As war looms, will her power be enough to save the ones she loves?
Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker—a power greater than any in history. She embraces her new role as Nightwatcher, able to intercede for her people in the dream world, but the dark shadow of war draws even closer.
Working together, the Great Houses come up with a plan to secure the borders from the approaching Dominia Empire. But dissension, conflict, and suspicion threaten to destroy their tenuous treaty, and as the empire burns a path across their lands, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire's attacks.
The only one who can keep the Great Houses unified and restore her husband's power is Selene. But it will require that she venture deep into the dream world to confront the enemies of her past who will do anything to stop her power. Will it be enough, or will both worlds fall under the empire's might?
Morgan 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 award-winning steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.
I'M SO DEAD. THAT MAGNIFICENT ENDING. I'M SO DEAD.
10 billion stars.
So. It took me more than a month to recover. We're all very surprised.
Thinking about writing this review has been driving me crazy. Words aren't enough this time. How could they be? The pressure I've put on myself to write the best review ever (because Morgan L. Busse is amazing and deserves it) has made me insane.
Don't mind my endless fangirling in this *coughs* "professional" review.
This book encouraged me. It reached beyond my mind and touched my heart. My soul. Needless to say, I cried, and laughed, and FELT THINGS FAR BEYOND WHAT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE for pretend humans.
(You honestly probably don't want to know this so skip it and keep reading ..... but I went outside after I finished this book. I screamed at the sky and the trees and the air. And then I wept. Because Damien and Selene weren't real and the adventure I shared with them was over.)
The gentle and yet intense weaving of this story puts me in awe. Words. They are magical creatures in the hands of Morgan L. Busse. They dance and sing from their hearts for her.
ALSO OH MY LANTA. THE ADORABLE LEVEL OF THIS BOOK IS 😍😍😍. I CAN'T EVEN. CAN WE JUST HAVE ONE MORE CUTE KISSING SCENE??? THANK YOU. 💖
I miss them all so much already. 😭
Setting: gLoRiOuS. *sings gayly* The magical, wonderful, fantastical world of Morgan L. Busse's imagination. Where all seven Great Houses have been given a gift. A gift that reflects the Light.
Plot: The pacing was amazing. Not too slow .... normally quite action packed. I guess they're were some areas some people might consider boring. Battle planing and working out strategies. But I lOvEd it. 💞
Description: Can I just say that I was impressed? Okay. I'm impressed. I'm very impressed. The tiniest details are important and brought to light. I love it. OMW. Everything is flushed out perfectly, all blending together. No scene was idle.
Romance: RIDICULOUSLY CUTE. THEY ARE ONE OF MY TOP OTP's. 😍 Selene + Damien for lifeeeeeeee. (someone help me.) It was clean and absolutely a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. I can't stress that enough. Go read the whole trilogy. It portrayed what marriage is suppose to look like. Messy yet so focused on love. They hurt one another (with their words), they support one another, they get back up again and move on. 💖
Content: SO. CLEAN. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It is YA. It's a Christian Allegorical Fantasy. There are some darker moments. Depression and loneliness. All the things we face in life. Mild kissing. Husband and Wife laying in bed with one another. Suggestive conversations. It's all handled delicately.
Message: Learning to let go and let God. 😭😍💖 "Put all things in the hands of the Light" This touched my heart. I got goose bumps So Many Times. 💕
Characters: AHhHahaahHahahahAhahhhhhHhHhhHh. Theywereallsoamazingandican'teverstopscreamingaboutthem. THEY WERE DEEP. COMPASSIONATE. FORGIVING. SINFUL. PEOPLE. They made mistakes. They fell down. They got back up again. Even though it hurt. Even though it felt impossible. They are an inspiration. They are all so encouraging. The things they say. The feelings they deal with. The victories they have. It teaches us we can be victorious too. 😭😭😍😍
Overall: I have yet to recover. I don't think I ever can. The impact this book has had on my life .... 💕 Thank you, Morgan L. Busse. Never stop writing.
AND YOU. Yes, you. The one I'm looking at. The one who read through this whole mess of words. GO BUY A COPY AND READ IT ASAP IF YOU ALREADY HAVEN'T. MEND YOUR MISTAKE.
**FTC DISCLOSURE** I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I request that you don't take them personally. Thanks! :)
THERE WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH WORDS TO SCREAM ABOUT HOW MUCH I LOVE MY OTP.
Every now and then, you meet a couple in fiction that you just LOVE. You just...you're addicted to reading about them. You grin with their successes. You cry when they fail. One hug is enough to tide you over for 100 pages. It's just...ACK I LOVE SELENE AND DAMIEN SO VERY VERY MUCH.
And there wasn't enough of them!!!!! I needed every single scene to be a Selene and Damien one. But, alas, we cannot have everything in this life. So instead we got some of my favorite side characters in this series. All the lords and ladies are amazing and I love them.
I think the highest compliment that I can give any series would be: I'd happily read ten more books about the adventures of these characters.
