The Broken Raven

Candlewick/Walker. Jan. 2021. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536207484.
Gr 6 Up–Picking up where The Good Hawk left off, Agatha, Jaime, and Clann-a-Tuath find themselves cohabiting unhappily in a different Skye Island clan’s enclave, their hosts becoming less gracious by the day. After a heated meeting of the elders, Agatha notices a familiar necklace on the chest of a host-clan elder…the same necklace the Scotian Queen Nathara had used to trap the unnatural sgàilean, shadow beings created to protect her royal family and all their subjects. Agatha concocts a clever plan to steal the necklace and get rid of it, but a struggle occurs and the amulet shatters, releasing the deadly sgàilean, who are no longer bound to preserve Scotian life. Jaime rushes off to find the man who created the sgàilean in the hopes that he can help stop the unkillable shadows. Meanwhile, Sigrid, a young demhain girl, becomes the eyes for the evil Konge Grimr who enslaved the Skye Island clans in the last book. She sails with him to Ingland, where King Edmund talks the blinded king into joining Ingland in a war against Scotia. The story weaves together slowly, then snowballs toward an ending that will leave readers begging for Book Three. Though the characters from Scotia, Norveg, and Ingland are seemingly all white, LGBTQ and neurodiverse main characters create a strong, diverse cast.
VERDICT This trilogy would go over well with fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races. The first book is required to be able to follow the plot of the second. Didn’t buy the first book? Now’s the time to grab both.

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