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 NetGalley for a chance to read Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove.

This book was sooooo so so good. I loved how this book was written and I was hooked from the start. I love a strong female MC and Katyani is one of my new favorites. The romance and tension in this book were also amazing and a pleasant surprise. Honestly can’t say enough good things about this book and I can’t wait to read it again.

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Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove is an Indian inspired fantasy, full of swordfighting, ghosts, and political intrigue (and some romance along the way). Katyani was magically bound to the queen at a young age, and raised alongside the princes, Ayan and Bhairav, as their bodyguard and adopted sister. When it comes time for them to go off to a school for additional training, she has to tag along. There she meets the handsome and standoffish Daksh. The action really starts to ramp up after they leave the gurukul. Things have been kept from Katya, and not everyone is who they seem to be. She will have to fight for her life, and for the future of their country. This novel has fully fleshed out characters and provides an interesting peek into Indian mythology.

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Katyani Is bounded to the Queen of Chandela and the best royal guards in the kingdom. Raised among the royal princes and princess, Katyani protects them .The young Chandela princes travel to Acharya Mahavir’s school in the forest to learn how to kill monsters along with Katyani. Katyani and the princes are called home early when a threat invaded the kingdom of Chandela. The book is set in medieval India and it is packed with magic, action, and myth. The world building was excellent and easy to imagine . A solid 4 star for me .

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Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove is a gripping fantasy novel set an alternate version of ancient India with a strong heroine who will win over the toughest of hearts. Katyani Is soulbounded to the Queen of Chandela and one of the best royal guards in the kingdom. Raised among the royal princes and princess, Katyani protects them not just out of duty but out of love too. The young Chandela princes travel to Acharya Mahavir’s school in the forest to learn ethics and how to kill monsters accompanied by Katyani. Surviving monsters and the strict discipline of the school, Katyani and the princes are called home early when a new threat invaded the kingdom of Chandela. With great loss comes great revelations as Katyani becomes a pawn between enemies in an action packed addicting fantasy that twists and turns with a light seasoning of romance. An unputtdownable read that this reader hopes turns into a continuing saga. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from NetGalley.

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I LOVED this. Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove was such an excellent story, I could barely put it down.

Katyani was a fantastic character, and reading the story through her was very enjoyable. She was a smart (and funny!) protagonist. Her loyalty and love for her adopted siblings was truly felt. Oftentimes, sibling dynamics in fantasy are not really believable, but they are here.

I especially enjoyed the setting. It takes place in an alternate, medieval India, with excellent worldbuilding. The inclusion of monsters, magic and myth added richness to the story, The monastic school where discussions of ethics in wartime were some of my favourite- we do not see that very frequently in YA fantasy.

Court politics can be a hit or miss, but Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove did them excellently. The events, politics, and betrayals all made narrative sense. The same with the actions of the characters (the characterizations were all fairly consistent).

The romance between Katyani and Daksh! I absolutely would have loved more of them, their slowburn was excellent. It is so nice to see the girl be the flirty one in the relationship.

The pacing in the first quarter of the book felt a little slow. Although, I do not think the beginning was very info dumpy, which is a positive.

4.5 stars rounded up.

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I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, but I really loved this book. The female protagonist was strong, fierce, funny, and real. She was multi-faceted: in touch with her emotions while also being a warrior. The world-building was as rich and complex as the characters.

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This book was overall an enjoyable read. It had a bit of a slow start, and it took a while for me to get into the storyline. But it did have some intriguing twists and plotlines along the way that drew me in to the rest of the story.

I really enjoyed Katyani and her personality, She was a good counterpart to the array of relationships she had throughout the book and was a good focal point for a lot of the "lessons" that were taught throughout the book or challenged. I liked her counterpart Daksh as times but at other times he fell kind of flat. I wish their relationship together had been fleshed out a bit more by the end of the book because I think it held a lot of potential.

I really appreciated all of the plot twists that came throughout the book and how they were spread out. There were many layers to the deception that ran rampant in the story. Although I do think some of the reveals happened a bit too early and at times it seemed like there were too many shocking changes being thrown at us.

Overall, it was a nice read and I glad I got the opportunity to read it.

