Friday, December 21, 2012

Historical Fiction Book Review: The Raven's Heart

Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Bywater Books

Scotland, 1561, and a ship comes across the North Sea carrying home Mary, the young, charismatic Queen of Scots, returning after 13 years in the French court to wrest back control of her throne.

The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen’s return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward.

Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger and treachery at every turn. Then, unexpectedly, she finds love…

This sweeping, imaginative and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. The Raven’s Heart is a breathtaking epic from a bold, fresh Australian voice.

Review: When you say the name Blackadder, it is hard not to think of the British sitcome staring Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie. Heck the second series was even set in the time of Elizabeth I. But tv shows. The author, I'm sure is sick of hearing all about that.

This book revolves around Mary, Queen of Scots.

This book really took me back in time, which is exactly what I want historical novels to do. It was the perfect mix of fact and fiction that kept me turning the pages.

Oh and the cover art is stunning!

Rating: 5 flowers

 About the Author

Yes, Jesse Blackadder really was born with that surname. When she finally had enough of people asking if she was related to Rowan Atkinson, she travelled to Scotland to find the origins of her surname. Her novel The Raven’s Heart grew from there. It won the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award in 2009 and was published in Feb 2011.

Jesse is an award winning Australian novelist, short story writer and freelance journalist, fascinated by landscapes and belonging. Her first novel was After the Party (Hardie Grant Books 2005), which made the Australian Book Review list of all time favourite Australian novels in February 2010. She’s been a writer in residence in Sitka Alaska, in outback New South Wales, at Byron Bay and at Varuna in the Blue Mountains. Jesse’s next book, which she is writing as part of a Doctor of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney, is about the first woman to see Antarctica and Jesse recently travelled to Antarctica as part of her research.


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