Review: Chasing Ravens by Jessica E. Paige

Chasing Ravens
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.

The first thing that I have to say is that Chasing Ravens is absolutely beautiful. The writing is gorgeous, the storytelling is fabulous and I could just imagine the rich Eastern European settings in this book as they were described. If there is one thing that I must say about this author it's that she is a very talented storyteller.

That being said, I am pretty torn with this book. The start and end were both fully engaging and I was so intent on following Anouk's story because I grew to care for her very quickly, but there is this clump of story in the middle when Anouk enters the Dark Woods where things are happening but the pace is so slow that it doesn't really feel like much is going on, and if it hadn't been for that I would have been babbling about this gorgeous book. 

I also feel like the magic side of things and the romance were thrown in where they really didn't need to be, and if they did they should have been a little more established. I think that the reason I enjoyed this book so much was to do with the fact that it's a pure fantasy and the romance isn't the main focus - as much as I love a good love story - that being said, I would rather have had no romance than the little bit that we got.

Overall though, I can't say much more than that Chasing Raven's was a beautiful fairytale tying in parts of Slavic and European mythology seamlessly. Despite the issues with pacing, this is definitely a recommended book.

Overall Rating: B

Book released December 2014 by Booktrope publishing
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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