1. Selene and Damien are a true power couple. 2. Caiaphas is a champ. 3. I want more.
This series caught my attention fast from the moment it began, and I’ve eagerly awaited each poignant installment. The trilogy is rich with powerful messages, and this book too is filled with empathetic themes. Mostly, I would say it’s about trust. People learning or choosing to trust each other despite previous damage. The unsteady alliance of the seven houses as they face off a much greater enemy is a main focus after all.
But most of all, it’s about trusting God. Not only with your life, but the lives of the people you love. And not just their lives, but their deaths too. As you can imagine, this makes for some heart-wrenching and difficult moments, and I wish we could all reach this level of faith sooner for our own peace.
That being said, while most of the death in the book was meaningful, there was one side character who I felt would have been much better left alive.
The climax was awesome! I loved seeing more of the different cultures, especially the Healer kingdom! And while the ending was wonderfully satisfying, it also left (as all good, thriving stories do) many incredible stories ahead in the future, and I only hope one day they get explored.
I confess that a quarter of a way in I HAD to flip to the end to make sure it would have certain character(s) alive and well.
Not only that, but even with knowing a tiny piece of the ending, I caught myself praying everyone would make it.
If that does not say how intense and engaging this story was, then neither what I have to share about the book will either. LOL!
It's been a very long time since I have done either, and this book continued to surprise me in so many ways.
I LOVED the story as a whole. It was everything I wanted in an epic trilogy. (Like were talking I had internal music playing with scenes and breaking out in goosebumps with scenes. #sogood) Fighting, overcoming, growing, and a few other spoiler things that I refuse to mention becaue one must read it to enjoy it.
However, on a deeper level, Selene's words and Damien's struggle pierced me where I found myself having to put the book down and process how much I needed it. No matter how hard sometimes life might be, Jesus is ALWAYS with us. Even in the darkness, His Light shines and burns in our hearts.
And letting go doesn’t mean forgetting. <3
Damien has always been my favorite because he is beyond relatable and it was no exception in Cry of the Raven, but Selene has also become a favorite too. I loved this incredible couple and how they encouraged and loved one another. It was beautiful and fiction needs more of this.
There is soooo much more I could say about this story, but I will say that though I really struggled liking Selene in book one, this series will be a series I hold close. I have been deeply encouraged by it and for the first time, I put a sticky note in a book because it was so profound.
In summary, Cry of the Raven is so so so good!
Highly recommend to Christian fantasy readers who love a blend of action and romance and epicness!
Busse had me at book 1 ... and 2 but then 3. Wow. Its like each book got deeper and deeper into my soul. Asking the hard questions and making me think. Each book got better and better.
Selene and Damien both grew so much. Especially Selene! In the first two she had to count on Damien for a lot because she was learning about the light and didnt know much but their growth was so amazing and shows how a healthy marriage should operate and I just adored that. Like can we please just get more wholesome books like these?
Beautiful Right... BRB going Cry happy tears.
Anyway... The war between light and dark was upon them and Damien and Selene had to go in different directions for a little while. They had their own battles to face and things to settle. I loved that even apart they became a powerful weapon to fight in the battle against the darkness. There were so many elements that felt real - even though this was a medieval world. The way they treated people around them and wow if we could get some people in power like these two what a beautiful world we would live in.
This next part may or may not be a spoiler so proceed with caution :P
My favorite part of this entire series was the ending and how instead of killing a certain character, (dont wanna spoil it) - they let them live and brought them over to the light and it was just so different than most books. Usually (this particular character) would have been killed or put in prison because of all of the terrible things they had done. But instead they were offered redemption and a chance to "see" something different. I just LOVED that!
Maybe its your cup of tea- and maybe not, I recommend it but you decide! Go read it...
Aaaahh! This book was so amazing! A new favorite, and an epic, suspenseful conclusion to the Ravenwood Saga! I loved it so, so much! I’ll try to keep this review spoiler free. ;)
I’ve loved each book in this trilogy, and each one has gotten even better than the last—difficult to imagine, since they’ve all been top favorites. CRY OF THE RAVEN was my most-anticipated read of the year, and wraps up the series, and totally delivers! IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE.
New twists and secrets come to light and there’s SO MUCH EPICNESS and it’s all on such a grand scale. I was blown away. The inspiring journey of these beloved characters, in this amazing world, with so many things that I love and have been excited to see since I first started the series, has just been so thrilling to experience! It makes me so happy! I’m sitting here grinning, trying to come up with words to do justice to this delightful book.
I absolutely love the characters, and how real their stories are, with their struggles, relationships, and growth. It’s been amazing following Selene through these books and seeing where she is now (I love her character so much, and even cosplayed as her at a writers conference last year!). Damien is my favorite, and he has quite a story in this one too! He is just the best. I love them together as well and seeing how their relationship plays out! All the love for these two! Reading their adventures and seeing the end has been so rewarding and I will love them forever. ^_^
So many of the side characters are favorites of mine too—and everyone is so real that they practically step off the page! I especially liked to see more of Caiaphas, Lord Leo and his brother, Lady Bryren and Reidin (who are EPIC!), and other characters like Taegis, Karl, and wise Renlar, who is new but awesome. Meeting new characters and delving deeper into ones we had met previously and seeing how they change was one of my favorite things!
