Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Raven's Shadow (Raven Duology, Book1) by Patricia Briggs (3/5 stars)

This is the first book in the Raven Duology by Patricia Briggs. It was an okay book. I liked the world and the magic system but thought that the pacing throughout the book was a bit erratic. I have also read Briggs Mercy Thompson series (which I thought was okay, but lacking in character development); this series is much different from the Mercy Thompson series. This series is written in a more traditional fantasy style, with less humor, and a slower pace.

Seraph is the last of her Traveler Clan. She thinks her and her husband have settled down for a life of farming when they find out a greater evil is targeting both the Travelers and the land as a whole. Seraph and her family are drawn into the very conflict that Seraph tried to avoid when she was younger.

The first part of this book was really slow for me. I had to really, really push through it. I tried to be patient and remember that sometimes good fantasies take a while to set up. It doesn't help that I recently read "Warbreaker" by Brandon Sanderson which was an amazing book. A lot of time was spent dealing with the past when Seraph met her husband, and I really thought this probably wasn't needed and made the story take a lot longer than necessary to get going.

Once the story did get going though I really enjoyed some of the other characters; mainly Teir, Jes, and the Emperor. The plot was well done and the end of the book was action packed and fast-paced. I never did care much about Seraph. I was also disappointed that Seraph's younger daughter (the weather witch) was left at home; she was a great character and she got shuffled out of the story.

The magic system was very interesting as was the structure of the clans. If the second book keeps up the pace of the last third of the first book; then the second book will be a great book. I would buy both books at once if I was going to read this series. Although the first book concludes a major plot point there are many loose ends left hanging that have yet to be wrapped up. Also keep in mind these books are very different from the Mercy Thompson series both in character-type and writing style.

Personally I liked Rhiannon's Ride by Kate Forsyth and Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson much better than this book when it comes to your traditional fantasy type of book.

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