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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. Using her magic to discover her husband's fate, Seraph realizes the Stalker's prison is weakening--and only Seraph can fulfill her ancestors' oath to protect humanity from destruction Get A Copy.

Mass Market Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Seraph , Tier. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Raven's Shadow , please sign up. How old is Seraph? Mara At the beginning of the book she's See 1 question about Raven's Shadow….

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.

Start your review of Raven's Shadow Raven, 1. 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. Happy Reading!! View all 23 comments.

Shelves: fantasy , owned-copy , heroine-i-loved , favorite-or-autobuy-author , warrior , hero-i-loved , family , romance-in-disguise , mage , capable-heroine.

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 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.

Having said that, I thought the idea of the different orders of magic really interesting. I loved how it all tied together and related very personally to Seraph, and the family she had with Tier.

And, I like that she kept the story focused on the characters and their journey, and not on the actual magical aspects. The magic was part of who they were, and it affected the non-magic people who lived in the world of this book.

I liked the messages about prejudice, and how some people are dismissed and marginalized, but they are the people who are capable of really doing something worthwhile in the world.

Seraph is not the type of heroine who's in touch with her feelings and bright and bouncy, emotionally open. I didn't mind that. I liked that she was a to-the-point, contained, composed, but deeply feeling person.

Because of the dangerous nature of her magic, she had to keep her composure. And it was clear that she did care about others, and loved her children and her husband, Tier, very deeply.

Tier was a great hero. I loved him from the first page. He's so humane. Even years as a soldier, seeing the worst, didn't change that about him.

He's a born leader, not through brute force, but an intrinsic charisma and his being a good person that you wanted to like. For all that, he's formidable and strong.

He's the kind of hero I go ga-ga over. Tier and Seraph had good chemistry. Even though this isn't a romance novel, they have a great love, and I was hoping that things would work out for each other.

After twenty years, there was still passion, and they knew each other so well, and cared for each other. Their love was a steadfast thing that empowered them, even if they didn't say the words to each other.

Tier and Seraph's kids: Jes, Lehr, and Rinnie, all play important roles. I loved all of them. But my favorite, hands down, was Jes.

He managed to be menacing and dangerous in a very appealing way , but sweet, at the same time. His gift also could be a curse was very fascinating to me.

I was hoping that we'd see a lot of him. And I liked the fact that he found a connection with a woman who wasn't scared of him, like so many others were.

Jes, Lehr and Rinnie's gifts really came in handy in this story. It was interesting to see how they came to realize what they were, and how they embraced them.

Although, they struggled with their natures as magically-gifted people. Raven's Shadow may not appeal to some fans of the Mercy Thompson books.

It's pure fantasy. But, the things that I love about Patricia Briggs' writing are there for me to enjoy.

Her writing has a simple, yet elegant beauty. She tells a story that is full of the human element.

When I read her stories, I get so captivated in seeing how her characters unfold, and how they meet the issues that life gives them. This book was no different.

I like how she gives you characters that have flaws and troubles, and you end up getting heavily invested in their stories, hoping for the best for them.

And, she's so good at writing about magic, and a good adventure yarn, to go with it. When I was a kid, I devoured all the fantasy I could find in the library.

But I fell out of reading fantasy for a long time. I've recently gotten back into reading it. This was a good start.

It's focused on the characters, but it has the traditional heroic fantasy elements. And in Patricia Briggs' hands, it's very successful.

I'd say give it a try, if you like the Mercy Thompson books. If things seem to move slowly at times, hang in there. I think you'll enjoy the end efforts.

Or, at least I did. I look forward to reading Raven's Strike , the next book in this set. View all 18 comments.

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 This series is engrossing and heartwarming — featuring middle-aged Seraph and Tier, and their three adorable "gifted" kids.

Main protagonists: A family of farmers with secret gifts. They are the bird-named Travelers gifted with special abilities by the two gods, the destroying Stalker and the creating Weaver.

Family members: Seraph a mage Raven married to Tier the Owl, about ten years older than her, having served 9 years in the imperial army, he's a lie-detector bard with gifts of music, memory, and charisma.

