Every once in a while, inspiration strikes from unexpected sources; the brand new Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse, the first book of a new fantasy series published by Bethany House, was one. In addition to being a captivating story, the book is full of great imagery that really lent itself to fan art.
The book blurb:
Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate. As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift. Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house. One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?
It was fun to draw on the prominence of the ravens and borrow the symbol for the series in which to frame the painting. I also enjoyed depicting the seven Great Houses that rule the land (in order of the symbols in the raven’s pinions and tail feathers):
Rafel: the house of healing
Vivek: the house of wisdom
Friere: the house of flames
Ravenwood: the house of dreamers
Maris: the house of the sea
Luceras: the house of light
Merek: the house of wyverns
They play a prominent role in the politics of the story, and I am guessing that they will, if anything, grow in importance throughout the series. I’m greatly looking forward to reading what comes next!
1. Mark of the Raven
2. Flight of the Raven
3. Cry of the Raven