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This was so engaging! This was a fast paced, India-set, standalone fantasy story and I had a fantastic time reading it. It read like crossover YA/Adult, where the characters read authentically as late teens. The prose is very readable, easy to fall into and not dense at all.

What really stuck out to me was how action-packed this was. Pretty much every single scene moved the plot forward and big dramatic things were happening All The Time. This made everything move very quickly of course. I would definitely characterize this as a fast, plot-driven fantasy.

The characters were likable, especially the main character Katyani, but I wanted more depth overall. I wanted more time to be devoted to really fleshing out character motivations, including prominent side characters and especially the antagonists. There is so much betrayal and revenge and violence and reveals that I wanted to really understand the characters who are making these big moves.

I also wanted more from the romance. This was slow burn, and I really enjoyed that aspect. They really don't get together until the end. But also I wanted more scenes between them. More dialogue and bonding and especially more steamy stuff. If this is YA. then its fine there isn't a lot of explicit content. But if this is going to be marketed and shelved as Adult fantasy, I really could have used more. There was a lot of buildup for the sexual tension, but hardly any payoff.

I also wanted more description of this world. Though there is plenty of Indian terminology, I wanted to know what things looked like. I wanted to hear about the weather, the dress, the food. I wanted more worldbuilding.

Essentially this is a fast paced, action packed, twisty turny fantasy, but I personally would have preferred if we got another 100-150 pages of character development and worldbuilding, and if it was aged up to Adult. I think this would have benefited from being slower and more atmospheric.

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I received an advance copy from NetGalley.

I loved Rati Mehrota's previous books, and I loved her YA fantasy debut! I read almost the entire book in one day. It zoomed by. This book has it all: a fantasy setting based on India loaded with magic, gods, and monsters; a sassy protagonist in Katyani, a trained body guard who can't hold back her tongue; betrayals galore along with court intrigues; a sweet, nicely-escalating romance that never goes anywhere graphic but is good, flirtatious fun. This is the kind of book where you THINK early on that you know how the plot will go, but wow, it twisted and turned and surprised me all the way through.

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a gorgeous, lush south-asian fantasy, with beautiful mythology, compelling characters, political intrigue, and witty humor.

this story was just so rich, i could talk about it for hours. there was always so much going on, with the royal courts and politics, the complicated family dynamics, the fascinating monsters and spirits, and the seemingly never-ending betrayals and secrets. its IMPOSSIBLE to get bored.

i loved our mc, katyani, most of all though. she was bold, snarky, courageous, and her narration was just so fun. her sense of humor will have you smiling, and her frequent light-hearted quips keep the book from ever getting too dark and heavy.

idk if i want to BE her or be WITH her 🧎‍♀️
“I miss my sword,” said Katyani. “Any time someone used to annoy me, I could point my sword at them and make them stop.”

her bantering and flirting with daksh, our hot, handsome grump, was my absolute favorite!!!! i adored their dynamic omg it had me smiling and giggling and kicking my feet ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE WOULD TEASE HIM AND MAKE HIM BLUSH OMGGGG they were so cute im in love
”This is all just an excuse,” she said, matching his tone. “You’ve been wanting to tie me up like this right from the beginning.”
He blinked. “What? No.”
She went on, determined to push her advantage and crack his facade. “I wonder why? What exactly do you wish to do while I’m tied up and helpless before you?”
“Nothing,” he said, looking at her mouth.
“Liar,” she said, and smiled."

He couldn’t ignore her then; he had to demonstrate the pose and move her limbs when she failed to copy him. He had been perfectly courteous about it, but the tips of his ears had gone red. She’d given him a big wink at the end when the Acharya was looking elsewhere, making him drop his spear, which had delighted her.

but it was actually their romance that prevented this from getting a full 5 stars.. I WANTED MORE. they had so much tension, and angst, and banter in the beginning but like NOTHING happened. they just lost all their momentum as the story progressed, which made the ending so underwhelming.

i wish the author just gave us a bit more with the romance, but this was an otherwise stunning fantasy that will have your eyes glued to the pages for hours and hours, as you never want to leave this lush, beautiful world.

