“Mark of the Raven” by Morgan L. Busse

8 minutes, 52 seconds Read
About this book:

  “Dreamwalker. Nightwatcher. Lady of Ravenwood.
    Lady Selene Has Come into Her Family’s Power. But Has She Inherited a Gift or a Curse?
    Lady Selene is heir to the 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. Soon after the gifting, however, Selene discovers that the Ravenwood women have been secretly using their gift to gather information or to assassinate those responsible for the fall of House Ravenwood to the Dominia Empire hundreds of years ago.
    As she becomes more entrenched in Ravenwood’s dark past, Selene longs to find out the true reason behind her family’s gift, believing that its original intent could not have been for such evil purposes, but she is torn about upholding her family’s legacy—a legacy that supports her people. Selene’s dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations—but who is also prophesied to 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 likely death. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?”

Series: Book #1 in “The Ravenwood Saga”

Spiritual Content- Prayers (to “the Light” from Damien and to “the Dark Lady” from others); Selene prays for any of the gods to help her, if they’re real & later says another prayer, wondering whom it is towards; Damien believes that the gifts of each house are from the Light & prays to the Light before using his gift; Both encouraging and negative voices appear in Selene & Damien’s minds (Good vs Evil); Mentions of prayers, praying, & Thanking the Light (mentions of prayers to the Dark Lady as well); Mentions of monks, an abbey, & a Father; A few mentions of priests & a temple; A couple mentions of miraculously healing & a House being able to heal people by touching them; A mention of a House being blessed; A mention of someone looking like an angel; 
             *Note: Each of the seven Great Houses have a special gift (some control water, others fire or the earth, and Selene’s house is able to get into others’ dreams) and some believe in gods of some form, the “old god/god of old ways”(called “the Light”), and others believe in “the Dark Lady”; To keep people from sharing house secrets, they are “bounded” to their house (and consort as well) and if they go to speak of the secrets with someone else, now words will come out of their mouths; Selene slips into others’ dreams, talking on the form of a raven (she is told to never touch the orb in the dream as that is the person’s soul); In the opening chapter, Selene is at a sanctuary with her mother and sister praying to “the Dark Lady” (who is the patroness of their House) while a “dark priest” speaks in an old tongue; Later, Selene’s mother receives a message from the Dark Lady via the priest; Prior to getting her gift, Selene was a “doubtful—but dutiful— follower” of the Dark Lady (she picks up her string of beads to pray, but is unable to, feeling like her lips have been sealed; she starts questioning about the Dark Lady about halfway, thinking that she knows the Dark Lady exists, but wonders about the other god, “the Light”, and who actually gave them their gifts; Later, Selene prays for the Dark Lady to help her but is met with silence); After seeing a soul that is a bright light, Selene desperately wants to touch it, wonders how somehow has a blazing light, & wants to have it as well (*Spoiler* It seems to be connected to how someone believes, the person who’s soul she sees is a follower of the Light *End of Spoiler*); Selene wonders what’s after death, thinking that her soul is too dark for a good place and the Dark Lady will make her pay; It’s said that the Dark Lady exists “where she is given power”; Selene’s mother doesn’t want to think that the Dark Lady is bound “by a higher power” or inferior to the Light as her house has trusted her; Mentions of how those who are followers of the Light’s dreams are harder to manipulate; Mentions of souls & some being dark and some being light (in the dream world, Selene’s mother says the pure ones are the most dangerous to them); A mention of Selene thinking that her destiny will “paint [her] soul blacker than hell”; A mention of the Dark Lady blessing the House of Ravenwood; A mention of keeping demons away (thoughts); A mention of a devilish smile; A mention of a rumor of someone being cursed. 
Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘bah!’, an unfinished ‘what the—‘, and seven ‘dart’an!’, (used as an exclamation); Curses that go with the gods of the book: a ‘Light’ and two forms ‘Dark Lady’ (all used as the start of a sentence or could be a replacement for taking God’s name in vain); A tiny bit of sarcasm; Selene receives her “gift” of being able to walk into others’ dreams and her mother teaches her to be able to manipulate the dreams to find out the dreamer’s fears, secrets, or possible guilt or even kill them (Selene is unsettled by this and doesn’t want to do it, but believes she has to because her mother will train her sisters if she doesn’t and Selene doesn’t want that for her sisters, so Selene tries to lock away her heart and emotions); Selene’s mother orders her to kill others (some to practice her gift & another who is in the way in her plans), which Selene does not want to do, but finds herself wondering if she’s turning into a killer (up to semi-detailed on the planning); Selene’s mother puts her and her sister against each other (which Selene hates as it does nothing to help their relationship); Damien grieves his parents & brother; Causing deaths (drownings) & seeing bodies (for the protection of his people, but still feels guilt, up to semi-detailed); Fighting (barely-above-not-detailed); Almost drowning & Pain (up to semi-detailed); Seeing a fire, bandits attacking, a wolf attack, & deaths (in dreams, up to semi-detailed); Social drinking (wine at dinners, both main characters drink); A couple lies; Eavesdropping; Mentions of wars, deaths, a razing, fights, fighting, & weapons; Many mentions of murders, murderers, assassinations, assassins, & plans/orders to kill others; Many mentions of nightmares; Mentions of plans to kill others (via nightmares/dreams); Mentions of executions (including burnings at the stake) & treason; Mentions of deaths, drownings, bodies, & blood/bleeding (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of fires, deaths, injuries/burns, & guilt (in a dream, up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a wolf attack, a death, blood, & a body (in a dream, up to semi-detailed); Mentions of criminals/bandits, bandit attacks, screams, & injuries (in a dream, up to semi-detailed); Mentions of blood/bleeding, injuries, & a girl’s mind being shattered (leaving her disable *Spoiler* Selene accidentally does this and is distraught by doing it and plans to protect the girl *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of threats & blackmail; Mentions of hatred; Mentions of rumors; Mentions of throwing up; Mentions of the deaths of loved ones & grief (for parents and a brother); Mentions of drinking & wine; A few mentions of lies & lying; A few mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of pipes & smoking; A few mentions of relieving oneself (more awkward because it’s a group of mixed genders); A mention of a suicide mission; A mention of divorce (which Damien’s House does not allow); A mention of a man being cruel to animals.
Sexual Content- A (borderline barely-above-not-detailed // semi-detailed) hand kiss; Touches, Dancing, & Warmth (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes & Flutters; Noticing & Smelling (including muscles, barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of affairs & lovers (*Spoiler* Selene is told her mother is having an affair and she thinks it’s true *End of Spoiler*); A few mentions of blushes; A couple mentions of bandits taking women away from their group & Selene being shaken to see what happened (in a dream of an actual event, all she can see and that is mentioned is her seeing their legs; implied assault); A mention of seeing a couple in bed together (Selene looks away, not wanting to see an intimate moment, but realizes it’s not); A mention of a man staring at Selene and her thinking that she knows what’s in his mind without going into his dreams (implied suggestive); A mention of hand holding; Some attraction & interest; 
             *Note: Selene wonders how her youngest sister came to be as her parents detest each other; A couple mentions of a girls dress with a deep neckline.
-Selene Ravenwood
-Damien Maris, age 24
                                P.O.V. switches between them & Lady Ragna (x2)
                                                        341 pages


