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A Year of Ravens: a novel of Boudica's Rebellion Paperback – November 17, 2015
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About the Author
Kate Quinn is a native of Southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, her first three novels, set in ancient Rome, have been translated into multiple languages. Kate lives in Maryland with her husband. Visit her at katequinnauthor.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just before the Brexit vote a reporter talked about a statue of Boudica in London. I had never heard of her or of the revolution she led against the Roman Empire so I decided to... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Thomas P. Hallan
This was a great concept which actually worked better than I expected it to - each chapter in this continuous narrative is penned by a different first class writer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pierrot
A Year of Ravens is the second book written by the H team, a fantastic gathering of historical fiction talent. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alex Gough
This was a fascinating read with detailed historical data. I have always desired to know about the famous female warrior and this story provided possible insight into her story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lilacs44
Written by several authors and from several points of view of characters. Thoroughly enjoyed.Published 2 months ago by Marion A. Summers
The Queen by Stephanie Dray
Stephanie Dray has quickly become one of my favorite historical authors. I haven't read anything yet by her that I disliked. Read more