Thursday, June 12, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Copper Ravens

Sara should be happy.

She has what every girl wants: a man who loves her, a beautiful home, and wealth beyond imagining. She rescued her brother from the Peacekeepers, destroyed the Iron Queen, and doesn’t have to go to her boring job any more.

And yet… Sara still doesn’t know if her father is alive or dead. Her mother hides in the garden, brooding about her missing husband. Her sister, the Inheritor of Metal, is scared of her own shadow, and her brother spends his days fighting and gambling. To add to Sara’s misery, the new queen (gold, of course) is more than a bit crazy, she misses her life in the Mundane world, and, worst of all, Micah wants to have children. A lot of them.

As Sara wavers between happiness and homesickness, a conspiracy emerges against the Raven clan, implicating them in a plot to dethrone the Gold Queen. How can Sara prove her family’s innocence, and become the consort Micah needs her to be, without losing herself in the process?

COPPER RAVENS, which picks up pretty much directly after COPPER GIRL, is the continuation of how Sara handling her relationship with Micah and changing family dynamics.

There's Max - her older brother, once missing but rescued in COPPER GIRL by Sara and Micah and now seems hell bent on being the most delinquent guy ever.  Her sister - the new Inheritor of Copper who really doesn't want to have any part in the world.  Micah who doesn't quite seem to understand how it must feel for Sara to navigate the weird, ridiculous landscape of being his consort.  Her mother who alternates between being useful and being useless (and has to be kept sequestered away anyhow since oh yeah she's a big deal Queen who's supposed to be dead).  Enemies who are supposed to allies, allies who are supposed to be enemies, being cursed, being charmed, going into debt to a witch I'd swear was  Baba Yaga's sister...

Its a far cry from the normal life Sara wanted to live.

Any who read my review for COPPER GIRL know that I had some issues with the narrative flow.  I'm pleased to report that Provost has a much tighter control over the story so this was a much easier book to jump in to.  In some ways a new reader could even, in theory, pick up this book and read it perfectly well without having read COPPER GIRL since Provost provides plenty of contextual explanation.  I wouldn't recommend that, since Micah and Sara's romantic development is a large part of why I enjoy this series so much, but if by chance it were to happen, the new reader wouldn't feel overly adrift.

Micah is adorably obtuse in this book when it comes to Sara's integration problems.  He's so certain that A, B and C will all happen that he doesn't stop to wonder if Sara is on board with A, B and C.  Not that she communicates her hesitation very well, choosing instead to change the subject or focus on the dire circumstances they continually find themselves in.  The troubles the two have are ordinary really, the same troubles they'd have if they weren't running around magically inclined.  They only just met each other, large upheavals in their lives couples with very little time to get to know each other has led to a lot of assuming on both sides.  They work through a lot of the problems, but...well...the Baba Yaga sister I mention earlier is definitely going to cause issues.

I was, even after Max gave up the ghost about what he was about the entire book, ready to throttle that guy until he saw sanity.  It makes sense, in a way, that he would go at it his own way--he was locked away how many years?  With no one but himself to really count on--but the self-destruction got to be annoying.  And no one is fooled by your disinterest in certain people's possible marriage. Well except his family.

In all I would say this is a good solid sequel to COPPER GIRL.  It read stylistically much smoother and assured, though I felt at times it dragged some plot points on too long (the sister's reluctance? The Gold Queen's insanity...), but really that's minor quibbles.  The ending hook was a little heavy-handed, and rather heavily foreshadowed as a result, but how it plays out is what will interest me the most in the third book.  Sara's mother has promised retribution and well she's not really a woman to mess with you know?

Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour and the giveaway as well!