Cover Image: Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove

Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of <i>Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove</i> in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

<h4 style="margin-top: 84px;">The Gist</h4>

Rati Mehrotra's <i>Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove</i> is a breathtaking fantasy novel that transports readers to a world of magic, mystery, and adventure. Set against the backdrop of a richly imagined kingdom teetering on the brink of war, this epic tale follows the intertwining fates of two unlikely heroes as they navigate a web of intrigue and betrayal.

<h4>The Details</h4>

From the very first page, Mehrotra's lush prose draws readers into the heart of her fantastical world, immersing them in its sights, sounds, and smells. The vividly depicted landscapes of the novel serve as the perfect backdrop for its larger-than-life characters and epic conflicts.

<i>Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove</i> features a diverse cast of heroes and villains who leap off the page with their depth and complexity.

<h4>The Verdict</h4>

Overall, <i>Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove</i> is a triumph of epic fantasy storytelling, combining breathtaking world-building, richly drawn characters, and a gripping plot to create an unforgettable reading experience. This is fantasy at its finest, and a must-read for fans of the genre

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I forgot to leave a review for this, but I really enjoyed it! It's been out for ages, so I won't say much more than I need to for my star rating. <3

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Fast paced fantasies are literally my favorite and this South Asian fantasy really delivered! Also, so glad that this is a standalone book. I feel like I just needed a good stand alone fantasy read and this one certainly fits the criteria! I really liked the premise of this book. Katyani has grown up in the royal family of Chandela and has become a guardswoman for the family. When a series of assassination attempts against the crown prince cause panic, the prince (Ayan), his cousin (Bhairav), and Katyani are sent to a famous gurukul to learn, train, and be kept safe. The plot itself was really interesting. I liked how the story unfolds and I liked how as the reader, we follow along as Katyani unravels everything that is going on. The political intrigue is written so well and I like reading about the court politics and all the manipulations. I really liked the way this book ended as well, it was a satisfying ending and I had all my questions answered.

I really liked the characters in this book! Katyani is the main character and I think she is developed really well. In the beginning I found her to have a one track mind, but I felt that throughout the book, she continues to grow, especially as the plot of the book unravels. I liked the ensemble characters as well and felt like they were developed well. Of course, my romance loving self enjoyed the budding romance between Katyani and Daksh. The banter was well done and I really liked their interactions with each other. I really felt for these characters as they went through everything and reeled from betrayal after betrayal.

Overall, I really enjoyed this YA fantasy! This was a great debut. I would definitely recommend this book and I cannot wait to read more from Rati Mehrotra. Also, I would love to read more Desi fantasy for sure!!

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I really enjoyed this read! I thought the characters and world were really well drawn, and the the court intrigue kept me on the edge of my seat. I will definitely be picking up whatever Mehrotra writes from now on!

Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for granting me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a right book wrong time situation for me. It didn't hold my attention enough to finish so I dnf'd but I think many people will love this one and I could likely enjoy and finish it myself another time!

Thank you to the author and netgalley for the eARC!

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Received an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and its publisher <3

Could not finish unfortunately. I just couldn't get in to it and continue reading so I had to quit. I think I will try again as the premise sounds so interesting to me. I think the quote, "Right person, wrong time" fits this book the most for me. I did like what I read, I just don't think I was in much of a reading mood.

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I really enjoyed the world building and the characters. The court intrigue and politics kept me interested and turning the page. Cant wait to read more from this author!

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"Sometimes, we must be shaken out of our comfort to question the things we've been told."

Deals, betrayal, and intrigue are three words that I'd use to describe Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove. In a world where gods and monsters walk among humans, this is a lush and epic story that kept me enraptured from start to finish.

I love how the world and story is effortlessly crafted, building on itself in a way that never leaves the reader confused or wanting for more. It's a delicate balance that is executed well. Poetic and lyrical writing that paints not only a vivid scene but evokes the feelings and emotions of the characters on the page, all with a fast-paced narrative

Love the dynamic between the characters, they feel so real and make me so invested in the story / their wellbeing.

This book is amazing and has my whole entire heart, it deserves a lot more attention and praise than it's received.

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In Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove, Katyani is a royal bodyguard who's been the queen's bondswoman since childhood. A shared butterfly tattoo is the external marker of the magical internal bond that connects them, sending emotions and impressions constantly back and forth. It makes Katyani a devoted servant and a fiercely protective surrogate daughter. The bond resulted from powerful magic used by the queen to save Katyani's life as a toddler. Though the practice is morally ambiguous at best, Katya feels nothing but grateful for the act that saved her life and gave her a family, and she can't imagine living at a distance from the queen. At the start of the story, we find Katya repelling assassination attempts on the royal family before she's ordered to go with the princes, the brothers of her heart, to a school deep in the monster-infested forest of Nandovana. The guru there is known for his spiritual power and moral authority, offering practical and ethical training that's revered far and wide. There, Katya is stressed by her separation from the queen, especially when war brews and assassins roam, uncaught. She reluctantly falls into a rhythm of learning and reflection despite her not particularly scholarly bent. She enjoys teasing the guru's upright, sheltered son, Daksh, befriends the few other women, and looks out for her brothers. When an emergency calls the trio home prematurely, it's only the start of Katyani's fraught, transformative journey.

Katya is an ideal protagonist in that she's easy to cheer for and fun to follow. Impish and irrepressible at times and dutiful and devoted in others (or all at once), we get to see her grow into her complexity, even if the circumstances that push her to evolve are horrific. Throughout the book, she becomes more thoughtful and balanced without losing her spark of mischief or need for action. We also get to see her relationships shift and enter new phases, some for the better and others for the worse. Either way, they pack an emotional punch, and the author not only respects the challenges of this growth but also shows the grey areas of feeling that come from powerful connections with other people. I got genuinely emotional at several points as Katya navigates her sometimes seemingly contradictory feelings for those she loves-- opportunities are lost, circumstances interfere, and endings come too soon.

Like the many-faceted characters, the settings also drew me in with rich descriptions, whether in a forest or a palace. World-building enhances these scenes rather than existing as separate chunks. Different monsters, spirits, and spiritual abilities are extensions of the places and peoples Katya encounters. We are invited on the journey without needing to know too much detail on the how or why. This makes it a supremely accessible fantasy read regardless of the reader's affinity for the genre.

I appreciated the pockets of social commentary accompanying the story. We see Katya reckon with history and its telling, the bad actions of good people and vice versa. We also see her confront smaller but no less important inconsistencies. Katya's impish views towards the monkish insistence on celibacy and quiet reflection are a foundation of her teasing of Daksh and also a funny aside for the reader. She especially questions the guru's rules that put special limitations on women and how they interact with men, not only from a basic gender level but also from a queer lens.

On this odyssey, Katya meets challenging truths with fortitude and grace. She grows even when it's uncomfortable and holds onto empathy even when it's not the easiest path. This ya fantasy is a stunning standalone steeped in subtle but meaningful world-building, treating readers to a lush map of people and places. I was honored to join Katya on her journey. Thanks to Wednesday Books for my copy to read and review!

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Rating : 4 out of 5
Blurbs :
Bound to the queen of Chandela by a forbidden soul bond that saved her when she was a child, Katyani has never fallen short of what’s expected of her—becoming the best guardswoman the Garuda has ever seen and an advisor to the crown prince when he ascends to the throne. But when the latest assassination attempt against the royals leaves them with a faceless body and no leads to the perpetrator, Katyani is unwillingly shipped off to guard the Chandela princes in Acharya Mahavir’s esteemed monastic school in Nandovana, a forest where monsters have roamed unchecked for generations.

Katyani wants nothing more than to return to her duties, especially when the Acharya starts asking questions about her past. The only upside of her stay are her run-ins with Daksh, the Acharya’s son, who can’t stop going on about the rules and whose gaze makes her feel like he can see into her soul. But when Katyani and the princes are hurriedly summoned back to Chandela before their training is complete, tragedy strikes and Katyani is torn from the only life she has ever known. Alone and betrayed in a land infested with monsters, Katyani must find the answers to her past so she can save what she loves and forge her own destiny.

Bonds can be broken, but debts must be repaid.

Thoughts :
As someone who like Hindu Mythology, I love this book. Highly recommended for anyone who likes Hindu Mythology just like me. Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy!

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This story was so unique and intriguing - it had me hooked from page 1. It did drag towards the middle and then I found it a little hard to continue... still quite enjoyed it though!!

