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Raven's Shadow

(Raven #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  7,115 ratings  ·  360 reviews
Seraph is a Raven mage who left behind her responsibilities for the love of the ex-soldier Tier. But when Tier disappears, Seraph must use her magic and fulfill her ancestors' oath to protect humanity from destruction.
Mass Market Paperback, 334 pages
Published July 27th 2004 by Ace
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,115 ratings  ·  360 reviews


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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Thank you to my wonderful friends at Fantasy Buddy Reads for reminding me that Patricia Briggs had a few books before Mercy! I was not expecting this at all!! I loved it so much and reading a high fantasy book from Patricia was amazing!! The characters were freaking awesome! Now I have to buy this one and the next one to add to my collection. I’m excited to read the next book but scared at the same time!!

Happy Reading!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
It's clear that Patricia Briggs can work the same magic for traditional fantasy that she does with her urban fantasy and werewolf stories for this reader. I loved this story. I must admit that there were parts that were slower and harder to read, and that's due to the intricacies of the worldbuilding (keep in mind, I don't read a lot of heavy-duty, traditional heroic fantasy--so keep the urge to sneer under wraps if you've read a lot of that and consider this book child's play). Having said that ...more
Kathleen
This series is engrossing and heartwarming — featuring middle-aged Seraph and Tier, and their three adorable "gifted" kids. A good duology for teens and adults who like character-driven fantasy. Not urban fantasy. More like old-world fantasy. One heartwarming family of farmers and their friends take on The Path and The Shadowed, an über-evil human who feeds on pain and death.

It's told in 3rd person, and beautifully narrated by Jennifer James Bradshaw.

Main protagonists: A family of farmers with
...more
Yodamom
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Audio: Excellent narration. An enjoyable read, a bit long winded and too slow at times. The story unfolds slowly, after much character and world development. It was not like her more recent books, but there is a sense of her greatness in this book. Half way through I wasn't interested enough to even consider reading book 2, but know I feel I must. I really need to know where that dark figure went and what will become of these fabulous characters.
Tammie
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 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.


Several years ago I read the first book in Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series a
...more
Bry
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, fantasy
I loved the overall plot and the intricacies of the magic of the Travelers and the solsenti or regular humans. There were so many abilities, and various ways of doing magic. It was all extremely interesting and well thought out. I also loved Tier and the children's characters. They were all so loyal, protective, kind, and good that it was just heartwarming. Seraph took me a lot longer to like due to her coldness which was necessary to keep her magic in check, but thankfully she found a way to sh ...more
Julie
Halfway through, I'm surprised by this book. It felt like it was going to head one direction, then it fooled me and went another direction entirely. I'm glad, since the first direction wasn't the way I wanted to head.

This is only the second series I've read by Briggs. Like her Mercy Thompson books, this has some wonderful characterization and very smooth writing. The setting is a much more traditional fantasy one, though.

I'm enjoying it a lot.

Now that I've finished, I stick with the assessment o
...more
Daniel
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a tale of thirds. Thank goodness the best third was the last. the first two thirds of this book were somewhat boring. The world building and story telling in the first two thirds left much to be desired. However, it finished reasonably strong and I will continue on with the next book. The main issue I had was a lack of connection to any of the MCs. If you don't care what happens then the story doesn't pull you in and pull you along. This was not by any means a bad book, just wasn't the ...more
AlwaysV
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So thankful for my library for keeping Patricia Briggs's earlier releases around! I felt like having discovered hidden treasure! So crazy in love with this world! I was spellbound by good mages and their magics. Repulsed by wizards' evil magics!

PB has always created such strong heroines, my kind of heroins! Seraph was now one of my favorite heroines, along side Anna (the Omega) and Mercy Thompson! Tier wasn't scary like Charles (in the Alpha & Omaga) or as handsome as Adam (Mercy Thompson's
...more
Cupcakes & Machetes
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Travelers are a lot like gypsies although some of them have mage-like powers. They destroyed their home city to save the world from the ultimate evil and now wander the lands fighting lesser evil as they come across it. Of course, people not of their kind don't understand them. And what do humans love to do with something they don't understand? They try to destroy it. It's working. The Traveler's numbers are few and a new evil is rising.

