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Ravencry

The Raven's Mark, Book 2
Narrated by: Colin Mace
Series: Raven's Mark, Book 2
Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For Ryhalt Galharrow, working for Crowfoot as a Blackwing captain is about as bad as it gets - especially when his orders are garbled, or incoherent, or impossible to carry out.

The Deep Kings are hurling fire from the sky, a ghost in the light known only as the Bright Lady had begun to manifest in visions across the city, and the cult that worship her grasp for power while the city burns around them.

Galharrow may not be able to do much about the cult - or about strange orders from the Nameless - but when Crowfoot's arcane vault is breached and an object of terrible power is stolen, he's propelled into a race against time to recover it. Only to do that, he needs answers, and finding them means travelling into nightmare: to the very heart of the Misery.

Ravencry is the second book in the Raven's Mark series, continuing the story that began with the award winning epic fantasy Blackwing.

Read by Colin Mace.

©2018 Ed McDonald (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Ravencry

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Real, Dark and Gritty

Real in the way that makes you forget you're reading.

Dark in the way that keeps you from escaping.

Gritty in the way that sticks to your teeth*


*please don't eat the book.


I'll admit this isn't normally the type of story I'm overly keen on, this type of world, this type of grimness, but McDonald has somehow managed to find beauty in his filthy world and that has me hooked. Somewhere between its bleak harshness and the curious characters that do what they can just to carry on, I find myself lost in the words and am now stuck with the irksome duty of impatiently waiting for book 3.


For the audio fans: Colin Mace continues his fine form as Galharrow. He captures all the characters well enough to make you feel like they're right there with you. A great combination of narrator and story.


The cover (UK/AU): I do like these covers from a design perspective. I don't think they evoke much from an imagination standpoint but their design is super cool. This one isn't quite as good as Blackwing I feel. It seems more like a grab at stock images to find the right bird to continue the theme. Still, it's pretty.


In short: One of the rare grimdarks that define the genre.

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  • Rob Hayes
  • 09-07-2018

A worthy sequel to one of the best books of 2017

Well, I absolutely loved Blackwing. So much so I actually cheated my own rating system to give it the 5 stars it deserved. It still remains the only book I have done that for. So when Ravencry released I jumped straight on it, expecting another wild and wonderful ride full of despair, misery, nihilism, and hope.

I was not disappointed.

Ravencry picks up a few years after the events of Blackwing and the world has moved on a bit. Ryhalt has, if anything, become more of a belligerent arsehole determined to falsely prove to everyone that he doesn’t care. The nameless and the deep kings are still locked in their eternal battle, but there is a new threat rising, seditious and nebulous… religion.

The book is quite different to the first one. Gone is the mystery, that wonder at what the Misery is and the things it contains. The oppressive power of the deep kings and the nameless are vague concepts rather than at the forefront of the tale. Instead we have Ryhalt trying to uncover a new plot against his city and his people, one that in many ways feels a little disconnected from the larger narrative. Honestly, after finishing the book and letting it sit, it feels like a 2nd book in a trilogy. The plot happened and some changes were felt across the world, but it does feel more like the major changes are all character based. The world at large stays the same, but by the gods does Ryhalt go through some changes.

It deals with some interesting issues, including the march toward fatherhood, and the rise of religious power within a military state. It does them both incredibly well and hangs such emotional weight on each and every one of Ryhalt’s choices and actions, that we truly feel the weight of the world dragging his shoulders down every step of the way.

As with Blackwing, the narration was excellent. Colin Mace does an amazing job and really brings Ryhalt to life. Rarely has it felt to me that a narrator has such a hang of the character.

I have little else to say. I loved this one almost as much as book 1, but not quite. The Misery felt less mysterious and a touch less dangerous. And even though I think there is a good reason for that, the world lost something because of it.

Overall, 4 stars. I loved Ravencry and I am eagerly chomping at the bit for book 3!

