The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven


Romance - Paranormal
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/01/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven by Jennifer Ivy Walker is the first installment of a planned paranormal romance trilogy set in the times of King Arthur, the fabled High King of England. Issylte is the only heir to the throne of Ireland and at fourteen is just realizing her future role as the Emerald Queen when her father, the king, chooses to remarry in an attempt to ally with the King of Scotland. His new bride, the evil Morag, is determined to rid herself of her problematic stepdaughter, kill the king, and claim the Irish throne as her own. Issylte narrowly escapes the queen’s plot and discovers her latent magical powers, living deep in the Irish forests with a fairy witch who teaches her how to develop her newfound prowess as a healer and a seer. Tristan of Lyoness was the heir to his family’s throne in the Scilly Isles when he witnesses his entire family’s murder by marauding Vikings. Placed with his Uncle Marke, the King of Cornwall, Tristan grows up to be one of the most feared knights of the realm and is proclaimed Marke’s champion and heir. Sent to train with and ultimately join King Arthur as one of the fabled Knights of the Round Table, Tristan meets and befriends Sir Lancelot, Arthur’s premiere knight and champion. Tristan and Issylte embark on separate adventures, little knowing that fate and the Goddess will one day bring them together to rescue their respective kingdoms from the evil Queen Morag, her Viking cohorts, and dark, magical dwarves.

The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven is everything I would expect a novel of Arthurian times to be and more. Author Jennifer Ivy Walker has skillfully taken the world that we generally know through stories of King Arthur and concocted an exciting and wonderfully twisting world of chivalry, romance, battles, and magic. The two distinct and separate strands of the story wind their way beautifully to their obvious conclusion on the island of Avalon where the stage is perfectly set for the next iteration of this fascinating and compelling story. I particularly appreciated the author’s skill in blending the magic and the paranormal with the everyday existence of mere mortals. The battle scenes are realistic and bloody as one would expect in any knight’s tale but the romance and the passion of the characters are developed superbly and will have readers turning pages relentlessly to discover the next thrilling chapter of this story. The story is beautifully set up for the next stage of the journey and one is also left with the feeling that we have not heard the last of some of the characters that are left behind. Camelot, this period of history in Britain, tales of druidic magic, and the “little people” of the forest are shrouded in mysticism and fable, yet this author manages to combine all of these aspects in a thoroughly readable novel that seems plausible and believable. This is a real credit to her and I salute her for this first installment. I will be waiting greedily for the next iteration of this adventure and the further exploits of the characters I have grown to admire and love. I can highly recommend this book as one of the best stories I have read this year.

Teresa Syms

The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven by Jennifer Ivy Walker recounts in a different way the tale of the medieval French legend of Issylte, the daughter of the Irish King who finds her life in peril from the black-hearted evil queen, her stepmother, Morag. Issylte is taken into the forest by the queen’s knights. She knows they are to kill her and her heart is to be cut out and returned to the queen. The huntsmen are unable to follow the queen’s orders and return with a stag’s heart instead. Finding refuge in a lovely cottage deep in the woods, Issylte becomes Eglantine, granddaughter to the Forest Fairy. After four years, Issylte’s true identity is uncovered and she escapes with her savior Ronan, an elf sent by the Lady of the Lake, Viviane, who happens to be the mother of Sir Lancelot of Camelot. Once Issylte is delivered safely to Avalon, she becomes a priestess and gifted healer. Tristan, the heir to the throne of Cornwall, becomes a Knight of the Round Table of Arthur Pendragon and uses his skill, talent, and battle-hardened body to kill the evil queen’s black knight, The Morholt. Tristan is mortally wounded by the black knight and is dying from a mysterious poison that was on the blade. Sir Lancelot takes Tristan to Avalon to be healed. He is not aware that fate has ordained that Issylte and Tristan are destined to meet.

The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven is a captivating paranormal romance tale. The reader will absolutely become enthralled by this fascinating, exciting, and action-packed story. Walker created three plots that merged together easily. Each plot was intertwined with the others so intricately and seamlessly that the reader will be caught up completely within the pages. As each character is introduced, the author gives a solid enough portrayal to be able to visualize the character as they come to life on the pages of this book. The reader will fall in love with Issylte as she navigates her fate, beginning from her homeland of Ireland to England and then on the island of Avalon with her first love, the Elf, Ronan. I highly recommend The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven by Jennifer Ivy Walker. Congratulations on writing a very enchanting story filled with magic, knights, an evil queen, and people with hearts so pure that nothing can break them. I am now a fan! There is something for everyone buried in the pages of this book.

Stephanie Chapman

Jennifer Ivy Walker creates a magical fantasy story in The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven. Young Issylte is nervous about her father’s marriage to Princess Morag. When Morag arrives with her guard Morholt, Issylte feels something cold inside her and is afraid of her stepmother. One afternoon, Issylte finds out that her beloved nursemaid, Brangien, is no longer working for her family. The following day, two men escort Issylte into the forest. They tell her to flee to the witch fairy, Maiween, who renames her Eglantine and disguises her. The old woman starts her education for healing and self-discovery. Meanwhile, Tristan has earned the right to study under Lancelot and plans to take revenge on the Viking who killed his entire family. However, he learns that some friends will betray him for a price.

