Title: The Raven Heir
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Published: 31st August 2021
Synopsis: Cordelia and her triplets Rosalind and Giles have lived safely in the castle at the centre of the forest all their lives, protected by the spells their mother has woven. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is when she turns into a dragonfly or a blackbird and can fly beyond the great stone walls. But then one day the outside world comes to them. Two rival dukes and their soldiers have come for the triplets – because whoever is the eldest is the heir to the throne.
But their mother knows that since the Raven Crown was broken, no one has been able to rule the kingdom of Corvenne and live, and she will not give up any of her children to that death sentence. When she refuses to reveal which child is the eldest, she is taken prisoner, and Cordelia and her brother and sister find themselves on the run in a dangerous new world. And as they set out across Corvenne to rescue their mother, Cordelia begins to see that there is a deep magic at work, driving her towards a destiny that could tear her family apart, take away her freedom forever or, just maybe, heal a kingdom devastated by a war that has raged for generations.
Cordelia, Rosalind, and Giles have always known that one of them will eventually rule Corvenne after their mother dies. For twelve years, they’ve been protected by the spells she’s cast on the castle, only allowed to leave under the protection of older brother Connal. Yet the triplets have their own magic and talents – and in Cordelia’s case, she can change into any animal at will. She uses this to taste freedom – until the day their castle is taken over by rival dukes and their armies. This begins the triplets’ journey to find out the truth about their family, the true heir and what their grandmother wants. As something threatens to tear their family apart, Cordelia, Rosalind and Giles will work together to heal a family, heal a kingdom, and find out what really matters in the world.
This was another surprise book from Bloomsbury, from a publicist who sent me just what I needed to read now, and The Raven Heir was one of those fantastic books. It is filled with all the fantasy themes and tropes we love, but instead of twins, we have triplets, and this was a refreshingly delightful take on the fate of a kingdom. Siblings are common in these sorts of stories, and it is always interesting to see how different authors utilise these tropes.
I fell in love with this book and these characters from the start. It was everything I love and is one of those delightful books that has tensions and war but a lot of hope and magic and whimsy – we see the characters struggling and going through many challenges, yet there is a sense of knowing that they will come through it all, even if we don’t know exactly how things will be resolved.
This is one of those books that is comforting and thrilling at the same time, and I fell in love with it from the start and found that it was one that I wanted to devour, yet at the same time, I didn’t want it to end. It is reminiscent of all the fantasy I devoured as a child and young adult yet is its own world entirely – the tropes are there but it all comes down to what the author does with the story that matters. I think this is one that I will come back to one day, because comfort reads like this are what we need right now. Gentle reads that take us on an adventure without creating anxiety within us based on what we are going through right now.
I feel like this could be a series yet even if not, the book works well as a stand-alone, and sometimes, this can be better for the story. We will see what comes next, and I am sure I will devour any books that follow this one.
An excellent read that totally captured my imagination.