Their eldest son Jes, age 20, the guardian Eagle, an empathic warrior who shape-shifts into a wolf, jaguar, etc. Then there is another Raven mage who joins the family to defeat the enemy — Henayah sp?

Her story unfolds slowly across both books. There is also an emperor, young, spoiled, and bored, but growing in courage and wisdom every day I loved how Briggs developed Phoran, the 27th emperor.

A forgetful beautiful Raven, an old healer named Brewydd, a courageous prostitute, a horse named Skew, a dog named Gurrah, and a few good men, young and old.

Good gender and age range. Contents: No sex scenes. Little or no swearing, if any. Some violence and black magic, but not excessive, and it didn't feel too scary or too realistically painful.

It's mostly wizardly fantasy, but there are two sweet romantic relationships. Nothing graphic or explicit.

My only quibbles are minor and spoilers, so I will just say the beginning was a bit choppy in terms of POV shift, and it felt slow once or twice, when Briggs lost the feel of the storyline by explaining how the magic worked.

It starts a little slowly, too. The sequel is even better than this one. I think this series is one of Briggs's best.

What a happy surprise. It beats the Mercy series in terms of plot cohesion, characterization, and originality, even though I love Mercy, Adam, et al.

I also read the sequel, Raven's Strike. So good! I love these characters! How about writing another, please! Same characters! Superb narration by Jennifer James Bradshaw.

I place her in my top tier of narrators. View 2 comments. Jan 08, Yodamom 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. 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. I immediately looked up other books by the author. I went on to read each of the Mercy Thompson books, the Alpha and Omega series, and the Hurog duology, but somehow this one got buried deep under my to-read pile.

I always intended to read it, but there was always something else that I needed to read first. I am happy to say that I finally moved this book to the top of the stack and I'm so glad I did!

This is one of the few high fantasy stories that Briggs wrote and I loved it. I thought it was really refreshing that it features a whole family who works together and is devoted to each other.

I did have some reservations at first. I wasn't sure about it when there was a twenty year time gap in the story.

I was afraid we had missed out on a lot of character development and story, but it ended up working out just fine, and those details were woven into the story.

I loved every one of the characters in this book and I'm looking forward to reading the second book soon. Review also posted at Writings of a Reader View 1 comment.

Apr 09, Bry rated it really liked it Shelves: , 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 I loved the overall plot and the intricacies of the magic of the Travelers and the solsenti or regular humans.

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 shoulder her magic and allow herself emotions.

So in the end I just adored their entire family. Also, the character of the Emperor who started out as an annoyance proved himself and his worth by the end.

I can see him becoming a great figure in their world and their history. My issues with the book was the pacing, which is hard to understand as the plot seemed to unveil itself and it's mysteries at a continuous rate.

Yet there were several times when I felt it was just moving along too slowly. My other issue with this book was the relationship between Tier and Seraph.

In over 20 years of marriage they never told one another that they loved the other. And it's not as if they didn't until all of these hardships forced them to reevaluate their feelings.

They both have loved one another for the majority of the marriage but it was never said. This just seems like something that should have come up much sooner than now regardless of her Travelers upbringing.

His humor, teasing, and general mirth should have made it an issue. Either way, Patricia Briggs just gives readers another reason to see how great of a writer she is.

Her stories are detailed in their plots, smooth in their style, and seamless in their construction. By the end I really enjoyed the book, which is sometimes hard for me since I rarely read pure fantasy books.

I truly enjoy her style and will definitely be reading the 2nd book in the duology, Raven's Strike. Oct 26, Julie rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , four-star , read-since-august , fantasy-sf.

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 Halfway through, I'm surprised by this book.

Now that I've finished, I stick with the assessment of "enjoying it a lot. This was a tale of thirds. Thank goodness the best third was the last.

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 This was a tale of thirds. This was not by any means a bad book, just wasn't the best Briggs has ever written.

Three stars and hoping for better in the sequel. It was worth it for this classic style fantasy written with Patricia Briggs skill in developing characters.

Jennifer James Bradshaw did a good job on the narration. 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!

