmerizing and the reward for the time I invested was returned to me a hundred times over.

The third book in this series, "Steam", is next on my reading list, and I am eager to discover how this marvelous author will weave everything together and deliver an ending that I am certain will live up to the wonderment of the other two books. If you enjoy a refreshing twist on a story and characters you thought you knew, this author is for you!
Profile Image for Ethan Gregory.
220 reviews8 followers
October 13, 2015
Full review and more available at: http://oneguysguidetogoodreads.blogsp...

My Thoughts:

As anyone who read my review of Crane will remember, I'm not a huge fan of mainstream 'classical' literature. One author, however, has always intrigued me: Edgar Allen Poe. His stories aren't ones that I generally clamor over and to be honest, I only know much about them thanks to a well versed high school instructor who was obsessed with Vincent Price (The Pit and the Pendulum is AMAZING). Anyway... Poe isn't a guy that I've ever been over the moon about, especially after learning about his personal life, talk about upsetting. But what if Poe's life and his twisted tales came from truth? What if he wrote what he lived and his life wasn't at all what we expected? Could the legends of Lenore and the beating heart beneath the floorboards be true? Enter Stacey Rourke.

Picking up right where we left our gang in Crane, Ireland, Rip, and Noah head to Manhattan island to discover the true 'coincidence' of the Hessian mark left upon Ireland. The 'random' tattoo she received, branding her with the mark of the Hessian. With the beat inside her, they traipse the city, crossing paths with the mysterious Ridley with gifts all his own. When the Horseman crosses paths with malevolent spirits of yore, it's up to Ridley and his gifts to help the gang solve their greatest challenge yet.

While we don't see any of Tarrytown in this installment, New York City proves to be more than interesting enough. With the Horseman on the prowl in the big city, terror is abound! The plot to Raven definitely made it my favorite of the trilogy. It was beyond unique and twisted the works of Poe into an intricately weaved tale of perfection. Like I said before, I may not know much about about the works of Poe, but I definitely knew enough to keep this story going.

Like Crane, Raven is split into two different timelines. One in present day New York featuring Ireland, Ridley, Noah, and Rip and a second one in the early 1800s featuring Edgar Allen and Lenore. With the way Rourke wrote the historical timeline, I would have loved to have read an entire novel just set there. In Rourke's lore, Poe is cursed with an affliction: he can raise, and communicate with, the dead. Much like other resurrectors before him, it does't ever pan out the way one would wish. Ghouls and spirits with unfinished business haunt Poe to the point of madness. When he finally passes, his curse is spread down the line reaching my newest favorite character, Ridley.

Like Ireland, Ridley is cursed with a gift he neither desires, nor understands. Gifts that history has condemned. Only by working together can the Masters of Life and Death hope to contain and prevail over the rogue spirit of Poe's lost lover, Lenore. The entire plot is gripping with deep emotion, softening the hardest of hearts, while being fast paced and action-packed enough to keep everyone entertained.

Like I said before, this one is my favorite of the trilogy for so many reasons. It's full of more of Rourke's trademark laugh-out-loud humor, but definitely punched me in the feels with it's surprise ending. It's one story I was not able to put down. I truly cannot say enough great things about it. I will say that, like Crane, it is a bit hard to follow at times. With everything going on and so many stories being tied together, you really have to keep watch and pay attention when you read. I can assure you that every second you spend reading is a second well worth it when it comes to this incredible saga.

Now that Ireland has begun to embrace her fate as the Horseman, we really get to see some amazing things from her. Embracing the dark side is both a lot of fun and horrifying. That being said, I absolutely loved every second. It's hard to imagine, but definitely realistic enough to keep the story grounded in reality. One of my favorite parts was the human aspect Rourke gave to the Horseman. Especially regarding Regen, his trusty stallion. Regen plays a huge role in the all three novels of the series and I really love the attention Rourke gave to a non-human character. It's not common to see that in contemporary works.

I won't spoil anything, but Rourke really put on her game face with this one. The ending alone nearly broke me. I'll avoid any spoilers, but get ready for the feels people, you'll catch them all. It's been weeks and I'm still not over it!

This series is more amazing than I can put into words. Rourke's clear literary talent has blossomed fully with this second installment of The Legends Saga. It's clear to me as a reader and a scholar that she put forth massive amounts of time, dedication, and research to make this story tie in so perfectly with her vision of the series, an effort that paid off in the end. As both a historian and a reader, I have massive amounts of respect for Rourke. It isn't often that we as a reading generation get blessed with such an author as she. Keep your eyes on Rourke, folks. I continue to expect amazing things from her.

Reflective, thrilling, and deeply moving, Rourke delivers her greatest work yet with Raven. An absolute must-read for fans of Poe! With all of this being said, it should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Raven a near-perfect 5-star review. I couldn't be more thrilled if I tried. I highly recommend this read to all loved of classical literature, the New Adult genre (language, violence), and a good spooky read for the upcoming Halloween season. Do you have what it takes to become a Legend? Don't miss your change to check this one out, add it to your TBR today!

Profile Image for Traci Otte.
352 reviews3 followers
November 3, 2021
Good read!

