Goodreads: Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove
Age Category: Young Adult
Published: October 18, 2022
To learn what she can become, she must first discover who she is.
Katyani’s role in the kingdom of Chandela has always been clear: becoming an advisor and protector of the crown prince, Ayan, when he ascends to the throne. Bound to the Queen of Chandela through a forbidden soul bond that saved her when she was a child, Katyani has grown up in the royal family and become the best guardswoman the Garuda has ever seen. But when a series of assassination attempts threatens the royals, Katyani is shipped off to the gurukul of the famous Acharya Mahavir as an escort to Ayan and his cousin, Bhairav, to protect them as they hone the skills needed to be the next leaders of the kingdom. Nothing could annoy Katyani more than being stuck in a monastic school in the middle of a forest, except her run-ins with Daksh, the Acharya’s son, who can’t stop going on about the rules and whose gaze makes her feel like he can see into her soul.
But when Katyani and the princes are hurriedly summoned back to Chandela before their training is complete, tragedy strikes and Katyani is torn from the only life she has ever known. Alone and betrayed in a land infested by monsters, Katyani must find answers from her past to save all she loves and forge her own destiny. Bonds can be broken, but debts must be repaid.
Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove is a fast-paced epic fantasy that brings readers into a world of magic and monsters (some of whom are closer to home than protagonist Katyani might like). With lush world building and thoughtful questions about what makes a family and identity, this one is sure to be a hit with fantasy fans.
From the opening pages, I was invested in Katyani and her adventures. She’s positioned in the Chandela royal family for success, trained as a body guard, adopted as a daughter, expected to be an advisor and confidant for the future king. She has it all, but she’s always cognizant of her blessings, always fiercely loyal to her family. So when things start to fall apart for her, it’s a blow to the reader’s heart as much as Katyani’s.
I loved watching her journey, even as the threads of the stories began to go in a million directions to weave a complex tapestry. Katyani has to learn self-discipline at a gurukul, learn to fight monsters (and I loved the way monsters just are in this world, as cats and zebras and pandas just are in our world), learn her true heritage, and learn who is truly her friend. The tasks are often incredibly difficult, but she handles them with humor and heart, unwilling to be broken until she finds the love and the acceptance she craves.
Her tasks take her around a world richly imagined that author Rati Mehrotra manages to make feel large, even as she focuses on a few key locations. Katyani journeys from her palace to the gurukul to another kingdom, and is friends with the royal family in another. Readers see the world through her eyes as she learns about new monsters and new political intrigue, and it’s always a pleasure.
I had a few minor gripes with the book: Katyani often uses some strangely modern colloquial language that jolted me out of the story a few times, and I thought the romance took a while to actually become convincing. But these are small matters.
Overall, this is a fabulously immersive story I fully expect to see on a lot of readers’ “best of 2022” lists.
10 thoughts on “Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by Rati Mehrotra”
This one looks good, I will keep my eye out for its release x
It just came out recently! Unfortunately I didn’t get to my ARC before its release.
I have this one on my TBR already as I’ve seen some great reviews for it. This one just makes me more impatient to read it.
I saw some great reviews, too, but was worried I wouldn’t agree with them. So I am very happy I do!
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I love it when story can go in many direction and makes plot complex. This sounds as amazing as its cover.
Yes, it does have a great cover, too!
Great review, I’m so glad you liked it! I’ve been seeing this pop up in my Twitter feed here & there for the past few weeks & immediately put it on my TBR.
I won an ARC of this one from Goodreads and, considering that fantasy novels…haven’t been great for me, recently (THEY KEEP PUTTING ME IN READING SLUMPS, UGHHH), the fact that I forced myself to read this and it actually pushed me OUT of a reading slump made it an automatic 3+ stars, no matter what. But I enjoyed a lot abt it other than that, sooo…4.5 stars from me! I can’t wait till it gains more hype. In the meantime, I’m ranting about it to everyone and anyone who’ll listen.
I saw several raving reviews before I read it and kind of thought, “Eh, it’s probably fine, but things always get hyped that I don’t love that much.” So I was so excited that all the hype is right!!!
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so excited to pick this one up, great review! 💖agreed, sometimes seeing modern expressions does make me feel taken out of the world if not done well!
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