Hey, I've discovered a new author to follow. If this book hadn't taken a diversion into an unnecessary, trilogy-stretching ploy of a ghost story, I would actually given it higher marks. As it is, I loved the frame story of a half-human, fierce, wild girl fleeing to civilization after facing almost certain death from the brutish satyricorns. But civilization means a place where she may be punished as a murderer for something that was a matter of survival in the wild.
THE TOWER OF RAVENS seems perfect for a young adult female crowd. The cover alone appealed to the most girlie part of my psyche. The girl, later named Rhiannon by the nice family who takes her in, makes her bid for escape by first taming and bonding with a wild, horned, winged black horse.
So this girl-and-her-horse story is what I signed on to read. But, see, what happens is that this band of folks in the story set out for the big city, including a boy who is falling in love with Rhiannon even as he's aware he'll be turning her over to the king's law in the city.
So I'm totally ready to read about this continuing, meaty conflict. But what happens? The band comes across this haunted tower and some dark magic stuff happens and the band barely escapes this creepy, gothic episode with their lives. (I read this book months ago and now I'm confusing THE TOWER OF RAVENS and Sarah Monette's MELUSINE.) Maybe the creepy, ghost aspect is also supposed to appeal to a young girl audience, but *my* inner little girl just wanted horse, girl, boy, adventure, romance.
I have hopes the second book will get to the point and stay on the point. I never used to be a trilogy hater, but any more like this and I can get there.
By the way, the world here is apparently based on Celtic fantasy. I found it fascinating and really would love to read more set there. THE TOWER OF RAVENS is book one of a new trilogy, but it quickly becomes clear Forsyth's previous books must have been set one generation earlier, so anyone who's read those will either meet or see mention of familiar characters. It was an easy, enjoyable read despite my problems with the direction and focus of this episode.--Preeti (22 Sep 05)