Cry of the Raven by Moran L. Busse // A Book Review

Cry of the Raven - LifeWay

Title: Cry Of The Raven

Author: Morgan L. Busse

Publication Year: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, YA, Fantasy

My Thoughts:

Cry Of The Raven was a wonderful conclusion to an engaging trilogy. Although I have enjoyed all three books of this trilogy, my favorite is definitely Cry Of The Raven. Seeing Selene and Damien discover the full scope of their gifts was inspiring and beautiful. This book was a satisfying and interesting read.

One of my favorite things about the Ravenwood trilogy is the character names. As I know I have mentioned before, I find unique character names incredibly refreshing. A unique name helps to set a character apart from the hundreds of other characters hanging out in my brain. Selene, Damien, Amara, Opheliana and so many of the other names in this book are beautifully unusual.

I love Selene as a main character. Although her story arc is not particularly rare, a trained assassin who comes to the “good side”, she manages to feel unique. Selene is far from perfect and is fully human in her struggles surrounding how to use her gift. As tensions build and a war with the empire becomes inevitable, knowing that she could essentially win the war in a night, before it has even begun, is a heavy and tempting burden, but with the Light she is strong enough to stand firm.

Selene’s growth as a person is a main theme of the trilogy. When you first meet Selene, she is cold-hearted and unfeeling. As the story develops, Selene learns to open her heart and to shoulder the pain that comes with letting yourself feel and love.

All of the characters were strong, human and interesting. I am sad that we will not be getting to know any of them better. The stories of the young gifted leaders were inspiring in a way as they learned how to lead and protect their people.

Cry Of The Raven is a book I would recommend to fans of the Weaver Trilogy and those who enjoy clean YA fantasy.

“Does the sun disappear when clouds come? Or is the sun still there? Just as clouds cannot quench the sun, the darkness cannot quench the Light.” – Morgan L. Busse


What are you reading right now? Any interesting books on your summer tbr? Have you read any of the Ravenwood Saga books?

Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth // A Book Review

Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth

Title: Ivy Introspective

Author: Kellyn Roth

Publication Date: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

My Thoughts: 

Wow, what a pleasant surprise this book was! Unlike The Dressmaker’s Secret, I really enjoyed this story. That said, there were some issues for me.

First, let’s talk about the characters. Unlike Alice, who I personally felt was rather wooden at times, Ivy is a beautiful and relatable character. Her struggles with anxiety and other mental difficulties felt very human and real. My only complaint about Ivy is that at times she was slightly too sweet. Violet, do I even have to explain why I love her? After all, she is a moody bookworm who loves music! I can’t forget Jody, because what’s not to like about a sweet and smiley guy with an amazing accent!?

I loved the setting, in the wild Scottish moors. The descriptions of the gardens and brooks surrounding McClare House was beautiful and I could easily imagine it all. Although the historical aspect seemed lacking in depth, the setting made up for it.

Now for the issues, I can’t ignore them forever. Starting with Nora, I found her to be a weak character. I understand that she was discovering what it meant to be out from under the fist of a cruel man, but she just was watery in an unexplainable way.

My second major issue was how marriage was viewed and discussed. As you may or may not know, I firmly believe that men and women are equals in every way and I believe that a marriage should be an equal partnership. If you believe differently that aspect of this story obviously won’t bother you, but for me it is a problem that leads to another problem that is discussed among readers of Christian historical fiction. Is it historically inaccurate to have female MCs who have feminist mindsets before the term feminist even existed? I’ll let you think about that while I finish this review.

All that to say, I really enjoyed reading Ivy Introspective and I am looking forward to reading book three of The Chronicles of Alice And Ivy.

“They ignored her, caught up in their grown-up world, caught up in their moving lives that rushed past Ivy with fearless abandon. Far above her, far away from her.” – Kellyn Roth


Have you read Ivy Introspective? I would love to hear your thoughts!

The Dressmaker’s Secret by Kelly Roth & Start With Me by Kara Isaac // Book Reviews

The Dressmaker's Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #1)

Title: The Dressmaker’s Secret

Author: Kellyn Roth

Year Published: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

My Thoughts:

This was a tough book for me to review, for several reasons. Over the past couple years, I have heard quite a few wonderful things about The Dressmaker’s Secret. Therefore when I realized that I was able to read it using my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I was thrilled. Until I started reading it, that is. (Yes, this is a largely negative review and yes, up to this point I have mostly posted positive reviews. I realized that I really should be sharing both the books I have mixed feelings about and the books that I enjoyed. So here you have it, my first not particularly positive review.)

To begin with, let’s talk about the positive aspects of The Dressmaker’s Secret. The storyline was interesting and fast-paced. Several of the characters were enjoyable to read about, Nettie in particular. The Dressmaker’s Secret manages to deal with some difficult subject matter in a mostly PG-rated way. This book is one that I could hand to my younger siblings without really having to worry about the content. 

Several things annoyed and surprised me about The Dressmaker’s Secret. Number one being, where was the history!? There was absolutely no focus on the historical aspect of the story beyond the necessary notes about horses and carriages. I found this surprising due to the fact that Roth writes about her love and knowledge of history on her blog often. Another thing that frustrated me was the fact that I found the characters difficult to relate to. The thought processes of Alice often seemed far too mature for an eight year old and I would have to remind myself of her age when she did do something that made her seem childish. Last, but not least, the suspenseful piece of the story was not exactly suspenseful or unpredictable. 

All that said, I did not strongly dislike The Dressmaker’s Secret, I simply could not get myself to fully enjoy it. 


Start With Me

Title: Start With Me ❤

Author: Kara Isaac

Year of Publication: 2020

Personal Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Christian Romance, Contemporary Fiction 

My Thoughts:

I know that I haven’t really mentioned Kara Isaac’s books before and I am long overdue to do so. I am absolutely in love with her stories and her beautiful characters. Isaac writes some of the best contemporary clean/Christian novels out there. The characters are always interesting and engaging, real and relatable. Isaac’s story-lines are always well thought out and edited just about perfectly. They pull you in and don’t let go until the last page without being fast-paced. All of Isaac’s books connect through overlapping characters, making reading her books enjoyable on yet another level. 

Starts With Me follows Lacey O’Connor and Victor Carlisle’s story. They are easily my favorite of Isaac’s characters. The two of them come from completely different backgrounds, Lacey’s family are struggling Americans from Minnesota and Victor is the heir of a British Viscount, who just happens to be his father. 

One of the major themes of Start With Me is restoration. Specifically restoration of family and sibling relationships. Lacey and Victor both have sadly strained relationships with their siblings, although for very different reasons. It was satisfying to watch Victor fight to prove that he has changed and to see Lacey called out by her sister. Both Victor and Lacey grew as characters and were able to move forward with their lives, stronger and together.

Start With Me is a satisfying and enjoyable read. One I would absolutely recommend to my slightly older readers who enjoy clean contemporary fiction and relatable characters. 


Have you read either of these books? Which would you be more likely to read? What is one common story trope that drives you crazy

Who seen has Hamilton? Thoughts? (I may be slightly obsessed. 😀)