Author: Susan King
Genre: Romance, Historical
Rating: 4 Stars
When Elspeth Fraser, a beautiful Highland seer, has a sudden vision of a handsome stranger’s death, she is stunned to see that same man ride into her life soon after. Duncan Macrae is not only the queen’s lawyer–he has been sent north to stop the feud between Elspeth’s wild Highland cousins and a neighboring clan. Determined to send him away to save his life, Elspeth soon resists a strong attraction to the queen’s handsome, mysterious lawyer. Duncan ignores her warnings, intent on finishing his mission for the queen, yet he never expects to feel such passion for this stormy, vibrant Highland lass. When a dangerous enemy threatens all they hold dear, they must face their shared destiny–for if the prediction holds true, they will lose all… including the powerful love that could save them both.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I enjoyed The Raven’s Wish by Susan King, though not for the reasons I enjoy most formulaic historical romances.
Technically speaking, the book was exceedingly well written. Though there were a handful of small typos, including missing spaces, missing words, and a mistake in tense, most of them were small and easily navigated around. I never felt bogged down or confused with what I was reading—they were only small hiccups. The pace, though slow at times due to the language the characters were forced to use (historical books often have flowery, drawn out language), most of the time I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the beautiful and often clever descriptions in the narrative. The only time it became a problem was during the sex scenes, where the flowery language and vague language sucked the steam right out of the bedroom and seemed to make the sex drag on for ages. It was pretty—but didn’t convey the amount of lust/steam I was expecting. Most of the time, I opted to skim over the sex scenes.
The characters themselves were a delight—I loved Elspeth and Duncan, both as individual people and as a couple, though Elspeth was definitely my favorite of the two. I love characters with a spark of stubborn defiance and joy in them. That isn’t to say that the characters were perfect, however. Other than Elspeth and Duncan, the characters honestly didn’t seem that fleshed out. Despite having 80 or so ‘cousins’, a lot of time wasn’t spent on the other characters in the book outside the main character, and most of them could have been used interchangeably. I wish they had been more complex, that there had been more depth… but I also recognize that this is a romance book, and it’s pretty par for the course to keep the focus on the main couple (as it should be), and that often means that the minor characters aren’t as well fleshed out.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. For a romance, it was better written for most—the language and the descriptions were beautiful, but again, it was a formulaic romance. The book didn’t break any molds, and it was fairly predictable. Still, I liked it, and I’m glad to have read it. If you’re looking for a strong, well written historical romance full of beautiful descriptions and fun characters, I’d suggest you give this a try. If you aren’t a fan of formulaic romance with happy endings, this may not be for you.