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

Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove

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Member Reviews

This is a fast-paced fantasy novel that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. This is an India inspired story where you see the history and the culture in the book.

We have our strong main character Katyani who was raised as an orphan to the royal family. She is fiercely independent and has very strong and skillful fighting skills. The only thing is, that she is magically bonded to the queen to serve and protect.

There were numerous attacks on the royal family so the princes were sent to a gurukul where they would receive formal training. So Katyani was sent with them to receive that same training.

From there, everything is super-fast paced, and the story is always involving from there.

I really loved this, and I wish I could get more of this. Since this was super-fast paced, there was so much that wasn’t fleshed out. This book deserved to be a duology or trilogy.

I really love the mythical creatures in this book. But it was super touch and go that it left me wanting to know more about them and how they came to be in this world and why they are considered evil.

The magic system wasn’t really explained. Such as spiritual magic and just magic in general. Who can wield it? How does one person get this magic? How did Katyani get it and used it?

The romance in this book was amazing but also left me wanting more at the same time. I felt the chemistry in it but at the same time it felt like an afterthought. More of a sub plot even though it was extremely highlighted throughout the book.

There are scenes in the book that made sense to the storyline, but it was quick and over with before you know it. Made me think, wow, that was fast. There was so much being crammed into one book that a lot came and went concerning the plot.

Like I said, this book deserved to be longer. I loved everything about it, but it was rushed, and you couldn’t enjoy it as much. I would still recommend it to readers though because it is well worth picking up.

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Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by Rati Mehrotra is a political fantasy adventure. This story follows Katyani who is an orphan who was magically bound. She was adopted by the Queen and her family. Presently she is an adopted sister and bodyguard to the royal family. She accompanies her brothers as they set off to find enlightenment and training. Where they are training has strict rules and expectations, which Katyani is struggling with. While training she meets Daksh, the son of the guru. Katyani enjoys goading him and trying to get to know him. News of an impending war results in Katyani and her brothers being called back home. Everything gets turned upside down for Katyani resulting in her starting to question everything she has come to know.

The world in this book is magical with great characters from the beginning. The characters were intriguing and it was delightful to watch the relationships between the characters. Katyani has a bold personality and isn’t afraid to show it.

This book has twists, betrayal, and an endless amount of secrets.

The pacing of the story was slow at the beginning, which could be due to the world-building. The pace picks up after the world and characters are more established. There were also some instances of the language used in the book not fitting with the setting or story.

I would give this book 4 stars, and recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy, mythology, and adventure. Thank you, NetGalley and the author for allowing me to copy this arc.

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A definite 4.5 but I’m happily rounding up.

When I first got to know the premise of this book, I knew I had to read it. It sounded right up my alley and I was ecstatic when I got both the eARC and an audio advance copy, and I had a blast alternating between them.

Even though my YA consumption has reduced in the past few years, I still read my fair share of YA fantasy. However, I have lately been feeling too old for those books and sometimes even find it hard to not judge them too harshly. This book though just took me on a spin and I was delighted to be swept away. Was it the familiar world building, the fast paced plot with twists and betrayals with some calm and lovely interludes in between, the characters who were so easy to love, or the engaging writing which kept me hooked throughout - it’s probably a combination of all these factors and I’m stunned at how well the author managed to blend everything together perfectly to give us such an amazing story.

The world building and mythology and the philosophy that underlines this narrative is definitely what delighted me the most. The medieval India inspired land of Bharat felt familiar and I had the same feeling of joy that I usually have when I read a good English version of the Mahabharata. I especially loved seeing references to the epic as well as how some of the teachings from the Gita or the overarching Hindu philosophical concepts like karma, the ashrama dharma, the ethics and moralities of warfare, the practice of gurukul and gurudakshina, pranayanam etc were such integral parts of this story. But it is to the author’s credit that all these ideas come organic to the plot and characterizations, and never feel like infordumps. I’m so used to seeing creatures or monsters from western mythologies/folklore in fantasies that it was such a breath of fresh air to read about beings like the vetals, pretas, daayans and more, bringing back memories from my childhood when I used to consume stories filled with them in my native languages. Ofcourse the liberal mentions of desi food, sarees and jewelry and just usage of Hindi words will always give me joy. But I also thought that the magic system, which wasn’t too prominent but was just enough to serve the plot was interesting, especially the usage of astras which ignited my imagination with all my favorite scenes from my beloved Mahabharata tv show.

