About The Raven Lady by Sharon Lynn Fisher
In the aftermath of Ireland’s battle with her ancient enemies, Queen Isolde orders her cousin, smuggler Duncan O’Malley, to assume the throne of fairy as King Finvara. He’s a fish out of water when it comes to nurturing the alliance between Ireland’s mortal and fairy peoples. And the queen wants him to wed the daughter of Ireland’s enemy, the king of Icelandic shadow elves, to help keep the peace. But the Irish think of the elves as goblins, and Finvara refuses.
Elven princess Koli, affronted by the king’s rejection—along with his decision to bring her to court as little more than a captive—vows vengeance. Shortly after her arrival, she uncovers a plot that would bring swift satisfaction. A dark and powerful fairy lord, Far Dorocha, wants to take Finvara’s crown and lead both the fairy and elven people to war against the Irish. And he wants Koli to help him.
It’s the perfect setup for revenge, but Koli soon discovers that Finvara’s not the haughty lord she believed him to be. And as she navigates treacherous waters inside the court, she gets glimpses of the magic and passion that have been slumbering inside her. She must choose a side in the new battle for Ireland—will it be the fearsome father she has served for nearly a century, or the fairy king who has helped awaken her to herself?
Review of The Raven Lady
Elven princess Koli was born to be a bridge between disparate peoples. Initially between the human icelanders and the northern elves and now between the elves and the Irish. As her father’s servant, Koli’s life was not her own. Which is how she ended up in Ireland in the household of Duncan O’Malley. From the beginning, I did not like that Koli served others before herself, regardless of whether that was right or wrong. However, this flaw gives Koli a direction to grow as a character.
Duncan O’Malley, also known as Finvara because the ancient fairy king once inhabited his body, is also a servant. He serves his cousin, Irish Queen Isolde. He would much rather be at sea, but his life is not his own either, so he becomes the fairies’ King Finvara at Isolde’s command. Finvara seems to be a fish out of water, struggling to find his place.
So both main characters start out in unhappy positions. Finvara will make the best of it and do his duty for his queen. Koli will spy on Finvara as her father dictated. To shake things up Far Dorocha (Doro) works for Finvara, but his allegiance is questionable. There is a knave in every good tale.
Finding common ground leads to romance. This serves to bring Finvara and Koli together to defeat the villains, making this a lesson in empathy and cooperation.
The title refers to Koli who is able to manifest ravens to protect herself when she is in danger or angry. The Morrigan, who sometimes appears as a crow, is also part of the story, making the black bird a theme in this story.
Spells, incantations and magical devices add to the fantasy of this story. Characters often travel through ‘the gap’ in order to get in and out of Faery and travel quickly between places. The gap sounds a little like the scifi concept of warp space but limited to the Earth. There are also some very cool magical, if a bit scary, trees.
In my advance copy, there was a glossary in the front of the book. For e-books it is so nice to get this out front so the reader knows it is there to be referenced.
The Raven Lady is a standalone story, though reading The Absinthe Earl first will enhance your reading experience. I love this series! Irish legend and history are deftly and beautifully combined and embellished in the amazing story of The Faery Rehistory.
The publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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