Wonderful YA historical fantasy series
The Raven Spell, The Raven Song Book Cover The Raven Spell, The Raven Song
A Conspiracy of Magic
Luanne G. Smith author, Susannah Jones Narrator
YA, Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy, Historical Romance
47 North
February 1, 2022 and October 11, 2022
Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
267, 266

The Raven Spell: A Novel

After a nearly fatal blow to the skull, traumatized private detective Ian Cameron is found dazed and confused on a muddy riverbank in Victorian London. Among his effects: a bloodstained business card bearing the name of a master wizard and a curious pocket watch that doesn’t seem to tell time. To retrieve his lost memories, Ian demands answers from Edwina and Mary Blackwood, sister witches with a murky past. But as their secret is slowly unveiled, a dangerous mystery emerges on the darkened streets of London.

To help piece together Ian’s lost time, he and Edwina embark on a journey that will take them from the river foreshore to an East End music hall, and on to a safe house for witches in need of sanctuary from angry mortals. The clues they find suggest a link between a series of gruesome murders, a missing person’s case, and a dreadful suspicion that threatens to tear apart the bonds of sisterhood. As the investigation deepens, could Ian and Edwina be the next to die?

The Raven Song: A Novel

Forever untangling the branches of her strange family tree, Edwina Blackwood is at a turning point. Her parents’ disappearances still strike her as unaccountably odd. Her sister’s questionable life and untimely death have left her shaken. Spellfire has transformed her home and livelihood to ash. And now a devious stalker is on her trail. With supernatural detective Ian Cameron by her side, Edwina can’t get out of London fast enough.

Gaining safe passage, she finds refuge with Sir Henry Elvanfoot, famed wizard of the north, and is promised protection from ill-aimed curses. But in this unfamiliar city of fair folk and witches, where the veil between Earth and the Otherworld is about to be lifted, something is amiss. How else to explain Edwina’s sudden prophetic visions? Or the fear that surviving whoever pursues her will require the powers of an ancient bloodline she’s only beginning to comprehend?

Whatever destiny awaits, it’s Edwina’s to finally control. Where will it lead? Only time, cunning, and magic—in this world or the Other—will tell.

Memories were made up of intricate interwoven strands. Each attached to another in delicate spiderweb threads that created emotional patterns, each on affecting and tugging on the next.

Luanne Smith has created a wonderfully entertaining and enthralling story in the two book series, A Conspiracy of Magic, released in 2022. Based in Victorian England, Edwina and Mary Blackwood are sisters endowed with special magical gifts. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents the sisters find themselves in the middle of a missing person investigation by Ian Cameron and a series of horrific murders. When Edwina agrees to help Ian recover his missing memories little does she know how close to home their search will end up. The resolution of some of the mysteries leads to everything in Edwina’s life starting to fall apart. The only steadfast thing is her connection to Ian, who promises to help unravel her connection to the supernatural world and identify the her stalker with devious intent.

Luanne is such a gifted writer not only in the captivating stories that she creates but in the way she delivers them through her world building and characters in A Conspiracy of Magic. From the moment you open the book or start listening to the audio you will be swept away into another world. I was extremely fond of the Edwina and the dichotomy to her twin sister Mary. Their different personalities lead them to make different life choices that ultimately result in a wedge between them. But, this also makes room for Ian in Edwina’s life. While Edwina and Ian made each other’s acquaintance under unsavory circumstances their blossoming kinship leads into a wonderful friendship and romance, perfect for all ages. Told from both Edwina and Ian’s POV allows you to get such a fuller experience from the story.

Narrator Susannah Jones was also the perfect choice for this multiple character book set in both England and Scotland. Her ability to take on the personalities and “voice” of each character in such a distinctive and authentic way makes an already wonderful story come alive. I’m convinced that a good narrator is one that makes you forget that you are listening to someone read to you. Susannah does that and so much more! I read The Raven Spell and then listened The Raven Song. In the past I’ve experienced a disconnect between my interpretation of a character and the narrators, but Susannah brought to life Luanne’s story exactly as I imagined it to sound, which is to happily admit that I hear voices when I read. Luanne Smith is definitely a go to author for great historical fantasy and paired with Susannah’s narration you can’t go wrong!