e-ARC Review: The Hunter and the Mage (The Raven and the Dove #2)
Title: The Hunter and the Mage (The Raven and the Dove #2)
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Published: 21 September 2020
Format: e-ARC, read on Kindle
Memorable Quote: “Why must love destroy you to be real?… Why can’t it save you instead?”
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
“A mage written in prophecy…
When Lyana wakes in the Sea of Mist, adventure is the first thing on her mind. But between her unruly new magic and an unyielding young king, the world below comes with more responsibility than she ever dreamed. An entire civilization exists within the fog, and its survival depends entirely on her.
A hunter forged in blood…
Adrift at sea on a ship full of strangers, Rafe fights to cope with his new reality. He’ll do anything to return to the sky and the people he left behind. When a surprising offer comes his way, he instantly accepts, sparing no time to consider the consequences.
Loyalties are tested and an ancient war begins anew…
With rebellion in her heart, Cassi defies her king and befriends the prince she’s been ordered to kill. Oblivious to the threat, Xander welcomes her into his inner circle, determined to rescue his mate. As one works to help and the other to hinder, an ancient enemy stirs, forcing Cassi to choose between trusting the man who broke her heart and turning her back on everything she’s ever known.”
Review: **If you haven’t read The Raven and the Dove beware of spoilers!
What a ride that was! I didn’t realize my heart could be pulled in so many directions, yet here we are. This book starts off right where the first book ended with Lyana, Rafe, Xander, and Cassi each in their own predicaments while still trying to recover from everything that just happened. Each character gets their own chapters, which makes the reading experience much more involved. Davis makes sure that each character’s voice is unique and clear, and all the storylines are interested and carefully interwoven. I was never bored while reading!
I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED the Xander and Cassi chapters. Their interactions were so wonderful, but also stressful as they each had a great deal of conflicting feelings internally. Davis is truly fantastic at writing conflicted characters who wish to be better than they truly are, but also put the effort into it. I really appreciated that Xander’s kindness was his strength. To me, he stands out because he is not an incredible warrior or the most brave person. However, he trusts and loves in a whole-hearted and genuine way, and uses his book smarts and diplomatic skills to fight his battles. Seeing Cassi encourage and support him was also wonderful. She didn’t try to change him or make him feel weak. She always had a way to help him find his strength, and he helped her find the good within herself. Ugh. I ship it so much.
Lyana does a lot of growing up in this installment, and while the growth is amazing, my heart also hurts for her, because the world is so much worse than what she thinks it could possibly be. However, she is still kind, determined, and ready to do whatever it takes to save the world – even if it means going against everything Malek has prepared her to do.
Rafe might be my least favorite character, but like Lyana, his growth as a character is on point as he begins to learn to look out for himself and to accept himself. He loses his wings, is trapped beneath the mist, and realizes that no one is coming to save him when he knows he would do anything to save the people he loves most. His chapters were difficult to read because the feeling of abandonment and uncertainty were so present, and it made my heart ache for him. I wanted to jump in the book and tell him that his family and friends were missing him dearly and were trying to figure out where he went.
Overall, The Hunter and the Mage is a solid second book that avoids the second book slump by building on what was starting in book 1 while introducing new characters, new stakes, and even more twists and turns.
I can’t wait to see what book 3 brings next year!