Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Raven by Sylvain Reynard

Pages: 496
Goodreads rating: 3.94 / 5 stars
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Genre: Adult Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery…

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…

My Review: 

Review Originally posted on Goodreads

Sylvain Reynard has taken me by surprised. I thought it will be a romance novel with a twist of art history and I didn't expect there will be vampires in it. I would have guessed demons, merely because of The Divine Comedy. Still, I find this fascinating. I think this is a spin-off series for Gabriel's Inferno trilogy because of the appearance of its characters in this book. It's nice to see Gabriel Emerson and Julianne Emerson again. I miss these two badly and I'm in awed of their love story. However, I think you may read this even if you haven't read Gabriel's Inferno because this is entirely a different story… They just played a little role in it. 

The story starts as a disabled woman, an art restorer named Raven walks on her way home after a friend's dinner on a dark street of Florence, Italy. She encountered three men hurt a disabled, poor man Angelo. She considered this man as his friend because they're both crippled. Reckless as it seems, she didn't hesitate to put herself in danger to defend this poor man against three men which almost took her life.  She was battered and almost got raped.. She's very close to death until someone saved her life by an unknown man. 

After her sudden disappearance, she recovered without any recollection of such event and her physical transformation took her by surprised. She can walk without her cane, and from being oversized figure to slim. However, her comeback attracted attention and suspicions because of The Uffizi robbery which happened the same night of her disappearance. She started to decipher all these mysterious events, until she heard the name of William York. This man was being suspected as an art thief but there are not enough evidence to prove he committed such crime. There was something about him that caught her attention, some sort of familiarity… It looks like this man holds a lot of secrets, and getting to know his world is quite dangerous.

Before reading The Raven, I highly suggest you read The Prince first. It's quite an adjustment to me to absorb everything because I don't really have much background with regards of theRenaissance paintings and I'm not really a fan of art history. Plus, it's been a while since I've read anything by Sylvain Reynard. I just love how this author blends romance with a little history to produce a work of fiction. It's a step up to add a supernatural aspect in it. I'm indeed impressed even if I had a slow start.

Well, this is a forbidden love between two characters from different worlds. This kind of story isn't really new for me but its characters, conflict and love story are compelling. I really enjoyed the every single chapter of it, plus the character development and the relationship between the characters isn't rushed. 

Individually, I love Raven. She's such a beautiful woman inside and out. Her pure heart and compassion just captivated me. I also love William York even if he has this brooding, cold personality. I have a bad impression on him first because of his cruelty and dominance. However, that changed when he sees the beauty of a woman beyond her physical appearance. His love for Raven changed the cold-hearted monster he is. I know he is a bit creepy but I can't help to appreciating and loving this man. I love this Prince.

Overall, it's a great start. I can't wait for its sequel. I want more William York and Raven.

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