Sunday, November 5, 2023

*Review* The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis

Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: March 9, 2020
Pages: 512

Four fates collide in this avian-inspired, epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!

A princess longing to be free...

On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.

A bastard aching to belong...

Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.

Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart...

Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.

Three shocking betrayals. Two star-crossed lovers. One unforgettable journey. If you like fierce heroines, brooding heroes, forbidden romance, and action-packed magical adventures with twists you'll never see coming, don't miss The Raven and the Dove!

I received a copy of this audiobook through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

The world building in this book was amazing. At least the little bit of it that we got to see. The story is told from the perspectives of Lyana and Rafe for the most part, although we did get a few glimpses into the perspectives of others, and Lyana especially has led a very sheltered life, so what she knows of the world just isn't much. But I felt like I got enough snippets of things from other characters to piece together the way this world functions. 

This story centers around the mating ceremony, and the way life partners are chosen for the royals of the bird-people. I appreciated how both the young men and young women were given the same tests of skill and knowledge, and as close to equal chance to choose their partners based on the results of those tests as is humanly possible. Seeing the women being just as valued for traditionally masculine achievements in our world was nice. But we also got to see that not every royal was looking for the "best fighters" valuing intellect over brute strength. It just seemed really well rounded. 

But Lyana and Rafe share a very dangerous secret that informs the decisions she makes during the mating games. As a dove, Lyana is the ultimate prize among the royal females. Every competing male would consider himself lucky to be chosen by her (or her father, as the parents do tend to scheme behind closed doors to make advantageous matches). In the end it is up to the children to follow through with their parents plans, or not. Because sometimes, what our parents think will be best for us, isn't (a fact I'm working very hard to remember when it applies to my own children). 

I don't really want to say too much more for fear of spoilers. I definitely look forward to reading the next book in this series, as I can't wait to see how Lyana and Rafe handle the problems that have landed at their feet at the end of this book. Overall I give The Raven and the Dove 4.298 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, "Davis writes with confidence and poise," while USA Today has recommended her work as "must-read romance."

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she's not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her--about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general--you may contact her at:

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