Raven’s Ladder — A Full Review

Sorry folks for my late start … my website was down all of Monday and most of today due to technical issues.

Raven's Ladder By Jeffrey Overstreet

As such, yesterday marked the beginning of the CSFF blog tour of Raven’s Ladder by Jeffrey Overstreet. This book is the third novel in his fantasy series, The Auralia Thread.

The surprising thing is that this book reminds me more of book one, Auralia’s Colors, than of book two Cyndere’s Midnight.

To be sure, the beginning and the ending of the novel hearkens to book two with its action, villains, and beastmen, but the larger middle reminds me much of book one with its careful presentation of the faults and failures of a society teetering on collapse.

Book one dealt with the fall of House Abascar and King Cal-Marcus. This novel deals with House Bel-Amica and Queen Thesera. The first kingdom appeared prosperous, solid, and likely to last forever, but it fell… with a tumultuous crash that shook the expanse.

For the second house… well, to not give away the ending… let’s just say that all the right ingredients are present for it to degenerate, nay mutate, into a nightmare. As if it isn’t one already.

The Enemies

In each of these houses we see echoes of our own western society… the focus on self-fulfillment, youth, power, fads, and luxury. And this is the chief danger, the primary tool that the seers use to entrap the citizens and the royalty.

While book two is filled with horrific, physical danger at the hands of beastmen, book three has the subtler, serpentine danger of the temptation to forget one’s calling, one’s history, and go with the flow, stop caring, and give in.

King Cal-Raven

And the young King Cal-Raven is right at the vortex. Undertaking a mission given by the Keeper, he sees a glorious vision of his house’s future, but then loses all… beginning with his boot. Taken as a slave to House Bel-Amica, he must face his doubts, his temptations, his failures, and his past to help those who need help the most, including his lost and enslaved mother.

And in the process Cal-Raven uncovers the greatest secret of his enemies, the seers, setting up the next novel… with yet more secrets to reveal, and a climactic finish.

That is, of course, unless Jeffrey has another novel up his sleeve (rubs hands together hopefully, hee-hee).

My Interviews!

Oh, and make sure you read my fun interview last year with Jeffrey Overstreet, as well as with, you guessed it, Jordam the Beastman!

My Recommendation

If you love fantasy novels, then this series, including Raven’s Ladder, is worthy of your highest attention. Written with a non-intrusive lyrical quality using careful attention to craft, Jeffrey Overstreet has created a series of first-rate novels you will thoroughly enjoy.

The other members of the CSFF Blog Tour:

Brandon Barr
Rachel Briard (BooksForLife)
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher

2 thoughts on “Raven’s Ladder — A Full Review

  1. Robert,

    Thanks so much for the kind and encouraging words, and for your thoughtful interpretation. It’s a great relief to find others enjoying the Expanse along with me.

    The series will end in the next volume, The Ale Boy’s Feast, but it’s shaping up to have enough adventure for several books. I hope you like it.


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