Book Review: The Raven Ring
By Patricia C. Wrede
The world of Lyra is the world of two moons which humans share with the folk of magic: the silvery people of the ancient Shee, the elusive forest-dwelling Wyrd, and the dread Shadow Born, whose evil seeps into men’s hearts and the shadows of the world.
In this Lyra adventure, a proud young mountain woman must leave her stronghold to travel to the city and accomplish a bitter task. Her mother, a soldier, died suddenly in the line of duty there, leaving behind the beautiful Raven Ring – an ancient family heirloom that is much, much more than it seems.
Retrieving her mother’s ring is a simple matter – but getting it home again will prove no easy task. For there are dark forces at work in Lyra, determined to claim the ring for their own. She will need to discover the secret of the ring before she returns to the mountain she loves. Otherwise, she shall not leave the city streets with body, soul and hear intact… (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I enjoyed Patricia Wrede’s series, Dealing With Dragons – The Enchanted Forest, so I cannot imagine how I never noticed The Raven Ring and other books of Lyra. This problem has now been remedied and I can report that I found The Raven Ring to be delightful. The styling of the heroine reminds me of Harimad in The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, because these are capable young women who know which end of a weapon to point at an attacker.
I liked the characters because they were varied and each served a purpose for the tale. Eleret, Freelady Salven, is capable, a no-nonsense girl who really knows how to travel light. Lord Daner is a nobleman, and a bit of a fashion-ista, but he knows a good woman when he meets one and would risk everything to help her. Karvonen Aurelico is the audacious thief of a prestigious family of thieves, who would wish to be four inches taller, and wouldn’t want to get mixed up with magicians or the mountain people, the Cilhar unless it’s unavoidable, of course. I love the variety of cultures hinted at through the characters.
The Aurelicos are a famous family of thieves, and follow their scruples and own code of honor. The Aurelicos have four main professions, 1) Acquisitions (thieves) 2) Information gatherer (spy) 3) artisans (forgers and counterfeiters) and 4) heroes (those who go into this profession find the need to change their last name because the Aurelicos are too well known as thieves. Karnonen denies that he is trying to take up the fourth family profession.
The book is a saucy tale. It is magic. It is an adventure. It is way too fun to miss!