Thursday, April 4, 2013
Review:The Raven Sage: Part 1 Raven by Suzy Turner
This is one of those plots that sort of creeps along and holds you there for quite a while. Once you get to about 25% of the book it nails you. This does not have one of those page turner openings with the heart-pumping heart stopping hook. But Suzy Turner proves that you don't need that to make good stories work.
When we first meet Lilly Taylor- we don't know her name. In fact for all we know it might be eat- that's what her mother seems to say just as shes addressing her in the few times we witness any exchanges between them. I think this is to help jar the reader into understanding that Lilly's home life is nothing near normal. And, just when she thought things would continue in their horribly boring way her parents disappear. For Lilly this is equally as distressing as it should be for any young girl of thirteen years and yet it's somehow less so because she has a very strange relationship with her parents.
The one thing about Lilly is that she's always had this life and knows no other and she has had few friends up until December Moon, her newest classmate, shows up. Unfortunately due to circumstances Lilly will have to move away from December and from England to live with her grandfather in Canada until her parents are found.
Though the disappearance of her father and mother has some strangeness attached to it, Lilly doesn't know strange until she reaches Canada and her extended family in British Columbia near Vancouver. Lilly goes from a life of seeming imprisonment to a wide open wonderful colorful world that seems to have a magic to it that not only touches her heart but pulls her deep into it's mystique. What she doesn't realize is that she has a special connection.
Her grandfather Gabriel tries to slowly and carefully break some of the family secrets to her. Lilly is anxious and almost demands to know and soon she'll discover the deceptions that have been perpetrated on her and her world will be turned upside down. She's also destined to -at the age of fourteen- have her first true love.
Unfortunately the family secrets and new revelations about her life will begin to interfere with that part of her new-found happiness. It seems that Lillian's true surname is Tulugaq-not Taylor-and Tulugaq means Raven. Her family carry a gene for shape-shifting into Ravens. What's more her mother-that she grew up with-is not her mother at all. But the woman Vivian is a witch who has enchanted her father somehow and stolen both of them away from the family after her sister and mother died.(All of this occurred right after her birth.)
Lilly has the potential to shape-shift into one of two creatures. A raven or a cat (of some sort-usually determined by the persons character-I think). Lilly's true mother's family are cat shifters. Lilly is about to be be thrust into a secret world of vampires, werewolf, witches, shape-shifters and more.
You'll have to read to find out what Lilly might become.
Suzy Turner does an excellent job of creating her world where there is a special council of elders who make rules to govern all of these strange creatures. It turns out that more people than just Lilly have been victims of Vivian. And Lilly must come to terms with what she is so that she can begin to help in the search for her father who was being slowly brought to the brink of death by Vivian who uses certain special types of people to help extend her life ( at their expense).
This is a great story that proves once again that your hook can actually be your great ability to tell a great story and doesn't have to include a thrill ride introduction with several paced mind numbing thrills and terrors through out. There are plenty of conflicts and things to stimulate the readers imagination throughout this and Lilly is a truly engaging character from which we are introduced to the wonders of British Columbia and the rich world building of Suzy Turner.
This is definitely a great story for Young Adults and Mature Adults. I usually read science fiction but this fantasy with a small edge into the world of horror and the magical with potential for paranormal romance is quite a draw. It reads as though Lilly is growing up as the story begins to unfold and flower to maturity. I enjoyed it so much-when the last page arrived I was a bit heartbroken.
It's a good thing there are two more books. I got this one free as you may also be able to do and I'll definitely be purchasing the others.