Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion

Title: A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion
Authors: Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, Russell Whitfield, Ben Kane (introduction)
Publication: November 17th 2015 by Knight Media, LLC 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 5/5


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 Briton . . . and these are their stories.

A calculating queen foresees the fires of rebellion 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 death-haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people.

A conflicted young warrior finds himself torn between loyalties to tribe and to Rome.

An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final battle against the legions.

A pair of fiery princesses fight to salvage the pieces of their mother’s dream as the ravens circle.

A novel in seven parts, overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers, queens and slaves, Romans and Britons 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?

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. This first story in A Year of Ravens wasn't an exception. It introduces us to Queen Cartimandua who chose not to revolt against the romans to protect her people, even when they and even her own husband turn against her for it. There are a few glimpses to Boudica, though it doesn't show a lot of her yet. I felt like this story was more of an introduction but it was such a powerful one. 

The Slave by Ruth Downie

Ruth Downie is a new-to-me author. But I gotta say I was really impressed by her story. The Slave is about Ria, who was born a slave. But she was also the illegitimate daughter of the late Iceni king Prasutagus (Boudica's husband). I thought it was a really interesting take on everything, with seeing this story through Ria's eyes.

The Tribune by Russell Whitfield

Russell Whitfield was another unknown author for me but I already know by reading his story that I want to read more of him in the future. The Tribune featured mostly soldiers and a lot of fighting so this one was very action packed. Personally I love stories that feature roman soldiers and the fighting so I thought that was so great. It was brutal and vicious and at times a bit rough to read, yes, but I did love it.

The Druid by Vicky Alvear Shecter

The Druid was written by one of my top favorite historical authors. So I couldn't help but love this story as well. It features Yorath of Mona, a young druid in training, who was the sole survivor of the slaughtering by the Romans. In fact, it was Agricola from the previous story (The Tribune) who let him go in the first place. The story also featured Felix, a Roman soldier who got captured by Yorath. 

The Son by S.J.A. Turney

This story is one of my favorites. I absolutely loved it. It features Andecarus who we've met already. Because he used to be a hostage to the romans, and brought up for a big part by Decianus, the story felt like him making his choice whether to belong with the Romans or his tribe, the Icenis. He knows the Icenis can't win from Rome and does whatever he can to try and make peace, which of course is almost impossible at this point. Meanwhile there was a little romance blossoming between Andecarus and Ria with him wanting to save her from his vile foster brother Verorico. It was just a great story and hope to read more from this author in the future!

The Warrior by Kate Quinn

The Warrior was another favorite of mine, maybe even my favorite (together with The Son by S.J.A. Turney). Kate Quinn never disappoints, in my opinion. It featured Boudica's right-hand man, Duro and also Decianus' wife, Valeria who got captured and ended up as Duro's slave. I really thought this was an interesting story because initially I didn't like Duro and Valeria much from what I read from them in the other parts. But when they were featured in the story and I got to know them better they definitely grew on me. I also thought it was pretty sad with some deaths, but that's to be expected with a novel about Boudica's rebellion. I loved it.

The Daughters by E. Knight

This one was yet another amazing part in this book. Featuring Boudica's daughters, Sorcha and Keena it was most definitely intriguing to read. Mostly because Sorcha and Keena were both very different. Sorcha being a warrior with fire in her, and Keena being softer, a healer. I also thought that E. Knight's writing was especially beautiful!


A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion was brilliant. It's one of those books that makes me want to read historical fiction all the damn time! Writting in different points of view by various authors made it all the more special. The characters were all unique in their own way and there wasn't any part that I disliked. I also liked reading the stories of authors I didn't know before because I'm always looking for historical fiction authors. I can't recommend this book enough. Everyone should definitely read it as it was so thrilling and brutal and just fantastic!

       One of my favorite quotes:

“Even if we lose, what of it? We have made a song of freedom that will ring for a thousand years. No one will forget the Iceni or their red-haired queen.”
—Part six, The Warrior by Kate Quinn

1 comment:

  1. You've been reading so many amazing books lately! It seems like all the parts to this one were equally as epic as each other.


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