By Raven’s Call by J.A. Devenport

  • Author: J.A. Devenport
  • Publisher: Self-published
  • Publication date: May 2018

So there I am, perusing through the newly released Kindle Unlimited books on Amazon when I see a cover that catches my eye and a description that catches my attention. And long story short–I got it, read it, loved it, and bought a physical copy. I can say with ease that this was a 5-star read for me. [Just as a warning, this book does contain scenes of physical violence.]

Here’s the summary given for the book:

Faced with increasing pressure from rebels, the tyrant king of Dargenn must force a war with the rival nation of Relan to unite the country behind him. To help create chaos, he turns to the most feared assassin in the world, the Raven, a man cursed by ancient demons and forced to kill at their whim; if he fails, he dies. Using his knowledge of the Raven’s masters, the king forces the assassin into a contract to kill the only individual who might threaten his plans, a powerful sorcerer and scholar named Enias.

But the king may have just handed the Raven the key to breaking his curse once and for all.

Which, in my opinion, sounds pretty interesting–albeit a bit safe. The actual novel felt like a mix between Sanderson’s Mistborn series and Bancroft’s Arm of the Sphinx. If for some reason, you’re hesitant, I would highly recommend giving it a chance.

In this world, three godmetals that allow for the creation of airships have been discovered. One allows the ship to levitate; another allows the ships to navigate in the air, and the third gives light to the ship. The kingdom of Relan is believed to have first discovered this magic.

There are also Spirit Dancers who bond with certain spirits of the dead to help achieve certain tasks, such as calming the wind or protecting them in battle.

Then there’s The Raven. He is like a spirit dancer, except the ravens control him. They tell him who to kill, and they make sure he succeeds. And in the book, we follow a group of people on an airship, including The Raven. He is tasked with killing the mysterious man named Enias, but others are tasked with saving him.

We follow a man who is desperate to get his daughter back, kidnapped by Lust-Hunters. They steal women and girls, sometimes drugging them to cooperate, and sell them to the king of Dargenn. This man agrees to be a part of the uprising against the king in exchange for their help.

In the book, we also follow Ane, a woman who has escaped from a Lust-Hunter. With the help of other characters like Mairen and Melaina, we see how Ane goes from very frightened to very strong. And during all of this, we also see the strengths of Mairen and Melaina, two more great characters. Mairen is a Spirit Dancer acting as a cabin girl, while secretly being there to save Enias from The Raven. And Melaina is a mercenary who adds both strength and a little bit of sly humor.

The book deals with the personal struggles of each character very well. For example, we see that The Raven isn’t just a ruthless killing machine but a (relatively) normal person stuck with a curse. We see the lengths someone will go to for vengeance. In fact, vengeance seems to be a big theme for this book.

Finally, this book is mainly plot-driven, and it’s a page turner. We meet The Raven on his way to the king. We see Ane’s escape. And we also meet Velora, the most powerful Spirit Dancer and protector of the king, briefly.

This book manages to give information about the world and the magic without it feeling forced. Overall, this is definitely one to put on your list–especially if you’re looking for something with the wonderment of Mistborn. By Raven’s Call is a captivating novel that I could not put down.

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