After harping on about the world and writing, how can I not talk about the characters who make this a well rounded and exciting book. Katyani is a bodyguard and adopted sister of the Royal princes/princess and also soul bonded to the queen of Chandela whose biggest problem in life is being forced to attend gurukul with her brothers. She is brave and loyal and lovable and quick witted, has a teasing and naughty streak, and has no idea what horrors the future has in store for her. But even when her world comes crashing down on her and betrayals and revelations cleave her heart open, even when she vows revenge and destruction, she never loses her compassionate heart, or the memories of her childhood bonds. She is very easy to love, and I laughed and cried and despaired along with her, and only wished she could find peace and justice.

Katya also has an easy way of forging new bonds and making new families as she goes through her life, and none is more evident than during her time spent at gurukul. While she starts with irking Acharya Mahavir initially, they both grow to respect each other, and I really liked how the guru mentored and advised her. His son Daksh on the other hand is a stoic and composed young man who is a worthy disciple of his father, and Katya can’t stop trying to tease him. Their banter is amazing and the way their relationship develops is beautiful to watch, and I only kept wishing they would talk more. I know I’m probably very inclined to see it this way, but their dynamic reminded me so much of Wangxian - Katya all chirpy and enthusiastic and teasing like Wei Ying and Daksh just as stoic as Lan Zhan. Add to that a slightly less grumpier version of Lan Qiren in the form of the acharya and the whole first arc in the gurukul felt like the first Cloud recesses arc in Untamed.

There are many other small and big characters - human and not - that we get to meet in Katya’s journey and I loved the way the author developed a unique bond for her with every one of them. Her quick thinking and compassionate heart really comes into play when she is talking to the various mythological beings and I thought those interactions were some of the best in the book. I don’t wanna expound more on the other side characters lest I spoil the story, but I thought overall it was a very interesting cast of characters.

In the end, I had expectations from this book and I hoped going in that it would be good, but I truly didn’t expect to be so blown away. I just couldn’t stop once I started, and even put down the wonderfully narrated audiobook by Zehra Naqvi because I wanted to read it faster. This book has the perfect mix of Indian inspired world building, very cool mythology, fast paced and action packed plot, charming dialogue, and a wonderful set of characters. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a fun fantasy standalone and if you want a story that’ll warm your desi heart, you absolutely cannot give this a miss. The audiobook is also equally well engaging and I was glad to enjoy the book in both formats simultaneously. I can’t wait to see what the author writes next.

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I tried to get into this book but i just don't think it was for me.

I love YA fantasy a lot, but this book seems to fall into the category of "let me tell you about these characters and what they're like" rather than showing the reader. I'm a big character reader, and if I can't connect with the characters and their motivations then I have a really hard time enjoying a novel.

I think there's a lot of promise here - the world and magic and monsters are all very interesting to me, I would just like to see it all a bit more developed!

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a very unique read!

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Katyani. She is a bondswoman to the queen and has been that since the death of her parents and an illness that almost too her life. She has lived a hard life and her loyalty is one of her key qualities. She will do anything for those she deems as family. It’s a bond I always enjoy reading about.

Even though I liked her, it was hard to like the other characters. Their development was less and when important plot points happened I didn’t feel anything towards them. It sucks to read a book and have this happen. I think that if there was more pages, or even another book, a lot of that could have been avoided. This also goes for the setting and magic. There wasn’t much to go off of.

The romance was very much enemies-to-lovers with a lot of banter. It was cute but I did feel like the love interest could have used more personality.

What I really liked was learning about the monsters in the forests. They were super creepy and perfect for this time of year! I definitely would not be stepping foot in those forests anytime soon.

Overall, this was a good standalone. If you like a fast-pace book with a strong female lead then this one may be for you!

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Rating: 5/5
Pub: 10/18/22
I was given an eARC for my honest review.

Wow, I really have been so lucky finding so many amazing books this year, and I have another epic YA fantasy I have fallen in love with and will be recommending to everyone. If you love amazing characters, great rich world building, magical Indian inspired history, a strong female character, and a slow burn romance, then you should give this book a try when it comes out.

I will list all the reason why I liked the book and then I will list what I didn’t like about the book
I loved that you got a strong, fierce, determined, loyal to a fault, funny and extremely caring female character. I loved Katyani right away, there was just something about her that just makes her relatable and easy to connect with.

