The Raven Tower

Gods Meddle In The Fates Of Men, Men Play With The Fates Of Gods, And A Pretender Must Be Cast Down From The Throne In This Breathtaking First Fantasy Novel From Ann Leckie, New York Times Bestselling Author And Winner Of The Hugo, Nebula, And Arthur C Clarke Awards For Centuries, The Kingdom Of Iraden Has Been Protected By The God Known As The Raven He Watches Over His Territory From Atop A Tower In The Powerful Port Of Vastai His Will Is Enacted Through The Raven S Lease, A Human Ruler Chosen By The God Himself His Magic Is Sustained Via The Blood Sacrifice That Every Lease Must Offer And Under The Raven S Watch, The City Flourishes But The Power Of The Raven Is Weakening A Usurper Has Claimed The Throne The Kingdom Borders Are Tested By Invaders Who Long For The Prosperity That Vastai Boasts And They Have Made Their Own Alliances With Other Gods It Is Into This Unrest That The Warrior Eolo Aide To Mawat, The True Lease Arrives And In Seeking To Help Mawat Reclaim His City, Eolo Discovers That The Raven S Tower Holds A Secret Its Foundations Conceal A Dark History That Has Been Waiting To Reveal Itselfand To Set In Motion A Chain Of Events That Could Destroy Iraden Forever.The Raven Tower

!!> Read ➹ The Raven Tower  ➼ Author Ann Leckie –
  • Hardcover
  • 416 pages
  • The Raven Tower
  • Ann Leckie
  • English
  • 10 June 2019
  • 9780356506999

10 thoughts on “The Raven Tower

  1. says:

    This is a smart, easy to read Hamlet inspired fantasy novel with some great moving pieces I m starting to appreciate fantasy books that stay tightly focused on a single situation rather than over expanding out This one is a real case study in how to do that.The system of Gods and magic is cool, and there are some larger mysteries around language, worship, responsibility to others, and power that are fun to think about The main point of view is the controversial part, but I thought it was refreshing and weird in a good way A lot of the book is written in the second person, which seems to be getting popular with masterful writers I guess great sff from surprising quasi human viewpoints is Leckie s specialty Speaking of which, similar to the Ancillary books, there are also some shoe horned gender politics that I would have preferred to be thoroughly developed, but that underdevelopment didn t get in the way of the story The central story thread stayed interesting, and the way old stories were woven together made for a neat combination of mysteries unfolding all at once.Slight spoiler, but I loved the ending If we get a sequel, it ll be interesting to see where things go from here

  2. says:

    NOW AVAILABLE BOOK SCHWAG i had high hopes for this book leckie s imperial radch trilogy has been so celebrated by the SF kids that even i wanted to read it, and SF books have always had very limited appeal to me when i heard she was doing a fantasy novel this time out, i figured that would be a suitable entry point to her work for me, as i am marginally qualified to assess fantasy than SF and maybe it would have been, but this was actually my SECOND fantasy novel of the month, hot on the heels of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which took a lot out of the mental reserves required for me to process fantasy i don t think i m dumb, necessarily, but i m fantasy dumb, and i admit i struggled with this one i was wrestling with the challenge of writing this review, which is always an issue when i KNOW my medium temperature reaction is a case of me not being the right reader for a book, and not the book that s lacking in any way, so i decided to check out the starred kirkus review, to see how i fell short, where i found this intro summary The land of Iraden is apparently the territory of two gods the god of the Silent Forest, who protects the country and offers occasional advice to his chief votary, the Mother of the Silent and the Raven, who speaks through a living bird known as the Instrument Advised by a council of lords and the Mother of the Silent, the ruler of the land, known as the Raven s Lease, gains power and authority from the Raven through his oath to sacrifice his own life when the Instrument dies yes that s what it was that paragraph is pretty much the reason i don t read much fantasy i prefer having at least one real world anchor when i m reading because when there are too many unfamiliar people, places, things, social orders, cultures, traditions, etc, my brain just breaks trying to keep track of everything i ve read the book already and that kirkus paragraph still made my brain break there are so many gods, many than were mentioned here, the hierarchy of which was hard for me to wrap my head around small gods, ancient gods, regional gods with different strengths and shapes and abilities the book is narrated by one of these an ancient god known as The Strength and Patience of the Hill, who is physically manifested as a stone it s written in second person, but where the you addressed is not you the reader, but eolo, a character in the book whose journey is being observed, and reported, by this rock god not this rock god nor this rock god but a rock god sorta like this or, like the flipside of my book schwag eolo can sometimes sort of sense this god s presence, while it is detailing his every move, like a stationary joe goldberg, and eventually their paths will cross eventually this god takes its time all the parts that followed eolo and marwat were great shakespearian family drama, political intrigue, battles, invisibility amulets and secret staircases, but in the alternating storyline, when The Strength and Patience of the Hill was looking inward and backward and ruminating or chatting with its god pal The Myriad who presents as a scourge of mosquitoes about the other gods and their origins and power struggles and feuds from time immemorial, i found it confusing and slow it s true, the ancient god is operating on a god s timetable and everything it does is painfully slow, often to the detriment of those who still worship it, but iiiii do not have the patience nor the strength of a hill, and i kept getting squirmy during those parts, flipping back and rereading, trying to keep it all straight in my head, feeling bogged down and slow, wanting to get back to the usurped thrones and assassin twins and transgender warriors and all the dingdang machinations the godparts definitely have a purpose and there s a lot of rich and fascinating food for thought therein about language, religion, creation, imagination, tradition and how to bend the rules, but they made me feel heavier and wearier, slowing my reading stride that ending, tho i was feeling a three star for this and that ending scootched it up to a four i need to go recharge my brain s fantasy batteries, for better luck next time.come to my blog

