The fairy court is restored. Who will win the game of crowns?
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?
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“But now you are in love…And that is the greatest risk of all.”
The Raven Lady is a captivating tale of transformation and finding one’s true place in an ever-changing world, where loyalty is of the utmost importance. Author Sharon Lynn Fisher tells the legend of an unlikely romance between two souls bound by duty, both of whom diverge to unforeseen paths paved by respect and solidarity. Within its pages, a battle rages in the shadows for a foothold in the coveted Emerald Isle, and loyalties are tested, shattered, reformed. This is a beautifully told story of following one’s heart while skirting deadly intrigue and wrathful deities, finding a place to call home in the most unexpected of places. With relatable characters, an enchanting world, and skillful storytelling, this modern fairytale is a true treat for those looking for a little magic.
The core of this story is its focus on the the budding relationship between its two main characters, Koli Alfdóttir and King Finvara, formerly known as Duncan O’Malley. Those that have read The Absinthe Earl will be familiar with the latter, but rather than a charming ship captain, we witness a man so completely out of his element when the mantle of responsibility is placed upon his shoulders. Koli, dutiful daughter of Iceland’s Elf King, one of Ireland’s most notorious enemies, battles what’s been planted in her mind, and what lies in the shadows of her heart. What originally begins with a healthy level of apprehension blossoms into an accord of mutual respect, followed by a sizzling desire, however there’s always a pang of distrust itching to come to the forefront. Only together will they be able to overcome the nefarious plotting intended to topple a kingdom, but first they must learn to set aside misconceptions and hold fast to the building trust.
The world Fisher crafts is wonderfully enchanting, drawing readers in with its dangerous beauty. The story takes place in Ireland during the late 19th century where the veil between the world of man and Faery, the realm of fairies, is thin, and a merging of the past and present can be seen around each and every corner. The in-between is made of stars shimmering in the darkness, a portal to and fro where time is of no consequence. Barrows home to long-forgotten kings and enchanted forests pepper the land, and it’s not altogether uncommon to see a skyship drifting on the horizon. The entirety of this tale is about the joining of old and new, shifting and evolving, yet keeping true to your roots; castles made of ancient stones, but powered by mysterious alchemical sciences, timeworn magics meet steampunk technology, secrets of old brought to light by curious minds. It’s easy to lose yourself in this world, and I hope to explore more of it in the future.
The author smoothly tells a story that takes you on a journey into another place and time, feeding your imagination and allowing it to take flight. As soon as I picked up the first book in this series, I fell in love with her writing style – fully captivated by the level of immersion and charm she infused into each of its pages. The Raven Lady follows suit, but I found it to be more…untamed, with less of a focus on propriety, and more on the needs of the body and soul. I truly appreciated this shift, as it perfectly indicated we were no longer concerned with the restrictions of society, and were free to embrace the wildness. More audacious, yet more introspective. More savage, yet more passionate. After a slow build up, there’s an explosive race to the finish, and I just couldn’t put the book down.
Fisher has a way of ensnaring readers with her flowing prose and knowledge on the many historical aspects of the tapestry she continues to weave. When it’s clear an author has a passion for the content they include in their stories, it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable adventure.
The Raven Lady is a story I’ve been waiting for since I turned the final page of its predecessor last year, and I wholly enjoyed making my way through this book. It’s a perfect example of what a modern fairytale for adults should be, grasping the magic, infusing myth and lore of the past, and presenting it in a relatable way to dazzle its audience. The story itself ties up nicely, albeit maybe just a tad too quickly, and can most definitely be read as a standalone novel. If you’re hoping to transport yourself into an alluring, spellbinding world, The Raven Lady may just be the book you’re looking for to help you get there. I highly recommend.
Note: A huge thank you to the author and Blackstone Publishing for providing me with a complementary advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I write smart, twisty, passionate tales—mash-ups of science fiction, fantasy, and slow-burn romance set in lush and atmospheric worlds.
A city mouse who was dragged by my country-mouse-aspiring family to an acreage just outside Seattle, I am also mom to two huge dogs, two ridiculous goats, an orange cat and orange mare, and a fluctuating number of poultry.
I’ve published sci-fi romance with Tor Books and erotic fairy tales with Penguin Random House. My debut novel, Ghost Planet, was nominated for a 2013 Romance Writer’s of America RITA award for best first book. My historical fantasy trilogy The Faery Rehistory is being published by Blackstone Publishing. The first book, The Absinthe Earl, has been an Amazon #1 Best Seller!
I have always loved speculative romance, and here’s why (from an interview for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog):
“What I love best, as both a reader and writer, is to follow a heroine and hero to a place where the rules are different, stakes are high, and every plot twist triggers a fresh sense of wonder.”