Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse (Review)

Time for a book review, since I haven’t done one in awhile, and I have a fabulous new book to tell you about!

Title: Mark of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga, #1)

Author: Morgan L. Busse

  • Date read: November 25, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy
  • Age: Technically listed under Adult but teens would love it too!
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 341 (paperback)
  • Series: The Ravenwood Saga, #1
  • Fave character: Damien
  • Source: The publisher
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes and NobleAuthor’s Website

Published November 6, 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

My thanks to Bethany House for the complimentary copy of MARK OF THE RAVEN. I was not required to write a positive review. These opinions are entirely my own.

Aaah, that was so cool! Now where’s the next book?

I love a good epic fantasy and this one was awesome! The world was so rich and the characters were fantastic. The plot was a slow-burn kind of one, full of mystery and politics but enough spice of danger and adventure to keep you on the edge of your seat—the rest of it did that actually as well!

I love anything involving dreams in fiction so I was really excited to try this one. Like Inception in a fantasy world. 😛 The Dreamwalking was a cool aspect to the book. I particularly liked the soul aspect of it. I think I thought there would be more time spent in the actual dreamscapes, but at the same time I don’t really mind because the rest of the book was so cool too!

I was so intrigued by this setting and loved the world-building. The idea of the seven nations and the Great Houses and their secrets and gifts was so intriguing. The political intrigue aspect of it was interesting instead of boring. It made me think a little of Jill Williamson’s fantasy, which is high praise from me. 😉 I was pulled into this story and loved visiting these mountains, castles, secret passages, and seaside—and the different Houses were really neat. Everything had a distinct feeling and vibrant color to it and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I can’t wait to return to this world and find out what happens next, as well as learn more about the gifts—and spend more time with these characters.

The characters were all well-drawn and I loved them. ^_^ Selene was an interesting heroine and I felt bad for her and was always curious what she’d do next. I can’t wait to see where her story goes from here. No spoilers but… it should be interesting! 😉 Damien was my absolute favorite! I loved how the story alternated between his point of view and Selene’s. It was so neat getting to see each of them from the other’s perspective. But yes, Damien was a high point of the book—I loved his passion for helping people and how he had such a good heart and tried so hard and… he was just awesome. 😀

I loved many of the side characters, too! Selene’s father was so great. Taegis, Damien’s mentor, who I also loved. Lady Bryren! Man, I LOVED her and the other wyvern riders and hope we’ll see more of them! (And I don’t love them, but the villains stood out too. Lady Ragna was sooo chilling.)

The atmosphere of the book was just really neat—with the rich colors, the harsh beauty of the mountains, the shadows and mysteries of Rook Castle, the autumnal feel, the meetings and gala and dances, the passages and secrets, and all shot through with so many questions and interesting thoughts, a thread of faith in a unique way, and the many varied people and cultures inhabiting this world.

It took me a little while to get invested in the story (maybe until meeting Damien?) but once I got into it, I lived and breathed it, and now I’m sad it’s over. There were some pretty neat twists at the end which make me super curious to read the next book! I NEED IT.

MARK OF THE RAVEN was gorgeous and a little ominous and I was so intrigued the whole time, and I’m attached to these characters. It’s a touch scary a few times but is a basically clean read which I think older teens and adults alike would enjoy, and I highly recommend it to fantasy fans! 🙂

About the Book

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy — a legacy that supports her people — or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

Also, the next book is releasing April 2019 and I neeeed it already! Isn’t it gorgeous? ❤

Talk to me! Does or does it not sound SO cool? Have you ever read a dream-related book? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂

9 thoughts on “Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse (Review)

  1. AAAAHHHHH!!!! I sooooo want to read this one! The idea of the dreamwalkers is the COOLEST. I’m with you, dreamworlds in fantasy is the BEST. So many fun possibilities!

    This sounds like it has an epic world and story all around. We needs it, precioussss!

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Hallo, Hallo,….

    Travelling through the WP Reader to seek out fellow book bloggers who were blogging their discussion about the Ravenwood Saga!! I recently had the chance to read both FLIGHT and MARK for a blog tour – wherein, I was thankful I was introduced to Busse’s style of Fantasy narrative during #WyrdAndWonder – a month long Fantasy event I co-host every May.

    Before I dig into your own review — I wanted to say, yes I have previousy read a story involving dreamscapes – which was called “The Dreamosphere” – you’ll find it on my blog – either through my Story Vault of Reviews (top menu, under #JorieReads) or just key that title into the searchbox and you should find it easily enough) – it was one of the first conceptional stories where an author went throught the portal of dreams to tell a fantastical story I had come across.

    However, I felt Busse might have developed her concept and the world within Ravenwood a bit more than the previous author I read.. though at the time it left me with a lot of discuss!


    I liked how Busse introduced the layers of her dreamwalkers – how they each had to take account for their own agency of influence within that moment of breaking into someone’s dreams but also how by doing so they were causing strife and ill will on someone who didn’t even need that added grief in their lives. The lushness of the world is also what captured me – I especially love mountains as settings but it was also how each of the areas in this world were co-dependent on the House gifts which I found wicked brilliant, too!

    I was dearly anchoured to Selene for the first half of the story to where I had trouble at first shifting into Damien’s POV; until of course, I was smitten by his own walk of adversities and his own internal conflicts he needed to resolve. They were each burdened in different ways and they were each moving towards their own evolution of grace, mercy and redemption – which I felt was carried throughout the saga within the first two books rather expertly for all the characters involved.

    I really felt for Amara as well – she had the unfortunate disadvantage from Selene of being the one held back and thereby that short-coming of knowledge is really what fuelled her oppression and her malice towards Selene. It wasn’t til FLIGHT where the sisters could speak more freely as they were both on equal grounds at that point.

    Like you, I was on absolute pins to read the sequel!! And, it was such a strong sequel but my heart is slightly depressed thinking “Cry of the Raven” will be the conclusion as I want more stories set in this world!! I hope you’ll visit with me and carry on the discussion to see if something I shared reflected wtih you as well.


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