The Raven's Shadow (Wild Hunt) Hardcover – 11 Mar 2014
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An epic fantasy from one of the strongest new voices in the genre. The Wild Hunt is coming - and it will only take one tear in the veil for them to succeed... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Three moons are rising.
They are rising over the snowy Archen Mountains, where Teia struggles through the high passes to carry her warning to the Empire: the Nimrothi war band is poised to invade and at their head stands Ytha. She means to release the Wild Hunt - and with it Maegern the Raven, the Keeper of the Dead.
In the desert of Gimrael, the moons are rising over the fires of revolution - flames that have already robbed Gair of a friend and left him alone in a hostile city, unsure even if the Song is still his to command. He has one last duty to discharge, and then nothing will stand between him and his ultimate goal: vengeance.
And in the Nordmen's chilly halls, Savin plays out a game in which kings and chieftains and men are but pawns on a chessboard that spans the Veil itself.
Three moons are rising. When the trinity is complete, the endgame will begin.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
Top customer reviews
This is a world of factions, clans and unsteady alliances. It is also made clear that survival is not to be taken for granted; this is a dangerous and unpredictable world where pain and regret punish every unintentional misstep.
Each character is striving for something: power, conquest, peace, love. Everyone has different motives but all are swept up and affected by the struggle afflicting their world. This takes place on a large canvas and there are battles, harsh conditions and lots of gore (some of the scenes made for hard reading). For all the magic, known here as `The Song', the pain and suffering is all too real and convincing.
Characters like Teia and Gair have to use every ounce of their guile, experience and wits to navigate this potential minefield. Cooper manages to weave a web of intrigue and combine this with tough storytelling and wonderfully descriptive prose, keeping the reader engrossed and engaged. If you are not already familiar with her work, then I implore you to read one of her books, you will not be disappointed.
I gave myself a break between reading the second and third books, as if I read a block of books from a single writer, I tend to find stylistic quirks start to grate and interfere with my enjoyment. But as soon as I opened up this hefty tome, I was immediately whisked back into the world of Teia, Gair and Tanith. The protagonists are vivid, enjoyable and bounce off the page such that I was soon immersed into the experience, relishing and savouring it – the mark of a thoroughly enjoyable read. That said, it isn’t a good book to pick up if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of this series. You’d miss far too much of the backstory to fully appreciate the characterisation and exactly why they are doing what. Gair, in particular, has a whole suite of emotional baggage due to his previous traumatic experiences – and neither would you fully appreciate Tanith’s irritation at the insufferable Ailric and his unwanted advances.
Obviously the main task of a mid-series book is to continue the story arc, continue the protagonists’ journeys ensuring the tension pings off the page and while the finale of this particular book cannot wrap the story up, neither can it sputter to an uninspiring close. And I’ve read far too many of those in my time. Not so in this book – Cooper really lets loose. She has a clean, punchy writing style I really enjoy and when it came to the showdown that had been building from the opening scenes, she ensures she delivers an almighty battle scene that had me rapt. I should have got up and got going on my lengthy To Do list, but I was going nowhere without knowing first who prevailed. And – yes – I really didn’t know, because she has already seen off a couple of major characters that I’d become very attached to. We’re not talking the kind of protag persecution that Martin displays in his ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, but nevertheless I was winded when they died. It was a triumphant climax to a cracking Fantasy read that is right up there with the likes of Joe Abercrombie, Kate Elliott and Glenda Larke in my opinion.
I’m really looking forward to the fourth book – and if you enjoy character-led epic Fantasy, then track down this series. It deserves be far better known.
Throw into the mix, cracking prose, solid pace which when added to an author's skill at bringing over realistic dialogue all round makes this a cracking read. I really do love getting further into the author's imagination with every subsequent release as you not only get to enjoy it all but you also get to see them develop as a writer. All round cracking magical fun and I can't wait to see what Elspeth brings in next time.
All of the meandering story threads finally come to a head building up to an exciting climax which in turn sets the narrative off into other, no less dramatic tangent.
We see the characters really develop in this book as the world it is set in comes to life like never before.
The only drawback I had was the epilogue which was expected and anti-climactic. Saying that, I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
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