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A Year of Ravens: a novel of Boudica's Rebellion Paperback – November 17, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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About the Author

Bestselling, award-winning author E. Knight writes historical and erotic romance under the pseudonym Eliza Knight. A member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, and several RWA affiliate writing chapters, she runs the popular historical blog History Undressed.

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 17, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1517635411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1517635411
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Year of Ravens is an amazing account of Boudica's rebellion against the Romans. Well researched, incorporating what little was written with that which archaeologists have discovered, the authors weave tales of historical fiction to create a story that is both compelling and heart wrenching. While the voices are distinct, the contributions of the different authors are integrated seamlessly, and present the events from diverse angles.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’d like to say that I enjoyed “Year of Ravens” – and I DID enjoy it, but this is no tiptoe through the tulips of ancient Britain with Boudica and her happy band of Celtic freedom-fighters. Year of Ravens is brutal and violent and moving. It makes no bones (so to speak) about the fact that in this failed rebellion of AD 61, the fighting was beyond fierce and there were atrocities committed by both sides. That being said, the book is not depressingly one-note, there’s quite a lot of humor sprinkled throughout, and not everyone’s story ends sadly.
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.
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I enjoyed this novel in seven parts every bit as much as I enjoyed A Day of Fire (another collaborative work produced by some members of this talented group of authors). I knew only the most basic facts of Boudica's rebellion against the Romans, and I haven't read much historical fiction on the subject either. So, I was very excited to properly delve into her story with this book.

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.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A collaborative effort of seven authors, A Year of Ravens tells the tale of the Iceni Queen, Boudica and her rebellion against Rome. While the cause and effects of the war are admirably presented, it is the characters that drive this emotion packed, soul searching, heartstring tugging story(or rather stories). From the beginning the readers are treated to a seamless transition from author to author and the way each of them puts their own marks on the growth of each character. Time and time again I was drawn into a character's mindset and felt the pain, the remorse, the confusion, and even the occasional joy being experienced. One, of the many examples I could choose, of a character's journey through the book is the fictional wife of the Roman Procurator. Valeria as introduced in the first chapter is a cold as ice Roman matron whose only ambition is to promote her rather timid husband's career. What she experiences in subsequent events is so beautifully written as to elicit some tearing up even to this old curmudgeon. Also on display are the realities of war and the cruelties inflicted by men(and women) madly entrenched in the rightness of their cause. Whether it's shield wall action or the rampant, wanton destruction of a town or village, the battle scenes are bloodlust filled events punctuated with the sounds of sword on sword and the screams of the dying.

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
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