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BRIGHT RAVEN SKIES by Kristina Pérez


From the Sweet Black Waves series, volume 3

by Kristina Pérez

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-250-13287-1
Publisher: Imprint

The final volume of a trilogy transforms a tragic legend into a feminist triumph.

Branwen’s deal with Dhusnos, the god of death, may have saved King Marc’s castle but at the cost of the peace for which she sacrificed everything. Tristan and Eseult stand accused of treason, and Branwen still owes Dhusnos a murder. In the conclusion to this sprawling retelling, Branwen and the rest of the huge, intertwined, ethnically and sexually diverse cast race from combat to trials to duels to sea battles, from lies to trysts to betrayals to marriages to funerals, only pausing to wallow in guilt and spectacular self-loathing. Pérez’s alternative medieval world is immersive and detailed, her prose lush with mystical symbolism. Despite their worldly power, men function mostly either to admire or obstruct Branwen (sometimes both) while all the women are complicated and authentic, with independent (if not always admirable) agendas and rich narrative arcs. Within this oppressively patriarchal society, it is the bonds of mentorship, respect, trust, and love among women that make a difference. Although the messy, overwrought love triangle (heptagon, really) is eventually more-or-less resolved, the real climax occurs when Branwen learns to accept her own intrinsic worth and destiny. By the bittersweet ending, she has earned her choices.

Readers will find inspiration in a young woman claiming her identity.

(dramatis personae, glossary) (Fantasy. 12-18)