- File Size: 1886 KB
- Print Length: 462 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Knight Media, LLC (November 17, 2015)
- Publication Date: November 17, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01634AIGC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,991 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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A Year of Ravens: a novel of Boudica's Rebellion Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Quite of few of these authors were involved in a previous collaboration, “Day of Fire: a Novel of Pompeii,” and “Ravens” follows the same structure: a batch of interwoven stories, each by a different author and each featuring different characters. Characters wander in and out of different stories, providing shifting viewpoints to good effect. Romans and Britons are given equal time. Unlike “Pompeii” which covered a brief, cataclysmic event, “Ravens” takes place over about a year, so that the seeds of the rebellion are shown as well as its aftermath.
Stephanie Dray’s opening story featuring the Celtic queen who was a Roman pawn, Cartimandua, sets up a good forward to all the action. “The slave” by Ruth Downie provides the viewpoint of a powerless young woman who has to observe great events with no way of influencing them. Russell Whitfield’s “The Tribune” features the historical character Agricola, familiar to readers of Tacitus. “The Druid” by V.A. Shecter was one of my favorites, featuring a young Druid and a young Roman who keep staunchly defending their own cultural viewpoints while marching inexorably to a heart-wrenching ending. “The Son” by S.J.A. Turney, a writer I’d never read before, is equally heart-wrenching but also profane, fast and funny. Kate Quinn’s “The Warrior” features a Briton chieftain who takes on a sharp-tongued Roman woman as his bedwarmer, much to both their consternation and the amusement of the reader. And E. Knight’s “The Daughter” wraps up the story of Boudica and her two daughters in a way that allows for a little light at the end of the tunnel.
There are brief, very interesting notes at the end of the book where the authors talk about the sources for their own stories and why they made the decisions they did on interpreting one of the most famous events of Roman-British history.
These authors really wove together a magnificent saga and I hope they’ll keep the group together and try on some other historical event… the assassination of Julius Caesar, maybe?
One of my earliest memories, from my days attending school in Aylesbury, England, is of brave Queen Boudica and her rebellion against the indomitable Roman Empire. That story was romanticized for my young sensibilities; this one is not, but no less paints her as an heroic figure of British history.
I won't describe each part--that can be seen in the book description--but I will say that each part was written from a different perspective, both British and Roman, and that the story built upon itself incredibly well. The details and characters of all seven parts connected flawlessly, and the book really flowed. Content-wise, it was quite intense. Lots of graphic battle scenes, etc. However, this was the reality of the rebellion, and it just made the story that much more riveting for me to read.
While reading the historical notes by the authors at the end, I found out that the only real historical perspective on Boudica's rebellion was that of the Romans. One of the things I love most about historical fiction is how authors use it to revive and enrich modern perspectives on events with little surviving evidence such as Boudica's rebellion. I like how, through this book, a variety of characters involved in the rebellion were finally allowed their voices--fictional voices, yes, but it's interesting to think of those voices also possibly belonging to real historical people who would have been there.
(I've posted this review on Goodreads as well.)
By way of summation, let me say, from the very beginning with the Intro by Ben Kane to the very, very end with an afterword from each author, this book is a testament to the creative genius of seven wordsmiths. 5 stars