Three things I was sure of: First, I was not a Hero. Second, magic still existed. And third, I was willing to walk through the Gates of Hell for my friends.
For years, Chloe has hidden from the shadows of her past, trying to escape its haunting. That is all about to change when she discovers a note taped to her front door inviting her to join The Raven Society.
Thousands of years ago, the Raven Society was created to protect, maintain, and preserve history deemed too dangerous for society. Their priceless secret? The Book of the Veiled. Its discovery could open Pandora's box of consequences, for whoever holds it can rewrite history and change the course of the future.
And it has been stolen.
The Raven Society's search for the book must survive the Gates of the Otherworld, betrayals, deception, and deadly motivations. But, in the end, they will realize that myths and fables aren't just bedtime stories but stories of forgotten lives that have been driven into the shadows.
How far into the darkness would you be willing to travel to discover the truth?
Book Buy Link: https://geni.us/writerandlibrarian
I am a reader, writer, connoisseur of all thing's coffee, and a self-proclaimed Beat Saber expert. My superpower is finding missing socks and scissors.
“My dear, the Raven Society is the elite literature group of the ages. Individual members have made a significant contribution to the writing world. A remarkable honor indeed! One of the most appealing features is that every new member assumes the role of one of their favorite literary personalities....”
To delve into the mind of the author, R. L. Geer-Robbins, is to immerse yourself in a bookish dream. Without a doubt, from the opening lines of the prologue, a reader spirals into a fantastical world of make-believe, sprinkled with a slight seasoning of historical references throughout. This book definitely leans more towards the fantasy side of storytelling rather than historical, but with that being said, the inclusion of characters from Le Morte d'Arthur by Tennyson, and some of the legendary mythological creatures of old (vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches, etc.) this narrative proved to be quite intriguing.
The author's main character, Chloe Pairtree, is a writer and blogger, herself, who lives, eats, and breathes her writing life. At the outset of the story, when she receives a mysterious invitation from a secret club known as the Raven Society requesting her presence, she indulges her curiosity and accepts. The moment she enters the location of the meeting, she is overwhelmed by the pure inundating literary experience exuding not only from the rooms but from the members, themselves. She is electrified and magnetized to one particular member, a handsome brooding man named Lucas who chose the name Eidolon as his Society persona.
The aroma of coffee, paper, ink, and apple wood filled the room; it was the library of dreams, a sanctuary for authors and readers. Several paintings on the ceiling depict the gods looking down at the inhabitants as if waiting for another miracle. I immediately fell in love.
After lengthy introductions where everyone tells their own story, it is revealed to Chloe the real reason for her inclusion into the Society, and all of the members start revealing their true identities. Eidolon is known as the Librarian, the keeper of the Books of the Veiled, and his grandmother, Moll, as a former Writer, the one who writes down the histories and stories which keep characters alive throughout history. Yet, Moll is aging and a new Writer is required, one who can 'jump' into the past, into dreams, and help find three of the missing books before the world of mortals or of the Supernaturals is destroyed by none other than Lilith and Vivian of ancient Arthurian lore.
Chloe deems herself rather ordinary, a writer of average writing ability, yet she begins to understand that her part in this tale is more than she ever expected. While her attachment to Eidolon grows, and the more she dives into her own dreams and into the past in search of the books, she discovers secrets about many of the other members, and about Eidolon's heritage and ancestry. And how she fits into the narrative!
“There is a stare a Writer gets when they are about to jump. It's like a feeling of euphoria that takes over them. Their eyes grow dim and then white, their body stiffens, and suddenly, they are gone – mentally.”
For the most part, the story line is a 'curiouser and curiouser' tale, one which makes the reader turn the pages to the end, but it is also one which begs for a bit more background about the main character. A thread of uncertainty runs throughout the story, one which hints at something secretive about Chloe, perhaps about her past or some loss or a tragedy, yet her story or her voice just misses fully engaging a reader, never fully explaining the significance of the smell of white heather or her own ancestry as the daughter of … well, no spoilers here. It is quite obvious of the author's desire to turn this into a 'hero's journey' much like Lord of the Rings, yet the world-building never reaches that grandiose goal. However, there are moments of promising prose and scene settings which will delight readers, especially readers who are writers, themselves. As a fan of Arthurian legends, this reviewer absorbed this slant on Taliesin's life, and appreciated the immense amount of research and reading the author did on the legends, weaving them into a sort of time-traveling, dream-like quality. Chloe encounters so many mythological characters, such as Taliesin, Vivian, Arawn, and others.
As a note for other readers, the book is heavy on characters, there is a lot of them, both real and fantasy, and a character list at the beginning or end might do well for a reader to sort through the 'who's who' in the narrative, especially for those readers not familiar with some of the personas mentioned throughout the book. Also, perhaps an 'Author's Notes' which reveal some of the legends on which this book is based. The author sets the stage for the continuation of the series by the end of the book, and again, the reader is left with 'baited breath' as Chloe continues her journey in search of the missing books. For readers who enjoy falling down rabbit holes, this is a head-first plunge and one which will pull a reader onward into the successive books to come.
“Did he say anything else?” Eidolon asked, bringing the conversation back to the matter at hand. I hesitated, not sure what to say. I can tell him and Aelle the truth – their parents are no better than bitter ex-lovers fighting over who gets the dog in divorce court, or simply ignore it and pretend we are about to embark on a Lord of the Rings mission to the evil lair. Neither one sounded like an marvelous time to me, so I opted for option three.
“The Writer and the Librarian” by R. L. Geer-Robbins receives four stars from The Historical Fiction Company
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