CANDLEWICKE 13, CURSE OF THE MCRAVENS, by Milan Sergent, Cryptic Quill Publishing

Valor McRaven tries to hide his odd symptoms from the “normal” witches. His shadow moves on its own, and he sometimes makes objects move without the required wand. Valor refuses to believe the rumors about his family, even after Mystic Ministry locks the McRavens in the sanatorium and schedules him to be the hunted fox in a ghastly tournament with blindfolded ogres, boiling cauldrons, and cats with moon madness.

If Valor wins, or survives, he can begin his dream of becoming an apprentice of magic at Mystic Steeples, where he hopes to unravel the death of his twin and the attempts someone keeps making to kill him.

His only friends say it’s too late for that. They insist he’s the leader of their misfit coven, foretold to unravel the greatest cover-up in history (The Great Deception) and stop the Grim Warlock’s terrible Thirteenth Hour. But they’re not risking a life sentence in a dreary prison having their inner essence removed.

The only person Valor trusts is his morosely precocious adopted sister, Doomsy Gloomsy, who knows much more than any eight-year-old should.

Curse of the McRavens, the first book in the CANDLEWICKE 13 series, contains hidden clues throughout the novel. It also contains chapter illustrations as well as a variety of maps.

Out 2019

496 Pages


I was given this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book is packed full with a lot of information setting things up for the series. There’s illustrations and maps, clues, etc. Plus a lot of detail went into world-building, character development, magic-building, and such. The book is a lot of pages, but justified for what the author is trying to accomplish.

My only complaint, if you want to call it that… is lose the characters off the cover. They just don’t do anything for me as an avid fantasy genre reader/writer. I’m not saying, the artwork is bad, it just doesn’t seem to match the story enough for me.

I enjoyed the character development and how the author set goals for each to develop toward. Great detail and thought has gone into the construction of this book and its world of magic, adventure and thrills. Tension building is effective and constant. I’m intrigued to see where the author will be going after this book, hopefully not losing consistency and a sturdy attention to detail and plot development. In all, this is really interesting and I’m glad I read it.

I gave it:


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