Gordo Livingstone may be the witch for the Bennett pack, but he never forgot the lessons that were carved into his skin.
Hardened by the betrayal of the wolves, he finds solace working in the body shop that he owns, working alongside his best friends. It should’ve been enough. When the wolves return, with Mark Bennett among them, they take down a monster together as a pack and win. A year later, Gordo finds himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. He’s also struggling to ignore Mark and the wolfsong howling between them.
In Ravensong, which is Gordo’s story, there are several overarching themes: magic, pack, and his relationship with Mark.
Gordo remembers the lessons he was taught as his father inked magic into his skin when he was eight. Before his father takes a needle and inks his arm–which will be very painful–he imparts some harsh wisdom to his son:
“You have magic in you, child, but it hasn’t manifested. These marks will center you and give you the tools to begin to control it. I will hurt you, but it’s necessary for who you you’re supposed to become. We must hurt the ones we love in order to make them stronger. To make them better. One day you’ll understand. One day you’ll be like me.”Ravensong, T.J. Klune, pgs. 12-13 (Kindle version)
Gordo’s magic comes with a price, a pre-ordained legacy. Like his father before him, Gordo becomes the witch to the Bennett pack, specifically Able Bennett, Thomas’ father. He argues with his mother about wanting to be the witch for the Bennett’s, which ends up in a fight between his parents. His parents also fight about the affair that Robert is having with another woman, who is also his tether–someone or something that grounds you to your magic, or in the wolves cases, to their pack.
Gordo’s father also teaches him where magic comes from, and how witches use it, as opposed to the wolves, who react to the pull of the moon.
“Magic comes from the Earth….From the ground. From the trees. The flower and the soil. This place, it’s…old. Far older than you can possibly imagine. It’s like…a beacon. It calls us. It thrums through our blood. The wolves hear it, too, but not like us. It sings to them. They are…animals. We aren’t like them. We are more. They bond with the earth. The Alpha more so than anyone else. But we use it. We bend it to our whim. They are enslaved by it, by the moon overhead when it rises full and white. We control it. Don’t ever forget that.”Ravensong, T.J. Klune, pgs. 18-19 (Kindle version)
When the wolves are gone, Gordo keeps the wards up, making sure they are strong in Green Creek. He manages his body shop, and joins Joe and Ox’s misfit pack to help fight Osmond.
One thing I love about Ravensong is that I got to see how Gordo’s magic works. It’s an interesting concept, one where his tattoos take flight, especially the raven, whenever he does magic.
One of my favorite things about this series is how it represents the power of being in a pack. Your pack is your family. Being part of a pack is a big deal in these shapeshifter books, and TJ Klune writes the animal mind so well.
Gordo & Mark’s Relationship
One of the cooler magical scenes happens shortly after Gordo and Mark have sex, making up for lost time between them: Gordo has a tattoo attach itself to Mark, and Mark ends up biting Gordo in the throes of passion.
There, embedded into the skin of his neck, was a raven, a near twin to the one on my arm.
It was no bigger than the width of my hand. Its wings spread to either side of his throat. Its head was bowed, resting over his Adam’s apple, and when he swallowed it looked as if it were moving. Its talons and the fan of its tail feathers stretched toward the hollow of his throat.
I had his mark on me.
And now he had mine.Ravensong, T.J. Klune, pg. 341 (Kindle version)
In this scene, Mark is marked by Gordo, just as Gordo has been marked by him. They are mates–the word for lovers in the series–and are supposed to be together.
Mark gave Gordo his wolf stone, which is kind of like giving someone you like flowers. It’s kind of like asking them to be engaged to you without you knowing yet that you’re fated to be together.
Mark is a little older than Gordo. (They first met when Mark was nine and Gordo was six.)
At first, Gordo hated the sight of Mark. He didn’t like the kid kept following him and his friends around when they were kids. But, as time went on Gordo began to fall for Mark.
I really liked how T.J. Klune sets up the tension–at first anger and frustration, and then the sexual tension–between Gordo and Mark. He does a very good job at writing emotions, and making the reader feel for his characters.
T.J. Klune is a good writer. TJ is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors, because of how he writes with humor, empathy, and kindness. One of the quotes from his bio talks about how he believes in positive queer representation in books: “Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important–now more than ever–to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories” (pg. 468).
If you like wolves, or paranormal romance, then the Green Creek series is for you. You should definitely try these books even if these genres aren’t your thing; they will touch your heart and blow you away.