I also love the worldbuilding! Aaahh! Definitely one of my favorite fantasy worlds. The powers/gifts, and all the different cultures and places we get to visit. I was so excited to get to see more of this world! *beaming* I stepped right through the page into this fascinating place—so happy to return one last time, and sad when it was over. I’m going to miss these books! *hugs them forever* But it was such an epic and satisfying conclusion that it’s also hard to be anything other than elated. :D
I love the writing, too—how it’s not sparse by any means, but at the same time there’s nothing “extra” and it shows just exactly the right things, everything important that we need to know, drawing you right into the action and emotion. It felt so clean, well-written, and masterfully crafted together, with inspiring words in there as well. The spiritual journeys, redemption, and healing, and parts about the Light, were very well done.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fangirl about more of my absolute favorite things, besides the characters and world, because there is SO much to love about this book. Apologies for any incoherency, but aaaahhhh! CRY OF THE RAVEN had so many amazing things that I adored!
+ Firstly, seeing more of the wyverns! (Yesss! I was totally hoping for that!) + I also absolutely loved how the dreamwalking was an even bigger part of this one and how it fit into the plot! (No spoilers, but aaahh!) + In the previous books, we’ve seen Selene’s dreamwalking gift and Damien’s water-manipulation gift, but only briefly touched on the other gifts in this world, so I was SO EXCITED to finally learn more about and get to see some of other Great Houses’ gifts in action a bit! (*muffled shrieking*) + ALSO! A couple of things about the ending were my absolute favorite! No spoilers, but you’ll know when you read the end. ;) (And the scene with the flower!! My heart! Aaahh! I don’t even know why I loved it so much but I ADORED THAT PART and it makes me smile and tear up. ^_^)
MARK OF THE RAVEN and FLIGHT OF THE RAVEN have been building up to this one and it’s everything I ever wanted! Nearly everything that I hoped to see was brought to light, and so many things that were good surprises, too! It was the perfect ending to this trilogy which I absolutely adore. I wholeheartedly recommend this series! If you are a fantasy fan, you need it in your life!
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are my own.)
What an absolutely fabulous finish to this series!
Morgan Busse drew me into this world from book one, and as perfectly satisfying an ending this book brought, I can't say I'm quite ready to leave these characters yet! Selene and Damien have grown so much since Mark of the Raven and what fun it's been to journey alongside them.
I love Selene's quiet strength and determination. It's really refreshing to read about a protagonist like her when most fictional female leads seem to have the same personality these days. We get to see her trust and faith further progress in this book. Likewise, Damien goes through *whew* so much in this story, but he pushes through with his own quiet strength and determination and trust and faith, and it was beautiful.
My favorite part could either be the adventuring into the worldbuilding or the development of some of the side characters. Probably both. They were all so great to read about and their interactions with Selene were fascinating. I love that Busse lets each character's personality shine through so distinctly, making it easy to tell them all apart despite the size of the cast.
As usual, the faith elements were woven in wonderfully. This book is probably my favorite in the series! (I especially adore how everything was tied together in the end. NO LOOSE ENDS.) Although I'll definitely be missing these peeps, I can't wait to see what else the author is planning for the future!
Always be a happy camper!
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. A positive review was not required; all views and opinions expressed are my own.*
I finished this book several days ago, and I'm still trying to put all my fangirling thoughts in order. It is so good!
In this book, Selene really comes into her own. In the first two books, Damien has to be the rock for both of them since she is still struggling with her past and coming to the Light.
In this one, both of them still have struggles, but Selene is strong enough that Damien can lean on her just as much as she leans on him. It makes for a beautiful relationship and a wonderful example of what marriage should look like.
This book really starts to put the pieces together from the previous two books. There were a lot of threads from book one that were wrapped up in this book. Things that seemed to be side tangents in that book became important in this book. So well done!
The worldbuilding came to full force in this book, and I could see all the ways the author had been carefully building for this book in the previous ones. It was so cool to see the way Selene learned to use her dreamwalking at full strength and what she was able to do with it.
There is so much I could say about this book! The ending is amazing and so tense! The audiobook is well done, and I couldn't stop listening!
If you haven't picked this series up yet, what are you waiting for?
Wow. I just finished this last night and am still processing, but this may be the most personally touching book I've read this year. The Ravenwood Saga are the first books I ever read from Morgan L Busse and I didn't know what to expect. In fact, I won the first book in a giveaway and promptly had to run to Goodreads because I'd forgotten what it was about.😅 It was a darker story premise than would normally attract me, but the author's skill with theme, story, and character drew me in, and the hope of better things to come kept me going to the next book. The second book was even better and I adored learning more about the world, watching Selene grow as a person, and seeing her and Damien become closer (note how I'm being vague to avoid spoilers :P). Oh, and Busse is excellent about endings that, while I wouldn't consider them "cliff hangers" still grab you by the throat and drag you into the next book, so by the time I got this third book I was very excited for it.
