“Ravening Heart of the Wolf” is a book that is centered around the heroin named Manon Falderdean. Her life has been impacted and torn apart again and again from her mother being ripped from her leading to her death, to having to stay in a constant state of fear while hiding away from a brutal warlord with her grandmother. Her chaotic life gains another level of disarray when she is found by the warlord who then comes to collect her and kills her beloved grandmother. Manon's life appears to be over with all her family members dead and after she is taken to the warlord’s castle for captivity, when a fortunate opportunity to run presents itself to her. Manon manages to escape the lieutenant that was escorting her and ends up running into a young strapping man that rescues her, cares for her wounds, and takes her to his home, the Valarsard people. Once there, Manon starts to see how wonderful life can be and starts to find a new home, new family, and even new love. But how long can Manon hide away from the warlord’s ever watchful eye? Will she be able to accept having a happy life when she feels like she causes all those around her to die? Will she be able to find love when there are those that are trying to destroy her chances at every turn?
This book was such an enjoyable read. It was refreshing to read a book that was in a completely different setting than my typical read since this was more medieval time period. I would almost go to say it could be close to fantasy due to some of the characteristics of the groups of people, special abilities, and even a character that is practiced in mystical powers. I enjoyed how the author was straightforward in her writing; she balanced the narrative and story by giving good context and dialogue. It is a story that keeps a reader interested because it is centered around a handful of main characters, but then is supported by numerous amounts of side characters. However, even though there were many side and supporting, characters, the author did not ignore them or not give them credit. She still took the time to fully explain the purpose of the characters, to give them their background and history, and even came back around to them as the story progressed. It was enjoyable to see a full cast of characters along with the main; it made me feel like I truly got a look into the world and helped me better understand characteristics of the society she created. I really enjoyed getting to see how the main character, despite her sad life and unfortunate events which she had experienced in her short life so far, was able to find a new family and rebuild her hopes of having a mother, siblings, friends, and a home. I am a sucker for love stories, so I loved getting to see a budding romance come from an unexpected friendship and to see how they handled the turmoil that hit them. The plot and storyline I felt were very balanced and kept me interested throughout, with having the climax hit and then having enough time to have the solution and basically wrap up the story and characters. This book has made me want to read even more in this world and in the Valarsard Chronicles.