Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Raven (The Legends Saga #2) by Stacey Rourke Review

Hey readers! Ethan's back again. Got another review for you folks that I know you're going to love. I just recently posted my review of the first book in this incredible series and couldn't wait any longer to share my thoughts on book two. What am I raving about now? Raven, the second installment in The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke! Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the book and our author:

An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.

Only $0.99 for a limited time!

Stacey Rourke

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this thrilling Legends Saga, as well as other literary projects.

My Thoughts:

As anyone who read my review of Crane will remember, I'm not a huge fan of mainstream 'classical' literature. One author, however, has always intrigued me: Edgar Allen Poe. His stories aren't ones that I generally clamor over and to be honest, I only know much about them thanks to a well versed high school instructor who was obsessed with Vincent Price (The Pit and the Pendulum is AMAZING). Anyway... Poe isn't a guy that I've ever been over the moon about, especially after learning about his personal life, talk about upsetting. But what if Poe's life and his twisted tales came from truth? What if he wrote what he lived and his life wasn't at all what we expected? Could the legends of Lenore and the beating heart beneath the floorboards be true? Enter Stacey Rourke.

Picking up right where we left our gang in Crane, Ireland, Rip, and Noah head to Manhattan island to discover the true 'coincidence' of the Hessian mark left upon Ireland. The 'random' tattoo she received, branding her with the mark of the Hessian. With the beat inside her, they traipse the city, crossing paths with the mysterious Ridley with gifts all his own. When the Horseman crosses paths with malevolent spirits of yore, it's up to Ridley and his gifts to help the gang solve their greatest challenge yet.

While we don't see any of Tarrytown in this installment, New York City proves to be more than interesting enough. With the Horseman on the prowl in the big city, terror is abound! The plot to Raven definitely made it my favorite of the trilogy. It was beyond unique and twisted the works of Poe into an intricately weaved tale of perfection. Like I said before, I may not know much about about the works of Poe, but I definitely knew enough to keep this story going. 

Like Crane, Raven is split into two different timelines. One in present day New York featuring Ireland, Ridley, Noah, and Rip and a second one in the early 1800s featuring Edgar Allen and Lenore. With the way Rourke wrote the historical timeline, I would have loved to have read an entire novel just set there. In Rourke's lore, Poe is cursed with an affliction: he can raise, and communicate with, the dead. Much like other resurrectors before him, it does't ever pan out the way one would wish. Ghouls and spirits with unfinished business haunt Poe to the point of madness. When he finally passes, his curse is spread down the line reaching my newest favorite character, Ridley. 

Like Ireland, Ridley is cursed with a gift he neither desires, nor understands. Gifts that history has condemned. Only by working together can the Masters of Life and Death hope to contain and prevail over the rogue spirit of Poe's lost lover, Lenore. The entire plot is gripping with deep emotion, softening the hardest of hearts, while being fast paced and action-packed enough to keep everyone entertained. 

Like I said before, this one is my favorite of the trilogy for so many reasons. It's full of more of Rourke's trademark laugh-out-loud humor, but definitely punched me in the feels with it's surprise ending. It's one story I was not able to put down. I truly cannot say enough great things about it. I will say that, like Crane, it is a bit hard to follow at times. With everything going on and so many stories being tied together, you really have to keep watch and pay attention when you read. I can assure you that every second you spend reading is a second well worth it when it comes to this incredible saga. 

Now that Ireland has begun to embrace her fate as the Horseman, we really get to see some amazing things from her. Embracing the dark side is both a lot of fun and horrifying. That being said, I absolutely loved every second. It's hard to imagine, but definitely realistic enough to keep the story grounded in reality. One of my favorite parts was the human aspect Rourke gave to the Horseman. Especially regarding Regen, his trusty stallion. Regen plays a huge role in the all three novels of the series and I really love the attention Rourke gave to a non-human character. It's not common to see that in contemporary works.

I won't spoil anything, but Rourke really put on her game face with this one. The ending alone nearly broke me. I'll avoid any spoilers, but get ready for the feels people, you'll catch them all. It's been weeks and I'm still not over it!

This series is more amazing than I can put into words. Rourke's clear literary talent has blossomed fully with this second installment of The Legends Saga. It's clear to me as a reader and a scholar that she put forth massive amounts of time, dedication, and research to make this story tie in so perfectly with her vision of the series, an effort that paid off in the end. As both a historian and a reader, I have massive amounts of respect for Rourke. It isn't often that we as a reading generation get blessed with such an author as she. Keep your eyes on Rourke, folks. I continue to expect amazing things from her.

Reflective, thrilling, and deeply moving, Rourke delivers her greatest work yet with Raven. An absolute must-read for fans of Poe! With all of this being said, it should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Raven a near-perfect 5-star review. I couldn't be more thrilled if I tried. I highly recommend this read to all loved of classical literature, the New Adult genre (language, violence), and a good spooky read for the upcoming Halloween season. Do you have what it takes to become a Legend? Don't miss your chance to check this one out, add it to your TBR today!


See my 5-star review of Crane 
by clicking the cover below!

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the subject of Raven! As you can clearly see, I am loving this entire series. It very quickly turned into one of my all-time favorites. Only one left to review! Be on the look out for my thoughts on Steam, coming at ya soon! Add these to your TBR ASAP! Until next time, Happy Reading!


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