The Raven by Sylvain Reynard

March 2nd, 2015 Kimberly Review 70 Comments

2nd Mar
The Raven by Sylvain Reynard
The Raven
by Sylvain Reynard
Series: The Florentine #1
Narrator: John Michael Morgan
Length: 13 hours and 35 minutes
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4 cups

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery . . .
Raven Wood spends her days at Florence's Uffizi gallery restoring Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semiconscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attackers' screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her . . .Cassita vulneratus. When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. Upon returning to the Uffizi, no one recognizes her. More disturbingly, she discovers that she's been absent an entire week. With no recollection of her disappearance, Raven learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history--the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the police identify her as their prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence's wealthiest and most elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets . .

Sylvain Reynard drew me to the audiobook The Raven by the beautiful cover and the promise of a dark sensual tale in a city shrouded in mystery. The first in her new Florentine series set in Florence she delivered an unusual romance with unique characters all set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and home to the Prince and the underworld.

Five reasons to curl up and listen to The Raven

  • The backdrop for Raven is the beautiful city of Florentine Italy with trips to the Uffizi gallery. A set of priceless illustrations from Dante’s Divine Comedy are on display at the gallery where Raven Wood spends her days restoring Renaissance art. Wouldn’t you love that job? Gads, I would love to live there for a few years.
  • Raven is a unique heroine. This is the first paranormal I have ever read where the heroine is full-figured, slightly handicap and utterly naïve when it comes to paranormal elements. Yet, she is strong, smart and despite some emotional issues, she does not compromise. I enjoyed her, despite some hangs up.  She wakes up healed after losing a week in time. What does Raven concern herself with? Not what happened or how, but whether or not she will be late to work. I was like -What? Excuse me, your old wounds are healed, you’ve dropped weight and you are worried about work? This is her nature though, she has a serious side that made me eye-roll, but then she stood up to beasts, protected the Prince and what can I say but, “Go Raven!”
  • The Prince. Yummy darkness…Oh, ladies, I adored him. He reminded me of Sebastian Ballister from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. Unapologetic, strong, demanding and a complete teddy bear when confronted by Raven. Reynard’s take on Vampires within the city, hunters and the hierarchy felt fresh to me. I loved that William (the prince) was dark and yet reached out to save Raven. His back history and uniqueness among his brethren was interesting.
  • The romance is not your typical romance. It does not begin as one but slowly evolves as Raven investigates missing artwork and her miraculous recovery and lost time. There is heat and it is sensual, but it was the tender conversations and mundane moments like watching movies that made me swoon. The Prince demanded my attention and I felt myself stopping activity to listen.  I needed to understand, feel and get to know this complex vampire. While the romance will continue, Reynard did wrap this up, with just a little tease of what is to come.
  • Raven’s missing week, her physical change and prodding have her the main suspect in a police investigation regarding the theft of priceless art around the same time. It looks like an inside job at the Uffizi. Reynard weaved this thread throughout the story, using it to draw characters together and tied it the novella, The Prince (The Florentine, #0.5) that published in January 2015. Fans of the author recommend reading it first. Ooops.

Unique, with a slow unwinding romance and original characters Raven was an enjoyable audio. John Michael Morgan did a nice job as the narrator helping to set the tone, and his portrayal of the Prince endeared him to the listener. Fans of Anna Rice will enjoy the tone and feel of this story.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

70 Responses to “The Raven by Sylvain Reynard”

  1. Elena M Totten (

    Loved your review, Kimberly. John Morgan does a wonderful job narrating Sylvain Reynard’s brilliant sagas. I became addicted to his writing after his Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy (which Morgan also narrates). SR has a way of keeping his characters alive long after you’ve finished reading and hoping for more.

  2. Jennifer Bielman

    You had me at the title. You know me and my blog, I love ravens!!!! But I hate birds….just so we’re clear. 😀 Sounds like a great read.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      My daughter (20) has an insane fear of birds. She thinks they are after her, but thinks Owls are cute.

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    Okay, so you had me intrigued with the setting and your description of Raven being an atypical heroine. But I was SOLD when you compared The Prince to Simon Ballister. Gah! He’s one of my all-time favorite heros! *sigh* So I suppose The Raven is going to be added to my collection sooner than later. 🙂

  4. Lorna

    This sounds like something I would enjoy and I love that the MC was full figured for a change. Very thoughtful review-thanks!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, I enjoyed that, this was a different romance and she was unique

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Glad you liked the audio sample Michelle, I enjoyed this one

  5. Angela Adams

    “The Prince. Yummy darkness…Oh ladies I adored him” — that’s enough of a description for me! Thanks for the post!!

  6. Candace

    I love that this is set in Florence and isn’t the normal kick-ass chick we get in paranormal but she’s still strong and well, I guess kick ass, just not in the same way. It sounds pretty good!

  7. Braine Talk Supe

    I want to read this one too. I should read the parent series first, I’m curious about Dante’s trilogy as well. So many good books, solittle time!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Right..I had no idea this was a spin-off of Gabriel’s now I want to read those! I needs a time device to halt it while I catch up!

