The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis
Released: March 9, 2020
After a semi-rough start, The Raven and the Dove turned out to be a dramatic fantasy read I'm glad I stuck around to finish!
Before we get in too deep, let's start with a summary:
In a world above, kingdoms of humans with different bird wings await their courtship trials. In the world below, a war rages and a young king thinks his only hope lies with a princess in the world above.
Princess Lyana is to participate in the courtship trials where she will find her mate and move away from the only home she's ever known. When she meets Prince Lysander, she thinks she's met her match, and so she sets her sights on becoming their new Raven queen. Only, the Prince Lysander she meets is actually the bastard brother Rafe. And nothing will stop the King below from finding the girl he believes to be prophesied to save them all. Magic, betrayal, love, and friendship (and a dragon or two) collide in this fantastical take on Tristan and Isolde.
At first, I wasn't sure what to think--the characters had wings, and that's not really my thing. However, the more I read, the more intrigued I became until their wings were just a part of the story, not something to be hung up on. I'm glad I didn't let the wings stop me because this was actually a great read! I loved the myth and lore that the author set up, and I like that we got both sides of it--above and below. I think that dynamic really gave the story an edge and had me wondering what came next, who was right, and where this would lead. Although we don't get too much information about the world below, it was just enough to make me wonder if they were the "good" guys or not. I'm interested to see more of the world below and its King in the next book.
It was also interesting how each house was designated by their bird wings and the attributes that pertained to that bird. Those with Dove wings were in the house of peace, those with owl wings were in the house of wisdom, those with hawk wings in the house of prey, etc. It really came to light during the ceremony prior to the beginning of the courtship trial and I found that whole seen really intriguing. I became really invested in the characters and thought they were very well written. Lyana had a really good development throughout the book, it was nice to see her go from naive and playful to her trying to keep that part of herself yet still fill her new role as the intended queen of a new house. I loved Rafe because who doesn't like the brooding brother a la Damon Salvatore. The dynamic between Rafe and Xander did remind me quite a bit of my two favorite vampire brothers, Damon and Stefan, at least how they were a few seasons into the show. It was refreshing to see two close brothers instead of the sisterhood theme we've been seeing a lot of lately (and don't get me wrong, sisterhood is everything!) It's difficult to get me to root for so many characters, but the author did just that. Even as their morals were tested, I found myself rooting for them. (Until that ending. You know who you are and what you did!) I also loved the magical elements to the story and how different the world above and below viewed it. I'm interested to learn more about the magic system, the different abilities, and how abilities are gifted as the series continues, since that wasn't necessarily shared in this book. I am not familiar with the Tristan and Isolde tale, but if it's anything like this one--MY HEART! I love love, as anyone who has read my past reviews knows, and this one was a tough pill to swallow as we got to the end. The twist definitely had me flipping through pages faster than I could actually read them, wondering what was going to happen next.
Overall, I'm excited to read what comes next and definitely recommend you give The Raven and the Dove a try!