REVIEW ✓ A Year of Ravens

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Britannia land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire A red haired ueen named Boudica led her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome an epic struggle destined to consume heroes and cowards young and old Roman and Celt and these are their stories A calculating ueen sees the sparks of revolt in a king’s death A neg. 35 starsWe made Rome tremble We shook an empire to its coreThe story of Boudica 's rebellion against the Romans told from multiple points of view written by several authorsThis was an interesting book As always with a compilation piece some stories had an edge on the others but actually they were all good We hear from a slave girl of the Iceni tribe an Iceni son grown up as hostage with the Romans Duro the war chief for the Iceni the Roman tax collector who instigated the whole rebellion a young Druid a Roman tribune and the daughters of BoudicaThe stories were all linked in some way and together I felt like I gleaned the 'whole story' Until I read this book I was aware of the humiliation and whipping of Boudica and the brutal gang rapes of her daughters but I had not known about the context for this event The tension between the British tribes who collaborated with the Roman invaders and those that did not was made simple to understand and appreciate This is exactly why I love historical fiction I don't enjoy non fiction history on the whole I get bogged down in dates and facts And luckily for me I don't have to These wonderful authors have done all the hard work for me A legendary part of British history told well Perfect

FREE DOWNLOAD A Year of Ravens

A Year of RavensBattle against the legions A fiery princess fights to salvage the pieces of her mother’s dream as the ravens circleA novel in seven parts overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers ueens and slaves Romans and Celts who cross paths during Boudica’s epic rebellion But who will survive to see the dawn of a new Britannia and who will fall to feed the rave. I’ll be honest with you collaborative works of fiction aren’t something I’m particularly experienced with If anything I tend to have a prereuisite for them being a weak link in the literary canon Why you may ask Well prior to reading A Year of Ravens I was of the mind that a novel constructed of numerous different stories each written by a different author was a recipe for a bit of a floppy narrative I just couldn’t see how the works of different writers each with different styles would gel together well enough to make a coherent and enjoyable story This book however has proved me wrong and I tip my hat to each of the authors involved in this collaborative work because A Year of Ravens is an awesome readThe story as a whole centres on Boudica’s rebellion against the Roman Empire and is told from various different viewpoints; from tribal warriors and slaves to Roman legionaries and ueens It’s pretty noteworthy event in history and it sparked a little glimmer of nostalgia for my primary school history lessons all those many years ago Plus it’s an interesting little pocket of history which personally I believe has been neglected for too long This however works to the advantage of the book and gives it a fresh new feel in addition to providing the reader with an experience that is vibrant and excitingSure it’s violent and brutal as hell but its focus is one of the most infamous rebellions to ever occur on British soil so there’s bound to be than a fair share of bloodshed Maybe it’s a bit sadistic to say I really liked the scenes where everyone was getting their guts ripped out and their heads hacked clean off but I did I’ve seen way too much Game of Thrones and Vikings for me to not enjoy a good battle seuence and the ones in A Year of Ravens were just as awesome Example “I was on my knees When had I fallen I was on my knees rocking back and forth in the mud sword clutched loose in my hand as I watched my people dieThis was not battle It was slaughter Every blink of my lashes saw another fifty fall as the Roman swarm advanced into the chaos and left red death in their wake I saw a small boy fall from the wagons and disappear under the trampling feet of the warriors below I saw a scarred woman trying to beat her way free of the crush with a broken shield going down with a sword through her spine I saw a warrior with lime washed hair sag head flopping half severed My vision skipped I was still on my knees limbs stone heavy mouth working soundlessly”If you love raw emotional and vivid narratives filled with blood curdling action then this is for you If not then there are plenty mild mannered books out there but this is gritty and brutal and filled with enough foul mouthed characters to turn the air blue and it’s brilliantCollectively the novel has a cohesive feel and I was impressed by how seamlessly each story flowed together It follows a or less linear structure with the odd flash back here and there so when one story ends and another begins you know where you are and where everything is up too Each author has his or her own heroheroine who they focus on but they all pop up throughout which helps to tie everything together I loved how there were viewpoints of both the Britons and the Romans; it helped to create a panoramic and collective narrative of what the rebellion meant and felt like for both sidesAs for the authors I was familiar with one from experience and two others in name; Kate uinn who is a personal favourite of mine thanks to her amazing Rome series and Stephanie Dray and Eliza Knight who are celebrated historical fictions writers in their own right The fellow contributors were all new to me but I have to add particular praise to Ruth Downie for her short story entitled The Slave whose perception of events is told through the eyes of the young slave girl Ria Downie’s character became a favourite and I loved to see how her story continued throughout the other narrativesI’ll admit I was worried the individual style of each author would come across too strong but as it turns out they all complement each other really well Granted there were some stories I preferred to others but I think the novel was written with this is mind If you don’t like one story they’ll be another one further on that might take your fancy Yet I wouldn’t advice skipping chapters because the content and the focus of each story are invaluable to the plot and it works brilliantly as a wholeSome of the authors who worked this novel are actually contributors to another collaborative work entitled A Day of Fire A Novel of Pompeii which centres on the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius Admittedly this has been on my to read list for the last year or so since I’ve somehow never gotten around to reading it Well I’ll be rectifying this ASAP because the H Team did such a good job with A Year of Ravens that it’s made me eager to read of what these authors have to offerI think that is the key to being successful writer; to possess the ability to make their readers crave of their writing and this novel not only made me appreciate the authors I was already familiar with but want to explore those that are new to me In that respect A Year of Ravens is a job well doneThis review was originally posted on my blogChapters by Amy

Ruth Downie Þ 1 REVIEW

REVIEW ✓ A Year of Ravens ☆ Britannia land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire A red haired ueen named Boudica led her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome an epic struggle destined to consume heroes and cowards young and old Roman and Celt and these are their stories A calculating ueen sees the spaLected slave girl seizes her own courage as Boudica calls for war An idealistic tribune finds manhood in a brutal baptism of blood and slaughter A conflicted warrior hovers between loyalty to tribe and loyalty to RomeA death haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final. Year of Ravens is a uniue look at Boudica's rebellion against Rome Seven different authors have told the story through seven different lenses so you get the grit of battle from the perspective of a Roman warrior the magic of the isle of Mona as told by a young druid and the aftermath of the rebellion as seen through the eyes of Boudica's young daughters What I really loved about the story was how the authors played with preconceived notions of several of the characters Decianus the Roman who essentially lit the match for Boudica's rebellion comes across as sympathetic I too would want nothing than to return to my villa in Gaul if I was him and Boudica's right hand man is a gnarled old warrior who made me want to cry My favorite character was Roman matron Valeria with her rapier wit and imperious eyebrows that spoke volumes If she'd been on the battlefield any enemy would have run screaming to get out of her way As in any novel about an ancient war there's plenty of authentic historical violence including a severed head I do so like a severed head in a novel