Thursday 5 February 2015

The Raven (The Florentine #1) by Sylvain Reynard ~ #bookreview
The Raven (The Florentine #1)


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…

Source: eARC for Honest Review Courtesy of Berkley Trade/Penguin Group
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Part 1 in a ongoing series

My The Raven Review... 

The Raven starts a couple of years where The Prince left off.  In this time we get to see the aftermath of how the potential war played out and with the Prince finally getting his prize possessions.  On the surface things are coming to peaceful existence in Florence but the Prince is still unsettled knowing that there may be traitors amongst them and his long ago heart is still void and aching. 
"Noah released the raven and the raven returned.  If I were able to hope, I'd hope you would return to me.  Good night, Cassita."
Stumbling across a woman in a near death situation, the Prince goes against their rules and intervenes with the humans to save her.  What he didn't realize was that she was going to save him more than she needed saving.  

For Raven, she's a bit plain, overweight and disabled but smart and passionate.  After waking up a week later with her being not disabled, thinner and prettier she finds herself smack in the middle of a unknown world. 

After saving Raven, the Prince is intrigued and keeps an eye on her, which is needed as she finds herself in the middle of his world which causes him to save her repeatedly.  The more he saves her the more he wants her to go, because he knows that if she stays everything is going to change.  
"You are my greatest virtue and my deepest vice."
Raven starts to transfer back into her old self which doesn't deter the prince, it actually makes him want her more, as he sees her true beauty.  Unfortunately her past causes her to have many walls up that she can't believe that someone can find her attractive but she can believe in supernaturals.
"I get tired of evil triumphing over goodness. I get tired of the injustice inherent in the universe and beings, human and otherwise, standing aside and doing nothing."
I liked and disliked Raven.   She was brave and smart but stubborn and insecure at other times which made her blind to the reality of what was right in front of her.   This stubbornness and insecurity caused her to push away her potential happiness for her wanting to hear magical words.  To do this she closed her eyes to everything else, which led her to not listen and see actions.  What she wanted was always there she just couldn't believe in it.  She was so stuck on works and secrets that I started to get agitated with her 'boo fuckin hoo' woe is me attitude. 
"I know my failings and I know my fate.  I'm supposed to be alone."
"I can't see how that's possible, since I believe you're supposed to be with me, in my arms, in my bed."
Sylvain Reynard has such a gift at writing so many layers filled with information, details, history, imagination and otherworldly.  This makes you fall into the story but at the same time it can also deter as there are at times too many layers that it is hard to keep track of all the ins and outs.   You almost feel like you need a spreadsheet to be on top of all the details. 

While the Prince is dealing with his world he's also trying to find balance with the human world and his heart with Raven.  

"You've ensnared me, Cassita,"  he whispered.  "I've never been less eager to escape."

"You say no man ever wanted you but when one does-and wants you badly enough to risk everything he's built for you-you tell yourself he's a liar."

"Let me love you, Raven, with my heart."

 I think it will be awhile before we find out who the traitor is amongst them as the depth of this world is just beginning to unfold.  I can't wait to jump back into this world and find out how everything plays out for the Prince and Raven as well as the Emersons.

3.5 Multilayered thumbs up
thumbs upthumbs upthumbs up . 5

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