The Raven’s Song by Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble

Publication Date: 6 October 2022

The Blurb

The Raven’s Song alternates between the stories of Phoenix, who lives in a near-future world impacted by climate change and a devastating pandemic; and Shelby, one hundred years in the future in a post-pandemic, post-pollution, post-city world where each community is exactly three hundred and fifty people sustainably subsisting on seven hundred hectares. The story of a world that is beginning to fall apart, and a chance to see it all put back together, The Raven’s Song is a vision of hope for the future, seen through the eyes of the young people who will fight for it.

The Review

Hauntingly beautiful storytelling from two perspectives where myth merges with sci-fi to bring two lives separated by a century together.

Shelby’s world is one of ordered simplicity for the benefit of the community and the planet as they work together to live a simple life while giving the honoured earth the time it needs to heal. Every member of the community Shelby lives in has a purpose, and school serves to teach them how to look after their world and learn from history so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Her curiosity is ignited when she finds a section of their outer fence cut, and discovers long left letters during a forbidden trip into the jungle beyond with best friend, Davy.

Phoenix lives one hundred years before Shelby in the world that was. A world ravaged by excessive consumption, global warming and a pandemic that led to a new way of living for those who survived. His is a boisterous life with his siblings, dimmed by the loss of their mother. A gifted child, he can ‘see’ and ‘hear’ more than most, including the Ravened Girl. The descriptions of both Phoenix, and his little brother Walter being taken to hospital were utterly heart-breaking, and all too reminiscent of the Covid-19 pandemic where families could do little but wait at home when loved ones were admitted to hospital with no visitors allowed.

Zana and Bren have brought two very different dystopian worlds to life in this collaboration which tackles the devastating effects of pollution and climate change, and a deadly pandemic and the hunt for a cure on our world. The merging of myth with sci-fi elements added to its otherworldly feel as it played out like a film in my head whilst reading.

Utterly brilliant in every way, with much to think about and discuss beyond the story. The publishers have given it an age rating of 10+, which I’d say is spot on for children to get the most out of The Raven’s Song.

Great for fans of:

  • The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum
  • The Day Of The Whale by Rachel Delahaye
  • The Drowning Day by Anne Cassidy

Huge thanks to Old Barn Books for sending me a digital proof.


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