The Prince & The Raven
Author: Sylvain Reynard
I’ve had a bajillion people tell me to read the work of Sylvain Reynard. Today’s review covers The Prince and The Raven—to get me caught up before my upcoming review of The Shadow. I’m intrigued by the premise of this series because, duh, I love vampire stories. It’s always been a thing with me.
The Prince is a crossover novella between the Gabriel’s Inferno (GI) universe and the universe of The Florentine. This novella is a quick little read, and I think it sets up the premise of The Raven rather well. There’s a lot of background information given, and I’m intrigued to see how the next title in the series continues the tale. Readers of the GI series who want to see what comes next for Gabriel and Julianne will definitely want to check out this novella But be warned—there’s really no resolution of the Gabriel/Julianne information in the novella.
The second title in The Florentine series, The Raven, was intriguing, and I wanted to keep reading. I suppose it helps that I’ve studied art history, and the literature references throughout the story were familiar to me. I did find myself wondering which famous piece of art or literature would show up next.
I did find myself comparing some parts to Twilight as I read, however. There are many parallels and while they bothered me for a bit, I got over it by the time I reached the end. I also found the exposition a bit long, and felt I didn’t need all the play-by-play I was given to understand what was going on, and to set-up the plot of the story.
The Prince, from the novella, is the ruler of the vampyres in Florence. I did like the world-building aspect of The Raven, and learning the ‘pecking order’ helped me find a balance between all the art and literature and what was going on in the story. The Prince, aka William, came to the table with a lot of his own baggage. It was interesting watching him work through it, and while I didn’t connect with him as much as I did Raven, I completely understand his role, as well as the hierarchy of the vampyres in the story.
I really liked Raven. She is a tenacious one, and throughout the story, I found myself referring back to things she’d said or done to stay entrenched in the plot. She’s really the anchor that keeps the story moving forward for me. I think most people can identify with Raven in one way or another. She has a physical disability, and while she tries to not let it interfere with her life, it does. She sometimes uses it as a measuring stick for people involved in her life, and whether she has room for them based on their reaction, in my opinion. We all do that, however. With the baggage we carry, we determine whether someone will fit in our lives based on how they handle the most broken parts of ourselves. THIS is why I connected with Raven.
While I’m really interested in reading The Shadow, I hope there isn’t a long and drawn-out exposition. Readers of the series will already have information regarding the world building as well as the characters. I kinda wish I could just jump into the next book in the series right now—binge-reading for the win—but other books are in the lineup first. Even though I didn’t read Gabriel’s Inferno series, I didn’t feel as though I missed anything.
Release Date: January 20, 2015
The unveiling of a set of priceless illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence exposes Professor Gabriel Emerson and his beloved wife, Julianne, to a mysterious enemy.
Gabriel may have acquired the illustrations only a few years ago, but unbeknownst to him, they were stolen a century earlier from the ruler of Florence’s underworld.
Now one of the most dangerous beings in the city is determined to reclaim his prize and exact his revenge on the Emersons–but not before he uncovers something disturbing about Julianne…
Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi gallery restoring Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semiconscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attackers’ screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…
When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. Upon returning to the Uffizi, no one recognizes her. More disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of her disappearance, Raven learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history–the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the police identify her as their prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and most elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…
Series: The Florentine #0.5 & #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): paperback (434 pages), e-book, audiobook (The Prince: e-book only)
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds