THE RAVEN HEIR, by Stephanie Burgis, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Sept. 14, 2021, Hardcover, $6.99 (ages 8-12)
A young shapeshifter is forced to take drastic actions when her family is threatened in Stephanie Burgis’ The Raven Heir.
Deep within an enchanted forest lies a castle where a set of triplets and their sorceress mother have lived for years — safe from the decades-long war for the Raven Throne that rages in the kingdom. Cordelia, one of the triplets, has the power to become any animal with just a thought, and she yearns to discover more about the world outside her castle.
But one day, the world comes to her, when the eldest of the triplets becomes the newest heir to the throne. Knowing that being named heir means certain death, Cordelia’s mother hid the truth about which child is the eldest when she hid them in the forest. When her family is captured, it’s up to Cordelia to use her powers to keep her siblings hidden and discover the truth about the Raven Heir — before it’s too late. —Synopsis provided by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
It’s always a treat to come upon a new series that you enjoy, and The Raven Heir is a fantastic first book. This should come as no surprise to fans of author Stephanie Burgis who penned the Tales from the Chocolate Heart and the Kat Books.
It’s clear from her writing that Burgis knows her audience well. Her voice is clear, strong and direct, giving readers just the right amount of room in between the text to fill in with their own imaginations. It’s a fantastic way of drawing readers in, and The Raven Heir is better for it.
At the center of the story is Cordelia, an adventurous girl who’s always pushing the boundaries. Close by her side are her triplet siblings Rosalind and Giles. Though not as thoroughly developed, the siblings are strong supporting characters that really enhance the overall feel.
The Raven Heir is a fantasy novel full of magic, but at its heart, it’s about what truly makes a family whole. It’s a fast-moving adventure that’s heart-warming as well. It should appeal to a large cross-section of readers.
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