Mark of the Raven

Mark of the Raven

by Morgan L. Busse


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764232220
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Series: Ravenwood Saga Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 227,723
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the new steampunk series The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel. She and her family live in Bloomington, Illinois. Visit her online at

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Mark of the Raven 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous 2 days ago
There are very few stories that come around that are as original as this one. I loved how the plot was so unexpected, and kept waiting to find out what would happen next... such in-depth characters! This is a must read for anyone that loves fantasy, as there were a few familiar elements but Morgan has done an amazing job making this world her own. The ending was quite surprising, in a good way, and I cannot wait for the next book!
Laura_Pol 2 days ago
3.5/4 stars Wow! What a compelling ending! I have to admit that I thought the beginning was rather slow and just couldn’t seemed to get hooked. *hides* I’m not sure if it’s because I was fairly sick when I started or not, but I also found some repetitive places that I began to found irksome. However, regardless of how I felt in the beginning and my unsureness if I would come to really like Selene, the dream walking was a unique reading experience. I haven’t read anything about dreamwalking and was very very engaged during Selene’s discovery of her new gift. Her Mother makes an interesting teacher and one that leaves you just as on edge as Selene. Damien on the other hand is a character I very strongly related to! Though I liked Selene, he was the one who really pulled my heart strings something fierce. I loved his dedication and his heart for others and just felt a strong connection with his struggles. I’m definitely intrigued to see what happens next. Selene has more discovering to do and really want to see Damien’s mission fulfilled. Hoping that good things are in store for them as well as the Seven Great Houses! Recommended to fantasy readers who want a clean read with solid characters and fascinating gifts. *(Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing me an ARC. I was not required to write a review or positive one. All thoughts expressed are my own.)*
A_N 3 days ago
I'm not what you'd call a fantasy fan. I read it, but I'm very picky about who I read. Mainly because the world building and language has to be comprehensible for me. I read the back cover copy to this book and I was immediately drawn to it. Morgan Busse is a new author for me, I haven't read any of her work before and I am now a huge fan. I loved this book and the story! Ms. Busse creates a world that can not only be understood, you become immersed in it and don't want to leave. Selene is a heroine you cheer for. She's trying to not only understand the heritage of dreamwalking but figure out why they use the information gathered to harm instead of help. Overall, this is a great fantasy read one that draws you into the story makes you feel like you have not only entered the world but feel as though you are dreamwalking with Selene. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers as a member of their blogger review program. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
bookstoregal 9 days ago
Wow! I really didn't want to put this book down, but I've been so busy with work and other things that I had to... Frustrating! It's an "edge of your seat" kind of story. I love this story!! I love the characters -there is such a variety of people (especially in the 2nd half). This series, and I can hardly wait for the next book!, is going to be an epic battle between the Dark and the Light. For a while I was wondering exactly what was going to happen -what would Selene's decision be? -how would the Light prevail? I'm very happy to say that it ended well, even if it does leave you hanging! But what are series for, right? I kept thinking as I was reading that this book would make a great movie! I'd love to see it on the big screen. There is some violence in it, but not anything graphic. Still, I may not recommend it for younger readers...under 13 or so. Now I'm anxiously awaiting the next book! Thanks Morgan!!
katelynsbolds 9 days ago
Morgan Busse weaves a dark story about the heir to the House of Ravenwood who has just learned her family's secret; her mother and the Ravenwood women before her use their gift of dreamwalking to gather information and assassinate their enemies. Now Lady Selene is stuck in a web of political intrigue, lies and betrayal while the Seven Houses ready for war with the Domina Empire. Another reviewer mentioned that it reminded her of Game of Thrones and Assassin's Creed, which I agree with completely. The only thing that this book has that those stories do not is a thread of hope that lies within the Light. Overall, I would highly recommend this book for readers of YA and adult fantasy adventures. I might recommend pre-reading it if you have younger readers who might be put off by some non-graphic but violent content, as the book does contain assassins, war, etc. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.*
MaryJeanAdams 9 days ago
Review: Mark of the Raven Genre: Fantasy Subgenre: Young adult, clean As part of my personal writing/reading journey, I’ve been branching out a bit and trying to read more novels outside of the romance genre. That said, I am first and foremost a historical romance writer/reader, so I have a tendency to look at books through that lens. I’m certain this comes through in my review of Mark of the Raven. Now for the required disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of Mark of the Raven from Bethany House. I am giving Mark of the Raven three stars. I really wanted to like it more, but it had a couple of drawbacks that kept me from raising it to four stars. To be completely fair, I’m going to start with the things I liked – and there were many – before sharing what I didn’t. I should be able to avoid any plot spoilers. Story background: Lady Selene is heir to the House of Ravenwood, one of seven great houses, each endowed with a special gift. Ravenwood’s gift is the ability to walk in another’s dream; however, the other six houses all believe Ravenwood’s gift died out when the Dominian Empire razed the land hundreds of years prior. Unbeknownst to them, there was a survivor who passed on the ability to the female heir for hundreds of years. Whereas once Ravenwood women used their gift to help others, now they are hired as spies and assassins. This aspect of their secret is kept from Lady Selene until she awakens to her abilities. One of her first assignments is to slay the young heir of another great house: the one who may hold the key to uniting the great houses and protecting their land from new ruler of the Dominian Empire. Selene is torn between her alliance to her people and the good that dwells within her. What I liked: It really is a compelling story, and although I’m only giving Mark of the Raven a three star, I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. The characters are all believable and likeable. The villains are compelling and not altogether unlikeable either. The author does a great job of making them vivid characters. In fact, I could easily see Mark of the Raven having been produced as a graphic novel. Also, being a romance reader, I appreciated the relationship between the two main characters. There was a chemistry that appealed, even if it didn’t rise to the level of a romance. (I am really hoping this gets played up in the sequel.) I also really liked the cover! What I didn’t like: The story started out a bit slow. It was interesting enough, but it wasn’t until chapter 9 that we meet the male lead – Damien. I would have loved to have seen more of him earlier, maybe his backstory interspersed with Lady Selene’s. You could argue that he’s a secondary character, but once he makes his debut, he doesn’t feel like one. In fact, he somewhat steals the show. I also thought the story ended too abruptly. Maybe this is how all fantasy stories end these days, but I felt like we had just reached the climax of the story, when suddenly, I’m reading back of the book material. I flipped back to see if I had accidentally missed a chapter or even a page or two. I don’t want to give away too much, but at the very least, I felt like it should have wrapped up with more of the main characters’ stories. Even just one or two chapters that gave us an idea of what was going on with them and the battles they would need to fight in the next book would have done it for me.
Pooke 10 days ago
Flight of the Raven! Lady Selene was born with two things, a large mark on her back in the shape of a raven, and a home in a castle. Living in this castle is not bright and beautiful. Just the opposite, in fact, all is not well in the House of Ravenwood. Ancient treachery by the other houses towards Ravenwood has caused her mother, Lady Ragna, a cold unfeeling woman, to be bitter. She justifies things Selene doesn’t feel good about. According to her mother, the raven shaped mark means Selene has a secret power. One the rest of the houses believe died out long ago—because of their past betrayal. Only recently has Selene discovered what a life-changing effect that power will have on her. Despite her mother’s claims of good for the people of Ravenwood, the power along with the changes she has had to make in her life does not feel right. Reluctantly, however, Selene has been obeying her mother. Now a common enemy has caused representatives of all the Houses to meet. In fact, their discussions will be held in Selene’s castle. Her mother, Lady Ragna, will be the representative for Ravenwood. The young Lord Damien desperately wants all the houses to unite. Damien believes the strength of a united bond could not be broken by the threat coming their way. Secretly, Lady Ragna is doing all she can to sabotage the uniting of the houses. Selene finds herself with the dilemma of either following her mother’s instructions, or going against them. Can she be bold enough to refuse what her mother wants? Or should she continue doing her mother’s will despite the toll it is taking on her life? Is it true that Selene’s power is the only thing that is helping the people of her land survive? Intrigue, violence, and possible expulsion or death will follow. The future might even hold love for Selene. This book is part of the Ravenwood Saga, and the story stands alone. However, this tale will leave you wanting more adventures, and I look forward to a future installment. I am not a reader of fantasy books. Other than the famous works by J. R. R. Tolkien, I never pick up a book in that genre…until now. Once I started reading this tale, though, I couldn’t put it down. This book is clean, and done from a Christian point of view. God is mentioned throughout this story, but He goes by another name in this tale of fantasy. I highly recommend this 5-star book to readers of fantasy and well-written fiction. Bethany House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of Mark of the Raven, for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Anonymous 11 days ago
I was approved to read an advanced e-copy of Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. The cover and description is what drew me in but the plot and writing kept me glued. This book was so good that I read 80% of it in one day. Mark of the Ravens is filled with Assassins, murder, and twisted families. The main character, Lady Selene, is relatable as she struggles to not lose herself when the ones close to her ask for more. It also has multiple POVs which adds to any book and makes the development of the characters even better as you get to see their side. This book will leave you wanting more and I can’t wait for this series to continue!
Anonymous 11 days ago
This book is amazing! Of course, I knew it would be since I've adored every single novel this author has ever written! This one started off slow. But the sort of slow where the plot and worldbuilding are unfolding like a flower, one petal at a time. Just at the moment when I wasn't sure where this was going, stuff started happening, deceptions upon deceptions and betrayals and plots and planned assassinations, and everything just got tense and crazy. The worldbuilding is well done. Each of the Houses had their own personalities, and the author does a great job of writing clearly during the scenes where multiple houses are together and a great number of characters are introduced so that even someone like me who struggles with names didn't get confused. Damien was my favorite character from the moment he stepped on the page. His introduction in this book is simply epic. Gave me chills. I still think one scene with him early on is my favorite in the whole book for how spine-chillingly awesome it is. Selene was also a really, well-done character. It would've been too easy for her to feel whiny or too passive, but the author does a great job of making the reader root for her. This is a great start to this new series, and now I am even more eager for book two!
Fala19 12 days ago
I loved Morgan L. Busse's Soul Chronicles and got so excited when I saw that she had a new series coming out. I couldn't wait to dive into it. I was expecting to really enjoy Mark of the Raven and, I've gotta say, it exceeded all expectations and was even better than I thought it'd be. It's fast-paced and I couldn't read it quickly enough. I ended up neglecting everything else and read the last quarter of the book in one sitting. There was a lot of pressure on Selene to restore House Ravenwood to it's former glory. She's extremely conflicted about how her family's gift is used. She feels a deep sense of wrong but to not use her gift would send her family and their people into ruin. It's such a dilemma for her. The journey she goes on to discovering herself is truly captivating. And Damien! Oh my! He's such a good and noble guy, always looking to do the right thing even when it's the most difficult thing to do. He's definitely one of my favorite leading men that I've read about lately. The characters were so great. All of them, even the minor ones, were distinct and fully fleshed out, seeming like real people I could easily picture in my mind. A near-perfect fantasy, Mark of the Raven is not to be missed. I wish I could give it more than five stars; it was just that good. And with that ending, goodness, I need the next book, like, right now! I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.
Anonymous 14 days ago
Cool world. Intrigue. Interesting characters. Tough choices. The glimpses into different souls fascinated me. I highly recommend Busse’s Mark of The Raven!