It did not disappoint. This was the best possible ending to this trilogy I could have imagined. It's hard to talk about the story without spoilers, but suffice it to say that the story threads, the themes, the character arcs were finished in the best possible way. I was so touched that I cried several times throughout. One thing that I appreciated the most was how Selene and Damien's marriage was handled. They had growing to do and issues to overcome, both individually and as a couple, but in the end they were such a wonderful picture of what a Christian marriage should look like. (And honestly, it's one of the best representations of this I may have ever seen in fiction.) They supported each other through their struggled, emotional and spiritual, interceding for each other in prayer, and yet they understood that no amount of romantic love could heal the other person. Only God (called The Light in this world) could do that, and there have been times in the series that each had to stand back and allow the Light to deal with the other person in His own way.
The other thing that was even more touching to me was the continued theme of giving one's gift to God and figuring out how best to use it for His glory. This is something Selene struggled with throughout the series and to see her finally figure it out and use her gift such powerful good and fight with such conviction... *cries* I can't give details lest I spoil anyone, but it was very inspiring to me.
Truly, I think the only real critique I can give is that the beginning was slightly slow with all the political discussion going on between the houses, but the action soon amped up and I never had that complaint again.
This story and the trilogy as a complete work gets 5 glowing stars from me. I am blown away, and 100 percent recommend it to anyone interested. I hope the author may someday return to this world and show us what happens to certain characters in the future.
The war between the alliance and the empire has begun, so there is frequent violence in the latter 2/3 of the book. There are many mentions of blood in relation to injuries (some mild and some fatal) and killing in battle, and in the process of retaking various locations. The smell of blood is mentioned sometimes, too. However, these mentions are never overly drawn out or described in extreme detail. Unnamed soldiers are crushed by huge rocks launched from catapults, but this is not described in any detail. There is also mild description of multiple wyverns getting shot out of the sky with spears.
A couple times, the stabbing and killing of someone on the opposing side is moderately described, including brief description of blood.
Someone gets badly burned on one side of their body. Pain is described along with the mention of the smell of burning hair and skin. Later, scars are described.
Someone gets stabbed in the shoulder/chest area. Intense pain is described and it is mentioned that the individual tastes blood.
There are a couple of emotionally impactful deaths, but I will not name the characters here. One dies in an non-violent, but sad manner, while another is shot with multiple arrows. Blood is mentioned in the case of the latter death.
Though death is dealt by both sides, those who are with the alliance, especially Selene, Damien, and Caiaphas, don't take such things lightly, nor do they enjoy it. A couple conversations are had addressing the issue and the fact that they are being forced to make the choice to kill the enemy in order to save the innocent is given appropriate weight. Damien also is shown to experience this emotional weight as he fights in the final battle.
The final battle between Selene, The Dark Lady, and is intense. Selene endures both physical and emotional/spiritual attacks.
Though not necessarily violent, the Dark Lady helps Selene's mother put many soldiers in a "death sleep" from which they cannot awake without Selene's help.
Selene witnesses a memory in which a woman slaps her own daughter in the face.
Someone gets blinded by intense light.
Several kisses and attraction between a married couple. Some of the kisses are passionate, and all the kisses are a little bit described, but the description is never gratuitous or lengthy.
In the first book of the series, Raoul informed Selene that his and her houses have a history of extra-marital affairs between their leaders and outright states that he and she will carry on this "tradition". She was disgusted by this, so naturally, when she is forced to interact with him in this book, she remembers that moment and wonders if he will still be after her. In one chapter from his perspective he refers to her as having "sultry" looks, and later, he does attempt to stroke her face when they speak alone at one point (because he insisted he had to speak to her alone), but she slaps his hand away and tells him resoundingly that she loves her husband and Raoul needs to back off. He doesn't try anything again.
Selene's little sister Ophie was revealed in the last book to be the product of
As was the case with the previous two books, there are strong Christian spiritual elements/themes throughout. Selene continues learning about and growing in her relationship with The Light, and learning what it looks like to reject the darkness of her past and use her power the way the Light intended rather than the wicked way her family has been using it for many generations. Once again, she sees people's souls in the dreamscape, some covered in darkness and chains and some bright balls of light depending on if they've chosen to follow The Light or not. She spends a large portion of her time spiritually ministering to people in the dreamscape, either by comforting and encouraging them and chasing away nightmares, or showing the Light to those who are dying and easing their passing. Selene also supports Damien through a difficult spiritual battle that he endures at one point. It is made clear that while Selene supports him through this, she is NOT the one who heals him. The Light is the only one able to do that.
Surrendering one's unique gifts to God and resisting temptation to use them in ways that would be wrong are huge themes in this book.
