“A dark retelling of Swan Lake ~ Calandra is happiest when she’s surrounded by quiet, joined only by a book and a cup of tea, never around people and their insufferable need to make small talk. When Nicodemus, a magus with immense power, joins the royal court of Invarnis, Calandra’s life will change forever. As a terrible curse pursues her through the centuries, Calandra will have to overcome captivity, war, and loss.
In this standalone installment, set in Dana Fraedrich’s Broken Gears universe, readers will join Calandra in her battle for freedom, hope, and healing.”
What I thought:
You guys know I love a map in a fantasy novel, right? Well, Raven’s Cry has THREE. T H R E E
The MC Calandra is socially awkward and bad with conflict; she’s me, basically. I loved the relationship she had with Thomas, even if he was a bit of a stereotype, and I loved the relationships she build later on. Calandra is very much a character who’s defined by the people around her, more so than most other characters I’ve read, and it made her development interesting to follow.
(In case you haven’t guessed, I’m struggling to review this without spoilers so things will be vague.)
Everything has degrees, and deep evils seem lighter if you are broken enough.
I admit, I struggled through the first third a little. The story was taking a while to move on, and since we got most of it through the eyes of a raven there was a lot more telling than showing as well as a few info dumps. After that first third, however, things picked up and Fraedrich’s intriguing world-building shone through.
Calandra’s character development was strong, too. She prefers her own company at the beginning, and clings to the few friendships she can make by the end. It was interesting to see her journey
This was my first steampunk novel, and it wasn’t what I expected. It had either magic or technology, but the two didn’t live together for long. There were a few magical leftovers in the second half, but by then technology was dead (no spoilers!).
What he did was far worse than anything I could have imagined. And I, dressed in my glossy black feathers and suffused in a haze of misery, was forced, as I always was, to play audience to his machinations.
While this can be read independently of Fraedrich’s Broken Gears series, it did feel like a prequel to me because it sets the world up well. I haven’t read Out of the Shadows yet, but based on this I’m excited to draw it from my tbr jar!
Raven’s Cry is out May 1st, but you can already preorder it! Find it here:
Have you read any books by Dana Fraedrich, or are you tempted? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
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