Raven Thrall by J. Elizabeth Vincent
Mariah left everything behind to avoid a life of slavery. Will she return to her homeland—and risk her freedom—to save a stranger's family?
Born a freak.
Betrayed by her mother.
Forced from her home.
Seven years after narrowly escaping enslavement, half-hawk, half-woman Mariah has finally found some peace, people who love her, and an isolated home safe in the kingdom of Cillian.
But she’s never come to terms with who she is. Clearly not human, she’s not Ceo San either, chosen of the gods, able to shift from human to animal form at will, and the target of the king of Varidian.
When Xae, a fifteen-year-old raven Ceo San, shows up, self-acceptance becomes the least of Mariah’s worries. The fellow refugee is determined to return to Varidian to save the family he left behind, and Mariah’s adopted grandmother insists that she help the boy on his suicide mission.
But how can she expose herself, risk the freedom for which she paid so dearly?
With the lives of two little girls in the balance, fate and a strange magic she doesn’t understand set Mariah on a path toward confrontation with the dangerous elements she has spent her entire life trying to escape.
Length: 378 pages
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
My Comments (no spoilers): Raven Thrall tells the story of a people, the Ceo San, who must remain hidden or they become the kings slaves in his army. The main character, Mariah, a Ceo San (Shapeshifter), leaves her hometown(no spoiler alerts here, but your heart strings will tug for her!). She finds peace and solitude in a new hometown, a friend, and a mentor. When she is urged to help another Ceo San save his mother and sisters, she resists at first, but ends up going on an epic journey through new lands, making new friends who help along the way.
I can relate to Mariah, because she likes being alone, she is uncomfortable around people, but she works through that to help her friend. In the process of the journey and learning to overcome her strong desire for solitude, Mariah grows as a person. Although she is the main character, I loved all the characters. They each had their own strength and weakness, they worked together, and I just fell in love with all of them.
I typically do not read Epic Fantasies or stories about shapeshifters, but reading Raven Thrall opened me up to a new genre that I may like, especially those written by J. Elizabeth Vincent, because the way she told this story pulled me in from the very beginning and kept me drawn till the end.Although the book is written for adults, I find it is an appropriate book for young adults, as well.
Anne Norchi Iglesias has recently published her first book, “The Road to Long Beach and The Witch’s House”, a young adult, paranormal fiction. Besides six other book ideas, there will be at least four more books following the adventures of Anne and her sidekick Colleen, the main characters in The Road to Long Beach and the Witch’s House. Anne’s writing is geared towards young adult readers in grades 5 through 8. She is committed to writing good, clean novels that have a spooky, mystical nature about them, for the young adult audience. Anne lives with her husband and two of her five children in Central California.
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