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Review-Raven's Ladder

Raven's Ladder by Jeffrey Overstreet
Book 3 in The Auralia Thread--The Gold Strand
WaterBrook Press, 2010, 380 pages of story

Jeffrey Overstreet's website is Looking Closer

This book was provided for free by WaterBrook Multnomah for the purpose of reading/reviewing.

The Auralia Thread
Book 1--Auralia's Colors published 2007
Book 2--Cyndere's Midnight published 2008
Book 3--Raven's Ladder published 2010

Cal-raven that was introduced in book one is the son of King Cal-Marcus, late in book 1 Cal-raven becomes King of Abascar. Cal-raven's mother Jaralaine had ran away from her family and disappeared when he was young. In book 1 of this series Abascar is destryoed and Cal-raven wants to create a New Abascar.
In this book Cal-raven is ambushed and taken prisoner, leaving his subjects in danger. Cyndere the daughter of the Bel Amica queen wants to help Cal-raven but he must accept her help.
Bel Amica is a coastal group of people that is wealthy and bewitching. 
In book 1 we were introduced to Auralia and her colors, but now the Bel Amican's are distorting the message of her colors.

Although I liked this book, it was a hard read---hard in that I had to work to keep up with the pace of the story and the various parties or groups of people.
Cal-raven is the main character---although after just having read Auralia's Colors Book 1---I wished to read more about Auralia. Auralia is alluded to and dreamed about in this book, but not seen.
This book is full of white rats, strange insects, creatures with claws, winged creatures, black tarpaulin, viscor cats, and reptiles.
I am new to Fantasy Christian Fiction---this is my 4th book this year and in each case there are strange creatures such as in this book Raven's Ladder.
The characters names I thought were too cool, they are reminiscent of strong Gaelic sounding names.
I would have liked to have had less characters to keep up with, and a deeper more drawn out story in focusing on Cal-raven or Cyndere.
Although Cal-raven is the main character and a king, I found it interesting that his looks are not doted on--another words he is not a character created to be swash buckling or the most handsomest and virile of men. He is painted as a man that has a yearning and quest for his people, struggles over decisions, the stresses of providing for the safety of his people, and he is haunted by the memories of Auralia.
I like it that there was a list of characters in the back of the book (why in the back of the book, why not the first few pages such as a map that was given?)

Blissful Reading!