|Submitted by Geng Chen|
(Mar 07, 2000)
The Raven Ring is set in Wrede's imaginary land of Lyra, where four different races (human, Shee, Neira, and Wyrd) and the insubstantia, totally evil Shadow-born live. Eleret is a young Cilhar woman, a member of the legendary warrior nation, who has come down from her mountain home to retrieve her mother's belongings after her death in the Imperial army. Soon, Eleret finds herself being stalked and attacked from a magical source, and she suspects that is has something to do with her mother's raven ring. She must figure out the mystery surrounding her mother's death, and soon.
I love this book, especially for Eleret's two differing, bickering sidekicks. One is Lord Daner Vallerini, son of the noble household and dashing, talented, gallant, wizardly swordsman (not to mention slightly arrogant and patronizing). He's great, though, not that cliche at all. Then, there's Karvonen, the short, outrageous, sly thief. Okay, so he's one of the overromanticized, dapper thief-types, but I still love him. Truly, people, this is a great book, with a sly type of humor mixed in.
Wrede has also written other books about Lyra. The Raven Ring is her latest offering, and it is standalone. You really don't need the other books to understand this one. Still, if you like Lyra, Wrede's first three Lyra books have recently been republished in an omnibus edition called Shadows Over Lyra. I recommend it, though I would suggest reading The Raven Ring first.