'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Review: The Raven's Song

Imagine a world where you live in a fenced community of only 350 people. 

You care for the land, live a simple life and use minimal things so everything beyond the fence can grow and repair — so the world can heal after all the damage that has been done to it.

You accept this life. You don’t question it. You want to help save the world.

But when someone starts cutting the fence and stealing sheep, and you discover there are secrets hidden in the trees outside your community… well, would you just repair the fence and go back to looking after the chickens?
Shelby can’t. She can’t ignore the call of adventure. She can’t ignore the questions she has about the past and what it means for her present and her future. 

But the world outside the fence isn’t everything it appears to be, and some of the secrets it holds are dangerous. For Shelby and for her community.

But this isn’t only Shelby’s story. Years before Shelby was born, a boy called Phoenix lives in the world just before it broke. Phoenix lives with his siblings and his aunt. His mother passed away a year ago and he’s doing his best to help protect his brother and sisters. But Phoenix isn’t like other kids. He has a special gift to see things others can’t and it leads him to both doom and glory.

One living in the future and one in the past, Shelby and Phoenix’s stories start separately and then entwine. Chapters alternate between them, revealing secrets one at a time. It’s exhilarating and addictive.

The Raven’s Song is a special and thought-provoking book. It’s a story that lingers in your mind long after you finish it. With strong messages about caring for our earth and being wary of where overconsumption will lead us, it explores very topical and important issues (though the book definitely doesn’t hit you over the head with morals).

But there is something else in this story  — a  fantastical element that speaks to the soul. The otherness of the spirit world, the wonder of believing that there’s something else out there, that hope has power and can change the world.

Author duo extraordinaire Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble really deliver the goods on this one. It’s powerful, mesmerizing and unforgettable. If you like fantasy, science-fiction and paranormal stories, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Raven’s Song.

Title: The Raven's Song
Author: Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $16.99
Publication Date: October 2022
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761065798
For ages: 10 -14
Type: Middle-Grade