FyreHorse 14 days ago
This is my first book that I have read by Morgan Busse, and I know it will not be my last! This book was amazing with word pictures that drew you into the world of Salene and Damien and all the intrigue of Seven Kingdoms blessed by gifts that where meant to protect from the Empire. Through betrayal and hurt the gift of the house of Ravenwood was thought to be lost forever. Instead, they have been hidden away and what was once meant to protect the kingdoms is now being used to cause fear and even death all in the silence of dreams and leaving a trail of mysterious deaths in seemingly healthy people. Raised to only know the dark side of the Ravenwood gift, Salene struggles with questions as her heart seeks for more than just a tool to gain power and exact revenge. She her heart not only seeks to protect her siblings from the darkness of this gift but also her people and find another way, but how when all she knows is what she is being taught? Damien was thrust into the role of leader of his house at a very young age, but not before his father taught him of the light and how to use his power over water to protect his kingdom. But with great power often comes great costs and Damien must grapple with the consequences of protecting his people as he also faces the threat of invasion by the Empire and he must convince a divided seven houses to believe that the threat of invasion is real from an Empire threat that is the thing of centuries past legends. Salene and Damien are thrown together when the houses meet at Ravenwood and Salene is ordered to kill Damien as a threat to the House of Ravenwood. In the secrets of dreams fates are decided for not just two souls but a kingdom on the brink of war. This is an amazing and dramatically energetic tale of intrigue and suspense all wrapped up in fantasy complete with wyverns! It is a must read and I look forward eagerly to the next in the series that is in the works.
BrendaSoto 14 days ago
I am not quite finished, but I couldn't wait to get a review made. You will absolutely love this book! 'Mark of The Raven' is first in a new series by Morgan L Busse. I fell in love with her books 4-5 years ago and this one will definitely join them on my bookshelves. An in-depth fantasy that sweeps you quickly into Selene's world. Morgan's characters are rich and full of life. Immediately, I was enthralled with the story. It moves quickly yet is descriptive and deep; so you don't feel like you are missing anything. The characters emotions come through without effort and are realistic. Selene's despairing of her gift, and her yearning for something more shows so vividly. Here's a short quote to show you what I mean: “I want to know,” Selene whispered and took another step toward his soulsphere. “I want what you have. I’ve experienced pain and grief and fear, same as you. Yet you live with a burning hope inside of you, and I…” A tear formed in the corner of her eye as she continued toward orb. “I live in darkness. And I can’t find a way to escape... " Will she find light in the dark world she lives in? Will she find peace as she follows Lord Damien and continues to move ever closer to his soulsphere? You need to read this book! I can't wait for book two and I am not even finished with book one! A very good read. I received this book free of charge from the publishing house, but it did not influence my review
MechelleMS 14 days ago
Loved it! Can't wait for book 2. Mrs. Morgan did an outstanding job as she does in ALL of her books. Loved the two main characters. Plot keeps you turning the pages and then a major cliff hanger at the end.
honeychile 14 days ago
I’ve heard it said that when a good book opens up, the reader falls in; I fell into Mark of the Raven within the first few sentences, and thoroughly enjoyed my stay within its pages. The characters are compelling and genuine; the world of the book is haunting and beautiful; and the plot full of intrigue. Author Morgan L. Busse crafts a beautiful narrative with clear descriptions and an occasional foray into the lyrical, following the coming-of-age story and moral dilemma of protagonist Lady Selene. Escalating throughout the book, Busse reveals the benefits of following the Light, and illustrates the prison that worshippers of the Dark Lady find themselves ensnared within. The book weaves themes of light and darkness, hopelessness and rescue, and the power of individual choice to determine the caliber of life for the chooser and those around him. The conclusion of the book leaves a clear expectation for sequel(s) which is good because Busse has created a world I long to revisit. Mark of the Raven rates five bright stars from me.
