Book Reviews

Book Review: The Raven Spell

Title: The Raven Spell
Author: Luanne G. Smith
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Witches

What It’s About: Edwina and her sister, Mary, walk along the water’s edge looking for items that they can sell at their shop, when they encounter a man whose skull is nearly crushed by a blow to his head. Mary asks Edwina for permission to create her marble that is made of a person’s last memories before their death, and Edwina grants it thinking that the man will die soon. As they leave the area, she sings a song to get a police officer to head towards the water to find the man.

The man wakes up in a hospital ward with no recollection of who he is. He recalls two hooded figures hovering over him, and is able to remember some things about his life, but he is unable to recall his name or what he was doing in London in the first place. The items that were found in his clothing are meaningless to him, even when the Police officer asks him about it. When the nurse tells him that it’s the sisters, he packs up his items and disappears from the hospital to the sister’s shop, where he finds Edwina.

Edwina is shocked to find him alive, but she returns his memories to him, and sends him off in his own way, with him trusting his own instincts. He wanders around London, until he recognizes a man, who tells him that he doesn’t know him at all, and he starts to crash. He calls a boy to go get Edwina, and she picks him up, takes him back to her shop, where he starts to convulse as the memories were not his. A house elf shows up, claiming that he belongs to the home of this man, and helps him reclaim his memories–though not all of them, as it’s not possible for the elf to know everything of his life. By this point, he has remembered that his name is Ian Cameron.

He returns to his hotel, with the help of Edwina, and they find out that the cleaning lady found his drawings of the very recent murders. The two of them run away, being chased by the police, when Edwina recalls her father telling her of a safe space. She knocks on a door in the alleyway, and speaks the safe words that allow the two of them to enter a house of a woman who has a portal into a cozy room where they can hide out. They talk, and do more research, at which point Ian accuses Edwina’s sister of potentially being involved with the murders, telling her that he remembers the moment the other man got murdered. Edwina returns home after this, wondering about it, but being angry because she has always protected her sister and her unusual powers.

Ian on the other hand begins walking around the city, retracing his steps in attempting to find George, the son of a well known and respected wizard. He visits the magical theater where George worked, and speaks with George’s fiancĂ©, before making a ruckus that gets him dragged down to the Magical Council for troublemaking. There he gets told that George wasn’t one of the murdered men, and the Head of the Council tells him pretty much nothing else, hoping that he might tip his hand. Ian only asks if they’ve heard of the Blackwood sisters, and whether or not the spiders at the Council had ever alerted in the vicinity of the water where he had been found for magic–they hadn’t.

In the meantime, Edwina encounters the Master Wizard, who apparently received a telegram from Ian about coming to London. When Ian shows up at Edwina’s store, the Master realizes that Ian doesn’t have all of his memories, as he doesn’t recall when they first met, though the Master Wizard knows. He advises Edwina to return the memories to Ian, otherwise, they will be lost forever to him. Edwina, having struggled with disregarding Mary’s privacy, goes for the marble box again and looks for the memories; however, the problem becomes that there are many similar-looking marbles and Edwina is unable to tell which one belongs to Ian. The Master Wizard is quite surprised at the amount, but before they could determine which one of these is the true marble belonging to Ian, Mary shows up and goes into a fit, before ultimately disappearing through a window with Ian’s memory.

Edwina searches for Mary to no avail; they eventually find Mary though, and follow her through the streets to a closed off tenements location, where Mary continues to refuse to give the marble back, and instead they are attacked by the man they saw at the shore when the two of them walked there to see if they could find any clues as to why Ian was there that night. Edwina and Ian manage to fight them off, Mary disappears as does Edwina, and the troops from the council arrive to bring everyone under control. By that time it had been revealed that Mary was sneaking off to see this man who was the true murderer behind the deaths in the village. Mary had encountered him after he murdered someone and he watched as she made her marbles, after which they had sex.

Ian goes with the council to recount his story, while Edwina finds Mary and they argue, with Mary saying that she just wants to be seen, not hidden, and not to constantly run away every time something goes awry. She chases Edwina away, and stays alone on the tower. Edwina returns home and

My Thoughts:


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