Today's first review, that I've been putting off for a couple of days, is Raven's Strike by Patricia Briggs.
This is the direct sequel to Raven's Shadow. It tells a complete episode with the characters established in the previous book, and appears to wrap things up, leaving no major loose ends.
This is a fun fantasy romp. It's at a high enough power level that it strains believability a bit -- with gods becoming directly involved in the story, the effective power of various characters starts to become a bit arbitrary, with the characters having just the ability they need to do the next thing in the plot. But the characters are well drawn and interesting, and the story is reasonably exciting. (We're fairly sure the world will be saved, after all, but it never feels like we're guaranteed that no one will get hurt along the way.) There's some descriptions of magic that are interesting, providing some original details but without explaining things so far that it starts to sound bogus. There's some interesting thoughts along the way about good and evil, how power corrupts, and on the nature of myth.
I found the first book of this set slightly disappointing, not quite as the other books of Briggs' I've read. Although this book is a clear continuation of that one, I found it slightly better. It may just be that I'd already bought into the main characters, despite the ways that they're a little too good to believe, or maybe I'm in a more charitable mood.
8 out of 10.
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