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I guess I don't really see what everyone is seeing in this.
I was pretty bored.
I have a hard time getting into political books unless there's a lot of fantasy.
While there was magic I honestly didn't notice it.
I think a lot of people will like this though

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Katyani is a bondswoman, bound to her queen in a life debt because the queen saved her life as a very young child. She is the royal family's most loyal bodyguard and was raised as an almost daughter. But she never stopped to question why the queen never released her from her bond, or why she had no memories of her family from before the bond was placed. When she is sent off to a monastic school with Crown Prince Ayan and his cousin Bharaiv to keep an eye on them while they learn how to become good leaders she meets the complicated Daksh, who she delights in teasing.

When they are called back to their homeland for an emergency, Katyani learns many hard truths about who she really is and must determine what her own future holds.

I have to say that the only thing I did not really like about this book was the title. There is an intensity in Mehrotra's writing that shows true empathy for her characters and their difficulties. There is one particular scene where Katyani faces a punishment that actually had me in tears and stayed with me for a couple of days. I can't remember the last time that happened.

The romance between Daksh and Katyani is a serious slow-burn without much to deliver at the end, but I feel like that is a more realistic depiction of romance. I did feel satisfied with the ending I was given for that reason.

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Though I have had days to wrap my mind around the greatness of this book, I still can't possibly write a proper review. I really liked this book. It was a nice blend of everything you could really ask for out of a fantasy book. The characters and setting were amazing and in my opinion the strongest point of the story.In the end, I really liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Judge this book by its beautiful cover, because this was one great treat of a book. The world-building was based on an alternate medieval India, and was thoroughly described and well done. I loved the characters, especially the strong-willed resilient Katyani, and wish I was as awesome as her. This book kept me turning the pages well into the night, and I highly suggest this for all fans of Sarah J. Maas who enjoy a strong, fighting heroine,

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I really wanted to like Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove. I love a strong, weapon-wielding main character and mysterious love interest, but this book unfortunately fell flat for me. To start, there was way too much exposition in the beginning of this book. Although I appreciated the Indian-Inspired fantasy world, every page was full of unfamiliar names and terms--it was too much to keep track of. Aside from the information dump, I had a hard time getting into the characters. Although this book is tagged as YA, the characters felt much more middle-grade to me. The main character is very immature (not in a bad way, just childish) and her companions are extremely annoying. Because of her age and maturity, the main character's romance with male lead was not very compelling to me.

Overall, I don't think the writing was bad, but this book was ultimately not for me. I tried to keep going, but ultimately only managed to get a third of the way through, DNF.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this novel. I am rating this book based the stars due to lack of time to leave a full review.

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DNF at 42%

First, thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the ARC! Second, based on the reviews so far, I seem to have had a very different reaction to this book than many others, so perhaps this is just a "me" problem.

I was super excited about this book, especially because it takes place in a version of medieval India. But I feel like it was much more interesting in theory than in execution. The characters weren't necessarily underdeveloped, but they were also just cardboardy enough that I couldn't find a single one to root for or care about in any way. I wanted to give up at 20% but I gave it some more time until one of the "reveals" happened, which was extremely predictable and I would put money on already knowing the upcoming reveals.

This book had a lot of potential (like the really interesting creatures), but the magic system doesn't make any sense (magic must have clear rules!), and I felt that there were just too many shortcuts taken (i.e. the fingerspelling with no explanation clearly was just copied from Dune). On top of that, the romance was boring! With all that said, though, I would read another book by this author in a few years after she has worked out all the kinks of YA fantasy writing.

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Full review closer to publication date!

I'd like to thank the publisher, St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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EXCERPT: "Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove is author Rati Mehrotra’s upcoming young adult fantasy novel, and, to put it simply, it’s a great one. The book draws from Indian folklore and mythology in its majestic setting of an alternate medieval India, but it also feels monumental in its own proportions as a glorious, mythic narrative of a hero and her journey."

Full review published online at Asia Pacific Arts Magazine.

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Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove
by Rati Mehrotra
Pub Date: 18 Oct 2022

One of The Nerd Daily's Anticipated July To December 2022 Book Releases
One of Book Riot's 33 Must-Read South Asian Books Out in 2022

In Rati Mehrotra's Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove, a young guardswoman struggles with her unwitting role as a major pawn in the deadly games between two kingdoms in a monster-infested alternate medieval India.

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.

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