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Raven's Tears is the first book in the LitRPG fantasy trilogy, The Raven & The Iris.

A Masquerade of Angels

In the heart of the City of Angels, exclusive enclave of Fernwall's titled elite, Lady Angelique Blakesly, a young, widowed noblewoman has emigrated from the war-torn ruins of ancient Vin-Nôrë. Her claims to be the last known heir of the barony of Carlisle have been accepted by the ruling class of her new home and it seems she's found safety and sanctuary at last. However, nothing with Angel is ever what it seems, and the baroness' reserved demeanor conceals another life, one with ties to Fernwall's criminal underworld and links back to a war that everyone thinks is over. It's simple enough to keep her two distinctly different lives separate from each other until she falls in love with Raven, and finds she doesn't want to have to lie to him, or to anyone, any longer.

A Conspiracy of Ravens

The Raven is Sir Vincent Sultaire, a con-man, some-time inventor, information broker, and playboy who is serving out a sentence as a chief inspector for the city’s police department. The thing is, he hasn't quite given up on his old life, and has used his charm, wits, and way with inventions to supplement the meager allowance he's permitted in order to complete his term of service. How he's also managed to tangle himself up in a state that looks suspiciously like “love” with the beautiful and enigmatic Lady Blakesly, he's not quite sure. They've been happily seducing each other under the noses of the ruling class for months when he’s tasked with solving the mysterious theft of an ancient and priceless dwarven artifact. The trail he follows take him into the Thieves' Quarter in search of a master thief with syndicate connections. The last thing he expects to find there are the clues that implicate Angel in the crime of the century.

A Desperate Hope

Forced to confront her past, Angel plans a daring venture to free herself from her ties to her past. As the Iris, can she confront her past and put the pieces to protect her future in place before Raven discovers the truth?

The story continues in November, 2015 in Dead Man’s Trigger, book 2 of “The Raven and The Iris.” Inspector Barbara Cole is severely beaten and left for dead in an alley, setting off a cascade of events that drive Vincent and Angelique, as the Raven and the Iris, toward a desperate, wind-swept climax atop the iconic Morrissant Bridge. Can Raven recognize the truths between the Angel and the Iris before it's too late?

And will Iris ever forgive Vincent for abandoning them when they needed him most?

The trilogy concludes with the blockbuster finale, "Seven for a Secret." Coming soon!

Raven's Tears costs $2.99 USD
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The Podcast Reproduction

If you are a Menelon Passport holder, advertising free versions of these podcast reproductions are available to you for free, as a part of your subscription.

Episode Show notes link
Preface Michael & Alesia's introduction. No show notes.
Prologue No show notes.


Raven’s Tears, a Raven & Iris novel: Book One of a LitRPG series based in the Fantasy World of Menelon (The Raven and the Iris 1) — 2 Comments

  1. (The following review has been copied from our old cart service, with its original posting date and attribution.)

    Post by Adam Smith – November 29, 2015:

    When I first dug into this book, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It seemed suited for the stereotypical audience for romance novels. I was a little confused, and maybe a little turned off. My genre of preference is something closer to the Riddick movies (“You keep what you kill!”). A bit past the beginning, though, and the book’s tone started to change. It became something more like a dark, dark, very dark romance book. This isn’t your typical love story. Not by a long shot. The characters are deeper, and terribly flawed. These are people who can’t stop hurting their lover, but also can’t stop hurting themselves. They’re horrible people at times, and that’s okay, because you’ll come to love them. Angelique can be heinous in her quest for survival, and Raven is certainly no wilting sweetheart suitor. You watch their train wreck lives collide in a huge climax at the end. And the best part is that it’s believable. Maybe the most believable love story I’ve experienced in a long time.

    This book is not an action story, let’s set that straight right away. There is perhaps one light combat scene in the whole book. The sequel, Dead Man’s Trigger, has far more action to it. But this book is far from boring. The tension builds partway through the beginning and runs high through the entire thing. By the end, you’ll be reaching for the next book, which thankfully picks up right away where this one leaves off.

    This book starts as a typical romance and becomes something much more, and builds straight into the amazing sequel. If you’re bored of flat characters, gender stereotypes, gender counter-stereotypes, modern political statements buried in fantasy, and any of the other stuff cluttering up the genre these days, this book will be a breath of fresh air. Stick with it and it will treat you right. Then grab the sequel and hang on for a wild ride.

  2. (The following review has been copied from our old cart service, with its original posting date and attribution.)

    Post by Lucylicious Reads – November 28, 2015:

    This the first installment in the Raven And the Iris Series.
    Fantasy romance is a genre I’ve only read a little bit of and I was delighted when the author gave me a copy to read in consideration for an honest review.

    This is the publisher’s blurb:

    A con turned cop. And urchin turned lady.
    Two webs of lies. An epic love.

    Sir Vincent Sultaire is the Raven, rakehell, playboy, con, serving a term of indenture for the crimes of burglary and extortion. His lover, Lady Angelique Blakesly, seems to be a wealthy, widowed baronness and devout member of the conservative Guardian Paladin church. But Angel’s careful poise and reserve conceal the Iris, one of Fernwall’s most successful high-stakes burglars; and beneath the collar of Raven’s indenture, he’s playing the cops and the cons for fun and profit.

    Their deceptions intersect explosively after the brilliantly executed theft of the priceless Magun-Zak. Sir Vincent is put in charge of the investigation, a thief set up to catch a thief. Angelique, beholden to forces beyond her control, is desperate to stop him.

    Will Raven discover the truth? And will it be enough to set Angel free before their lies destroy them both?

    This story has an almost Tolkien feel to it. The authors have constructed a world that has it’s own societal structures, cultural norms and complex class system. We have regions who inhabitants boast distinct accents and manners. And the book has an interactive wiki feature that allows you to explore the world while you read – talk about bang for your buck!

    This story is about Raven (aka Vincent Sultaire) and Iris (aka Barroness Angelique Blakely of Carlisle, aka Angel ). They are both master pretenders. In public Angelique pretends to be noble and pious member of Fernwall’s ruling class. Vincent’s [edited by permission] public face is that of a reforming and humbled scapegrace who is serving out his indenture and seeking readmission to the society he was born into and turned his back on as a youth.
    In private, they are lovers whose passion burns so hot that it overwhelms them both. Yet, even their most intimate moments, Iris’ secrets and lies create a barrier that Raven is not aware of. And the oaths that they take as a way to bind themselves together for life are no match for the bonds constructed of deceit, obligation and fear that hold Iris in thrall to another.

    The reader knows Iris’ secrets before Raven does and as we watch him get closer to the truth, the tension and foreboding is palpable.
    And was when Raven finally learns the truth, his devastation is keen. Raven struggles with feelings of betrayal,disappointment that are tempered by the guilt of not letting Iris know that she could trust him to carry her burdens. It is a sad state of affairs and the story ends in a cliffhanger that will have you rushing to start book two Dead Man’s Trigger. There are some difficult themes that are explored in this story (view spoiler) and the characters are both deeply flawed individuals that are both to blame for the predicament that they find themselves in.

    If you read a lot of fantasy add this to your TBR. If it’s genre that is new to you, this is a great place to start. It is extremely well written, well plotted and full of passion and intrigue. It is erotic and dark at times. It packs a tremendous punch in its 332 pages!
    This gets 4 fantastic stars and I will be reviewing Deadman’s Trigger shortly!