This book is absolute joy. As a reader who generally prefers contemporary over fantasy, I was delighted to find a fantasy novel—and this is longish one, over 115K—that held my interest throughout and in the end, left me wanting more. More Eyrder, more of its characters, more of its intrigue, and much, much more of its magic. My initial impression, and one that didn't change, was that I'd found a solid piece of writing. Well-plotted, the story curves back on itself in all the right places and leaves nothing to dangle at the end. The universe is beautifully fleshed out and never dumped in the reader's lap en masse, but is instead meted out in delicious morsels. As for the characters, their honor and integrity is tempered with anger, vengeance, and jealousy. The evil has roots in emotions all of us can understand, like ambition. In short, the cast is vibrant and believable. There's romance too! The slow-building, burning sort that makes your mouth water. It would be remiss not to mention that.
As an added bonus, the book is well-written, and let's not brush that off like it should be a given these days, especially in this genre. I'd guess about 50% of the people who read this blog are writers or editors (or both) themselves, so they know… it can be difficult to be drawn into a book when your inner editor is constantly critiquing. In the case of Raven and the Wolf, I felt immersed and invested in the story from the first few pages. Not once was I pulled away by stilted dialog, bloated description, or awkward pacing. This is clean and engaging prose.