Tier was a soldier on his way home from war when he cam
...more
Laura
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I went into this with pretty low expectations. I just figured it would be Mercy Thompson with no electricity. I don't know why I doubted Brigg's ability to write both Paranormal and a more true Fantasy, but I did doubt. And she proved me wrong!

The world building here was very well done. Enough was explained in the beginning to satisfy me, and then more was slowly revealed. It was well written and I can't wait to read the next book.

My only complaint is something that I have noticed in the Mercy
...more
Fantasy Literature
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Patricia Briggs’ novel Raven’s Shadow begins with a rescue and a romance. Tier, a Rederni ex-soldier, saves young Seraph, a Traveler girl, from murder at the hands of some ruffians in a tavern and a strange, dangerous man in the forest. Intrigued by this brave, foolhardy girl, Tier takes her home to his village to protect her from the forces that follow. Travelers are Briggs’ answer to Patrick Rothfuss’ Edema Ruh or Robert Jordan’s Tuatha’an... you know, your typical “gypsy” stereotype that seem ...more
S
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: briggs
I was expecting another fantasy coming-of-age novel, but that's not what this is. It turned out to be quite different. There were a lot of unexpected little twists and turns. I think some aspects of the plot could have been more fully explained, but that might have slowed down the story. It was nice to have a story with a family full of characters, rather than a single main character seeking his/her fortune. The number of characters left me wanting a more focused story on each one, but overall I ...more
Issam
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was given to me from a friend, and was my first Patricia Briggs novel. Before beginning, I had assumed that the universe that had been set up in here would be overly complicated and tied at length through several other books, but it wasn't, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to fall into the story, the characters, and the magical world of wizards, travelers, strange creatures, and the Ordered that Patrica Briggs had so believably, and creatively, embedded here in a realistic ...more
TJ
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gosh, it is such a nice change to read about a married couple and their children fighting the battle of good together for a change! 99.9% of the time it is a hero and a heroine (or one or the other) and that is great but what a delight to have a bit of a twist - especially from such a gifted writer as Ms. Briggs who could even make the Yellow Pages a must read.

The first half of the book was a bit slow going as the world building took center stage. But, even then we were shown it through the eyes
...more
Anita
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
I read 90 pages of this and gave up. I went to a Patricia Briggs book signing recently and she made fun of some of her early writings, saying "They really will publish anything," and now I get what she meant. It's not that the story is bad, it's just that the writing is not one-tenth as tight as Ms. Briggs current works. I can't explain it, but somehow I just don't care much about what happens next.

This is a traditional fantasy set in a world where magic is known and sometimes feared. Seraph, o
...more
Aili
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Patricia Briggs is my hero. I am constantly amazed at her characters and the relationships they have with each other. Briggs has a great, healthy perspective on individuality, love, family, and romance. Because her characters don't fit into the traditional fantasy mold, her plots can't be predictable. Have you ever read another book where the hero/heroine takes their whole family along for the adventure and each person's skills are necessary for the resolution? The cast of fully-developed charac ...more
Tracy
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ebook, kindle
I devoured this book - it was absolutely great and so much fun to read. Engaging characters, solid world building and just a good story. The kind of book that makes me excited about fantasy.

It's the first of two books, but tells a self-contained story - refreshing in this age of epic series that never end and trilogies that leave you hanging.
Jackie Bennett
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a fun fantasy novel. The magical talents that several of the characters in this book have played out like they had 3rd edition dnd classes.
Jacob Proffitt
I had some issues with the beginning of Raven's Shadow—things that felt awkward or that frustrated me. Around the middle, though, those issues dropped away and I was able to enjoy a wonderful story about a family caught up in events much larger than themselves.