  3. says:

    Cue up Simon and Garfunkle for this ride Just a single song on endless repeat Don t talk of love, Well, I ve heard the word before It s sleeping in my memory And I won t disturb the slumber Of feelings that I ve died if I never loved, I never would have cried I am a rock I am an island Now make a novel of a god of a single rock, surround him with endless time, sleep, and other gods getting by or rising into a WWI assemblage of alliances and obligations, always keeping out of the fray.Enjoy second person storytelling, sitting over the shoulder of humans or ruminating inside yourself, combining the most interesting aspects of N K Jemison s Broken Earth with Lois McMaster Bujold s Five Gods, sprinkle in the feel of lazy ruminations, solid logic, and patience And then turn the novel into one of vast revenge What is this Raven Tower, after all In this world, there are vast numbers of gods and many of them help out based on the amount of devotion and offerings given to them And depending on the god s power reserves, the spoken Word becomes reality If the god speaks than the power can manage, or if the god makes a promise that can be loopholed, the god can die.So much of this novel teaches us the power of language and limits and vast schemes, but our MC god, the Rock, seems to have all the time in the world until vast logic and realization leads him her to learn to value someone At long last And this is where everything goes to hell This fantasy novel is actually a murder mystery It s FAR from being a standard murder mystery, but in its core, it revolves around reveals, discoveries, and piecing everything together like a mosaic of stone only revealing the full picture after so much wonderful deliberation So, WHO DIES Men, or gods I m kinda dancing around here The full scope of the novel hit me over the head at the very last and I m than pleased by the outcome I always rather enjoyed it, but only by the end did I discover I loved it.

  4. says:

    2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum am but a simple reader, with simple tastes I can appreciate when an author tries different things, or when a novel tries to break out of its genre and stylistic norms But at the end of the day, all I want to do is read a good story I can relate to and, above all else, enjoy Which, unfortunately, was not The Raven Tower.Thing is, this novel does in fact contain a fascinating premise in a prosperous kingdom named Iraden, a god called the Raven watches and protects his land and its people, staving off all threats with his magic But this protection comes at a price one exacted in blood To sustain the Raven s power, a sacrifice must be offered by the ruler of Iraden known as the Raven s Lease, a human chosen by the god to carry out his will in the mortal realm As long as this tradition continues, the land remains safe and thriving.But now, the power of the Raven is waning Another god called the Strength and Patience of the Hill narrates this tale, watching events play out in its stonebound form Iraden s downfall begins as Mawat, the heir to the current Lease, returns home to find his father missing and the throne usurped by his uncle In the middle of this chaos, an unassuming aide named Eolo tries to help Mawat reclaim his birthright, unwittingly stumbling upon a grave secret beneath the foundations of the Raven s Tower.Now here s the rub told in a mix of first and second person narration, you as the reader are essentially Eolo, and the narrator is the Strength and Patience of the Hill using its all seeing gaze to tell you all that s happening, what you are doing and thinking, and pretty much everything else there is to know about what s going on Not that you, as Eolo, can really be aware all the time that the god is speaking all the time, though Like its name implies, the Strength and Patience of the Hill has also been around for a long, long time It has seen quite a lot of things and it also isn t shy about waxing poetic to itself about its age old history and the past.Consequently, I think the writing style will be the biggest point of contention for readers, and the determining factor in whether you will love this novel or hate it Personally, I have a somewhat thorny relationship with the second person narrative mode, though I concede that if used sparingly, or in specific situations that call for it, it can be very effective Regrettably though, the way it was done here grated on my nerves like nails raked across a chalkboard I m not saying the idea wasn t clever or that Leckie s technique in employing it wasn t skillful, but the constant distraction of it was mentally exhausting and frankly not very pleasant at all.Which is why, as much as I wanted to like this novel, I struggled to connect with nearly every aspect of it In particular, the characters were a bust While you are supposed to be Eolo, use of the second person device immediately distances you from everything you do and everything you are supposed to be From there, everything else failed to spark my interest, which is a shame because in theory, the inspiration behind the story and its lore is actually quite imaginative and compelling Thematically, it reminded me a little of Joanne Harris The Gospel of Loki in that the narrative almost takes on a mythical quality, using the god and mortal relationship to explore concepts like power, knowledge and ideology through a philosophical lens It s just unfortunate that Leckie s execution and interpretation did not work for me at all.Bottom line If a unique and an entirely different kind of fantasy is what you re looking for, The Raven Tower is a book you might want to consider, but I also recommend reading samples or plenty of reviews to determine if the style is to your taste Who knows, this could very well end up being your favorite book of the year But if what you find strikes you as ludicrously complicated or irritating and awkward to the extreme, then it s probably safe to say this novel is not for you I have great admiration for Ann Leckie and think she s a talented writer I reasonably enjoyed reading her Imperial Radch trilogy and Provenance, though neither really blew me away, so it was initially my hope that her first foray into epic fantasy would be my speed But well, c est la vie, as they say.

