Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 587
compelling YA fantasy
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
THE BROKEN RAVEN is an intriguing YA fantasy that sweeps the reader away to a land of magic, plotting, and danger. The second book in a series, this steps right into the action, following three characters, Agatha, Sigrid, and Jaime. Shadow creatures known as sgàilean have been unleashed, and in the battle for control of the island, knowledge of how to escape them decides who wins and who loses.

While Agatha and Jaime fight the sgàilean and try to stand for what they believe in, Sigrid is in the clutches of a cruel king who has lost his eyesight. She was chosen to help him see, sold by her mother into his service. Her paths will collide with theirs, though they each play their own role in what is coming.

What I loved: This book sweeps the reader away quickly and is filled with action. Although switching between the three perspectives can be challenging at first, the writing really pulls the reader into this dangerous world. The sgàilean are a chilling foe, and the descriptions add a dark background to the story. Each of the characters grows throughout the story, and it was interesting to see their paths and choices made along the way. Additionally, Agatha has Down syndrome, and I appreciated her inclusion and the fullness of her characterization.

What left me wanting more: As small points, there are some things that take the reader out of this immersive plot. For instance, there are a lot of characters to keep track of, so I needed to go back in the story at places to remember who was who. There are also some created languages and alternate writing that take some time to get the hang of, particularly Sigrid's sections which is written in an alternate spelling of text.

Final verdict: Overall, THE BROKEN RAVEN is an engaging YA fantasy that transports the reader to another world with intriguing characters and cleverly-crafted dangers.
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