The other characters like “brothers” are just as I would expect them to be. A little spoiled, a little annoying at times but that is what made them relatable, I could see acting like a normal little brother would. I liked Daksh a lot, even though at times I wanted to shake him for being so uptight at times, but overall, I loved his jealous moments he would have, and the embarrassing moments. I thought Katyani and his banter was the best and how she would say or do the most inappropriate things to get a blush out of him.

I really enjoyed the beautiful world building. The author really knew how to bring this scary yet beautiful place to life with her words. You will get to see the folklore and mythology from India really come out in this book and see the medieval India time. I loved that in this book you really don’t see much romance, yes there is romance but it’s not the main point. You will get to see the background of the story in the beginning, it was a little slow at that time for me but that is because the author took her time to explain everything, but once you get past that you will see twists and turns in the plot that you didn’t see coming. I know I didn’t see one part and was really blown away with what happened.I enjoyed every moment of excitement, the betrayal, the romance, the revengeful moments, and the ending.

What I didn’t like is that the author has not said if there will be another book. I loved this book so much that I want to know more about what happens now. I do like how she ended the book, because I think she left it open so there might be a sequel in the future.

I want to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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When Katyani and her cousins are training at a retreat is where we meet the main characters, get introduced to the world building here, and where Katyani shines as a character you want to root for. She is fierce, loyal, and dutiful; a bodyguard for the royal family and shares a soul bond with the queen. The story has several plot twists, and there’s a ton of adventure. There are assassination attempts on the royal family, and a monastic school located in the middle of a forest plagued by monsters. Court politics, unexpected losses, betrayals, and high-stakes high-reward situations made this a quick and immersive read!

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What an incredible story! The blurb barely scratches the surface of this beautiful and engaging fantasy, full of found family, betrayal and loss. The world building is phenomenal, to the point where I desperately want more set within this world! Overall, a truely breathtaking read.

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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I loved Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove so much, it had all the elements of an epic YA fantasy! The Indian inspired world building was intricate and magical! It was full of political intrigue and unexpected plot twists! This book made me laugh, cry and at times really angry! The character were fantastic, I loved Katya, Daksh, Ayan, Acharya Mahavir and many others! Katya and Daksh had a super sweet, slow burn relationship..and I loved every minute of it! The ending was definitely satisfying, but I would love to read more books in this fantastic, intriguing world!

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Wow. This was truly a surprise. Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove centers on Katyani, a guardswoman to the royal family of Chandela. After being dispatched to a foreign nation to protect the royal princes and accompany them to a statecraft training school, she runs into Daksh, the son of a powerful figure at the institution who both infuriates and intrigues her. Yet after a terrible incident, it soon becomes clear that there is far more at stake than she knows, and the only person Katyani can trust is herself. Okay, so my mini blurb was quite intentionally vague. I just have to say, this book was jam-packed.

I haven't picked up a story this fast-paced yet emotionally adherent in a long time. The setting of Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove reminded me largely of The Wrath and the Dawn, except Katyani favors Despina more than Shahrzad (and I could not have been happier). Katyani is a very well-rounded female lead—fierce, ambitious, and pithy—yet still vulnerable. The world building and characterization were my favorite parts of NOTRDOTW, but the romance isn't too far behind. Personally, I could have done with less teasing, more action, but the most central aspect of the plot was never meant to be of the hot-and-heavy variety. Overall, this was so much fun.

If you love fast, bold world building, rich magical history, and badass heroines, Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove is for you.

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A girl bound to the Queen of Chandela through a forbidden soul bound that was meant to save her as a child finds herself now serving as the bodyguard to the royal family... but when she is sent away to protect the princes as they study and train in a monastic school in the forest where monsters live she begins to question what her bond truly means and who she really is. When she returns to the palace an assassination happens and she is blamed... but the true culprit is still out there and soon she finds herself in a web of lies, betrayal, politics, monsters, and dealing with her feelings for a certain very cold warrior who she can’t help but want despite him being very much off limits. Katyani grew up believing that she was saved by the Queen and that their bond was special, that she was like family to the royal members.... yet when the truth is revealed her world will be torn apart and she’ll have to find a way to clear her name and solve the mystery of who truly murdered the royal family and what truly happened to her as a child. She is branded as a criminal and murderer and must now go live with the Acharya and discover what it truly means to have a family and as well as facing the implications of what happened to her real one. She is pulled back and forth between those she thought were her family and those who have come to care for her. As she deals with this she must also begin to discover what it means to be free and what she can do with that freedom.

I enjoyed Katyani as a protagonist, she’s fierce and funny and despite everything she’s been through, still very caring. The romance was meh at best for me, it seriously could have done more, Daksh is constantly hot and cold ( more so cold), and takes brooding silent type to the next level. The political mystery and assassination storyline was fun to follow and the overall book was a nice fantasy read. I enjoyed the monsters and the family secrets as well, I guess for me the lowest point of the book would be the romance part. Overall if you’re looking for a fantasy read with a strong protagonist, monsters, politics, and secrets definitely check this one out.

*Thanks Netgalley and St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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Overall this was a really enjoyable book! The magic system was quite complex but made sense, what did not make sense was some of the priorities of the main characters. Things that should have been taken more seriously or not felt vastly blown out of proportion and it affected the pacing of the book. There were a couple of times where I was like girl this is not that important right now but it did sort itself out in the end.

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Katyani, bonded of the Queen of Chandela and guardswoman to the Crown Prince Ayan, just wants to find out who is behind the assassination attempts on the royal family. She is content with who she is and what her role is and will be. She, Prince Ayan and his cousin Bhairav are sent to the gurukul of Acharya Mahavir to take part of the training as his disciples, and questions start to arise in the forest of monsters.

This story follows Katyani's journey through being the bonded of the Queen to being herself. The pacing is slow in places, but it leaves room for the development of the characters and complicated palace intrigue. I really enjoyed the story and the characters - it did take me some time to get fully engaged, but that is more because I needed some time to wrap the pronunciation and social dynamics with the language around in my head.

I recommend this standalone to those that enjoyed An Ember in the Ashes series or The Daevabad trilogy.

I want to thank Wednesday Books, NetGalley and Rati Mehrotra for the opportunity to read the e-ARC and whomever sent me the surprise physical ARC. I am freely leaving my review.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 🌶️ 1/5

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for giving me this ARC, and this doesn’t influence my review. This was a great read, the book had a good writing style (though not my favorite), world-building was phenomenal (as a south Asian, I approve, :) )and took place in ancient India (Hindu mythology was also there). This book was one POV of the FMC, which I loved.
Moving on to the characters, the FMC was a prideful and strong bodyguard to the princes, and was flirty. She teased the love interest!! And the author made it work well, except for the guy blushing part… the romance wasn’t swoon worthy, but I looked forward to every moment they both spend together. I loved Daksh’s jealous moments they had me smiling, and his secret diary!!!
The book is targeted more towards teenagers or middle schoolers in terms of the romance and writing style, but there is blood and gore in the court intrigue. The book did get hard to read almost half-way, I feel like the plot ran out.
Tropes: caught bathing, grumpy/sunshine , hate to love, girl falls first, blood/gore, medium-burn romance,

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I was hooked from the very first sentence. This is a beautiful fantasy with a well built world and characters. I will be buying a copy for myself and the library! Also that cover is stunning!

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✨ 𝕒𝕣𝕔 𝕣𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨 ✨

𝑵𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏, 𝑫𝒂𝒘𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝐛𝐲 𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢 𝐌𝐞𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐚

𝑀𝓎 𝑅𝒶𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔: ★★★★☆
𝒢𝑜𝑜𝒹𝓇𝑒𝒶𝒹𝓈 𝟦.𝟢𝟧/𝟧

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC of 𝑵𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏, 𝑫𝒂𝒘𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒐𝒗𝒆 in exchange for an honest review!

I really do adore YA, especially YA fantasy so I can say that I knew I would like this novel. All in all, I would rate this novel a strong 3.5★'s but I did decide to round it up to 4. I will say that it started off slow for me (mainly the first half of the book) but luckily I really started to enjoy it once the pace picked up. 𝑵𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏, 𝑫𝒂𝒘𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑫𝒐𝒗𝒆 is based off Indian mythology and this book will absolutely be for those that enjoy political intrigue. One of my favorite tropes is enemies to lovers and I was happy that this novel executed this trope very well!

I really enjoyed the world-building and the way that the second half of the book contributed to the story. Like other reviewers had said, I wish that there was more written about this world full of monsters and the magic system. I am such a snob for a good (fresh) magic system!

I am glad that I stepped into an Indian mythology setting, and would love to read more of these types of stories!

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Night of the Raven Dawn of the Dove is a YA fantasy with action, adventure, Indian mythology, political intrigue, magic, betrayal, and more. The story started a little slow for me, and I had trouble immersing myself in the story and becoming invested in the characters, but it picked up in the second half of the book.

