Series Name: Fallen Empire, # 3
“The anger still simmered inside him, but he hunted her not to kill her but to make her apologize– on her knees if necessary– to a small child. That, more than vengeance meted out through death, was what drove him across the Empire.”
Raven Unveiled is a daring third installment in the Fallen Empire series.
Siora has been on the run for longer than she cares to remember, from her past and her gift. Born with the ability to see and speak to ghosts, she has heard their desperate pleas as an otherworldly predator stalks the dead amid the fertile killing fields of the collapsing Krael Empire. The creature’s power and reach are growing with every soul it consumes, but Siora is preoccupied with her own troubles: namely an assassin who has sworn an oath of vengeance against her.
Gharek of Cabast was once the right-hand man of the reviled empress but is now a wanted fugitive. Although his reasons for hunting Siora are viscerally personal, what Gharek can’t anticipate is that when he finally does find her, she will hold the key to saving his world, or what’s left of it. To make good on old debts and protect the vulnerable dead from a malevolent force, Gharek and Siora will both need to make an ally out of an enemy—and trust that will be enough to save each other.
I have mixed feelings about this book. Part of it is my fault; when I agreed to review this book, I hadn’t realized it was the third installment in this series. This meant that for the first part of the book, I felt a little lost in the world that Grace created. It’s definitely written for those who have read the previous two books. Once I started to get a handle on the world, I began to appreciate all the detail Grace put into this book. This is a dark and grizzly fantasy tale. The world that Siora and Gharek are living in is cruel, and hatred and vengeance is the main motivator for many of the characters in this book.
I really like Siora and her shade-speaking abilities. It was such a unique take on the whole necromancer world. Her character was the highlight of this book. She has this quiet strength about her, and in a world that is often very brutal, she stands firm on her belief in showing kindness and forgiveness.
I know this is being promoted as a romantic fantasy, but I didn’t enjoy this book’s romantic aspects. The relationship between Siora and Gharek is not believable. Gharek’s hatred towards Siora is so strong at the beginning of the book that it makes it hard for me to believe that any romantic notions could exist between these two. For me, it would have been better to have these two be friends or allies instead of forcing a romantic relationship upon them.
Overall, I think this book is good, and fans of the series will enjoy the latest installment. Grace did a great job creating an interesting, gritty fantasy world. The only thing that fell flat was the romance.
Thank you, Berkley & Ace and Penguin Random House for the ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.