January 8, 2015
Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen
Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle
by George Hagen
Schwartz and Wade
Ravens used to hold a place of honor in the world until the fateful day that one raven was tempted to eat the flesh of his human companion. With that, the bird turned into a demonic valraven, always hungry and always on the hunt.
Few people could tell the different between ravens and valravens — valravens have sickly yellow eyes, smell like carion, and cannot laugh at a good riddle. When they saw the birds feasting on human dead, they thought they were seeing ravens and began to hunt their former companions.
By the time Gabriel Finley turns twelve, almost no one remembers the time that ravens talked to men. His heart goes out to the fledgling raven he finds perched on a window sill of his home. When the bird speaks to him, he knows something exciting is about to happen.
George Hagen has created an amazing new fantasy that combines Norse mythology with magical elements. Like the first Harry Potter book, the story is well along before Gabriel begins to discover his magical abilities but unlike the other book the reader is well aware of the magic.
In addition to his raven, Gabriel’s friends include a quirky girl who loves riddes as much as Gabriel does, a talented musician and a boy from an abusive home. While there is a lot that is dark in this story, it is a story about personal strength and making good choices even when all seems dark.
This is a solidly middle grade story without the angst or sexual tension of a young adult novel but with more darkness and greater depth than a chapter book. Share it with the young fantasy fan or riddle lover in your life.