Title: Chasing Ravens
Author: Jessica E. Paige
Summary: “Orphaned at a young age, 15-year old Anouk’s punishment for being too outspoken is an arranged marriage worse than any she could imagine. Fleeing on horseback, yet without a sense of where to turn, she stumbles upon an idyllic village where she finds safe haven. Could this be home?
When a curse threatens to kill the villagers she’s come to love, Anouk takes on the dangers of the natural and magical worlds to save them. Her journey takes her deep into the Dark Woods where she must draw on all her strength to survive, but will come to realize that these magic woods hold the key to discovering a gift she never knew she had.
Ultimately, it will lead her to confront the very face of death, yet amidst the danger and darkness, she meets a handsome woodsman and finds a glowing blue flower with power beyond her wildest dreams.
Inspired by Russian fairytales and steeped in ancient folklore, Paige’s novel is ripe with fantasy, love, and courage.”
^^^ YESSSS Russian fairytales and ancient folklore FTW!
Genre/Pages: MG Fantasy/183
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 of 5)
My Review: Thank you to Netgalley for a free copy for review! Wow, did I love this book or what? It’s been a little bit since I read (this review took longer than I’d thought), and I have to say that this is a book that will stand the test of time. It was absolutely magical.
Hero/Heroine: Anouk: I. Loved. Her. The end! She begins our tale as a terrified girl absolutely determined to escape a horrific arranged marriage. She grows into a confident young woman who is determined to save her friends. The character development was incredible, and Anouk was completely relatable. She’s the kinda person I want to be best friends with. ALL of the characters were excellently written, and with great depth and complexity. Even a relatively minor character had a complex and fascinating back story/motivations. I loved it!
Plot: I was kept guessing at every turn! I kept on predicting what was going to happen, but then Jessica would totally surprise me — in a good way. Wow, I loved this plot and story and world and characters so much! There is a main plot, but the plot is not simple. It is deep and complex and multi-faceted. You will not be bored. I adore how Jessica melded Russian fairytales with ancient folklore and a heaping dose of originality and creative story telling. Chasing Ravens was unforgettable.
Content Advisory: I can’t really remember anything bad. No swearing that I can recall (and I typically remember), no graphic violence or romance. It does deal with difficult subjects, like arranged marriages.
To Sum it Up: Do you love fairytale retellings? But do you want something DIFFERENT? Something that isn’t just Cinderella meets Snow White with a dash of Rapunzel? Something that’s truly creative with engaging and exciting characters and plots, in a world you’ve never been in before? Then you NEED to read Chasing Ravens. Buy it here. You’re welcome. :)
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?