Pre Teens- 

New Teens- 


Early High School Teens- 

Older High School Teens- 

My personal Rating- 


I’ve heard about this trilogy for years and since I was craving a fantasy series, I decided to finally pick this one up. 

At first, I was a bit concerned about what I was getting myself into with that opening chapter. Selene is at a sanctuary praying to “The Dark Lady” which is said to have given her ancestors their powers. Needless to say, I was concerned on this darker element, but it’s quickly was revealed to be a book of Good vs Evil (or in this case, Light vs Dark) and have a moral dilemma for our main character (which I love reading those!). 

This was a really interesting plot, I have to say. The fantasy elements worked well and made sense even to my not-a-big-fantasy-fan brain. Though I did struggle a bit with all the characters, thankfully there was a character guide at the beginning of the book. I was quickly invested into the story and was curious how things would go. 

I would probably mark this series as more NA (new adult) than YA (young adult) based on a few hints in this book and different things I’ve heard about the rest of the books, but we’ll see how the rest of the trilogy continues. I think major fantasy fans would probably really like this one.  



See y’all on Monday with a new review! 

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

[youtube-feed feed=1]
[youtube-feed feed=2]
[youtube-feed feed=3]
[youtube-feed feed=6]
[youtube-feed feed=4]
[youtube-feed feed=5]

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *