About the Book:
Title: Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove
Author: Rati Mehrotra
Page Length: 352
Publication Date: Oct. 18, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: To learn what she can become, she must first discover who she is.
Katyani’s role in the kingdom of Chandela has always been clear: becoming an advisor and protector of the crown prince, Ayan, when he ascends to the throne. Bound to the Queen of Chandela through a forbidden soul bond that saved her when she was a child, Katyani has grown up in the royal family and become the best guardswoman the Garuda has ever seen. But when a series of assassination attempts threatens the royals, Katyani is shipped off to the gurukul of the famous Acharya Mahavir as an escort to Ayan and his cousin, Bhairav, to protect them as they hone the skills needed to be the next leaders of the kingdom. Nothing could annoy Katyani more than being stuck in a monastic school in the middle of a forest, except 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 by monsters, Katyani must find answers from her past to save all she loves and forge her own destiny. Bonds can be broken, but debts must be repaid.
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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.
- The surprising twists and turns.
- The protagonist.
What evil men did to satisfy their greed. They forgot they would leave the world as empty-handed as they had entered it.