This book sees Ireland and her Hessian interacting with Ridley and his Edgar Allen Poe. It's a good story, but not terribly accurate to Poe's life. That didn't bother me, but this series needs some proofreading. The wrong words are used quite a lot: passed instead of past, conscious instead of conscience...that kind of thing. It makes a great story a little difficult to read. I haven't noticed that in the author's most recent series, Death Diggers Handbook, so perhaps a different editor/proofreader is used now. I'll still read the last book in this series because I'm curious what's going to happen to Ireland, Noah, and Ridley.
Profile Image for Cindy Mathis.
209 reviews1 follower
November 1, 2017
The basis for this series by Stacey Rourke is genius! Book 1, Crane, was a new twist on Ichabod Crane and The Headless Horsemen. Book 2, Raven, brings Edgar Allen Poe with a new take on Lenore. So much differently than the poem, in a really exciting way! With the addition of extra characters, I read a Raven slower in order to make sure I was in the right POV. I’m moving right on to Book 3, Steam, because I really need to know how Ms. Rourke is going to tie these books together. It’s going to be a leap, but I expect it’s going to make perfect sense!
Profile Image for Nadene  (Totally Addicted to Reading).
1,270 reviews175 followers
November 6, 2017
Raven by Stacey Rourke is the second book in the Legends Saga. After reading Crane I was eager to see how things would unfold for Ireland. Based on my experience with Crane, I went into this instalment with high expectations. Unlike the story of Ichabod Crane, which I was familiar with, Edgar Allan Poe on the other hand was a mystery. However, after conducting a mini research I was keen to discover the twist the author would put on the legendary Poe.

What the Story is About.

In this instalment we see Ireland, Noah and Rip Van Winkle heading to New York to get answers about the tattoo on Ireland's hand and who was behind the curse of the headless horseman. In their journey through the city they cross paths with Ridley who is afflicted with his own curse that of the essence of Edgar Allan Poe. He joins forces with the crew to help them in their quest for answers. In the process they encounter hostile spirits, and Ridley is forced to use his newfound gifts/curse to help Ireland and her friends as they battle their greatest challenge to date.

My Views

Like the previous instalment story is narrated in two different timelines. The present-day timeline features Ireland, Noah, Rip and Ridley. The one in past focuses on Poe and Lenore. In this timeline Poe has been cursed. When he touches the dead, they come back to life, but not in a good way. He also has the ability to communicate with spirits. He is unable to live a normal life because of his affliction. His death, however did not mean the end of the curse, instead it passed down his ancestral line bringing us to Ridley in the current timeline.

I enjoyed narration from Poe's timeline in comparison the one involving Ireland and her friends. I found Poe and Lenore’s timeline intriguing and that aspect of the story was the reason I did not give upon the story. The current timeline featured several POVs, and I had a hard time keeping up as a result I found myself disconnected from this aspect of the story. The poor editing did not help. There was misspelling and poor punctuation on almost all the pages.

I had a hard time connecting with Ridley. I had no knowledge of him, beyond the fact he was a descendant of Poe. I expected to learn more about him, seeing he played an important role in this instalment. However, this was not the case. I understood his purpose in the current events, but as an individual he did not standout.

There was one aspect of the story where I found myself thinking what the hell just happened! It had to do with Rip and his younger self as a ghost. In the scheme of things this scene was contrived and I could not fathom what was its value to the story.


I wanted to like this instalment, but unfortunately it missed the mark for me. However, don’t let my review deter you from reading this one, who knows you may enjoy it more than I did. Going by the reviews I have seen, it would appear I am among the minority in my disappointment with Raven. I do plan to read the final book as I am keen to know what next is in store for Ireland.
Profile Image for Amy.
Author 19 books410 followers
September 2, 2020
**Audiobook review** I listened to the saga on audiobook. First of all the narrator is fabulous! She does a great job with distinguishing voices of the characters and delivering an entertaining story. The author had me enthralled with this whole series! Each book seems is better than the next. Fantastic storyline, great character development, and a few surprises you may not see coming. I highly recommend this Saga series.
Profile Image for Shanna Tidwell.
601 reviews1 follower
April 22, 2022
I actually loved them all. I don’t want to give anything away with the many characters that made my nerd heart go thump thump!
This one centers around Poe.
Karen Krause did an amazing job narrating all 3 books.
There is the Headless horseman, Poe, ghouls, ghosts and so much more in book 3. I would love more from this author.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Profile Image for Heather Rizkallah.
569 reviews2 followers
April 26, 2018

This book had it all. Ireland, as the hessian, has struggled to keep him at bay. But when she comes across a couple people, things start to change. With the addition of Edgar Poe and his bride Lenore, things get complicated. Can Ireland keep the hessian at bay
Profile Image for Cecilia Rodriguez.
3,421 reviews34 followers
August 21, 2018
In the second novel, Rouke's plot immerses itself in the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
There was a strong "Buffy" vibe now that Ireland and the Headless Horseman have melded.
The story has a cliffhanger ending, introducing a new character that will be the focus in the next novel.
Profile Image for Sara.
103 reviews
September 28, 2018
I really enjoyed this book. All of the ties to Poe and his works were very well done. The hints of a love triangle were not really appealing to me, so I’m glad they were just hints. Hopefully that is how it stays. Now on to HG Wells!
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