ARC Review: The Raven and The Dove

The Raven and The Dove by Kaitlyn Davis

Publisher: Kaitlyn Davis Mosca
Publication Date: March 9th, 2020
Pages: 506
Date Read: March 31st, 2020
Rating: 3.5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This ARC of The Raven and The Dove was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A princess longing to be free…

On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.

A bastard aching to belong…

Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.

Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart…

Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.

Three shocking betrayals. Two star-crossed lovers. One unforgettable journey. If you like fierce heroines, brooding heroes, forbidden romance, and action-packed magical adventures with twists you’ll never see coming, don’t miss The Raven and the Dove!

When I read an ARC I try to review it as soon as I’m finished, but this time I had to wait a few days. I had to mull this book over and really think about what I was going rate it. I finally decided on three and a half stars. Let me tell you why.

This was one of those books I couldn’t wait to devour. Everything about this book drew me in. The cover is beautiful, the synopsis is fascinating, and even the title is alluring. As soon as I started reading, I absolutely did not want to stop. This book has everything I love to read: forbidden romance, beautiful descriptions, magic, friendship, betrayal, and so much more.

At this point you may be wondering “If it has so many things you loved, why only 3.5 Stars?” That is because for everything that I loved about this book, there was also something I didn’t quite enjoy. Let’s dive deeper into what I mean.

First up is the writing. There were times when things would be described so wonderfully and I enjoyed the picture being painted in my head. Like when all of the avian houses are being explained, I was over the moon happy with all the beautiful descriptors and the very thought out writing. But there were other times when I felt the writing was lacking. It almost seemed as though there were certain parts that the author didn’t pay as much attention too. Which isn’t exactly terrible. I just noticed the writing seemed to flow differently throughout the story and I think it threw the pace off sometimes.

Next the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed our main characters. For the most part. Lyana yearns for freedom and adventure after being cooped up all her life. She’s wild spirited and has the sass to match. She has advanced training in military strategy and combat. She is kind and would help anyone who needed it. But, she also acts rash and takes unnecessary risks without thinking of consequences. She acts childish and seems to only think of herself and what will get her the adventure she craves. She is very contradicting. I would have liked to see her grow more as a character, but she doesn’t. There is even a point where she seems so blinded by the possibility of adventure that she didn’t even care if it was at the hands of a possible evil. Hopefully her lack of character development is due to the fact that this is to be a series. I definitely see the potential for bigger things from Lyana in the books to come.

Rafe cares only about serving his future king and brother Lysander. He loves him and wants him to succeed and be happy. To a fault. He is so consumed with making his brother happy that he forgets to try and find his own happiness. This eventually comes back to haunt him. Lysander wants to make his people powerful again. He also seems to want Rafe to find happiness in his bleak life, but is blinded by his own attempts at happiness to notice changes in his brother.

While I really did like the characters, they definitely had their issues. They were all very one track minded, and didn’t have a lot of growth. Again I am chalking that up to the fact that this is a series and they will have more time to develop in the future. But I hate to see characters develop out of hardships instead of personal enlightenment. Who doesn’t love to see characters build upon themselves?

Let’s talk magic and plot. I liked it. I was confused by it. Aside from the fact that they are magical in the minor detail that they have wings, magic is forbidden to the avian folk above the clouds. While the humans below the mist have magic that is not forbidden, it is rarely talked about. The magic was interesting and I liked that the characters were willing to use it at risk to themselves, but I was still confused by the reason it was forbidden. It didn’t talk much about why or how the magic came to be outlawed above the mist. But the biggest confusion for me was the magic the humans on the ground performed. It was never talked about. It was used often but I have no clue what its purpose is or what it lended to the plot. There is something going on between the ground and the sky, but 500 pages later and I barely know what it is. I felt like the plot was a tad underdeveloped.

I say this again because I really do think the only reason more isn’t explained is because this is a series. Book one is just setting things up for the rest of the series. I hope the plot, characters, and setting will all be given more detail once the other books are released. I will definitely give the next book in this series a shot and I believe it will improve greatly. Not that this wasn’t an enjoyable book, it just had a few flaws that I felt took away from the overall story. I really liked where the author was taking this book and the way she built this story. Although this wasn’t a 5 star read, I have thought a lot about this book and I can’t wait to see what this series holds in the future!

This is probably the longest review I have ever done on a book that wasn’t 5 stars, and I’m sure I rambled at some point. Oops. But thank you for sticking around and checking out this review. I hope you’ll give The Raven and The Dove a chance to see how you like it! I also hope you’re doing well and staying healthy. Until next time, Happy Reading🖤


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