The "Dark Lady" makes multiple appearances again and continues to be as evil as before, however, we learn about the differences between her and the Light, namely that she is nowhere near as powerful, only has the power that is given to her by her worshipers (unlike the Light who exists and has the utmost power no matter who believes in him), can only offer her followers suffering and nightmares, and in the end
There are no words to express how much I adored this trilogy and this conclusion was perfection. I want to cry and scream on the top of a hilltop about how much I love this trilogy. Morgan L. Busse has crafted an amazing fantasy world, wove scripture seamlessly and created such dynamic characters you grow to love and dislike.
Selene has grown so much from the first book to the last. She's stronger emotionally. Doesn't rely on herself and on thoughts. She's more into the people and protecting those she loves. She's all for the Light and fighting back against the Dark Lady. Seeing her mature in her gift was absolutely fantastic. Selene will always be my little pudding pie. I adore her heart.
Damien was such an amazing young man from beginning to end. What I appreciated most in this is that we got to see his vulnerable side. He shows that even though you may have a huge heart, there is a weakness and mental battle with that. Damien is a man of honor, courage and love. He embodies what a man should be in leadership, love and family.
The romance was clean, sweet and everything! I adored the way their romance wasn't always peaches and cream. You saw the good, the saw the bad, the arguments, the drama, the harsh words said to one another. You saw them grow and mature in their love and romance. They definitely had a strong connection since book one, but this final book gave me everything and more especially Riven.
Lady Ragna is still a woman I can't stand, but I felt bad for her towards the end. She's the product of what happens when you live by the past your family dictates to you. The Dark Lady was a wicked being. I'm glad she was done away with.
Lord Leo was HIGHLY aggravating at first, but I loved his apology and how he befriended Selene. Lady Ayaka, Lady Bryren, Lord Renlar and Raoul were all great assets. Seeing the Great House coming together along with some of the lesser and noble houses was epic. It proved that people work better together rather then against one another.
The faith aspects were phenomenal in this story! Learning to lean on God when your strength runs out. Learning to use your gifts for better. Understanding that even in the dark moments the Light still shines. I can go on and on about the faith, but I just loved the use of scripture.
Overall, this was an epic end. War, love and victory. I highly recommend this book and the entire trilogy as a whole. A fantastic Christian fantasy!
I may be slightly obsessed. I received a review copy via Netgalley. That wasn't enough, I purchased a kindle copy. While I was reading the book I decided that I needed a paperback copy to complete my collection. I own two separate copies of the book. There is no reason that I shouldn't reread the whole series one right after the other instead of time lapses between each.
The book and characters were so real to me. It is set in a fantasy medieval world. The forces between light and dark are waging a war that is brought to a conclusion in this book. There are houses that have been given the task to protect the land, but two of the houses left the light and entered into a pact with the "dark lady" and are seeking to control the other houses.
Seline and Damien are from two different houses, one that worships the light, and the other, the dark. They are both powerful leaders that when they joined forces as husband and wife, make a powerful weapon against the darkness.
I give a hearty recommendation for the series. They need to be read in order. I finished the series feeling fulfilled and sad that the journey came to an end. It would be nice to imagine that there is a place where the characters continue to live a "happily ever after" after the last page of the book. In my mind, I will continue to imagine that that place is real.
"Don't cover them up. Your scars are proof that you lived."
It's official.....this is my new favourite trilogy!!!! I especially love the way Ms. Busse wove in the magic, truths about God and detail. She's a very gifted writer!
Selene: I have really come to love who Selene has become. She is rewriting her destiny and her character development is phenomenal. She really becomes very devoted to the Light in this book which is also amazing.
Damien: First off, I adore Selene and Damien's relationship (they're married). They really, truly love each other the way the Light/God intended and it's beautiful ❤️. I love who Damien becomes throughout the series, he has such a caring and loving heart. I also loved how he is broken enough to feel real, but is still a really great person.
OVERVIEW "Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker just as the war with the Dominia Empire begins. Working with the other Great Houses, Selene and Damien use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by the war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses, destroying their unity as the empire burns a path across their lands. At the same time, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire's attacks.
The only one who can unite the houses and restore her husband's power is Selene Ravenwood. But it will require that she open her heart to those who have hurt her and let go of her past, despite the one who hunts her and will do anything to stop her power.
Will Selene survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her?"
POSITIVE ELEMENTS Damien is an excellent example for men and women. Lots of courage and compassion shown throughout the story. Forgiveness and love are main focuses.
SPIRITUAL ELEMENTS Lots of mentions of the Light. The Dark Lady tries to trap Selene on her dreamscape.
VIOLENCE Mentions of fights. Death, blood, and pain described. There is a war. Fighting and weapons. Several people are killed.
SEXUAL CONTENT Clean. The main characters are married (sleep in the same room). Kissing and embracing. Mention of a marriage. One mention of a woman having an affair. Please note: the romance was never inappropriate or went too far.
