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Feast of the Raven (The Wulfhedinn Series) Paperback – July 27, 2016
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"Superbly written and impeccably edited....Spader is unquestionably a talented writer: Her writing style is fluid and at times lyrical, her description of northern Germany meticulous and fully immersive, and her knowledge of folklore extensive. But it's her characters that make this novel so readable. Interesting and emotionally compelling, they are certain to resonate with readers."
-- BlueInk Review
"(Feast of the Raven) ...strikes an appealing balance between historical fiction, sword and sorcery, and a noirish detective story, with quick pacing and just enough world building to lend weight to the plot. Sequels are planned, and they are welcome: the reader should be eager to see what other secrets Spader's vast medieval forests might yield. A compelling start to a historical fantasy series about a troubled warrior seeking redemption."
-- Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Catherine Spader is the author of the award-winning dark fantasy Wulfhedinn series. Her first novel, Feast of the Raven, won a first place EVVY award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.The audio version won a second place EVVY award.
The second novel in the series, Return of the Wulfhedinn, was released in 2017. Both novels have received critical acclaim from Kirkus Reviews and BlueInk Review. Book three in the series will be published in 2018.
As owner of Quillstone Press, Catherine is an editor, writing coach, and ghostwriter. She is also a registered nurse who specialized in emergency and trauma care for twenty years and has published over 1,000 articles in healthcare journals, trade magazines, and medical websites.
Catherine feeds her inner wolf spirit by playing men's ice hockey. She and her husband Craig enjoy prowling the wild forests and historic sites of Europe and the American West to research and find inspiration for her novels.
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So far this is a tale of a man beast torn between 2 worlds, searching for his own soul. There are great characters on each side, some straddling the fence between Pagan and Christian like Gerwulf. Brother Pyttel, King Karl and Vala the Shield Maiden all guide Gerwulf down their own paths while he continues to decide his true calling.
I thought I knew where this was heading but I had some great surprises. I look forward to seeing where Catherine Spader takes this next! Unlike waiting for a new book in George R R Martin's Songs of Ice and Fire, we only have to wait until spring for the next installment!
To aid in the battle is Gerwulf, the bastard son of a Christian mother and pagan father, and a Wulfhedin himself. Gerwulf’s conflict embodies the world’s conflict. He seeks to save his own soul by aiding to King Karl’s quest, but without shedding his wolf skin, a constant reminder of how far outside civilization he stands.
Feast of the Raven is an adventure, a magical fantasy, and an historical allegory. The characters are richly drawn. Particularly Gerwulf’s sidekick Brother Pyttel, haunted by the demons of his own struggle between God’s sanctity and a Dionysian calling. Spader keeps us guessing not only at who will prevail, but who should prevail? Throughout the book we see the ruthless side of civilization and the compassion that lives within all beasts.
A wonderful read, with a sequel on the way. I cannot wait.
Here's why: Spader captures both the time period and her characters with vibrant details. I was transported. I felt the thrill of the hunt, the fear of the unknown, and the sharp desires of Gerwulf every step of the way. Even in his unique situation, it was easy to empathize with him. His conflict between his sense of self and the changing world is an intimately familiar struggle.
Spader's strong historical knowledge brings the landscape and the people to life. The details are familiar and approachable, yet strangely educational. As well versed as I am with history and mythology, I constantly discovered new depths. Feast of the Raven is an intruiging and enthralling adventure into the past, a time before we lost our sense of the mystic forces in the world. A time when gods fought over the hearts of mankind.
Again: read this book. Whether you are a fan of history, fantasy, or just a solid story, it is worth you time. My only complaint is that the ending leaves me wanting the next book right away.