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4.5 out of 5 stars16
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on 5 September 2001
Four years down the line, after the Raven saved Balaia, with the help of some interdimensional dragons;The Kaan, the Raven are thrown together in the name of their code, to help a friend.
The Unknown has settled down with his wife in the Rookery, Hirad is looking after the Kaan dragons, Ilkar is head mage of the fallen Julatsa college of magic, and Denser, Erienne and their child Lyanna are having a bit of a problem.
Erienne is forced to flee Balaia fearing for the life of her child Lyanna. Since loosing her too sons to the evil Witch Hunter Black Wing Selik, she is determined that Lyanna will grow up to rekindled the spirit of the 'One'. "One magic, one mage".
Denser is left cold and turns to the only people he know he can rely on and trust, The Raven. Although they are all now following their own destinies, the call for help from another Raven member is too much to be ignored and slowly the group come together.
The Raven have aged, and James Barclay has included many nuances that indicate these are not the people they used to be, but they are driven on by their code and friendship. This book sees the first real test on the Raven as a group, as they are involved in their own in-fighting whilst trying to complete an almost overwhelming task, against all odds (in true Raven stylee).
As in the other two books in this trilogy we get the "up close and personel" accounts of each battle, you sense the emotions of each of the characters that we now know so well, and in a portentous finale, you are pulled into a scene which is will have you realing in emotion and tension.
This book sees the return of Selik (Black Wing witch hunter)and his evil will to see Erienne "the bitch" dead. James Barclay captures the hatred and repulsiveness of this man very well, almost giving a sicknes to the atmosphere every time this man appears.
General Darrick is back, but this time we see him in a different light. The clean cut spritely general is seen fighting alongside the Raven, but in doing so commiting an act of treason against his homelands.
The Kaan are seen helping Hirad in a gesture to help secure their passage back to their dimesion.
This book, once again was an emotional rollercoaster, packed with blood curdling action and dialogue. I hope James Barclay does not abandon Balaia, and maybe we will see it rise again under the power of the 'One'.
I do not want this to be over....
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Paul McCartney once famously said of a possible Beatles re-union that you can't reheat a soufflé, but James Barclay has demonstrated that you can - well, in a metaphorical sense.

The Raven have split up and gone their own ways, many of which are involved with their previous exploits. They are older, wiser, and quite settled down. But what happens when one of the old team needs help - is there enough time and energy for one last adventure?

This time the emotions are high as the group fight to save a 5 year old girl, the daughter of Erienne and Denser who is deemed to have the power of "One".

Action packed as usual - but this time focusing more on the Mage world of the different colleges of Magic.

There are elements of both the previous books here and I would recommend reading those first before starting this one as you'll have a much stronger sense of the bond between the various characters within The Raven. This will have you at the edge of your seat, unless you're not sat down (or not sat on a seat) - either way, it is gripping and a truly great end to a fantastic Trilogy.

Thankfully there's the closely related "Legends of the Raven" series to start reading now!
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on 28 August 2001
Simply sensational! Barclay has pulled out the stops this time. Nightchild brings the Raven back together five years after the events of Noonshade. True to form Barclay has allowed the humanity of his heroes to shine through; they're all a little bit older, they have built lives away from the Raven and they're not sure whether they should even be getting back together. But don't worry this is no soap opera - they do get together and the action kicks in in a major way. Barclay writes action brilliantly and this book has some of the best fight scenes I've read; especially when the Protectors are wreaking their own particular sort of havoc. Nightchild provides fight after fight and plenty of breathless races against time inbetween the fights. But Barclay is growing all the time as a writer and the worries and the dilemmas that the Raven faced at the start of the book become ever more important as the action hots up; this is no straightfoward hack em up adventure (tho' there's plenty of hacking). The Raven have always been flawed heroes, it's what makes them so easy to like, and now these flaws are turning into real problems. This is action-fantasy of the highest order and unlike all too many other fantasy series its remained lean and exceptionally mean - there's no padding here; just loads of first-class action and heroes you can believe in. Long live the Raven? I certainly hope so.
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on 2 October 2005
While this is the last of the chronicles of the raven, it is in fact a start of a new saga for the raven. Five years after noonshade, the raven have split and have their own lives. That is until a members family is put into danger. Thing hinted at in earlier novels came to the for and old enemies become more significant threats to the world.
This is not only an improvement but a leap forward from the previous books. It is here that Barclay becomes what people marked him out as, a major new talent.
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on 1 November 2013
A bit hard to get into the first book but once past page 80 well worth the trouble the trilogy is superb
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on 31 August 2003
I found myself holding my breath more than once during the last chapters of Nightchild. In trademark fashion, Barclay finishes the book strongly, yet the victory? comes to The Raven with a very high price. The vulnerable protagonists make the reader care more for them, because we never know which one will be killed next, or to whom a great tragedy might befall. Like the two previous books in the series, Nightchild is packed with action, the pace is breakneck, the dialog is real, whitty, and humorous at times, the plots have plots, and the world building is detailed. Barclay has fast become my favorite fantasy author, and I will shortly start reading his new series The Legend Of The Raven. I expect the two works already published in the new series to be just as good if not better than The Chronicles. Thanks for saving the stagnating fantasy genre Mr. Barclay!
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on 6 September 2009
OK follow-up to the previous two - but not quite as good. If you like the Raven characters it is definately worth a read and you need to read it if you intend to read the rest of the series.
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on 7 July 2013
Enjoyed these stories, I found them easy to read, found myself identifiying with the plot and enjoying the up's and down's the author puts you through.
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on 28 February 2013
I find I can't wait to open the next book to find out what is in store for the characters.
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on 12 March 2008
I'm very surprised at the number of positive reviews. This book simply isn't in the same league as those by authors such as Martin, Jordan, Le Guin etc. The writing style is very flippant and the attempts at humour are so obvious. Simply put, I was bored reading this book - I kept going to find out the conclusion though, and because I didn't have anything else to read. I won't be bothering with his other books.
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