By Mark Chadbourn
Pyr, $17.95, 415 pages
Jack Churchill, known as Church, has no memory of his life prior to waking up in Cornwall during the Stone Age. Almost more surprising, he also finds himself wielding a sword of power – subsequently killing a giant with it – and joining a group of warriors called the Brothers of the Dragons. With them, he begins a journey that will take him in and out of various times and places, searching for the one person he remembers, Ruth, and the answers to his past.
Jack of Ravens is the first book in the Kingdom of the Serpent trilogy, but it is really a continuation of the first trilogy in the series, Lord of Misrule. If that sounds confusing, it is, particularly if the reader has not read the first books, something that would be highly recommended. Outside of this, the story itself tends to bounce around, with few to no segues or transitions. This may be on purpose, to give the reader a sense of Church’s experience, but instead just makes the entire story feel disjointed. The reading experience may be different for people who have read the prior trilogy, but for those who haven’t, this is not the book to choose.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern