I am delighted to be finally sharing my review for Raven’s Wand by Steve Hutton. I say finally because the publishers, Boddington & Royall sent me a copy of this book several months ago and it has taken me until now to read it, many apologies to them for the lateness of the this review. And to also add, Yes you were right, I did enjoy it! 😊
I have included this book in the #20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge. It seems quite appropriate, and definitely unplanned, that this is the 13th book I read in the challenge! 😲
So, let me show you what it is all about…
Raven’s Wand sees two opposing secret societies waging a war of belief behind the skin of Victorian Britain. One uses magic to heal the world, while the other twists it into abominations and war machines. It is 1886 and a battle is about to be waged; Knight Superior Krast of the Illuminata is prepared for victory but fate is not wholly on his side.
Many years later, the survivors of that dreadful day will meet again. Kolfinnia has a great task set before her and, with the aid of the Raven wand, she dares more than she ever dreamed possible. A tale of two clashing worlds. The world of Kolfinnia and those who wish to eliminate her and all of her kind. Raven’s Wand is Book 1 in The Dark Raven Chronicles. Book 2: Flowers of Fate will be published Autumn 2016
The setting of 1886, Victorian Britain is absolutely spot on for this story. It is an era that still believes in the mysteries of the occult, witchcraft, superstition and traditional beliefs, it gives the perfect platform for witches and magic. On the flip side of the era coin is the the progression of industry, power, politics and propaganda. This is where the Illuminata come in, rounding up witches and destroying covens.
The story is focused around the Wildwood coven and of Knight Superior Krast. They both value the two sleeping dragons, the witches to protect them and Krast to possess them and their power.
I loved the contrast of the two sides to this “good ‘v’ evil” style story. The witches are very much at one with nature and is in harmony with living things, they nurture the young to understand their position in all things and their role in the world. Krast and the Illuminata however, well they want to possess and control things. The witches and the two hidden dragons have a power that can be harnessed and controlled, this has a double whammy as such, it means that Krast gets stronger and also the witches are destroyed. He builds great machines that cause devastation and destruction giving an almost steampunk vibe to the story.
The author has woven a fabulous story that just has a fantastic feel to it. He has successfully mixed in various things like, superstition, tradition, legend and folk lore into his tale. A nature ‘v’ man-made element is quite strong and so are the beliefs and politics that come with that, both believing they are right. It is one of those books that simply drew me in from the very beginning and had me eagerly turning the pages.
The characters are just wonderful, a maniacal power hungry Krast against the gentle coven, but don’t think for a moment that the witches are a walk over, they are most certainly not! The characters are very memorable and there are a few, but honestly, I found them easy to keep up with. the other thing I liked was that there were no strange names that I had to try and get my head around, this was great and also fitted with the time and setting of the story. The characters have traits and characteristics and as you get to know them you soon work out which side of the fence they sit, well most of them you do!
The setting is again another great contrast, the busy hustle bustle, smoke filled and noisy city of London is very different to the more rugged, tranquil, natural setting of the South West, an area that is full of legend, myth and folklore.
This is the first book in the series and it definitely wowed me. It is such an easy book to disappear into with a story that captured me and kept it’s hold. It moves along at a good pace and has a good amount of tension, intrigue, mystery and surprise.
In case you had not yet worked it out… Yes I loved this book a lot, a fantasy with wonderful characters, story-lines, settings and contrasts. These made it wonderful reading and has definitely left me wanting to know what happens next.
Raven’s Wand get a Definitely Recommended from Me!
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx
Book 13 of 20