The Raven and the Dove is a young adult, fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde. It’s been pitched as the perfect novel for the fans of Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir. As a big fan of all three, I whole-heartedly agree.
As the avian kingdoms in the sky (what a concept) prepare for the courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus is ready for her last adventure. She doesn’t expect to save a raven prince from a dragon. Rafe, is the bastard son of the late Raven King, and he would do anything for his half-brother/prince. Including, posing as him in the courtship trials. Unknown to the world above, a war brews in the sea below, ready to threaten everything Lyana and Rafe know and love.
I have to say, I only picked this up because of how gorgeous the cover is. It gave me major Rhysand and Feyre vibes from A Court of Mist and Fury. I had no idea I would end up enjoying this as much as I did.
Princess Lyana was a great protagonist – she was fierce, determined and mischievous. She was so much fun to read about as she flew away on her adventures – albeit some reckless. At times she was a little immature, but that’s where the young adult bit really shines through. On the other hand, Rafe is the epitome of brooding and angst. He felt everything so intensely, that my heart ached for him. All the characters were so well developed, including Cassi and Xander. The story is told from multi point of views and surprisingly, I enjoyed reading this book from all of their perspectives. There was never a chapter that I wanted to skip.
I loved the pacing of this book, it was filled with action but it wasn’t too fast to cause whiplash and neither was it slow enough to bore me. I was super happy with when everything happened. Hence, why I flew through this book and stayed up to finish it. The sleep loss was totally worth it.
The world was really interesting, and not something I’ve seen in young adult before. Kingdoms in the sky were such a lovely idea and it was executed really well. I’m really excited to explore more of this world. Hopefully we get to see more of the other kingdoms in the upcoming books.
I loved the angst and pining between Rafe and Lyana, it was exactly what I wanted to read. The only downside for me, was how quick it was. It felt very insta-lovely and slightly rushed. I would’ve enjoyed the pining and angst a little bit more, if it made sense to why it meant so much to them.
Overall, such a great read and I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about this book. You need to add it to your TBR asap!