#BookReview THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE by Kaitlyn Davis #epicfantasy #YAfantasy

Just a review this week – life has taken a sideways slip so I’m taking the chance to catch up by posting a review from one of the many books I read earlier this year.

The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove, #1)The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Described as an ‘epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde’, the story opening is all about the ritual of royal matches – each princess must leave her home for the kingdom of her new mate. But this time, deceit is afoot. The prince that Lyana chooses to give herself to, turns out to not be the man who participated in the trials. It’s way more complicated than that, but suffice it to say the first half of this book dwells on the set-up for what is obviously going to be an expansive plot, taking in not only the floating worlds we are first introduced to, but the unknown world below and forbidden magic, along with fearsome dragon attacks.
The descriptions, the characters, the development of the impossible-to-resolve love triangle, and emotional manipulation of the reader are all as masterful as I would expect from this skilful writer. However, issues with the worldbuilding bothered me right from the outset. If you have a land that has been shrouded in mist for hundreds of years, and a population that has never seen the sun, what do they eat? Nothing will grow on land under those circumstances. Perhaps, as this seems to be a maritime culture, they eat exclusively from the sea, but I wanted to know that!
Of course, the biggest downside for me was the cliff-hanger ending – my pet hate. I could see by half way through that this story would never resolve in one book, and that’s fine – I love series. I do, however, like some sort of resolution to something at the end of each book, which did not happen here. There is a climax, yes, but it simply pulls everything apart in the lives of the main characters, and then stops. From my perspective, the first half of the book was unnecessarily long. It could have stood to be a lot more compact, and taken our characters further into the next book before breaking. I’m not sure if that would work, but I won’t find out, because I have too many niggles over this one to continue with the next in series.

View all my reviews

I know many of you feel the same as I do about cliff hanger endings – how many of you are fine with them? To me, they always seem like a bit of a cheat, just to get you to buy the next book.


  1. I always appreciate your candor in your reviews Deb. I’m with you. I like a summation and a nice tie up of a book, leaving me wanting more story, but not hanging. Ouchee! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It always surprises me when readers say they don’t mind a cliff hanger – it feels like cheating to me. If I did that, I could split my books into smaller chunks, publish more books, and make (possibly) more money, but that approach doesn’t sit well with me; I like to leave a satisfied reader.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you girl! x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on cliffhangers, Debby. I try to tie up all the loose ends with the main storyline, so folks are satisfied with the way things are resolved with that. And then I use the epilogue (or last chapter) to hint at or set up what’s coming in the next book, so they’ll be curious enough to want to continue the series. That’s what I prefer when I’m reading, so I aim for it when I’m writing. (And I can see why you have some problems with the world-building in this one.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are of one mind on this Marcia, as I know so many people are. It astounds me that some readers are happy to settle for what is really one book sold in separate parts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful review, Deborah. Cliffhangers are tricky. Some readers don’t mind them, but at least some wrap-up is appreciated by most. Otherwise, this sounds like a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed previous books written by this author, and while they are all in series, I don’t recall others having such a lack of wrap up between books, but perhaps my recollections are wrong, and I just went on to the next book. I think it was the combination of the cliffhanger, and my questions over worldbuilding that combined to make my decision not to continue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are so many excellent books out there, that I rarely will read on if a story doesn’t grip me. I need more hours in the day as it is!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reblog Jack.


  5. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    From Deborah Jay…


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