To Be a Raven by M. J. Natali
Continuing where The Stone of Acumen: Raina’s Vow left off, book two opens with the sudden disappearance of Helga. Master Horas includes Raina in the search and rescue, since her powerful gifts and the Raven team are needed to locate Helga. The team heads out soon after Lanai and Charles’ wedding. As romance blossoms between Raina and Mark, jealously weasels its way into their relationship when Marcus enters the picture. Yet amid romantic tension and Raven training, the team discovers a package with Helga’s clothing–certainly not an encouraging sign. Unfortunately, that is just the beginning of a stream of disturbing news, especially when the team learns of a madman who is more deadly than Amerdan.
Natali pens another riveting read in the second book of The Wendael Ravens series. Fans who found themselves caught up following the ventures of the courageous trio (Raina, Lanai, and Charles) in Raina’s Vow will certainly be interested in their latest mission to conquer evil as they join forces with fellow Ravens—Master Horas, Raina’s childhood friend Marcus, and of course Mark, Raina’s boyfriend. Natali follows the same alternating-first-person-narrative pattern that she used in Raina’s Vow. But instead of shifting scenes between Raina, Lanai, and Charles, Natali replaces Charles with Helga. Another consistency is Natali’s inclusion of romance. This time the scenes are more intense and intimate. Those new to the series may find themselves totally lost if they begin with the series’ second read since the plot offers no backstories. That said, it is highly recommended to begin with book one. Overall, Natali’s storyline is fascinating and her well-defined characters, appealing. The book closes on a great cliffhanger—the type that will make audiences anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series.
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