LANGUAGE Dart'an is said and appears to be an exclamation of surprise or anger. When a battle is happening it is described as "hell".
OTHER NOTES Beautifully written story. Highly suggest!!
With disaster and ruin marching ever closer, Busse takes the characters we have come to love (or hate) and plunges deep into the souls, minds and hearts of each for answers, courage, hope and a victory that can only come through the bonds of unity.
Be aware that this review will have spoilers for Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven as this is the third book in this series! Please do not read any further if you haven’t read those! I try to keep spoilers at a minimum but some can’t be avoided.
In Cry of the Raven, the stakes are higher than ever before... the empire is on the move, allied with two houses including Selene’s mother, and it’s up to the remaining houses to stand together or fall. War is coming. We start where Flight of the Raven ends, with the death of someone Selene loved very much, and with a single sentence I was immediately thrown back into all these feels. But Selene has no time to mourn, as the houses comes together and decisions need to be made. Shaken as she is, she has trouble trusting other people, but she tries anyway. Throughout the book she really grows as a person, and overcomes her fears and becomes a wise, confident woman who is not afraid to show every part of herself and is kind to others.
Damien is being awesome as always. Ok I just simply adore him, he can’t do anything wrong in my eyes. He’s everything you want in a man, and Selene finally can admit to herself that she loves him, which is awesome! What I love about their relationship, is that it feels so real, and you can see it growing, maybe even more because it is very clean. Because they actually TALK. A lot. They talk about everything, their feelings and what they want and their loved ones, and it just takes their relationship to a whole other level. And I just love that. Damien always is very respectful of Selene’s boundaries and vice versa, but they would die for each other. But, as Damien learns, you can feel extremely responsible and care a lot about someone, you need to give them in God’s hand and let the fear of losing them go. This was such a wise lesson that really struck home for me.
What I also love is that the other houses are featured more and more history is revealed. We get to see a lot of the other lords and ladies, and that gives this story an extra dimension. Elric was the absolute best, he brings a lot of humor into the mix! One thing I loved too: there is much importance placed on the smaller things. In a war it can be too much on a grand scale, when only big things happening, but there was much room for introspection, for debating how to use your power in a good way, and there were many personal struggles to overcome, too. That kept the plot interesting, though I have to admit that it did sag a little in the middle for me. Everyone was off to another place, all over the country, and it was like all they did was travel back and forth. The dual POV made it better, and I get why it has to happen this way, but I still would have liked less traveling overall. And maybe I would have liked to have a bit more plot concentrated around Caiaphas, like maybe a long emotional talk about what happened with the Ravenwood members, and more importantly: what Caiaphas has done all these years in secret. I would really like to know that! (I’m hoping for a prequel novella here, Morgan!).
Some parts were heartbreaking, especially with what’s going on in Australia with the bush fires right now that makes this book so much harder to read and actually made me cry. The battle scenes were epic, and I loved that there was both a physical and a spiritual component to this war, in the end it came down to Light versus darkness. Forgiveness versus hate. Courage over fear. The power of dreams. The Christian theme woven throughout is strong and very inspiring.
I have loved this series from the first book, and this final book is everything I wanted (though I do want more books). This is one of the best Christian fantasy series in my opinion, and I recommend it to everyone! Even if you don’t like fantasy, I think you’ll be able to love this, as it’s not complicated like adult fantasy, and another world can really help to bring some points across about our world.
I received a free e-copy from Bethany House through Netgalley. I’m really happy I got to read this book early, but it hasn’t influenced my opinions as I already was hopelessly in love with this series.
That was such an amazing finale to an AMAZING series!!! I just have SO many feelings. So much to process! I truly read this series at the perfect time. It touched me in a lot of ways. It encouraged and inspired me so, so much. With all of the stuff going on in the world right now, last year being a rough year... this book filled me with hope. It really reminded me that there is always hope, the Light is always there. God is always there. No matter how dark it appears, how hopeless it seems... there’s still hope and still Light so bright and beautiful.
These characters are amazing. I love Selene and Damien so much. Their relationship is portrayed so beautifully and real. I especially love how when one of them is losing sight of the Light, the other points them back to him. They have their struggles but they take them to the Light. They’re just one of those fictional couples you don’t forget. ❤️ And that ending?? —SPOILER— I already love that baby so much. Spin-off series maybe??! YES PLEASE! Not only do I love the main characters, I loved getting to know the side characters better in this one. Seeing the seven houses come together in the end was really just awesome.
This book was awesome, this series is awesome. I’m picky when it comes to fantasy. Really picky. But I LOVED this one. It was incredibly written and an incredible story overall, with amazing characters that will steal your heart. I laughed, smiled, cried... I was on the edge of my seat and I got chills... that doesn’t happen much. It also filled me with this hope and reminded me of some reminders I really needed. Amazing work of art.❤️
Yes, I did apply for an arc of this book on netgalley because I was too impatient to wait for February. 😂
One of my most anxiously awaited reads of 2020, Cry of the Raven was an excellent ending to the Ravenwood Saga. I loved seeing how Selene has grown since book one, and the romance between her and Damien is so sweet!