He was a Bard, a retired soldier, and now a farmer, who could sing, tell captivating tales, farm, soothe, recruit, lead anyone to fight for the good and the right!

What I loved best? Seraph and Tier had three children who were born with magics needed to save their world!

To defeat Evil! Seraph frowned at him. Boys, can you settle yourselves to being quiet? Tier, you won't do any good if you fall over asleep.

You lie down here, and the boys and I will keep watch until the Emperor comes. 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. So I'm torn. On the one hand, it was off-putting. On the other, I don't know how it could have been done better.

Second, Tier disappears early after that year jump even though he's the only viewpoint we had up to that point. So we spend a bunch of time with Seraph and the kids trying to find out what happened and dealing with local persecution Seraph was an outsider to begin with and now that Tier is gone, she has little local support and not a little local antagonism.

Tier is supposed to be dead a body was found , but there's enough "off" about it that you just know there's more to the story.

It's not only a viewpoint jump, but we stick with Seraph and kids long enough that it feels like this is where the story is headed. And then at a critically tense moment with SaK whammo we shift to a new perspective and then, finally we're back with Tier.

I practically got whiplash at the shift and that took me completely out of the story. Once past that second third?

After that point, no new perspectives were introduced and the transitions are much less brutal. From there it was smooth sailing and I was able to enjoy what turns out to be an excellent story about magic, family, leadership, and responsibility.

One reason those early jumps were so disconcerting is because I just liked Tier so much. He's a veteran looking to settle down, intimately familiar with the foibles of those around him, but willing to look at their potential as well.

He's kind and forgiving and willing to work with whatever someone else is willing to give him. It was no surprise to me that he started subverting his captors almost before they'd finished locking him up.

That he did so with deliberation and forethought and was so effective at it bore out my earlier attachment to him and was, frankly, fun to experience.

I wasn't as attached to Seraph, but then, that's part of what makes her work as an interesting character. Obviously, they decided that my site was no longer acceptable and they set up specific rules so that tumbex users no longer have access to the contents of tumblr.

It's unfortunate, I loved tumblr, that's why I created tumbex. Using tumblr with an easy, clean and efficient interface was my goal.

Because to be honest, their interface is really to be reviewed otherwise you would not be here. It is therefore with great sadness that I announce that you are living the last moments of tumbex, it was a great adventure, and a big thank you to all those who have followed me during all this time!

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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. Using her magic to discover her husband's fate, Seraph realizes the Stalker's prison is weakening--and only Seraph can fulfill her ancestors' oath to protect humanity from destruction Get A Copy.

Mass Market Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Seraph , Tier. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Raven's Shadow , please sign up. How old is Seraph? Mara At the beginning of the book she's See 1 question about Raven's Shadow….

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.

Start your review of Raven's Shadow Raven, 1. 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. Happy Reading!! View all 23 comments. Shelves: fantasy , owned-copy , heroine-i-loved , favorite-or-autobuy-author , warrior , hero-i-loved , family , romance-in-disguise , mage , capable-heroine.

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 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.

Having said that, I thought the idea of the different orders of magic really interesting. I loved how it all tied together and related very personally to Seraph, and the family she had with Tier.

And, I like that she kept the story focused on the characters and their journey, and not on the actual magical aspects.

The magic was part of who they were, and it affected the non-magic people who lived in the world of this book. I liked the messages about prejudice, and how some people are dismissed and marginalized, but they are the people who are capable of really doing something worthwhile in the world.

Seraph is not the type of heroine who's in touch with her feelings and bright and bouncy, emotionally open.

I didn't mind that. I liked that she was a to-the-point, contained, composed, but deeply feeling person.

Because of the dangerous nature of her magic, she had to keep her composure. And it was clear that she did care about others, and loved her children and her husband, Tier, very deeply.

Tier was a great hero. I loved him from the first page. He's so humane. Even years as a soldier, seeing the worst, didn't change that about him.

He's a born leader, not through brute force, but an intrinsic charisma and his being a good person that you wanted to like.

For all that, he's formidable and strong. He's the kind of hero I go ga-ga over. Tier and Seraph had good chemistry. Even though this isn't a romance novel, they have a great love, and I was hoping that things would work out for each other.

