Title: The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Series: Rachel Griffin #2
Things have barely quieted down at Roanoke Academy since the battle with the dragon. Now that the Wisecraft know there is a geas that can control people without them remembering it, everything is in an uproar. Rachel is desperate to be in the thick of things, but the adults are trying to keep students in the dark—even though the students themselves are the ones most likely to be hurt. If no one will tell her anything, she’s determined to keep investigating herself . . .
I really like how Vladimir Von Dread and Gaius are shaping up as the book goes on. Pretty much all the adults have written Vlad (and by extension, his loyal henchman Gaius) off as evil, but as the first book showed, that’s oversimplifying things by a lot. Now Rachel is finding that the people she trusted so well are brushing off serious concerns, but Vlad is willing to take her warnings to heart.
As for Gaius, he’s enough older than Rachel to make dating a concern—which even Rachel admits. So she teeters between wanting to keep him as a friend, and wanting him to be more. I like how Gaius is, even more than Vlad, ambiguous.
But nobody beats Siggy when it comes to making me laugh.
Rachel sighed. “Sigfried, you’re a human being. You don’t have glands like that.”
“Yet!” said Siggy stubbornly. “You told me people can’t turn into dragons—but look at Dr. Mordeau! If she can do it, I can do it. I have great hopes for alchemy class. I can’t wait to perform alchemical experiments on my head!”
“It’ll work out great!” Lucky added loyally. “You’ll overcome many naked monkey boy handicaps! When have horrible experiments with unknown magical forces ever gone wrong?”
The scene where Mr. Burke is trying to explain about dangerous areas to Sigfried is another bit of comedy gold. Siggy and Lucky take all his warnings as if they were signs on attractions, and wants to see them all.
This is a darker book than the previous. Although the event itself happens offscreen, a student was raped, and she’s struggling to heal.
The Raven also gets some interesting bits of development. Rachel’s always seen it as a harbinger of doom, but once she knows a little bit more of who he is and what he’s doing, her feelings get more complicated.
Overall the story continues to build and improve. I rate this book Recommended.