This beautiful fantasy novel captured my full attention from start to finish. Jennifer Ivy Walker infuses espionage, betrayal, love, magic, and danger throughout the story. The transitions were flawless, even when Issylte changed her name multiple times to avoid Morag, a despicable woman, whose greed knew no boundaries. She used her ability to seduce men to accomplish her goals and had no problem replacing her lovers. The timeline of events was easy to follow, and one can see the growth of both Issylte and Tristan. The connection between Issylte and Tristan came as a shock to both of them. I liked the nobility of Tristan and I believe that he was responsible for Issylte’s decision to fight Morag. The end of the story left me yearning to read the sequel. I recommend The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven to readers who enjoy fantasy romances full of magic and strengthened by well-developed characters.

K.C. Finn

The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven is a work of fiction in the paranormal romance subgenre. It is intended for the mature reading audience owing to scenes of a sexual nature as well as the use of explicit language throughout and was penned by author Jennifer Ivy Walker. In this mystical and magical retelling of a medieval French legend, we find ourselves following the romantic adventure of Tristan and Issylte. As Issylte escapes the clutches of an evil queen, she meets a knight with a dark past seeking to do good in the world. Druidic magic, wicked spellcraft, fairies, and elves add magical complications to a passionate tale of survival, love, and overcoming darkness.

One of the unique features that author Jennifer Ivy Walker brings to this retelling of a classic tale is its atmospheric worldbuilding and all of the glorious fantasy and fairytale touches that enhance the original legend and create so much more intrigue and excitement along the way. I particularly enjoyed Tristan’s emotional arc as a haunted warrior still undergoing his own personal traumas, whilst also shouldering new responsibilities as he’s driven forward and healed by the power of love. The themes of the work really resonate deeply with a sense of hope and faith, and the magical lore resembles this in the different types of magic found, used for both good and nefarious purposes. Overall, I would highly recommend The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven for fans of fantasy and magical romance everywhere as an addictive and engrossing read.

Jennifer Ibiam

Issylte, the daughter of King Donnchadh of Ireland, was the apple of her father’s eye. She lived a charmed life until everything fell apart. Her father married Morag of Scotland, who became the wicked stepmother. Morag wanted Issylte dead by all means, but the princess escaped into the wild. She met a kindhearted witch who helped hone her gift of healing as a forest fairy with verdant magic. However, fate also played a role in bringing Tristan her way. Tristan was the deposed Blue Knight of Cornwall and heir to the throne, but he suffered an immense loss that left him bitter. Hence, Issylte and Tristan had one problem—Morag wanted their thrones. Can the royal duo face the formidable Queen Morag to reclaim their rights? Find out in The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven by Jennifer Ivy Walker.

The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven by Jennifer Ivy Walker is an epic novel that drew and kept me locked in. It was intense, delving into magic, royal politics, deceit, treachery, betrayal, fate, courage, and survival. I loved the beautiful plot, sound character development, and riveting storyline. The dialog was also interesting, allowing each character to speak and shine. Walker’s active and imaginative mind led to a descriptive story that felt so real. So, I lived vicariously through Issylte and Tristan. I learned more about plants and their potency in treating ailments. The novel also showed that humans are fickle if they will gain something. Vaughan and Connor switched loyalties so fast, and it shocked me. The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven is only the first book, and the plot thickens. I await subsequent installments.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Issylte, the Emerald Princess of Ireland, must flee her wicked stepmother, her father’s new bride. The queen is evil and means to have Issylte killed, but the soldiers sent to do the task find they can’t bring themselves to kill the beautiful princess. Instead, she’s sent into the magical forest to find shelter with a fairy witch. The magic she learns helps her heal others, but it also leads her to another magical realm where she interacts with the Lady of the Lake and the Elves of Avalon. When she meets Tristan, a knight of the Round Table, she is torn by her desires and the need to save his life so they can follow their fate, and restore her true place as Queen of Ireland. The two are intertwined by fate and magic in the age-old tragic paranormal romances, the classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as Tristan und Isolde.

Jennifer Ivy Walker’s paranormal romance, The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven, follow the plot of a medieval French legend of a beautiful Irish princess, her evil stepmother, a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, the legendary Lady of the Lake and the Elves of Avalon. The plot is intense as it primarily follows two points of view, Issylte’s and Tristan’s, until the two discover each other first through visions and then in person. The evil queen’s point of view is also presented to thicken the powers of evil that threaten the good of the Emerald Princess. The author captures the reader’s attention from the very beginning with an intense descriptive narrative and character development, which weaves an almost believable plot of fantasy, reality, magic, and the ever-present evil. But the story isn’t over; the Irish throne needs to be reclaimed by the rightful heir. And the trilogy continues with book 2: The Lady of the Mirrored Lake.