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  • Swords and Spectres
  • 30-01-2019

Very grim, very dark & very good

Ravencry, for me, was a joy from start to finish. I like my fantasy grim, dark and full of misery. This ticked all of those boxes. Ryhalt Galharrow, captain of the Blackwing is one of the toughest men walking and throughout this book you can almost feel even he is at his breaking point. Ravencry shows us far more of the world built in the first novel and gives a bit more insight into some of the creatures that inhabit it.

Colin Mace’s voice and gritty way of reading it really brings the character of Galharrow to life. I know it’s a bit cliche, but he really is perfect for this narration and I can’t imagine anyone else doing it nearly so well.

I never thought I’d think it, but the addition of a talking raven made this book so much more enjoyable than perhaps it would have been. That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable without that. It was. Galharrow’s trademark morose one liners and grim observations of the world around him and the people that inhabit it are back in full force. Only once before have I experienced a man try to be so miserable and dreary and end up being so much fun to read about (that once being Warden from Daniel Polansky’s Low Town series).

The style of writing is made more enjoyable by the first person perspective. This perspective has fast become a favourite of mine and seems to make even the slowest parts easier to absorb. It also makes the more vivid parts far more …vivid. Almost as if seeing through your own eyes rather than being told what happened to someone else by someone else who had seen it.

You feel a range of emotions alongside Galharrow in this as he succeeds in places and loses heavily in others. For anyone who was intrigued by the Misery in book one and wanted to learn more about that hellish environment, this book ticks those boxes. My favourite little critters (Gillings) make an appearance as do so many other strange oddments and oddities from Ed McDonald’s world.

The pacing of the novel was not rapid, but not ponderously slow either. It felt like it moved at a pace that suited the overall telling and kept steady at it throughout. It also boasted some great characters (both returning and new).

Really enjoyed this one and am eager for the third instalment.

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  • Asbjørn
  • 17-09-2018

Editor Wanted

This is a story in search of an editor. I enjoyed the first book very much. Unfortunately this second installment has lost its grit and purpose. The toughest bastard in the misery has turned to a kindergarten teacher who notices details of interior design as houses fall apart around him.
I wish a strickter editor has done the job worthy of the first book.

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  • lynsey Patina
  • 01-07-2018

Gritty, Rough, Dirty & Fantastic

Don't buy this if you want handsome heros and pretty heroines. This in not that type of fantasy, it's grim and full of people who blur the lines between good, bad right and wrong, but I take that over frilly magical whimsy anytime.
It a great second book I look forward to the next

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-07-2020

Something original and captivating

Loved this book as much as the first one. Performance is equally solid. Fast-paced and dark, original and intriguing. I was captivated from the first page and it never let me go.

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  • David Stretch
  • 09-05-2019

An excellent follow-up

Really enjoyed this follow-up and can't wait for the third part! Fantastic performance by Colin Mace.

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  • I. Morgan
  • 13-02-2019

amazing book and narrator is perfect

perfect again in every way such a good world cannot wait for the third .

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  • Mr Nightingale
  • 06-12-2018

Plenty of heroic speechifying and bragging.

If you like that sort of thing, you'll enjoy this, but it's not for me. The sub Sam Spade one-liners are a bit wearing, too.
Underneath all this dross, there's probably a decent story.
Very decent narration.

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  • Woody
  • 29-10-2018

great!!!

can't wait for the next book to be finished. love the characters! brilliant listen, great!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • danielle laine
  • 08-10-2018

Brilliant!!! Absolutely excellent - love(d) it :-))

Perfect combination of author and audio narration to produce a true masterpiece just like Bloodwing: Book 1 which is equally as amazing and addictive. I only wish for Ed McDonald & Colin Mace to join forces for more writer/narrator audio books :-) Extremely imaginative & Incredible mixture of dark fantasy/magic with unique & interesting characters and fantastically witty dry humour. Colin Mace was easily the best choice to be the audio narrator, love his voice....could listen to it all day/every day. Definitely recommend these books!!!!

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  • S. D. Howarth
  • 02-08-2018

A sound second outing

A very solid outing for a second book and hauled a cracking character into more mayhem in a very slick audio presentation. The story faded away for me in the second half, with betrayals and the ending being signposted a bit too obviously and being a tad predictable. I look forward to reading the book and seeing the tale in that format.