Katyani is a dynamic protagonist. Fierce, loyal, and dutiful, she is a bodyguard for the royal family and shares a soul bond with the queen. Katyani was adopted by the royal family, and her love, protectiveness, and connection with them fuel a lot of her actions. However, as she travels with the princes, she begins questioning her past and needs answers as she thinks about her future. She’s a layered character with a complex story, and her growth throughout the book is vast.

The relationships Katyani has with the princes are great, and I enjoyed the sibling-like way they interacted with each other. They have some comical and light moments that offered levity to the plot. As for the romance, it definitely isn’t at the forefront of the novel. I was hoping for a bit more of a love story, and even though Katyani and Daksh have great banter, their romance is very slow-burning. That being said, their story is sweet.

The world-building is vivid, especially when they get to the monastic school, which is located in the middle of a forest plagued by monsters. I did want to know more about the magic and fantasy elements and wish those had been explained and developed more.

The story has several unexpected plot twists, and there’s a ton of adventure as there are assassination attempts on the royal family, and Katyani serves to protect them. The second half of the story, especially, picks up the pace and includes a lot of high-stakes situations, massive betrayals, unexpected losses, and court politics.

I think readers who enjoy action-packed standalone YA fantasies with strong female protagonists will enjoy this book, and I’m thankful to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.

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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC! This is a very fast-paced story that weaves political intrigue with Indian inspired creatures. There are parts of the narrative that are predictable, but it is an enjoyable read overall.

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As the last book I requested from Wednesday Books, I can happily say that Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove is one of the best I’ve read from the imprint. Mehrotra takes medieval India, a culture that I haven’t been introduced to in fantasy books, YA or otherwise, and crafts an interesting world with plenty of lore, magic, monsters, food, politics, and tons more.

They also adjusted the age range on Amazon to 14-18. which is a small but awesome step. The book has a few mature themes involving violence and gore, but overall I’m impressed with Mehrotra and her willingness to keep everything in the book age appropriate for the teen reading experience. That all said, I’m willingly reviewing this one with no issues between me and the book

...

out how. I loved how connected to ancestry and rites the culture is.

So let’s wrap this up by tying it all together: you get a YA fantasy set in an alternate medieval India, packed full of plotting, magic, intrigue, culture, worldbuilding, and just tons more. The characters are ones that I personally enjoyed which went a long way towards my overall enjoyment, since usually I can’t be bothered to focus on YA characters. The main themes involve the changing face of home, the various forms of monsters, adapting to other’s cultures, and learning to find your own way in the world.

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I really thought this book would have more romance in it. Sadly folks, if you want fantasy with romance, it will be used sparingly and the great confession will be at the (COUGH COUGH) last chapter of the book. So, you could just skip to the end and-

Just kidding.

But seriously, I did enjoy reading this book and it was a relatively quick read, with a somewhat convoluted rivalry between tribes and an interesting magic/worldbuilding that was done. It does have the adventures, the monsters, the magic and all the elements of fantasy we enjoy in a medieval version of India. Now, onto the madness.

Short Summary: A reluctant guardswoman is forced to babysit two brothers as they journey to a new land and a tragedy befalls where it places her as a pawn and where she discovers the two brothers she was raised to protect who may have conflicts and secrets of their own.

Longer summary? Katyani doesn't want to leave Chandela. In doing so, she must protect the two princes from getting killed by enemy tribes as war is looming over them. But, when a tragedy threatens to destroy her land and the brothers turns against each other, Katyani is forced to choose between the duty to the two brothers, the duty to her people, and the choice of somehow finding happiness in Daksh, the young man who she can't resist and who may have secrets of his own. The fight for the crown begins and as betrayals occur and death threatens those closest to her, Katyani must risk it all and use everything she can to save those she cares about before it's too late.

If you've read The Tiger at Midnight, the plots are somewhat similar in this case with magical bonds between people where thoughts and emotions flow hand in hand and where there is adventure and political intrigue, there is a lot of rival clans and spiritual folks who have big secrets and crazy rules about the magic of their land but the romance between Katyani and Daksh is sprinkled throughout the story and it ends up being a somewhat lukewarm romance between the two.

So, that is where the similarities between this book and The Tiger at Midnight end. It is a quick read and while it isn't clear if there will be another book or if this will just be a standalone, I think this is a good ending spot. That last chapter was unreasonably long for my taste and the ending was a bit sloppy, but it was an interesting read.

Overall: 4/5 stars

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