Since tomorrow is the official release day for the second Lone City title, I've decided to make today Amy Ewing day here on the blog!
We got a taste of Raven's plight in The Jewel thanks to Violet's very limited observations, but none of us really had a clue what was going on in the House of the Stone. Until now.
Lot 192: Raven Stirling. The Surrogates aren't really told what to expect when they're trained. They know they are to be sold as Surrogates for wealthy families who can't bear their own children. They know they'll be cared for, clothed, fed, and provided with medical services. But they don't know how bad their new owners can be. And Raven finds herself in the grips of one of the worst.
From the beginning, the Countess of the Stone aims to tear Raven down and to push her to the absolute brink. She aims to see what Raven is made of and to mold suit her own goals. And it's all Raven can do to hold onto her self and her name.
Again, we knew Raven had it rough. Violet sees how her friend has shrunk into herself, becoming smaller both physically and mentally.
The Raven we meet in The House of the Stone starts off strong and stubborn, unbreakable and unbendable. We see, even as early as the Auction, that she is insistent about keeping her name and not being reduced to a simple lot number; Raven is more than an item to be sold to the highest bidder.
Unfortunately for Raven it's exactly this strength and stubbornness that catches the attention of the Countess of the Stone. She's a dark creature indeed, a woman with unimaginable goals and a taste for torture. Even by the end, we still don't know exactly what the Countess of the Stone is trying to do. It seems having a child is the least of her goals, something that's reinforced by Raven in The White Rose. I guess we'll have to wait and see if her motives are eventually revealed.
The House of the Stone can be read at pretty much any time right now - before or after The Jewel or even after The White Rose. It's an add on, not totally necessary to the overall arc of the trilogy (at least at this stage) but a further exploration of Raven's character and story.
I do recommend it, though, considering how great of a character Raven is even with the little bit we see of her in The Jewel. She plays a strong part in Violet's development and becomes a bigger character in The White Rose, so getting her background is definitely a nice addition to the series.