A Mesmerizing Tale of Magic and Intrigue – “The Night Raven” by Sarah Painter
Today we will review the first book in the fantastic and incredibly successful Crow Investigations series, by Sarah Painter. The Night Raven is a novel every fan of urban fantasy must read. Indeed it’s on my list of the best urban fantasy books ever.
In The Night Raven, Lydia, a private investigator from a notorious magical family, returns to London in the hopes of laying low and rebuilding her life. Sadly for her, life has other ideas.
Lydia Crow, one of the Crows, one of London’s four magical crime families, is not destined for a quiet life. Her uncle wants her to investigate the disappearance of her cousin, she has been attacked within days of her return, and she’s found a ghost living in her flat.
She’s also got to navigate the questions of the undeniably alluring DCI Fleet and try not to disturb the fragile 75-year-old truce between London’s four magical crime families.
5 Reasons to Read “The Night Raven”:
A fast-moving plot that keeps you turning the page
Sarah Painter masterfully weaves a gripping narrative that keeps readers hooked from start to finish. She doesn’t waste any time grabbing the reader’s attention, as almost as soon as Lydia is back in London, the plot kicks off. From then on, each scene brings a new mystery or reveals an intriguing piece of world-building.
Just because the plot is tightly woven, doesn’t mean the characters are underdeveloped. Each character in “The Night Raven” is meticulously crafted with unique personalities, motivations, and histories. Lydia is relatable and compelling, and she helps the reader understand London’s magical underworld as she investigates the disappearance. We get to know every facet of Lydia’s life without slowing the main plot down.
Similarly, each character that is introduced has its own distinctive features, voice, motivations, and flaws. This allows the author to introduce a large cast of characters without confusing the reader.
Painter’s London is instantly recognizable to anyone who has lived in the city for any length of time. Vibrant and diverse, where the modern pushes up against the ancient in every street. Painter captures how different areas of London have their own feel and atmosphere and gives this a magical twist.
An unusual type of magic
Linked to this is the magic itself. Each family has its own magical power, and each power is simultaneously powerful and understated. Making the magical alluring yet realistic, which is a key aspect of a quality urban fantasy tale.
The reader is given just enough explanation of the magic to make sense of it, while not enough that it loses its mystery.
Sarah Painter’s writing style is enchanting and immersive, seamlessly blending vivid descriptions with engaging dialogue. This captivating prose not only enhances the reading experience but also allows readers to form a deep emotional connection with the characters and their struggles.
To give you an idea as to the quality of this prose, here are five quotes taken directly from the novel:
“The night was alive with possibility, a living, breathing entity that seemed to whisper secrets to those who dared to listen.”
“Magic was a force to be respected and feared, but in the right hands, it could change the very fabric of the world.”
“The city seemed to hum with an energy that was both ancient and undeniably present, a force that thrummed just beneath the surface of the mundane.”
“The air around her shimmered, and suddenly, she was surrounded by a whirlwind of magic, her senses aflame with the intoxicating scent of power.”
“Lyra’s fingers brushed against the old book, and she felt a connection, an understanding that she had never known before.”
In conclusion, “The Night Raven” by Sarah Painter is a must-read for fans of urban fantasy.
Buy The Night Raven today.
If you are still looking for a book to read, take a look at some of our other reviews:
Red & Dead by Violet Thenn