  5. says:

    Holy sh t, y all And let me repeat holy sh t.I have to start this review with how I heard about this book I had the amazing opportunity to meet with Ann Leckie twice during SIBA18, both during the Rise of Alt SFF panel and again during the moveable feast of authors, where she had 90 seconds to tell my table about her first foray into fantasy I loved the way she summarized her book and I have no doubt her synopsis will sound way, way better than anything I could pen, so I m going to unapologetically paraphrase it below The Raven Tower is a book where anything the gods say becomes true They cannot tell lies, and if they state an impossibility, they die This novel is about a god who gets themselves into a predicament, and they need those around them to get them back out of it but they re surrounded by enemies on all sides That s not an exact quote of what she said, but it was in the ballpark Anyway I was hooked I had to read it And I m so glad I did This book is a friggin masterpiece It s told from that same unique triple perspective that N.K Jemisin used in the Broken Earth trilogy, where there s a you, an I, and a them, all bundled together in the narration, but it s pulled off without being convoluted or bizarre The characters are flawlessly portrayed The intrigues are so good.Most of all, I love the tricks that are pulled I don t want to say too much and inadvertently give things away especially because to the best of my knowledge I m penning the very first review of this book and it just wouldn t be fair to anyone to spoil anything when all y all have to wait until February to read this but there s this running theme of characters that are set up one way but turn out to be another With the gods, especially, I really liked how they re set up as being super trustworthy, and yet depending on who you re dealing with, that may not be a quality they possess in any way.Another thing and this is kind of random that I really loved with this book was the turn of phrase within it It s not anything major, but there s little transitional sentences that fully set the scene This is mainly from the gods having to avoid lies by saying things like Here s a story that I ve heard instead of saying something as a fact For whatever reason, seeing a section start of with that introduction immediately segued me into a being 8 years old again getting tucked into bed with my chapter books, or b popping the popcorn to hear some serious gossip, depending on what else had just been narrated.The only bad thing and I put this in quotes because it s only like a half bad thing that I can say about this novel is that it s a little bit slow to start But that s coming from me, and I think it s important to keep in mind I am a professional book nerd with little to no patience for slowness there s a reason I m still not caught up with the GoT books I m one of those people who gives up on books if they don t have my soul chewed up and spat out in 50 pages This does not follow that formula, and that s OK It does a properly executed slow build It takes a little mental investment to get into, you have to think about it, and I can readily admit I was than a little confused at the 50 page mark The Raven Tower is worth sticking around to the end, though.All in all, this is a fantastic book There s honestly so much I could say about it, but for the sake of spoilers I m going to stop now Suffice it to say, this is a brilliantly executed novel that I d highly recommend reading I can t wait to hand sell it in 2019.