One thing I also really loved was the joining of the Houses in working together. It's clear from the beginning that if they are to have any hope of defeating the empire, they need to work together in using their gifts, and that was a touch I greatly appreciated. Even some of the less-than-admirable characters are given a bit more depth, and there were also some specific interactions between characters that I was glad to see. Plus, the ending itself is also lovely and hopeful, and just what I was wishing for.
The first two books in the series are still my favorite, but this was a more than satisfying conclusion, and I hope to buy a paperback copy to complete the series on my bookshelf as soon as February rolls around.
I received this book for free from netgalley.com in exchange for my honest review.
Cry of the Raven was such an epic conclusion to the Ravenwood Saga. The final pages definitely left me feeling warm and contented. However, I am SO sad to see the trilogy come to a close. Imma miss these characters a lot *sniffs* Definitely a new favorite series.
Selene and Damien and a coalition of lords and ladies from other Houses are fighting the invasion of their lands by the Dominia Empire … unfortunately for Selene, her mother is allied with the Dominia, and her mother openly attacks her in various dreamscapes … Selene has made it her responsibility to protect her people from her mother’s diabolical schemes through inspirational dreams …
This book wonderfully ends this trilogy with a beautiful account of the power of faith and deep love both in marriage and family … the development of Selene’s faith throughout the series is masterful and Selene’s transformation from cold assassin to inspirational leader was lovingly constructed … I grew to care so much about Selene and Damien, which is unusual, because I almost always go for the bad guys in series like this … don’t get me wrong, there are some truly wicked characters in this series, but Selene was just such a beautiful character that I couldn’t help but care for her …
I fervently recommend this series to anyone seeking inspirational characters and finely crafted fantasy …
I've only read book 3 (I recommend you start with book #1 - I would if I did it again). At first it took a hot minute to get acquainted with all the characters due to this infraction (however when I saw it on net galley, I couldn't pass the opportunity to review it!). It sounded interesting, to say the least. The story definitely exceeded the expectation.
Selene seemed a little melodramatic at first but her character arc was wonderful. I loved hearing how her heart had changed and the source of her power had changed. I won't add more because it will spoil the fun.
Overall, it was a swooping fantasy with the perfect amount of charm and fantastical. The author made Selene and Damien's love life tangible and sweet (and not at all graphic)! There seems to be an unnecessary amount of graphic relationships in fantasy nowadays so that was refreshing.
I would definitely recommend.
On a personal note, this book has a soft spot in my heart now. My grandma passed away the day I finished it and like Damien, I needed to hear those words that the Light will take better care of those then we could ever imagine! Love you grandma!
I received an ebook in exchange for review from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I chose the 5 star rating on my own.
Cry of the Raven is an epic conclusion to The Ravenwood Saga trilogy.
It is a Christian fantasy novel centred around Lady Selene Ravenwood, a dreamwalker who possesses the gift of walking in other people’s dreams. House Ravenwood is one of seven Great Houses, each of whom have a special gift that is passed down from the Head of the House to their children.
This concluding story is much more like an epic fantasy novel than the previous two books. It follows multiple perspectives and characters as they come together to fight against the invading Dominia Empire.
Each of the characters come into their own and have to use their own particular gifting to its fullest in order to defeat the enemy, both in the real world and the dream world.
We see all the characters facing their greatest challenges and fears. They all have to learn to work together despite revelations from the past.
The tension has been ramped up in this final part and everyone remains in danger throughout most of the book.
I found this a thrilling and satisfying conclusion.
The character arc of Selene was truly sweet, inspiring and enjoyable. Even though I’m sad that the trilogy is over, I really enjoyed this last part of it. I’m definitely a fan of Morgan’s writing and look forward to reading her other books. 😊👍
Something I have struggled with a lot during my reading is having to compromise on beliefs and values. One of my favourite genres is fantasy, a world in which authors can easily make their characters do immoral things under the name of necessity. This bothers me a lot, because I don’t really want to read a book that goes against my worldview. There’s only so many times you can say: “Ah, well, yes, I guess the protagonist is a murderer and yes, what he did there wasn’t a good thing to do at all, but I’m enjoying this book and of course there’s good parts as well, so, you know… I’ll ignore it.” It saps the fun out of things.
To solve this problem, I recently looked up “Christian YA literature”. I didn’t expect there to be more than Narnia and LOTR. There was a lot more. My phone is currently filled with at least 20 Christian books in the genres I love. And the very first series I came across was The Ravenwood Saga by Morgan L. Busse. It was the best introduction to Christian teen books I could have gotten. The series features 18-year-old Selene Ravenwood, heir to the house of Ravenwood and its gift of dreamwalking. Her house follows the Dark Lady, and uses its power of manipulating others’ dreams for evil. But when she meets others who follow the Light, her entire world changes, until she must choose: will she betray her family or will she help the Empire that is trying to rout the Seven Houses?
