Nightchild is the third and last novel in the Chronicles of The Raven by James Barclay and takes place about three years after the events of Noonshade.
The Raven have amiably spilt, each going their separate ways. The Unknown Warrior is working in his inn The Rookery, living a quiet life with his wife Diera and son Jonas. Ilkar is desperately trying to rebuild the College of Julatsa. Erienne is with her and Denser’s daughter Lyanna at Dordover, while Denser is at Xetesk. Hirad is together with the stranded Kaan dragons, waiting for news on how to get them back home. And Thraun has settled in Thornewood, choosing his wolf form over his human one. When Erienne and Lyanna disappear, The Raven reforms to find and protect them; joined later by general Darrick. But as the days pass, it becomes clear that other forces – Xetesk, Dordover and the Black Wings – are also looking for them. Because Lyanna is a child of the One. The One magic that once was, before splitting in four different colleges. And not everyone want The One to return.
This book is quite different from the previous ones, because years have passed before it begins. The Raven are apart and not all their relationships are what they used to be. Barclay explores how some of the members have grown apart and how their interactions and reactions toward each other have changed. The Raven are divided for the first time and as a reader you feel anxious for them. It feels off and that makes it fit.
It’s also the first novel concerning The Raven that doesn’t end with them being victorious – per se. In the other novels, The Raven do what they set out to do, but their victories have always had some unforeseen consequences. But this time, that formula is changed, much like The Raven. No one expects that. I mean: they’re The Raven. They always get the job done. This also emphasizes the fact that things are off with The Raven and that doesn’t bode well for Balaia….