There are two problems with the beginning. First, we see Seraph and Tier before they're married and then take a 20 year jump in time where they have three kids and a struggling farm. That's a big jump and more than a little disconcerting.
...more
Amber
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Raven’s Shadow is, in many ways, a bog-standard classic fantasy, stuffed full of common tropes: magical gypsy-equivalents (the Travellers); fantastic racism; bards; a nebulous evil ‘shadow’; a master archer; a shapeshifter; an ex-soldier riding a warhorse; squabbling nobles; and a hedonistic emperor. And yet, somehow all these old, tired pieces combine to form something just different enough to be enjoyable. Not astoundingly, brilliantly different (see: Brandon Sanderson) but comfortably individ ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
I like the fact that this fantasy had a mature heroine. Seraph is a traveller and she is rescued but the soldier Tier. Travellers are not liked, they have magic, they are said to steal babies and all sorts of other stupid things. They are feared. Seraph and Tier gets married and 20 years later the real story starts.

A mature heroine with 3 kids, and a missing husband. Seraph was strong, and I liked her. Tier too, he was all nice. The kind you just want to hug.

I did get angry at all silly peasants
...more
Yvette
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I am a Patricia Briggs fan. I love her books because she always has strong female characters with realistic quirks. A fun read for a rainy day!
JJ
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book doesn't know where the story starts. All of part one is is slow and wasted space in which nothing really happens. It could be summed up in a couple sentences of backstory in part two. But once you get past that this really takes off. Very interesting characters, interesting magic system, and pretty gripping tension leading up to the big ending. It is half of a duology and it very much feels like half, but it is a very enjoyable half. I think what I like most though is that Seraph is li ...more
~ Giulia ~
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, magic
Nothing groundbreaking as far as fantasy plots and settings go: we have misunderstood magical gypsies, feared and killed because of their peculiar powers; an evil cult killing and torturing and doing other evil deeds; a puppet emperor trying to regain control of his reign; dark forces returning after centuries...
But it was a nice change to have protagonists who are not young adults dealing with their first real relationship, but rather a couple who has been married for twenty years. And bonus po
...more
Lisa
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've read Patricia Briggs' urban fantasy/werewolf shtick and I like those ok. I'd have to sift through what bothers me about Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega - I think offhand I find Mercy's boy toy boring and wooden (not in a good way . . .) and Mercy is sort of scampy and defiant for no particular reason. Acting 16 when you're 26 isn't cute. Also Briggs urban fantasy feels predictable to me.

Now, this book I really enjoyed. Reminds me of Patricia C. Wrede's high fantasy or maybe Mercedes Lack
...more
Douglas
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm finding I like Patricia Briggs. She has an easy style of writing that's well paced. Though this book is a little slower than her Mercy Thompson series, it still moves well enough that don't feel anything of a sort of drag. In fact, if anything I almost wanted this book to be a little longer to see a bit more world-building.

Briggs writes good chemistry for the principals: Tier and Seraph. Both are strong in their own right, both have their own personalities that are different enough yet compl
...more
Emily
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Oh patty, you just want to write high fantasy but your Mercy is so much better. don't get me wrong, i really enjoyed the story but the characters just didnt have the oopmh that mercy's crew do... though i did read it in a day, with my heart racing at times.

Tieragan Baker of Redern is on his way home from war. He ran away nine years ago and is returning after a very successful career as a warrior. On his way he stops in at a small town to rest for a night but instead ends up "rescuing" a Travele
...more
Marsha
May 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Let me start by saying I'm a huge Patricia Briggs fan. She is a master weaver of strange/wondrous worlds and no one can script characters with such detail that they feel more like acquaintances than fiction. While I truly enjoyed Raven's Shadow, it was not my favorite of her novels. Don't get me wrong, the Raven's world and the characters were crafted with her usual beautiful style, this just wasn't 4 starts for me. I will go on to read Raven's Strike and the Dragon Bones series. However, before ...more
Hilary
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The writing was a bit dry for my liking, creating distance between the characters and me, so I felt very little connection with any of them until I was almost at the end. I'd probably say this was my least favorite of Patricia Briggs' books. Some of that style can be seen in the Aralorn/Sianim series, but I actually cared about Aralorn and Wolf. Seraph and Tier were distant characters, like those family members you vaguely remember but only know by name versus the ones you seek out for visits.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana, to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a n
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