It’s a well-known fact (at least if you’ve hung around the blog) that I really admire my editor, Nerine Dorman. She’s taught me so much about writing that I barely recognise my old work these days, and I’m hopefully still improving.
A while back, I grabbed a compilation four of her stories on Amazon. No, I’m not a stalker! *creeps back into my dark corner* I got it for research. Really, to learn. Obviously, I learned something, or I wouldn’t be writing this. 😀 So, this entire post may read like a big quest to gain brownie points, which is why I’ve been putting it off for so long.
The truth is I want to howl at the moon over this novel.
Raven Kin attaches to your fingertips when you pick it up the first time and stays there until you’re done – which can easily be within a day or two if you’re a fast reader. And even after it’s been out of my hand for a few months now (I really need to update my Goodreads again :P) it’s in my head. I can’t get Silas out of my mind. No, you don’t understand. I CANNOT GET HIM OUT OF MY MIND.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. He must be one hunk of a character, right? Well, no. Silas, you see, is a griffin. He’s also the viewpoint character and protagonist.
In all the time I’ve read, I’ve never come across a story where the protagonist isn’t human, but is more relatable than most human characters I’ve read. Silas makes you think. He makes you wonder, and feel, and experience things as if for the first time. Like flying. Random side note here – I’m starting to think Nerine turns into a raven at the full moon or something. She must obviously have experience in flight because she writes it as if she does it regularly.
What captivated me most about Silas was how being the last of a species distanced him from humans, how he even mocked their weirdness, but still managed to be sucked up in their doings because he cared so much. And that even when he knew they were screwing up. His loyalty is a massive reason for my adoration, it’s no secret that I have a thing for the faithful ones (picture Samwise Gamgee and Varric Tethras here).
More than that, though. He’s wise and caring, and quite enigmatic – all traits that sing to me in characters.
Additionally, this Egyptian-type world made my heart palpitate. The story is set among a family of slavers, who tries to make a difference in their small way. I loved that. I walked the streets of Anfi, created in images so vividly that I could probably paint it if I tried.
This was one of those stories that I read in record time, but hovered on the last page for days. As in, literally days. I didn’t want to read the ending, because I didn’t want it to end. As I said, it’s months later and I’m still shellshocked that it’s over.
If you want a book that will transport you to another world, give you incredible experiences and have you back in reality by dinnertime, this is the one for you. Easily one of the best books of 2016, and in my personal top 10 of all time. And if that got me a browny point or two, I’ll take it. 🙂
Stalk Nerine (you know I do)
Have a good one, folks.