In the heart-pounding second book in the Shadow Skye trilogy, unlikely heroes Agatha and Jaime must fight for their clan’s home when a new danger comes to the Isle of Skye. After their escape from Norveg, Agatha and Jaime return with their clan to the Isle of Skye to find that their enclave is now in the hands of the treacherous people of Raasay. They find tenuous shelter with another clan, but disaster soon strikes when the terrifying shadow creatures known as sgàilean escape their magical prison and wreak havoc across the island. Now Agatha and Jaime must call on old and new allies to fight this threat. In the meantime, a ship from Norveg sails for the court of King Edmund of Ingland, where a dangerous alliance is forming, and Sigrid, a girl with an extraordinary memory, works to free herself from the clutches of a cruel king. All three protagonists must summon their particular powers to save the island from the horde of dark creatures and foil the plans of two vengeful monarchs. Kirkus Reviews called The Good Hawk “a page-turning adventure” and Agatha an “original protagonist.” This second book in the Shadow Skye trilogy continues to expand the definition of hero as its neurodiverse heroine tackles ever greater challenges in a thrilling middle act to the battle over the fate of Scotia.
The Broken Raven (Shadow Skye, #2)Featured
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.