After twenty years, there was still passion, and they knew each other so well, and cared for each other. Their love was a steadfast thing that empowered them, even if they didn't say the words to each other.

Tier and Seraph's kids: Jes, Lehr, and Rinnie, all play important roles. I loved all of them. But my favorite, hands down, was Jes.

He managed to be menacing and dangerous in a very appealing way , but sweet, at the same time. His gift also could be a curse was very fascinating to me.

I was hoping that we'd see a lot of him. And I liked the fact that he found a connection with a woman who wasn't scared of him, like so many others were.

Jes, Lehr and Rinnie's gifts really came in handy in this story. It was interesting to see how they came to realize what they were, and how they embraced them.

Although, they struggled with their natures as magically-gifted people. Raven's Shadow may not appeal to some fans of the Mercy Thompson books.

It's pure fantasy. But, the things that I love about Patricia Briggs' writing are there for me to enjoy. Her writing has a simple, yet elegant beauty.

She tells a story that is full of the human element. When I read her stories, I get so captivated in seeing how her characters unfold, and how they meet the issues that life gives them.

This book was no different. I like how she gives you characters that have flaws and troubles, and you end up getting heavily invested in their stories, hoping for the best for them.

And, she's so good at writing about magic, and a good adventure yarn, to go with it. When I was a kid, I devoured all the fantasy I could find in the library.

But I fell out of reading fantasy for a long time. I've recently gotten back into reading it. This was a good start.

It's focused on the characters, but it has the traditional heroic fantasy elements. And in Patricia Briggs' hands, it's very successful.

I'd say give it a try, if you like the Mercy Thompson books. If things seem to move slowly at times, hang in there.

I think you'll enjoy the end efforts. Or, at least I did. I look forward to reading Raven's Strike , the next book in this set. View all 18 comments.

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 This series is engrossing and heartwarming — featuring middle-aged Seraph and Tier, and their three adorable "gifted" kids.

Main protagonists: A family of farmers with secret gifts. They are the bird-named Travelers gifted with special abilities by the two gods, the destroying Stalker and the creating Weaver.

Family members: Seraph a mage Raven married to Tier the Owl, about ten years older than her, having served 9 years in the imperial army, he's a lie-detector bard with gifts of music, memory, and charisma.

Their eldest son Jes, age 20, the guardian Eagle, an empathic warrior who shape-shifts into a wolf, jaguar, etc. Then there is another Raven mage who joins the family to defeat the enemy — Henayah sp?

Her story unfolds slowly across both books. There is also an emperor, young, spoiled, and bored, but growing in courage and wisdom every day I loved how Briggs developed Phoran, the 27th emperor.

A forgetful beautiful Raven, an old healer named Brewydd, a courageous prostitute, a horse named Skew, a dog named Gurrah, and a few good men, young and old.

Good gender and age range. Contents: No sex scenes. Little or no swearing, if any. Some violence and black magic, but not excessive, and it didn't feel too scary or too realistically painful.

It's mostly wizardly fantasy, but there are two sweet romantic relationships. Nothing graphic or explicit. My only quibbles are minor and spoilers, so I will just say the beginning was a bit choppy in terms of POV shift, and it felt slow once or twice, when Briggs lost the feel of the storyline by explaining how the magic worked.

It starts a little slowly, too. The sequel is even better than this one. I think this series is one of Briggs's best. What a happy surprise.

It beats the Mercy series in terms of plot cohesion, characterization, and originality, even though I love Mercy, Adam, et al.

I also read the sequel, Raven's Strike. So good! I love these characters! How about writing another, please! Same characters! Superb narration by Jennifer James Bradshaw.

I place her in my top tier of narrators. View 2 comments. Jan 08, Yodamom 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.

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. I immediately looked up other books by the author. I went on to read each of the Mercy Thompson books, the Alpha and Omega series, and the Hurog duology, but somehow this one got buried deep under my to-read pile.

I always intended to read it, but there was always something else that I needed to read first. I am happy to say that I finally moved this book to the top of the stack and I'm so glad I did!

This is one of the few high fantasy stories that Briggs wrote and I loved it. I thought it was really refreshing that it features a whole family who works together and is devoted to each other.

I did have some reservations at first. I wasn't sure about it when there was a twenty year time gap in the story.

I was afraid we had missed out on a lot of character development and story, but it ended up working out just fine, and those details were woven into the story.

I loved every one of the characters in this book and I'm looking forward to reading the second book soon.

Review also posted at Writings of a Reader View 1 comment. Apr 09, Bry rated it really liked it Shelves: , 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 I loved the overall plot and the intricacies of the magic of the Travelers and the solsenti or regular humans.

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 shoulder her magic and allow herself emotions.

So in the end I just adored their entire family. Also, the character of the Emperor who started out as an annoyance proved himself and his worth by the end.

I can see him becoming a great figure in their world and their history. My issues with the book was the pacing, which is hard to understand as the plot seemed to unveil itself and it's mysteries at a continuous rate.

Yet there were several times when I felt it was just moving along too slowly. My other issue with this book was the relationship between Tier and Seraph.

In over 20 years of marriage they never told one another that they loved the other. And it's not as if they didn't until all of these hardships forced them to reevaluate their feelings.

They both have loved one another for the majority of the marriage but it was never said. This just seems like something that should have come up much sooner than now regardless of her Travelers upbringing.

His humor, teasing, and general mirth should have made it an issue. Either way, Patricia Briggs just gives readers another reason to see how great of a writer she is.

Her stories are detailed in their plots, smooth in their style, and seamless in their construction. By the end I really enjoyed the book, which is sometimes hard for me since I rarely read pure fantasy books.

I truly enjoy her style and will definitely be reading the 2nd book in the duology, Raven's Strike. Oct 26, Julie rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , four-star , read-since-august , fantasy-sf.

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 Halfway through, I'm surprised by this book.

Now that I've finished, I stick with the assessment of "enjoying it a lot. This was a tale of thirds. Thank goodness the best third was the last.

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 This was a tale of thirds. This was not by any means a bad book, just wasn't the best Briggs has ever written.

Three stars and hoping for better in the sequel. It was worth it for this classic style fantasy written with Patricia Briggs skill in developing characters.

Jennifer James Bradshaw did a good job on the narration. 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!

He was a Bard, a retired soldier, and now a farmer, who could sing, tell captivating tales, farm, soothe, recruit, lead anyone to fight for the good and the right!

What I loved best? Seraph and Tier had three children who were born with magics needed to save their world!

To defeat Evil! Seraph frowned at him. Boys, can you settle yourselves to being quiet? Tier, you won't do any good if you fall over asleep.

You lie down here, and the boys and I will keep watch until the Emperor comes. 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. So I'm torn. On the one hand, it was off-putting. On the other, I don't know how it could have been done better.

Second, Tier disappears early after that year jump even though he's the only viewpoint we had up to that point. So we spend a bunch of time with Seraph and the kids trying to find out what happened and dealing with local persecution Seraph was an outsider to begin with and now that Tier is gone, she has little local support and not a little local antagonism.

Tier is supposed to be dead a body was found , but there's enough "off" about it that you just know there's more to the story. It's not only a viewpoint jump, but we stick with Seraph and kids long enough that it feels like this is where the story is headed.

And then at a critically tense moment with SaK whammo we shift to a new perspective and then, finally we're back with Tier.

I practically got whiplash at the shift and that took me completely out of the story. Once past that second third? After that point, no new perspectives were introduced and the transitions are much less brutal.

From there it was smooth sailing and I was able to enjoy what turns out to be an excellent story about magic, family, leadership, and responsibility.

One reason those early jumps were so disconcerting is because I just liked Tier so much. He's a veteran looking to settle down, intimately familiar with the foibles of those around him, but willing to look at their potential as well.

He's kind and forgiving and willing to work with whatever someone else is willing to give him. It was no surprise to me that he started subverting his captors almost before they'd finished locking him up.

That he did so with deliberation and forethought and was so effective at it bore out my earlier attachment to him and was, frankly, fun to experience.

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