Author: Nita Round
Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises
Publishing Year: 2018
I was privileged enough to have Nita Round contact me to review her book Raven, Fire and Ice and she sent me a digital copy right away, which I appreciated. My interaction with Round was short, but she was very professional and I couldn’t have been more happy to review this book. It is a steampunk, fantasy, mystery adventure, but Round branches out and has included LGBTQ themes and dark subjects. Nita Round’s website can be found here and she is on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube.
The premise of the book is Lucinda Ravensburgh has the ability to see the “truth” about an object. That is she can see what has happened in it’s past. Certain events tend to stand out because of the emotional charge behind them. Lucinda uses her abilities to help others and has acquired a strong “token” from an unknown sender, which has triggered her to see it’s past. It sounds like a basic concept, however Round takes this concept and transforms the story into something new and fresh.
The world that Round has created is very well developed, vast and believable. There are 3 main map locations in this book; Mid-Angle, Ama’Rica and Wash Town. The description of Mid-Angle reminds me of an old English town with fairy tale elements. I pictured small homes and people in conservative dress like those in the Modern Victorian era. There is a clock tower which is an important main feature of the town and the Rainbow Tower, which Lucinda hails from. The Ama’Rica’s are more of a remote desert, with nomadic people, and little is known about the Ama’Rica’s by the end of the book, but there is much opportunity in the next book to explore this location. Then there is Wash Town the main and final destination of the first book in the Touch of Truth Series. Wash Town is a large city with many different types of neighbourhoods, but for the most part the story is focused in the underbelly of the city. Round describes Wash Town beautifully and this is only a snippet of the description of the city, “The Wash looked as though a giant hand had scooped out the side of a mountain and left behind a huge bowl-shaped structure open to the sea.” There are other minor places the characters venture to, such as a “Float” which is a village out in the waters where tribes inhabit, created by crafts and ships held together with cables, but I think we will learn more about them in the next books.
An important theme that Round incorporates into her story is the need to respect The Mother (nature) and understand that there is a master plan that only The Mother knows. Towers in the book are structures created by The Mother to enhance those with abilities and make them stronger. Lucinda is the primary of the Rainbow Tower, which reflects the fact that she has many abilities. The Towers’ choose their primary and do the bidding of The Mother. There is a lot of trust a primary puts in their Tower which creates an unmistakable bond between the two.
There are 3 main characters; Lucinda Ravensburgh, Captain Magda Stoner and Ascara. Lucinda is a strong force throughout the book and those around her can not help but feel drawn into her. She attracts a lot of attention and interest from others. She possess many abilities but her ability to see the truth of an object seems to be her dominate power. Captain Magda Stoner is the captain of Verity, a magnificent military like airship. Magda demands respect and she has rightfully earned her crew’s loyalty. She is fearless, strong and will do what it takes to complete her missions and uphold her morals. Ascara is a fierce military leader and will fight for her beliefs. She is a protector. The three women are developing an unbreakable bond, but it is taking time for them to get to that point which I can appreciate as a reader. Round is ensuring the believablility of their relationship, which I think is going to be a pivotal aspect of the series.
I have to mention the fact that the series is focused on 3 strong, independent women and any romantic feelings are between the women in the story. I thought this was refreshing and I enjoyed the unforced romantic relationships, but the powerful piece was the fact that they were LGBTQ relationships. I cannot wait to see how their relationships develop and who, if any, character Lucinda will end up with.
The story line is driven around a mystery of multiple murders occurring in Wash Town and the only person capable of solving the case is Lucinda. After seeing a vision from a token of someone being murdered by a creature Lucinda is apprehensive to leave her Tower at first, but once she steps out the door her story begins.
Raven, Fire and Ice was excellently written, well-developed, creative and exciting. I did not go too in depth with the plot because I feel that the readers need to discover this story for themselves. I had not read anything written by Nita Round before but she does have other books available and after reading this book I can only assume that they are just as well done. I encourage anyone looking for a steampunk series to pick this one up and be a part of the Touch of Truth series from the beginning. This is the first book in the series and the only one currently out, so really consider it as a reading option. I will be eagerly waiting to see what happens to The Raven.
Raven, Fire and Ice is available for purchase on Amazon