The Second Book set on Carver’s World!

“It’s a fun tale, full of adventure, while it addresses the issue of reforming, rather than just fleeing, an unjust system.”
–Carolyn Cushman, Locus

The new Raven cover by Maurizio Manzieri

The new Raven cover by Maurizio Manzieri

Raven is now available for Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.

I hadn’t planned to write Raven, but it turned out to be a book that needed writing. One of my readers for the first draft of Sky Carver was Trina Schart Hyman, the masterful artist who also painted its cover. And the first thing she said when she handed back the manuscript was, “I want to read more about Raven. I hope the next book is her story.”

Up to that point, I had no idea I would be writing a second book set in Carver’s world. Trina’s reaction changed my mind. Raven was one of those characters who grew in the telling. She appeared as a plot device, quickly became a sidekick, and then developed into her own person. I really liked her and wanted to spend more time looking through her eyes and speaking with her wonderful voice.

I had already put hints about Raven’s past into Sky Carver, which I proceeded to develop into a sub-plot. She had three big scenes, in fact, which dealt with her past, her passionate hatred of forced servitude, and her rocky relationship with her mother. However, when I presented them to my editor at Clarion, she told me to save them for the next book, where I could focus on Raven.

So here it is, and the story too has grown in the telling. Raven takes place a few months after Sky Carver ends, but it’s not a sequel. It is definitely Raven’s own story. She is almost the only character from Sky Carver to reappear, but don’t worry; you’ll get to meet a whole bookful of fascinating new characters, including Fireboy’s little brother, who has a magic talent of his own. Here’s the blurb from the jacket:

“It’s been four years since Raven fled Baron Cutter’s estate – four years since her mother, Roxaine, failed to show at their rendezvous. They were bond servants then. Now, Raven is an outlaw and a powerful mage – she can change into a bird at will. But at fifteen, Raven is haunted by the past: Did her mother abandon her, or did Raven desert Roxaine in her hour of need? Driven by a desire to know what happened that night, Raven seeks out the mother she left behind. What she discovers is beyond her imagining, and Raven is left with a choice: escape a second time or help the mother whose will is as strong as her own.

“From the author of Sky Carver comes this riveting account of an unwilling heroine’s quest. Vivid details and amusing characters are skillfully woven into this fast-paced novel about a girl who must look beyond magic – and herself – to save what is most important.”

Click here to download chapter 8 and get a taste of the action.

Who Reads Raven? Get the answer in this review and recommendation by a bookseller and librarian.

Raven is available online (and locally at the Norwich Bookstore and Star Cat Books in Bradford).

This edition of Raven has brand-new cover art by Maurizio Manzieri. The wonderful cover for Sky Carver was painted by the late Trina Schart Hyman, a neighbor and friend. Unfortunately, Trina died just before Sky Carver was published. The book designer and editor at Clarion Books decided to go with a different style for the Raven cover (and won an industry art award for it!). However, I didn’t have the necessary rights to reuse the cover art on any other editions and – with a third book set on Carver’s World in the works – I wanted to create a unified look for the series.

It was only natural to turn to Maurizio, who had created such wonderful artwork for The Man Who Loved KitesIridescence, and now Fireboy. I asked  if he could come up with a cover that matched Sky Carver in layout, while not trying to copy Trina’s signature painting style. He agreed to give it a try.

What can I say? He succeeded beyond my highest hopes! At first glance, the three covers are obviously from the same series, while a closer look reveals the subtle differences between Trina’s brush work and Maurizio’s digital layering. (See the three side-by-side here.) There could well be more books coming in the Carver’s World series – if so, you can be sure Maurizio will be the cover artist!