Book Review: The Raven (The Florentine #1) by Sylvain Reynard

Title: The Raven (The Florentine #1)
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Pages: 496
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…
Cassita vulneratus.
When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets.
This book made me cry. Like three times. When a book can make me emote on that kind of level. Automatic five stars.

I have read Sylvain Reynard before. Gabriel's Inferno. I loved it. I don't know why I never picked up the other books in the series, but eh...that's the way the cookie crumbles. I have known about The Raven since before it was released, WAY back in February of last year, but for some reason I did not realize that it was a paranormal book, and I thought, again, for some strange reason, that the book was some type of continuation of the Gabriel Trilogy.


I did not realize the truth behind this book, until contacted by the publisher about The Shadow. All I could think was "wait, what, this is about vampires?!"

Berkley was gracious enough to send me The Raven AND The Shadow for review.

So, The Raven. Outstanding. Simply outstanding. While reading, I dreamed about this book, I thought about this book, I raved about this book, I recommended this book, I could not put it down!

If you don't already know, Sylvain Reynard is an intelligent writer, a masterful writer. Couple that with Florence and vampires, and you simply cannot go wrong.

Raven, our main character is one of the most strong female leads that I have ever read. Not only that, but she is not your typical female lead. She has a physical handicap and is not gorgeous, nor is she slender. She wears glasses, walks with a cane, and is significantly overweight by modern standards. Good thing William, our vampire lead, cannot be bothered with women, who, is his opinion, "look like boys".

The book opens with Raven being attacked and saved. Upon waking from her attack, she has been physically altered and cannot remember the last week of her life. Upon returning to work, no one recognizes her, and she is implicated in the theft of some of the most precious works of art to have ever graced the world.

As the story unfolds, Raven finds herself drawn into the hidden world of the Florence Underworld. Filled with vampires and wrought with mysteries.

I was completely in love with William from the start. He is such an intriguing character. A highly intelligent ruler. Predictable in his actions and reactions, yet so mysterious in every other way. By the end of the book, you still don't know all there is to know, and you crave to know.

The ending of this book was NOT what I expected at all! I loved that I was so shocked by the ending. However, the ending was PERFECT, and exactly in line with William. It made me want to immediately pick up The Shadow, which I will be reading post haste!

For those of you that read The Raven when it first came out, and with the ending it had, I don't know how you all suffered though the year!

Read this book guys. You will not be disappointed.


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