Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ravenstone, a Novel by Deborah Cannon

I loved this, the third book in a series by Deborah Cannon, so much so I'm very sorry I haven't discovered her series before! Although the book can be read as a stand alone, there is a brief summary of each book in the Author's Note, and a few hints scattered throughout on what has happened before. I definitely want to read the first two, "The Raven's Pool" and "White Raven" and get caught up.

This book, "Ravenstone", takes the reader from the land of the Haida in the Queen Charlotte Islands off the west coast of Canada, to the small tropical country of Tonga in the South Pacific, made up of 169 islands. Fact and fiction blend so well, and the descriptions of the locations almost take the reader there physically. Jake Lalonde, is an archaeologist looking for his heritage connection to the Haida, knowing his father's line is the Raven. His girlfriend, Angeline Lisbon, is doing research for her PhD in archaeology, her dissertation in primitive art migration. A discovery of an ancient Raven petroglyph in the Queen Charlottes and simultaneously in Tonga puts them at cross-purposes on their individual theories and sends Angeline off to work in Tonga.

An ill-considered secret withheld by Jake puts even more pressure on their relationship as she is about to leave. At the same time their nemesis, a millionaire who had attacked Angeline in an earlier book, has managed to buy his way out of jail and is on the hunt, planning a program of terror for both Jake and Angeline. It was her testimony that sent him to prison. With the story set, the stalking begins, the chase is on across the ocean, there seems no escape, he seems to always be there, but is he? It's as though he is everywhere.

This very well-written book of mystery and adventure will keep the reader's attention as the suspense builds. The background is beautiful, the characters are fascinating and diverse. It hardly seems possible that such darkness can lurk in such beauty. The writing is taut, the research very deep, and the outcome not necessarily as one might think. Illness, treachery, murder, mythology, artifacts, and origins are all there. An exciting journey through relationships right back through centuries. A great story. 5 stars.

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