One of the best things I found about becoming a writer, is meeting other writers. Between Twitter and Fantasy-Faction, I have met some amazingly cool people! One of the people I’ve had the pleasure to get to know is Amy Rose Davis (@AmyJRoseDavis on Twitter). Amy is a self-published author currently working on the second novel in her series The Taurin Chronicles. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of her first book Ravenmarked and will be beta reading the second book Bloodbound!

Ravenmarked is a great story with some amazing characters and I can’t wait to read the second installment in the series! Here is my review of Amy’s book.

When Braedan, the heir regent of the kingdom of Taura, decides to declare himself king after his father’s death, he finds more than just a few upset nobles standing in the way of his plan. A true heir to the long-vacant throne has appeared; an heir whose coming has been prophesied to bring peace to the kingdom and to unite all its people once more. Luckily for her, the young woman Mairead slips through his fingers, escorted away by a hired sword named Conner.

But Conner is not what he appears to be. Under his rough exterior is man of earth and magic; a half-breed adopted by the forest tribes and born of the magical race known as the Brae Sidh. But he carries with him an even darker secret – Conner is Ravenmarked. Marked by the Morrag, the avenging spirit of earth, to kill those who she chooses should die. And as the spirit threatens to turn him into a weapon of untamed power, Conner fights to finish his mission to get Mairead away from not only the king, but also the growing powers of evil that pursue them both.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ravenmarked by Amy Rose Davis is the first book in the five-book series The Taurin Chronicles. The book follows a full cast of vivid characters each trying to make their own place in the quickly changing land of Taura. I was lucky enough to get a copy of this story from the author, who is also a staff member on Fantasy-Faction. You may know her as the author of our Writer Wednesday articles. This is the first full length novel she has published.

Going into this book I knew very little about the story, but became hooked in the very first chapter! Amy has created a unique world with an interesting magic system and great political intrigue all tied together by the prophesy of a coming queen. She has managed to create a compelling epic fantasy without using the standard tropes usually associated with one. And while there are no elves or dwarves, the supernatural creatures of her own design will make you want to find out more about this extraordinary new world.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book was the characters. Each one is deep and real. And whether you’re reading about the usurping king, the fleeing true heir or the roughish hired sword, you want each person to succeed even though some of their goals conflict with those of the other characters. I can always tell it’s a good story when I start rooting for the bad guy during his chapters and rooting for the good guy during theirs.

One of the only things I disliked about this story was the fact that it is (once again) book one of a series and when I got to the end, the story had not come to completion. There was also a good deal of romance in the book. Not that romance is a bad thing, and it did fit the story perfectly, but I’m not normally a romance reading type. However if you are anti-romance this book might not be a good fit for you. Aside from that I’d recommend this to anyone who likes epic fantasy.

The sequel, Bloodbonded, will be available in December 2011.

For disclosure purposes, I was given a copy of Ravenmarked by the author, but chose to review it on my own. Receiving the book as a gift did not influence my opinion in this review. I have also been given the opportunity to beta read Bloodbonded and will be reviewing the finished copy when it is completed later this year.

I would also suggest that you check out Amy’s weekly Writer’s Wednesday articles on Fantasy Faction. Here’s a link to her latest in article: Story Structure: In the Beginning.

Have a great day everyone! 🙂


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