like i said in my review of [b:apple white's story|18054027|Apple White's Story (Ever After High, #0.1)|Shannon Hale|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1374635778s/18054027.jpg|25339413], i absolutely love ever after high. i love the whole message that it's okay to be yourself, no matter what your lineage calls for.her mother really did love her, in a way. hope was like a sticky, too-sweet syrup she yearned to drink just one more time.
the first thing i thought about this story was that it was a little deeper than apple white's, and the mood was entirely different. not only in the obvious way, since raven's legacy is all doom and gloom while apple's is all about woodland creatures and beauty, but in a somber, slightly upsetting sort of way. raven was born from the evil queen - like, the evil queen, so there's an astonishing amount of pressure on her to follow in those footsteps. she's a disappointment to her mother, and even her friends tend to press her to do evil things, but that's just not who she is.
she's her father's daughter. she's a kind girl: she wants to use her magic to help people, apologizes when she makes mistakes, believes in upholding the law. but the pressure to be something she's just not is almost suffocating for her. she's too afraid to stand up for herself, to say no and follow her heart instead of her mother's footsteps. it's a surprisingly realistic, adult thing to lace into a children's story, but it's done in a wonderful, subtle way that i think would be empowering for any child who read it whose parents were along the same line as raven's, and it might be a good reminder, a little dab of gratefulness for children whose parents are the polar opposite.
there are other aspects of raven's story and her character that i love: how quickly the future sneaked up on her. because it does, doesn't it? one minute you're playing and everything is fun and easy, and then you're expected to pick a direction and follow it to the end. it's a scary thing that happens way faster than you expect it to. i don't care how grown up i am, i love this story. no, no. more than that. i love this series.
"hmph. if you were half as evil as i raised you to be, you wouldn't hesitate. i must say, raven queen, i'm disappointed in you. nevermind. i'll watch with interest to see what you accomplish. you have inherited a bottomless capacity for true evil and breathtaking power. don't waste it." she leaned so close all raven could see in the mirror were her mother's deep purple eyes. "give 'em hex, raven."
raven swallowed. all she wanted was to run away.
their time ended and the mirror turned off. instead of her mother's face, raven saw her own again. it was remarkable, really, how much they looked alike.