Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier

Shadowfell, Book 2
Book 1: Shadowfell review

Tags: young adult, middle grade, fantasy, magic


With an accelerated timeline, Neryn is ready to seek out the four ancient Guardians of Alban to ask for their help in teaching her to become the best Caller she can be, in order to help the Rebel forces (and her friends) of Shadowfell to overthrow King Keldec. But the learning is not easy: Neryn struggles to come to terms with her power and influence, and can’t figure out where her feelings for Flint fit into this greater cause…if they can at all.


RAVEN FLIGHT was not as engaging for me as Shadowfell—but the thing is, they’re not all that different from one another. Neryn is still this can-do-no-wrong protagonist who, if not liked instantly by all she meets, at least can quickly win them over with her earnest naivete. The plot is straightforward quest involving long distances traveled and new characters met.

In RAVEN FLIGHT, we learn more about what exactly makes Keldec so evil. And boy is the man frightening! In one of the most riveting scenes in the story, Neryn is forced to witness Keldec’s cruelties to his subjects from front-row seats. This insight into Keldec’s rule is horrifying, yet really upped the stakes for me as a reader in cheering the painfully perfect Neryn on to success.

Unfortunately, perfection gets old, and Neryn’s personality grated on me a lot more in this installment than previously. I think I’m past the age when I can immerse myself in a protagonist who’s flawless—not in that put-together way, but in the one-girl-can-defeat-the-whole-world way. This is a straightforward fantasy geared, I think, more towards readers new to fantasy than to any others.

Cover discussion: *looks at it for the first time* Hah, kiddingbutnotreallykidding. Ah, I get it. It depicts a scene from the book, which is decent... but to be honest, I really just picked this up because it had JM's name on the cover. We should do a test to see what having JM's name on a book cover will enable me to overcome in terms of outrageous cover designs...

Knopf / July 9, 2013 / Hardcover / 416pp. / $16.99

e-galley received for review from publisher and NetGalley. Thank you!


  1. She sounds a bit like a Mary Sue, with all that perfection swirling around. I don't mind a little but when it just doesn't quit, it gets old despite a great plot.

  2. Keldec is horrifying. And the covers for both books are super lame and generic.

  3. I agree, perfection can be so boring. I am curious about Keldec though and will definitely give Raven Flight a shot.

  4. I'm quite scared to pick this up because I know it won't live up to my expectations. I've been on a JM binge this summer, devouring three of her Sevenwaters books in a week and now I only have one left, which I plan to savor because I know I'll love it. This series, though, is so different, which isn't a bad thing, but Neryn's perfection is so frustrating! I hate that she's such a flat and boring character and was hoping that would change in this, so it saddens me that it doesn't. I do like that we get to see more of this world, though, so hopefully it won't be a total washout for me. Either way, it's JM, so I'll read it. (And you're so true about this cover, and all her covers really. I hate the cover for DotF but picked it up in a heartbeat because it had her name on it.)

  5. I have another Juliet Marillier book on my shelf that I want to read before this, but...the perfection of the protagonist is keeping me at the fence now.

    Great review!

  6. Cutos to Juliet marillier this series so far is the Bomb. Com can't wait for the 2nd and 3 red soooooo want it now


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