Thursday, October 20, 2022

"The Raven Song"

Luanne G. Smith is the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Vine Witch, The Glamourist, and The Conjurer, a witchy historical fantasy series set in Belle Époque France, and The Raven Spell and The Raven Song, a gothic witch series set in a fantasy version of Victorian London. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

Smith applied the Page 69 Test to The Raven Song and reported the following:
A large part of page 69 of The Raven Song is an exchange between Sir Henry Elvanfoot, a renowned wizard in the north (Edinburgh), and Edwina Blackwood, a shapeshifting witch who has recently traveled north (from London) to escape a man who has been stalking her.

Besides showing a brief conversation between the wizard and a pair of bees, there’s also this observation from Elvanfoot about Edwina when he sees her clutch her shawl around her: “It’s almost like a swaddling motion, is it not? The way you keep your shawl held snug around you whenever you’re a bit flustered?”

Edwina answers:
“I’m not flustered. Not exactly.” She loosened her grip on the shawl and settled herself. “But when Mary and I were younger, it often helped with the transformation, as you suggest. My mother is a textile witch. She can sew, weave, knit. She made the shawls when we were younger, enchanting them with malleable threads that conformed to our bodies. You see, it does take a measure of self-control to keep the mind and body housed together when things get stressful.”
I wouldn’t say the page is remarkably representative of the overall book, but the scene is an important one because it reveals information about Edwina and Mary and the relevance of their flowing shawls that hadn’t been covered in depth in the first book. Without saying more to avoid spoilers, the information on the page is part of the set up for the villain’s ultimate motive to do what he does.

The Raven Song is the second book in The Conspiracy of Magic duology. There were a lot of unanswered questions in the first book, The Raven Spell. Some of that was done deliberately, of course, with new questions raised at the end to entice readers to return for the sequel. I think this second book will answer most of those nagging reader questions. They’ll find it also explores more of the Celtic folklore as the characters travel north, hopefully providing one complete story arc by the end of book two.
Visit Luanne G. Smith's website.

Q&A with Luanne G. Smith.

The Page 69 Test: The Raven Spell.

--Marshal Zeringue