Happy Sunday and welcome to my stop on the The Raven and The Dove blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover Kaitlyn’s favorite moments from her book, how she chose the names for her characters, and some fun research that didn’t make it into the book! Plus, follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of The Raven and The Dove!
The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis
Published by Kaitlyn Davis Mosca on March 9, 2020
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Four fates collide in this avian-inspired, epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!
A princess longing to be free...
On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.
A bastard aching to belong...
Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.
Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart...
Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.
Three shocking betrayals. Two star-crossed lovers. One unforgettable journey. If you like fierce heroines, brooding heroes, forbidden romance, and action-packed magical adventures with twists you'll never see coming, don't miss The Raven and the Dove!
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from The Raven and The Dove?
One of my favorite quotes is, “Magic sizzled between them, the gold of the sun and the silver of the moon, joined for this brief impossible moment.” But I have to say, my favorite scene to write was probably also the one readers are going to want to kill me over, lol! There’s a particularly brutal moment that happens near the end of the book that is not only shocking, but ties so many bits of foreshadowing together, and I love writing climactic moments like that.
If Lyana and Rafe were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
Wow, that’s something I’ve never thought about before, but I think I’ll go with Lazlo and Sarai from Strange the Dreamer. I think Lazlo and Lyana would be kindred spirits in many ways, always yearning for adventure and dreaming of new lands and living with this feeling like he/she was made for something more. In the same way, I think Rafe and Sarai would understand each other, the desire to belong, the hurt of feeling out of place, and the courage of sacrificing everything for love. I don’t want to give anything away, but I also think Lyana would be ALL about how Muse of Nightmares ends—if you’ve read it, I think you’ll know what I mean!
What is your favorite piece of research you didn’t end up using?
Ooh, I love this question! Because my fantasy world is avian-inspired, I spent hours researching the habits of various sorts of birds before choosing which species to highlight and include in this world. There’s so much that didn’t make it into the book in detail, though I think all of the research was there subconsciously as I was defining the traits of the various kingdoms—such as the House of Peace (doves), the House of Whispers (ravens), the House of Wisdom (owls), etc.
Hummingbirds were some of the most fascinating birds to research, though it’s not the bird type of any of the main characters (maybe in a future book!). Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homoeothermic animal, so to conserve energy when food is scarce they can go into a torpor, which is similar to hibernation, to slow their metabolic rate. Most of their diet consists of sugars ingested through liquid (which is why hummingbird nectar is the drink of choice for my characters!), and they flap their wings in a figure-8 to support themselves while hovering.
I also have tons of notes all about wing shapes and sizes—how owls have serrated flight feathers which makes them near silent fliers, how doves have some of the strongest wing muscles of all birds, how ravens have a larger wing area which makes them very agile in flight, how birds of prey have longer broader wings meant for soaring and quick attacks. The science might not have made it into the book, but most of the ideas did!
How did you choose the names for your characters?
Names hold a lot of meaning in my book—true names, and nicknames, and secret names—so it would be too much to go into all the details, but I’ll share a few. First, you should note that I absolutely abhor picking out names, so normally my process is to go through baby name directories, search by language or meaning or first letter, and scroll for hours until something clicks. For my main character, that happened when I found the name Lyana, which means “God has answered.” She’s supposed to be a queen of prophecy, so I loved the meaning behind it, and I also really liked how the name sat on my tongue. I recently realized I’ve been pronouncing it incorrectly in my head for almost three years (ha!), so when I have the audiobook made I’ll need to make sure the narrator uses the version I like and not the typical pronunciation.
The brothers, Rafe and Xander, actually have very similar true names (you’ll learn why when you read the book!), which are Aleksander and Lysander. One is more associated with a warrior and the other with a lover, I’ll let you guess who is who 🙂
And to round out the four main characters, Cassi’s name is a play on Cassandra, which means “she who entangles men”—basically, it was too badass not to use!
What can you tell us about Lyana and Rafe that we might not find out in the book?
Rafe would be the boy in a contemporary romance who secretly loves chick flicks but doesn’t want anyone to know, so he offers to watch one at every opportunity as though it’s the greatest sacrifice on earth. Lyana would be the girl who is pretty and popular and utterly lost, who takes a gap year before college and backpacks across Europe to go find herself.