Narrator: Roshina Ratnam
Series: Realm of Smoke and Ashes #1
Published by Fire Finch Press on 12-26-18
Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
Buy on Amazon/Audible
No one appreciates the irony of her situation more than Raven Kane: she's a burnt-out witch. Raven is a hip, hexing-and-texting sorceress - or at least, she used to be. Now her ancient timber house is falling down around her, and the bank wants to repossess it. Nothing would make her cantankerous neighbour happier than seeing Raven and her messy menagerie out on the street. To add to her stress, the reckless Wicked Witches are causing mischief and it's her job to reign them in. Worst of all is that her magic seems to be fading. Just as everything seems to be too much to handle, there's a knock on the (splintering) door. A not-unattractive man appears in her life: not to save her, as a fairytale would have you believe, but to arrest her for the murder of one of her clients. It wouldn't be that bad for Raven, except that she knows she's guilty.
Raven Kane’s life is out of control. She is incapable of attending all her obligations and she is simply burned out. Trying to find an easy escape, she gets in more trouble than she was to start with. Because when practicing grey magic, everything has a price.
I was looking forward to this book, as I am an unconditional fan of J.T. Lawrence, and I was curious about her writing fantasy. I have to say that I am more used to her sci-fi, but this fantasy story has its good points. What I love from J.T Lawrence books are her fully-fleshed characters and colorful writing. It makes me feel her books more than just reading them. This one is no exception, and we find a fully-fleshed and flawed Raven, for whom life has got too many burdens, and who lacks energy or motivation to do something about it. The first issue I had with this book is that I didn’t find Raven a likable character. I think it was partly intended, making the reader relate to her about her struggles with life.
The book is beautifully written, but I found it a bit disjointed, like Raven’s life. I could relate to her feelings of being burned out, but other times it was clear that she got herself in a pickle. This book is about karma itself, even though we get to that conclusion only towards the end. I think the cop and her neighbor could have benefited from a bit more development. I also found the romance a bit quick and on the superficial side, but it was still a good part of the story.
I enjoyed listening to Roshina Ratnam again. She has become one my favorite South African narrators and in my head all J.T. Lawrence’s stories all sound in Ratnam’s voice. She delivers great character’s interpretations and a compelling tone that has me all the time on the edge of my seat.
It was a good story, but I feel it a bit less polished than her other works. It is still very enjoyable and I am looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My name is Elena. Since I was a little child I loved science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t resist to a good novel. In 2015, while wait I started to listen to audiobooks and I discovered the pleasure in being able to read while doing my daily tasks, so there’s always an audiobook playing on my phone. If you see me with my Bluetooth headphones on, please be gentle, I get easily startled.
I live with my boyfriend, which I met during my six-years stay in Belgium, three cockatiels, eight lovebirds, and a Gouldian finch in Madrid, Spain; and I like to spend my free time knitting and sewing while listening to audiobooks.