I was offered this book as part of a blog tour, in exchange for an honest review; it was good fun to read.
‘The Raven Tower’ by Emma Miles was a lot more enjoyable than I expected. The cover is a bit ‘romance’-themed (which is not my sort of thing and would quite often put me off) but the romance aspect, which is of course part of life and turns up in many books, wasn’t overbearing. And I don’t mind a bit of romance – after all, I don’t have a heart of stone! However, I do wonder if Miles chose the cover, herself – and if this is the impression she wishes to give potential readers of the style / genre of her book.
The world-building was good and I found the magical use and practice particularly interesting. There was strong characterisation, including some pleasing nuance (rather than the two-dimensional good/bad and light/dark that some fantasy writers fall into), which I found refreshing and, overall, well-handled.
The multiple-POV structure of the story helped it to move along at a lick, including some well-paced and ‘choreographed’ fight scenes, and I never found myself skim-reading pages, as I sometimes do (usually when encountering too much exposition).
I finished the book quicker than I expected to, and admit to being somewhat disappointed with the unsatisfactory ending, until I realised that this is the first in the ‘Fire Walker’ series.
My only gripe, and this is unfortunately often the case with self-publishing, is what appears to be a lack of editorial oversight, the results of which kept pulling me out of the story; the punctuation and grammar was often lacking, which meant that I had to re-read sentences in order to remedy an understandable misinterpretation. Sometimes character’s names were spelt differently from one page to the next, and there were several glaring typos that simply should have been picked up. If Miles paid for a proofread, she either didn’t get one or it was disappointingly slapdash.
Despite this, many readers will hardly notice these errors; especially if they enjoy the story as much as Miles’ writing otherwise deserves.
I would have given it four stars, but the errors unfortunately rankled so much, that I have to give it three.
3* [Please note: I have since been informed that the copy I was sent was an uncorrected proof – I am therefore aware that most if not all of these errors will be picked up in the editing stage and the final rating would warrant 4*]
What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement? The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.
I do not get paid to participate in blog tours and this is my honest review.