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The Raven's Head by Karen Maitland

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Posts: 4219
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

The Raven's Head by Karen Maitland

Post by Vanessa » Thu January 29th, 2015, 7:15 pm

The Raven's Head by Karen Maitland

The Raven's Head by Karen Maitland

Vincent is an apprentice librarian who stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to destroy his master. With the foolish arrogance of youth, he attempts blackmail but the attempt fails and Vincent finds himself on the run and in possession of an intricately carved silver raven's head.

Any attempt to sell the head fails ... until Vincent tries to palm it off on the intimidating Lord Sylvain - unbeknown to Vincent, a powerful Alchemist with an all-consuming quest. Once more Vincent's life is in danger because Sylvain and his neighbours, the menacing White Canons, consider him a predestined sacrifice in their shocking experiment.

Chilling and with compelling hints of the supernatural, The Raven's Head is a triumph for Karen Maitland, Queen of the Dark Ages.

My Review

A magical, spellbinding and sinister tale involving the dark arts set in medieval England!

When a young librarian by the name of Vincent discovers a secret which could have disastrous consequences for his master, he decides to try a spot of blackmail which unfortunately backfires. He finds himself in desperate peril and on the run with an ornate silver raven's head in his possession which seems to have a life of its own. After several endeavours to be rid of the bird, he eventually comes into contact with the alarming and intimidating Lord Sylvain who has an evil plot on his mind.

This is a fast paced, captivating and atmospheric thriller which is thoroughly entertaining. It has a mysterious and gothic ambience and is decidedly eerie. It also combines fact with fiction, something I particularly enjoy. The historical aspect is well researched and depicted, whilst the supernatural slant keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The characters are believable and I like that the ending is quite ambiguous, left to the imagination!

In a nutshell, I loved it, quite enchanted in fact. I'm a big fan of Karen Maitland's work and this was no exception. I thought it was a compelling, absorbing and hair-raising story which I can recommend to those who like historical fantasy. Many thanks to Lovereading.co.uk for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. The Raven's Head will be published on 12 March.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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