  8. fran

    SO EXCITED to see this because its in my Kindle! I am happy I took a chance & bought this before I could change my mind. The title attracted my attention & then the summary kept it.
    So cool you reviewed it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh enjoy Fran, I look forward to you thoughts!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That darn library not even the physical book..sheesh.

  9. Debbie Haupt

    Wow Kim this sounds great and I love the cover. Maybe I’ll get the novella and see if it’s my kind of read.

  10. Kim { Book Swoon }

    I wished I had the audio of this one because it really sounds like it added to the yummy atmosphere. I enjoyed the book for all the same reason you did Kimba. Wasn’t it nice for a change the heroine was such a unique heroine. And the Prince *swoons* loved every part of her. This is my first read by Sylvain Reynard, and I already have Gabriel’s Inferno ready.
    Wonderful review : )

  11. Lanie

    I’ve never read anything by this author but everyone always has such good things to say about them. Sounds like I need to check out this book now. Awesome break down Kimberly^^

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was refreshingly old school and I enjoyed it Lanie

  12. Sophia Rose

    The setting and the mysterious Prince sound great. I still want to read the first trilogy, but maybe I’ll jump right in with this spin-off series. Enjoyed your review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I haven’t read the other books yet, and I am told I would have greater understanding of the world had I done so. Food for thought

  13. Lily

    I absolutely love this author (I devoured her Dante Inferno series like nothing else!) so I’ve been eagerly anticipating this new series and her venture into this other genre. I’ve heard a few mixed things about this one but you’ve mostly eased my worries Kim! I can’t wait to start reading it 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is the first book, and the heroine has some issues..but I enjoyed it and really look forward to the next one.

  14. Heidi

    I am reading some mixed reviews on this one, and though I was initially drawn to it, I don’t think the reviews are strong enough to win me over.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am really glad I read it Heidi. There isn’t much movement, but it is beautifully told and an unusual romance to be sure. If you like Rice this has a similar vibe

  15. Aurian

    Okay, you state you have a full-figured heroine, and then that she looses weight do to something. meaning, that full-figured is not right after all. Or do I read this wrong? Does she gain weight again?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      um..yes she slowly goes back to how she was..although she could have it reversed again if she wished. I shall say no more..spoilers darling

  16. Lauren

    I love the sound of the setting, and of Raven. I think this might be a nice change from the normal read for me! Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was refreshing..old school done new Lauren

  17. Aubrey Wynne

    I want to go back to Italy. You got me at Florence. I am just starting my foray into audio books thanks to this site and loving it. I will have to give this a try.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh that makes me happy, and the setting is spectacular

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed the setting was lovely and this was darker and unique

  18. Nick

    I like that this is set in Italy and I love love love the sound of the romance. The main character sounds like a girl who I would really enjoy too. I should check this book out.
    Lovely review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Nick, it was different and the setting was breathtaking.

  19. Lupdilup

    I enjoyed this one a bit more than you did. 1/2 star To be honest, I was very surprised, I didn’t think I could enjoy another vampire story, but the setting and descriptions won me over. I became a fan of his writing with the second and third book of Gabriel’s Inferno.
    I do love John Morgan’s interpretation 🙂
    Wonderful review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really enjoyed it, but didn’t get that rush I typically do with PNR. This was the first by him I have read, but I plan to continue series.

  20. Jenny

    Set in Florence? SOLD KIM!!!! Even with Raven being a bit too serious at times as to elicit an eye roll from you, I don’t think I can pass up a fictional trip to Florence or The Prince. I need to meet him immediately!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, yeah the setting and unique vibe made this worth reading 🙂

  21. Ramona

    This does sound wonderful and it goes into my pile straightaway. I love it that she’s not your usual heroine. Love me some curves in them MCs, right? 🙂 The backdrop of the story does sound hypnotic and there are vamps … I miss vamps! DEF reading this 😛

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ramona this is old style with a Anna Rice vibe and not your typical romance but I got to swoon, and the setting was breathtaking.

  22. kindlemom1

    I love the setting of this and I do really like that this had a darker feeling side to it.
    Wonderful review Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was unique and had an old PNR vibe too it. The setting was incredible.

  23. Katherine

    This sounds interesting and Raven sounds like an unusual character. Her job sounds to die for but I like that she’s definitely not the typical heroine. Great review!

  24. em

    i read the prequel, and im still not sure if i would enjoy the raven or not – i have read the other works by Reynard and i am a huge huge fan :/ im on the fence – great review though xxx

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is a very different type of romance with little movement, but I enjoyed it overall

  25. Silvia

    I’m from Rome, but I’m well aquainted with the Tuscan countryside as well. I’ve not only been there a few times (and visited the Uffizi, too), but my grandma was born there and some of my relatives were born and still live in Florence. So you can say I may be a tiny bit particularly intrigued by this paranormal romance. 😉

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I bet this would appeal, especially if you are a Rice fan. I loved the descriptions.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      A lot of folks said you need or should read prequel first

  26. Melliane

    It’s always so great to have something different like that. Raven sounds like a heroine I would love to discover and the whole story is set in Italy? So intriguing! Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really enjoyed this Melliane, even if the tone was different and not a typical PNR