Blogger35 14 days ago
3.5 stars I love a good book cover and when the cover matches the story perfectly, I am one satisfied reader. Mark of the Raven starts out really creepy, Selene is in a dark church next to her mom and sister with their people going through a ritual and that kind of sets the tone of the story for half of the book although thank goodness there are no more scenes like that one. There is also one part where it is implied that two women are raped after a caravan of unarmed people are attacked. Nothing is described but it was uncomfortable reading. Selene has been marked a dreamer and that was special for me, however she is being trained to be a nightmare kind of chosen one and she is sick over it. Made me think of the movie, Frozen, because she kept telling herself not to feel in order to do her job. Elsa came to mind more than once with that mantra, except this Elsa has really cool swords. Love Taegis and Lady Bryren, best minor characters ever and I truly hope there is MUCH more of them in the sequel! Same for Renata! Same for Selene's father! Hated Lord Raoul and Captain Stanton. Lord Raoul speaks something sinister over Lady Selene at one point and I truly hope he is made to eat his words and regret ever taunting her no matter what the past has proven to be true. I really hope Lady Ragna gets redemption in the sequel but not likely to happen. There is one point where Selene asks the Dark Lady (never meet her, only spoken about) an important question in desperation. She is not given an answer and I believe that's when Selene's dark faith and loyalty are truly shifted. Even though the story was well written, it just didn't hold my attention as I hoped it would. My favorite parts of the story are when Selene talks with her father and when they watch the different houses arrive at Rook Castle. It was so descriptive learning about the other houses and their leaders. I also loved when Selene visits her baby sister. I also enjoyed the dream sequences, there are only a few and they are also creepy but well written. The last dream sequence was my favorite! I kept whispering, "No," as Selene explored her surroundings. Then something unexpected happens and I was like, "YES." The ending was my favorite part and totally had me glued to the pages. Lord Darien is so special and I really believe his heart matches Selene. I was also satisfied that he understood Selene's character while watching her during the gala, realizing she wasn't cold but vulnerable and uncomfortable. I'm truly looking forward to seeing what they accomplish together in the sequel. I was also reminded of Guardians of the Galaxy reading Selene's relationship with her sister, Amara. Despite me not loving the story as I hoped, I did love Selene and her heart. Selene and Amara reminded me SO MUCH of Gamora and Nebula. I believe there is more to learn with these two sisters in the sequel as well...don't want to miss that!! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All comments are my own.
DBergsland 22 days ago
Morgan L. Busse offers Raven Mark and I’m of two minds again. Mark of the Raven is an excellent fantasy. The characters are complex, memorable, and intriguing. The world build becomes real very quickly. Evil reveals itself graphically with over-the-top nastiness and a gruesome reality. Sadly, good remains obscured by vagueness and a complete lack of specificity. There’s no savior and nothing like the Holy Spirit. Yet, Light has an incredible draw. It’s clear who it must be, yet remains tantalizingly out of reach. Neither light nor dark are personified. If you know the Lord personally, this always hurts. One would think that (with all that’s used to make a built-world feel genuine) a real, personal god and savior would be simple to fictionalize—and add a great deal to the story. Busse offers Raven Mark with wonderful possibilities My hope is that the second, and possibly the final book, will provide some spiritual satisfaction as well. The characters are wonderful, conflicted, and easy to love. The romance should be wonderful. As I said, I love the world and the story. My quibbles mean a lot to me but do not mean much in the world we live in. The book should sell well and be loved. My sadness comes from memories of Bethany as a source of hard-hitting Christian teaching. More recently, Morgan’s book seems about as good as we’ll see in the near future. I don’t want to single out Bethany. It seems to have infected the entire Christian publishing industry. Someone with Morgan’s writing skill could write truly anointed Christian fiction that would actually transform the lives of her readers. That’s what I pray for— a fantasy which edifies and transforms readers. I want one which leaves me exhilarated and praising the Lord. I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me by Bethany to review their books with no strings attached. It was a good read.
NadineTimes10 26 days ago
First off, while I do enjoy high fantasy from time to time, I'm no fantasy buff. And given that I'm not the fastest reader around, I scheduled to have this novel finished in three to four days. I finished it in less than a day. The novel's themes just got to me. The idea of a heroine who, for the sake of her younger siblings, accepts a role she hates, and she has to shut off her emotions to do it. The idea of controlling others through manipulation, by playing on their fears. The idea that in order for Selene to protect and provide for her people, she has to...oppress them? Light, Maker of Worlds, help us all. Now, sometimes Selene's inner questions are redundant or a bit simplistic, and the narration sometimes states the obvious or repeats explanations or details the reader already knows. But I like that the story doesn't unfold with nothing but unexplained alternate-world-riddles for half the book or anything like that. It wasn't long before I got a good grip on what was going on. An amazing read about leadership, courage, conscience, compassion, and sacrifice. The only downside is that I have to wait a while for the next book in The Ravenwood Saga. Light, Maker of Worlds, grant me patience... ________ Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.