The very first scene features the women of house Ravenwood worshipping the Dark Lady. This difference between the dark and light sides of the spiritual world are basically what the entire book revolves around. As someone who has seen the effects of ancestor worship, I thought the feeling of fear and hatred seen in followers of the Dark Lady very recognizable. I’m very happy the author decided to tackle this topic of spiritual battle, especially in a day and age where we often don’t want to acknowledge the existance of demons or Satan. The difference between followers of the Light and followers of the Dark Lady is very clear: followers of the Light are less ruled over by their fear and live happier lives, caring for others as if they are equals. The Light is obviously this world’s version of God, and the characters have a strong relationship with him (no capitalisation). The Light has given each of the Houses their gifts to do good with. Over the years, a lot of the houses have subverted these gifts for evil, a lot like how people in the real world can use their talents for both good and evil. Seeing the characters discover his love really helped me grow in my relationship with God.
The first book spans a few weeks during which the Seven Houses, each of which has its own gift, come together to discuss the threat of the oncoming Empire – or deny the threat, as is the case for some of them. Selene learns about her gift and the violent history of her house. There is some action, mostly when Selene enters others’ dreams. Since she seeks out their darkest fears, these scenes are rather intense. The second book has least action of all, and is clearly more focused on Selene’s character development, especially in the spiritual and relationship areas. The action only really starts at the end, and isn’t really a lot, although there are some important developments. Book three is when the real action starts: the war is on, and there are a lot of fights. They aren’t very intense in the violence aspect, but the author manages to make them intense in other ways, which I’ll explain later.
Something that really stands out is the author’s love for people in this book: minor characters are treated with respect, not as mere plot devices. Usually, when a minor character in a book gets hurt, it happens to further the main characters’ development. This is the case here as well, but the minor characters are still treated as real people that deserve attention. Their tragic stories are important, not necessarily to the plot, but just because they are humans as well. This makes the dream sequences of the first book very intense: they aren’t treated merely as horrible for Selene to see, but as a horrible thing to happen to the servants whose dreams she’s infiltrating. Balancing on the edge of spoilers here, but be warned: one person has a nightmare of when they were raped, so when I say these scenes are hard to read, I mean it.
I’m honestly really relieved to find out that there are good Christian fantasy books out there. Most of the spiritual messages in the Ravenwood Saga where biblically sound, but the plot itself was also just very good. It can be rather dark at times, but the Light’s presences is always there. The characters were well-developed and lovable, even when they made mistakes. The relationships and struggles the character had with the Light actually excited me to take more time with God. For the first time in a long while, I completely recommend these books.
Morgan L. Busse’s Ravenwood Saga comes to an action-packed conclusion in Cry of the Raven as she once again explores the battle between light and dark, this time more within the kingdom she has created than within her characters as was the case in the first two books in the series. But that’s not to say there weren’t challenges for her characters to overcome individually, particularly when it came to relationships between the lords and ladies of the various houses and the use of their gifts.
Despite the amount of action in this story (particularly in the second half), this one didn’t quite have the same intensity for me as the previous two in the series, I think partly because I’m a character-driven reader and the bulk of the character development for Damien and Selene happened in the first two books. There were circumstances that kept them apart in this novel and even threatened their lives, but I found this tension wasn’t as compelling as Selene’s journey from darkness to light or Selene and Damien learning to trust and even love one another.
Even so, I’ve loved the way this series has explored the themes of light and dark, particularly through Selene’s gift of dreamwalking. The world building was engaging and imaginative and would suit readers who enjoy fantasy but aren’t looking for the complexity of an epic fantasy read or who aren’t normally fantasy readers but would like to try something that will expand their reading horizons.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
OK, I admit it. I almost didn't want to start Cry Of The Raven. I mean, I was really looking forward to more of Morgan L. Busse's stellar fantasy writing. But. This is the last book in The Ravenwood Saga and I just didn't want to say goodbye. I wanted to see the Dominia Empire finally routed and the seven great houses actually work together but...no more Selene, no more dreamwalking, no more Damien...yeah, that makes me a bit sad.
In many ways it was wonderful to see Selene finally come into her own as she discovers exactly why The Light gifted her family as He did and as she also learns use that gift as it was intended. Damien, too, must learn some difficult things and make some even more difficult choices as he either loses or strengthens his gift.
As with the previous books in The Ravenwood Saga there is plenty of danger, intrigue, betrayal, and a seemingly insurmountable foe in Cry Of The Raven. And once again, author Morgan L. Busse's masterful storytelling brings her world to life in vivid detail enabling the reader's imagination to take flight, in raven form of course.
I loved Cry Of The Raven and the rest of The Ravenwood Saga and am firmly hooked on Morgan L. Busse and anything she might write, either past or future. Whether you are a part of the intended YA audience or are an adult reader, if you enjoy epic fantasy with a Christian flare I would highly recommend this book and the entire series.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)