Third in the Northnest Saga, Hearthsraven follows Vor, a young mage introduced in book 2. Orphaned on the streets of a conquered city, Vors fledgling mage powers kept her alive, but also drew the attention of the conquering lord, Altare Dhordirh, who took her for his apprentice. Now, recent events as seen in book 2 and as continued here, will force on her a choice: follow her masters bloody path, or find the courage to rise up and defy him.It is a gruesome and passionate turn for the series, as Vor endures the trials of a blood path mage and struggles with her own conscience and desires. She is not the only actor on the stage, however, and familiar faces return to both challenge and assist her, as well as new come adversaries--or perhaps allies?Ms. Smith pulls few punches in this third installment, and a venture into Vors world is not for the faint of heart. Magic, griffins, and unicorns-- staples of the series--make their presence felt again, but the situation is no longer so simple as a princess wanting her kingdom back. The series begins to show signs of expanding beyond the little country of Northnest and the griffin Aeries, and the stakes are getting higher for our heroes both new and old. Book 3 also has a much stronger romantic presence than either of its predecessors.Travelers to Northnest, venture in, and told on tight.