After discovering that Neryn is a Caller, the rebel forces have made her an integral part of their plan to overthrow the evil King Keldec. With the help of the Good Folk, Neryn embarks on a journey to learn from the masters themselves–the leaders of the Good Folk. But time is running out, and if Shadowfell is to have a chance at defeating Keldec, they must act before next summer. That makes Neryn’s ability to complete her training nearly impossible, but the entire plan depends on her… Meanwhile, Flint is in Keldec’s grasp once more, but the king doesn’t trust him as he once did. With Flint’s loyalty in question, he’s in constant danger of being discovered.
You can read my review of the first book of the series, Shadowfell, here. I was a bit wary going into this one because I knew it was the second of three. In my experience, most middle books are my least favorite. They tend to be a bridge–just a transition book between setting everything up and the height of the story. Not so with Raven Flight.
I actually liked Raven Flight better than Shadowfell. The characters felt more developed and I liked them better–Neryn especially. I didn’t feel like I knew her very well in the first book, but this time around she just seemed much more interesting and I cared about her more. I’m not sure exactly what changed, but whatever it was, I liked it.
On the other hand, Flint irritated me a bit with his “I need to protect you, if I’m not around you’re not protected” stance. Neryn is proving more and more than she can protect herself. I understand where he’s coming from–having saved her life on more than one occasion and caring deeply about her–but seriously, if this relationship is going to work he needs to see that they’re on a pretty even footing here. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.
Tali was a nice new addition. Well, we saw her at the end of Shadowfell, but she has a nice, central role in this one (and in the next one too!). I love Tali’s strength and a few of her other, contrasting facets that she showed at the end of the book. Perhaps Tali rubbed off on Neryn a bit and that’s why I ended up liking Neryn a bit more this time around.
One of my main complaints about the last book was that there wasn’t as much play with the politics as I thought there could be. While I still wanted a bit more, there was definitely more explanation in this book and more talk of politics and strategy, etc. That said, it made for a somewhat slow start if you’re not interested in that kind of stuff. I love politics-talk, personally–I kind of wanted more of it than the adventures!
I suppose my big complaint with this one is I still don’t know a lot about Keldec or how he “became” evil. I’m in the camp that unless you’re Voldemort, you can’t be wholly evil for no reason whatsoever. In this book, we’re actually introduced to Keldec and can see him at his sick games. Yes, he’s certainly evil–and believably so. But I want to know how he came to be that way. Finding enjoyment in making people suffer doesn’t happen overnight, surely, and it can’t all be his dislike of magic (why does he dislike it in the first place?).
Anyway, the end of this book has such a “oh no that did not just happen” moment that you’ll be begging for the next book when you’re finished, and I don’t think there’s a release date for that one yet!
An enjoyable read full of fantastic adventure.