The Dark Side

Written by Mindy Klasky

April 16, 2019

I am thrilled to announce that Keara’s Raven: Betrayal is now available in print and as an ebook!  (Print editions are rolling out, even as I type… If they aren’t at your favorite online store yet, they will be soon. And if your local bricks-and-mortar store can’t order yet, it will be able to in very short order!)

 

When I first wrote Keara’s tale — the story of a twelve-year-old girl who rebels against the expectations of her society to save her raven best friend — I knew there were some dark themes in the book. After all, Caw needed saving because he was about to be sacrificed, on an altar, in service to an unknown and unknowable god.

Some people told me that story was too dark, especially for a children’s book.

But I remembered the children’s books I loved when I was a kid. I adored A Wrinkle in Time — where one child must overcome all her fears of inadequacy to rescue not only an enslaved and mind-ripped sibling, but also to save a parent. I gobbled up all the Narnia books, with their overt religious symbolism of sacrifice and redemption. I fell hard for The Lord of the Rings, reading the trilogy without benefit of a film interpretation, after I read The Hobbit for my fifth-grade English class.

Keara’s story wasn’t too dark. It wasn’t too religious. It wasn’t too hard.

Alas, the original cover didn’t do a great job of selling my story. When my agent first saw the design, he said, “It looks like a Christmas card for orphans.” We had complained about the first book, explaining that the girly cover would alienate boy readers who would otherwise love Keara’s and Caw’s adventures. In response, the second book’s cover had a small figure of a boy in the middle ground — an even clearer message (to those who wanted not to like the story) that boys were secondary in Keara’s world.

So. Here is Keara’s Raven: Betrayal. Once again, Elisabeth Alba has done an amazing job with the cover art — capturing the scary things, the hard things, the things that make Keara the brave heroine she is.

You can buy your copy today!

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