The ravinors are out to get the humans of the empire of Styr, and they have been for centuries. Wars have been fought trying to exterminate the creatures. But suddenly, they’re different… stronger, smarter. What are the ravinors and what do they want?!
This book is surely the way to find out!
For hundreds of years, once-human creatures called ravinors, who possess an insatiable hunger for human flesh, have plagued the Empire of Styr. Three times during that span of years, human forces had all but eradicated the infectious man-like monsters. And three times they have returned.
This time, only twenty years after the last Ravinor War, the creatures are back, but now they have become even more deadly. Led from behind-the-scenes by the mysterious Ravinor Queen, infected humans find themselves in a battle for their souls and control over their bodies in a dream world inhabited by the one known as the Shadowman. The Queen and her shadowy cohort’s mission is nothing less than to at last turn the tide against the humans for control over the world. They have lain dormant and ineffectual long enough, and now the ultimate battle for species’ survival is unfolding across the land…
Throughout the empire figures emerge who might have the power to swing the battle’s favor to one side: A retired captain living in the northern regions of the empire; a young healer at his first posting; a famed scholar and his apprentice; an assassin tired of his profession that circumstances have forced on him; and a young woman, horribly scarred at birth, who is cursed–or gifted–to witness the ravinor dream where the battleground for souls take place between the two species.
The Ravinor Queen has been planning her opening gambit for centuries, and now the time is right for vengeance and the subjugation of the human race, once and for all. The battle is only just beginning; each side must vie to destroy the other in this tale for ultimate survival–or extinction.
“When you come across a scarred man, you know that he never made the same mistake twice.”
The alternate POVs here were a great way of finding out the whole story from different angles. We have Garet, the retired soldier and his family: those who fight the ravinors. We’ve got Lerius, the healer: one who is knowledgeable about ravinor attacks and healing the infected. There’s Herris Mon Lyzink and Martel, the esteemed scholar and his apprentice: those who study the ravinors and have intimate firsthand knowledge of their habits. Ifo, the assassin: one who has killed many men, but has never met a ravinor face to face. Then, most interestingly and perhaps most bizarrely, we have Moira, the dreamer: one who has an intimate insider view of what the leaders of the ravinors are, and what people who are infected go through in their fever.
This one took two chapters to get me on board. The first actual chapter I wasn’t so sure about, it was okay, but some of the imagery had me slightly confused about the passage of time. But then Lerius’ first chapter, and our first look at the ‘ravinor dream’ got me hooked, then Ifo’s first chapter of just being badass and having like 12 knives secreted upon himself cemented it. I liked how the plot slowly but surely teaches us about the ravinors and what the world knows about them while some interludes in the story also let the world into the new and changing information as the story goes. It helps to have a scholar on the case.
The epilogue left me with many questions. I’m hoping that Moira finds a solution to her predicament, as does Lerius. I’m hoping that we find out what purpose Ifo’s POV served in the overall scheme of things (because I really liked Ifo’s POV but his story didn’t seem to correlate to anyone else’s quite yet), and I’m excited to see what sort of story Martel, Yurlo, and Mon Lyzink are going to be fed.
My only real criticism is that occasionally, a synonym for ‘ravinor’ would not go amiss. The word is used a lot sometimes, especially in the beginning when we’re still learning more or less what a ravinor is. Other words could be used instead in some instances to make the whole thing flow a little better. It’s really no big deal, but it was something I noticed.
All told, I thought that this was a great debut! It’s not perfect, but books rarely are, in my experience. This one has some great ideas that were presented in a way that was quite entertaining. All is not what it seemed at first!
This one gets a pretty solid 4/5 stars from me. I’m excited to find out where the story goes next!