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This book has a great concept of a main character being raised by the royal family and only later finding out she was a hostage that whole time. But I felt like I wanted a lot more out of the characters and the world.

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I love a good court intrigue and political maneuvering book! Maybe it's the trekkie in me but the world building here was so good. The plot was phenomenal, the characters all played their part PERFECTLY.

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"Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove" offers a fast-paced and action-packed journey, chronicling the life-altering experiences of Katyani. Her world takes a seismic shift when the royal family that raised her meets a tragic end, setting in motion a series of betrayals and new quests that compel her to reevaluate everything she's ever held as truth. This book resonated with me on a profound level, delivering the most enjoyable YA fantasy experience I've had in recent times. It encompasses a well-rounded combination of intricate plotting, palpable tension, rich mythology, and a dash of yearning.

If you're seeking a YA political high fantasy imbued with an evocative setting, well-drawn and captivating characters, and a relentless, action-driven storyline, this is a must-read. I was thoroughly impressed by the depth of both the characters and the plot, and at no point did I find the story lacking engagement. The world-building and the vibrant setting create an immersive reading experience.

Highly recommed. I loved it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This book has a wonderful atmosphere. I loved getting to know these characters. This is a book is full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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I love the cover on this book and was very excited to get a chance to read it! I adored the characters and the writing style was really good! It was a little confusing at times with the magic but it was a decent story!

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And if I stayed up until past 2 am to finish this, what's it to you? I'm an adult. And sleep is for the weak.

Can't believe I left this languishing on my night table for months before finally getting around to it. I'm obsessed. I couldn't put it down. I loved every minute of it. I just—*collapses on my bed in despair that it's over*

This was just too good. The political machinations, the lies and betrayal, the twists—all of it was so well written! Throw in the magic and bloodthirsty monsters and spirits and it was everything I needed. Every character was so well thought out and used to their full power in life and in their death.

And the sweet little romance! Daksh and Katyani have my whole heart and then some and I would die for a second book of just them on a monster-bashing adventure.

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Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by Rati Mehrotra was a magical world set in an alternative India. Katyani the protagonist is a strong female character. She was orphaned but raised by royalty to be fierce and loyal. She is a protector for the Queens guard. She is tasked with protecting the future King. There are some romantic elements, but I was left wanting more, it is a slow-burn book.

There are twists, betrayals, secrets, and lies that move the story along. The world building keeps you interested.

Thank you to the publisher, Rait Mehrotra and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

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Thank you NetGalley, Wednesday Books & St Martins Press for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of NIGHT OF THE RAVEN, DAWN OF THE DOVE in exchange for my honest review!

When a series of assassination attempts threaten the lives of the royal family in the kingdom of Chandela, Katyani—the best guardswoman in the Garuda, Chandela’s network of spies—is tasked with escorting the crown princes to a monastic school called the gurukul, where they will learns the skills necessary to be the next leaders of their kingdom. But when Katyani and the princes are rushed back to Chandela before their semester of training is complete, tragedy strikes and Katyani finds herself stripped of everything and everyone she knows and loves.

Steeped with medieval Indian culture, NIGHT OF THE RAVEN, DAWN OF THE DOVE, is a standalone YA historical fantasy that will pull readers in with its magic and monsters, court politics, delightful banter, and budding romance.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The first 30% really popped off and I was eager for more.

Unfortunately, it was after that point where things started to fall a bit flat for me and I was ultimately left feeling underwhelmed. Some of the major moments didn’t hold the weight I think they deserved, and the romance was a bit lackluster.

I would still recommend this book to readers who enjoy fantasy but have a difficult time committing to a long series. Standalone fantasy books are hard to come by, so it’s really refreshing that you can find that with this novel.

3.5/5 Stars

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I enjoyed this book. I thought the pacing was well done and I liked Katyani's character and development. The worldbuilding was neat with the monsters and magic that we were simply expected to accept. The romance didn't do much for me but it at least didn't get in the way. I will say I did not understand how the second brother could have really been acting like he loved his (adopted) siblings for years and years but been harboring an evil plotting resentment the whole time and was more than willing to murder them all. All of the deaths were gutting, though, and it is impressive the author could pull that off when so often deaths in books feel gratuitous or like they only happened because it is expected that people die in fantasy.

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