Release Date: 29 March 2022
Star Rating: 4/5
Book Boxes: The Librarian Box SE
**Caution! This review contains spoilers for Odin’s Child and The Rot. If you have not read those two books, I highly recommend not reading this review. I have reviewed both of those books: Odin’s Child here and The Rot here.**
Synopsis from the publisher:
“THE MIGHT is the furious conclusion to the fantasy epic THE RAVEN RINGS and is about the search for one's own roots, prejudices, power struggles, arrogance and love.
Hirka has been sent to the world of the blind, a powerful and immortal people whom she has been taught to fear since infancy--and who now see her as their only chance to reignite a thousand-year-old war. The blind will use Hirka's ability to travel between worlds to return to Ym, the land where Hirka grew up and where the blind were betrayed all those years ago. And this time, they will prevail.
Hirka is torn between her loyalties to the people who birthed her and the people who raised her, between the savior she is expected to be and the individual she wants to be. And every choice she makes pulls her further away from Rime, the love of her life, who is doing everything he can to stop Ym from falling to pieces all around him.
A million things stand between Hirka and Rime. But only together can they stop the end of the worlds. Translated by Paul Russell Garrett and Sian Mackie.”
The Raven Rings Trilogy
Every time I start a new series, I form a vague idea in my mind as to how I would like it to go. I love happily ever after endings, and I hoped for one in this series. Whether or not the ending is happily ever after, I leave to the reader to find out. I will say, though, this is one series in which the books are equally engaging and do not lose their mettle.
We have arrived back in Ym with Rime and Hirka, only to have them split up and once again have to struggle to find each other. At its heart, The Raven Rings trilogy is a love story between two people in two classes of society who start at one end and either rise or fall by the conclusion of the story. It’s an interesting examination of what it means to have status and power and how one with honor acts once the tables are turned.
For Hirka, one of my all-time favorite heroines of fantasy, she finds that having power can be just as restricting as having none. At the end of The Rot, we discover that she is the daughter of a fierce and powerful deadborn, or Umpiri, named Graal, who happens to be part of a powerful family in the ice city of the Umpiri. Once Hirka arrives back in Ym, she journeys with this family to a city of ice and there finds that she must once again draw on her inner strength to make her way in yet another world in which she is a stranger, though this time, she has power and status to help her along.
My boy Rime has a more difficult time after he arrives back in Ym, however. After what he did to Naiell, it’s a wonder that Hirka will ever speak to him again. Plus, he must now face the council usurper Darkdagger and save his people from an oncoming war on two fronts that will leave him more desperate than he has ever been. Rime is just one of my favorite characters in fantasy. He's strong, loyal, brave, and willing to take within himself an insurmountable amount of grief in order to make sure that those he loves are safe. He’s also quite dashing.
Even after the discoveries in The Rot, there are some quite shocking discoveries stil to be made in Ym. Like River Song’s hair, Ginnungad is full of secrets, and before the Umpiri set out for war, they will all be uncovered. One of the drawbacks of the story for me was the time spent in Ginnungad. It felt much too long and drawn out—the time Hirka spends there could have been its own book. As a result, the climax of the story felt rushed, though none of it bored me. I just did not get enough time with the characters I wanted to be completely satisfied.
Additionally, I missed out on some Ravnhov time; I do so love the chieftain there and his flirty son, but they did not get much screen time this go around in Ym. This part of Ym and its influence on the world would have made a very interesting addition to the plot—and it does—but it was so fascinating to me, I just needed more details of the lives of the people there.
Aside from what I felt was a pacing issue and some minor odds and end, all mostly to my taste anyway, this book made a perfect wrap-up to the series. The Raven Rings is most definitely in the small group of my most favorite series of all time, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Pettersen's next books. If you can tolerate some gruesomeness, I highly recommend this book for reading.
Arctis Book Selections
I love reading books from other countries. Arctis Books, the publisher for Siri Pettersen’s The Raven Rings, is a small imprint of Simon and Schuster that brings popular books from other countries to the English-speaking world. I have many of their books, some I received as promotions, while others I purchased myself (about half and half). I highly recommend delving into the YA selections from them for those who wish to try something new for fantasy. Their editions are also incredibly beautiful and bound so well. The paper quality, binding, and foil embossing are all top notch. In regard to the translation of The Might, I could not tell that it was a translation. Usually, there will be some syntactic issues, odd idioms that don’t translate to English, or other things that create awkward wording or phrasing; but the translators of this book have once again done a brilliant job of flawlessly delivering a translation that is positively easy to read and so pleasing and lyrical.
*I do recommend this for older YA and adults, as there is graphic violence and sexual content.*
My thanks to Arctis books via NetGalley for the eArc, for which I willingly give my own opinion.