19 February 2015

The Raven by Sylvain Reynard (Audiobook)

Hey everyone,

I feel like this is the book everyone is talking about this month, and because I had an excessive amount of credits on my audible account I decided to get the Audiobook version. Now, although I probably don’t need to I’m going to introduce the book, because tradition and all that.

The book:

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 . . .

Cassita vulneratus.
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 . . . 

My thoughts:

What is it about this author? Every single one of Sylvain Reynard’s book draw me and absorb to the extent that the rest of the world ceases to exist until I’ve finished. It the alluring wonderful quality of these books that resulted in me staying up until three in the morning listening to it and then spending all of the next day listening too it. Seriously I listened to TEN hours worth in one day. Driving, food shopping, cooking, working etc everything was done with The Raven as my background.

I wasn’t even sure what to expect from this book, partly because I deliberately avoid all reviews, spoilers and information on it as I wanted to read without preconceived ideas. I wanted to be able enjoy Sylvain’s beautiful and clever prose without knowing that such and such was going to happen up some point in the novel. For that reason I’m not going to give any spoilers in this review.

I loved Raven she was brilliant, gusty, intelligent and sensitive heroine. She stood up for herself, she protected people without the strength to protect themselves and she didn’t let The Prince walk all over her. In part I think this was why he liked her so much. No one wants to be with someone that they can walk all over.

If you come into this novel expecting the hero and heroine to instantly get together you’ll probably be disappointed, but for me it worked. I loved the slow build, the gradual steps that both Raven and The Prince took towards a relationship. I felt like Sylvain Reynard allowed us to get to know Raven and The Prince as individual before expecting us to see them as a couple.

Similarly the world building in this book is simply incredible. It has made me want to go to Florence again and just take in the culture, marvel at the buildings, the art and the Italian lifestyle. Not only that but Sylvain’s creation of the Florence Underground was simply detailed and rich. It felt alive with unique characters, a complex history, political intrigue and its own problems.

Finally I can’t finished this review without mentioning John Michael Morgan’s brilliant narration. It was flawless and added to the emotion of Sylvain Reynard’s already superb writing. Also the voice he gives to The Prince is pure sex on legs. It was hypnotic, sophisticated and yet imbrued with passion, wisdom and even pain when needed.

Also being a History of Art graduate I loved the inclusion of Botticelli and glimpses into the art world, particularly the Uffizi Museum that I have actually visited.

If you only listen to one book this year make it The Raven, you won’t regret or forget it!

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!

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