The Raven by Sylvain Reynard
Published by Berkley, Penguin on February 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Amazon • Goodreads
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery…
Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of 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 semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…
When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also 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 baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…
Captivating, twisted, sexy, dark…
Those are the words that come to mind when I think about The Raven by Sylvain Reynard. The story whisks you to Florence Italy and trust me you will be transported directly there by Sylvain’s writing. He is a master of descriptive storytelling. I’m enamored by his history lessons. I see them as just that but instead of monotonous dribble by a professor *ahem* you get a beautifully articulated love story. A journey if you will where you get to lose yourself in the history of art, prose, old world Europe, even touches of religion. Every scene described in gorgeous detail. A Sylvain Reynard book is an experience, a delicacy.
The Raven is about an american woman who quicky finds herself entangled in the dark underworld of Florence. By day she’s working at the Uffizi Gallery restoring art and by night she’s exploring the world of William York. We originally meet William York in Gabriel’s Redemption albeit very briefly. The Emerson’s do make some appearances in The Raven as Sylvain attempts to bridge the series’ together. I enjoyed their appearance. It was like waving hello to an old friend.
I was fascinated to see where this story would lead. I did very much enjoy this book. The writing is impeccable. The plot intriguing. I devoured every word and I still wanted more. Raven’s character was confusing to me. One minute she’s this average, disabled woman who doesn’t date. The next she has an unexplained transformation and just gets up and goes about her business without being overly concerned that she looks totally different. I wanted to understand more of her internal struggle. If I woke up a completely different person, I’m not sure my first thought would be not to be late to work. Just sayin.
The enigma that is William York I understood. I was totally transfixed by his character. I was frantic for more and more and more. He’s powerful in both stature and mind. I saw him though as a tortured soul. He’s spent however many years stuck in his past. Living with remorse and regret. Amazing considering who he was. I felt his pain and I wanted to ease it.
Overall, The Raven is a well written, dark, sexy read. As a paranormal story I don’t know. I sort of felt like it was more about William and Raven’s relationship and the paranormal aspect hovered in the background. It wasn’t nearly as gritty and dirty as other vampire stories. I liked it though and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for these two.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Thank you Penguin for providing an unsigned paperback for this giveaway.