Monday, December 7, 2015

Review/Giveaway: A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica’s Rebellion by Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, and Russell Whitfield

Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire. A red-haired queen 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 queen sees the sparks of revolt in a king’s death.
A neglected 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 Rome.
A death-haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people.
An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final battle against the legions.
A fiery princess fights to salvage the pieces of her mother’s dream as the ravens circle.

A novel in seven parts, overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers, queens 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 ravens?

Publication Date: November 13, 2015
Knight Media LLC
eBook & Paperback; 440 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
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I started reading A Year of Ravens with a little trepidation, only because I have never read one book written by 7 different authors.  Plus I make it a rule never to read reviews of what I am reading, but when I see 4 and (mostly) 5 stars ratings flying around that does something to the old expectation levels.  That being said, being familiar with 4 of the writers I knew a real treat was in order and I was not disappointed.

Historical fiction is a favorite of mine, especially lesser know figures, which Boudica is - at least to me she is.  Told from the POV of 7 different characters one would think it might be disjointed and lack the smooth flow and transition needed to make a compilation work. Here it worked nicely, everything meshed  together and the different writing styles actually enhanced this story. 

Taking place in 60 AD the era was realistic and vivid, bringing this time period to life.  Getting into the heads of various individuals and the vastly different roles they played was interesting and further fueled my desire to know more about the times.  As the different characters roles are played out they are not forgotten in subsequent chapters which again makes this book flow together.  Though I am not a big fan of blood, guts and gore, but when its done in the right context it enhances the story, so suffice to say there were times that I was 'squint reading', it was a brutal time period after all.

This book was written with feeling and emotion, the attention to details and the depth of character actually made me feel sorry for the Romans (as well as outrage) at the same time as compassion for Boudica's people. The author notes at the end just finished this book off nicely and I enjoyed reading them as much as this book.   Definitely one I highly recommend.


Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, 
S.J.A. Turney, & Russell Whitfield
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During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a Celtic inspired set of silver tone metal and red Swarovski crystal beads, including a necklace, bracelet, and earrings inspired by the setting of A Year of Ravens! Please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US and UK.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
A Year of Ravens

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