  6. says:

    Here is a story I have heard.It is a story that is easy to admire, to appreciate, to acknowledge as something wholly unique within the fantasy genre, and yet it is a difficult one to enjoy You likely have never read a story quite like it, and whether you would like to read another is probably what will divide the fans from the frustrated Here is another story I have heard.It is a story that is technically impressive, told with an unusual point of view, and through an original voice You, for all intents and purposes, are the main character, and the voice of a god is speaking directly to you That voice tells you what is happening to you, in the present tense It tells you what you see, feel, hear, and know If that sounds awkward and uncomfortable patronizing, even you are not alone, but I have heard that others loved it Here is another story I have heard.It is a story with an intriguing mythology, one that is built slowly, repetitively, over centuries of existence You are witness to a god coming into awareness, idly watching ages pass, as life crawls out of the oceans, humans begin to walk the land, and other gods learn to walk alongside them You learn the power of worship and sacrifice alongside the voice of the god, even as it learns the power of language As a prelude or a bit of storytelling within a story, it could be an effective balance to your story, the one being told about you and to you, but it can also be a distraction that holds back a pace that is already crawling Here is another story I have heard.It is the story of you, your friend and Master , his uncle and usurper , and a few other key individuals in your life They talk a lot, and argue a lot They debate a lot, and question a lot They, however, do not do a lot, and neither do you In fact, as much as this is your story, you are not particularly interesting I m sorry and neither are those around you Maybe, if we could see them through your eyes, and get inside your head, everyone might come to life a little better, but as characters narrated by the god s voice, you are flat and colorless Here is another story I have heard.It is the story of The Raven Tower, and the god s voice along with your story is related to us by Ann Leckie An experimental work of meta fiction, her telling is intelligent, complex, and multi layered approach She does an admirable job of capturing the god s voice, which I m sure you can attest to, having heard it for hundreds of pages It s just a shame that your story and the people in it weren t nearly as interesting as her telling.

  7. says:

    I rushed to Netgalley to get hold of an advance copy of this book based on how much I enjoyed Leckie s science fiction series The Raven Tower is fantasy which I also love, but somehow this one just missed the mark for me.Of course the writing is good and as usual for this author it is presented in an unusual way Very unusual actually since the narrator is a rock who is also a god This god spends a large part of the book philosophising on anything and everything as to be expected since he doesn t move around a lot He does however tell the story of Eolo and Mawat and the book brightens up every time he gets back to what is happening to them.I got quite excited as I approached the end visualising some wonderful exciting conclusion but there wasn t one Some people died, some did not and events just petered out If there were to be a follow up I would read it because I am sure there could be great futures for both the rock god and Eolo Alternatively I would like the author to take us back into space and the Ancillary world.

  8. says:

    I found The Raven Tower to be both conceptually intriguing and boring I wonder if my general indifference to the novel has to do with the fact that this story s narrator is a rock A rock that is a god, but still a rock that likes to just exist Or be rolled around by someone The most compelling part of this novel, for me, was the concept of gods and how they interact with and are nurtured by humans I thought it was quite interesting how Leckie had weaved the history of the world with the development of spirituality On the other hand, because the narrator is a rock, it was hard to connect with any people in the novel They felt like puppets rather than real beings, and their problems failed to hook me This rock god didn t bother to understand humanity and apparently I can t care for a narrative that has no human emotion in it I don t really know why Leckie even needed to bring Eolo into this if he wasn t allowed to be a fully fledged characters anyway I am starting to think this concept would have worked better as a short story told entirely from the god s POV Actually, I had the same issue with Ancillary Justice, which has a similarly interesting in theory, but disconnected and boring in reality main character AI.

  9. says:

    After hearing such praise for Ann Leckie s Ancillary Justice series, but having never read it myself, I was really excited to try her fantasy debut, The Raven Tower The premise sounded just my kind of story I mean the idea of a Raven god and a Raven s Lease who s duty is to sacrifice themselves when the Raven god dies, sounded like a bloody good fantasy read Plus the characters were proposed to be extremely diverse However this book just wasn t for me At first I did like the unique narrative voice the whole story is told from the POV of a rock inhabited by a god, and the narrator uses second person and first person narration simultaneously throughout I thought this was a great idea, and something a reader rarely comes across, but after a while it became so tedious As the narrator was an observer watching the main characters and telling you their story, I expected the characters to pop from the page, and be captivating I expected the plot to be full of stabby stabby moments, and full on with use of godly powers This just did not deliver on that though, and very quickly I honestly found myself bored I felt the characters needed to be fleshed out , because as they were I just didn t feel anything for them, they were just so bland I think if there had been chapters that included narration from either Eolo or Marat the prince would have worked so much better, as then we could get some personality from them Lastly, the plot my god the plot was so SLOW It hardly moved forward and there were just endless pages of dialogue that felt forced and pointless Personally, I like my fantasy books to be filled with much tension, excitement and peril than this book was Having said that though, just because this book didn t work for me, doesn t mean you will feel the same So please don t be put off trying this if it s one you re looking forward to Variety is the spice of life, so I hope many of you will enjoy this Thank you Orbit for sending me a free copy of The Raven Tower in exchange for an honest review Release date 28 02 19

  10. says:

    Most novels are straightforward things, a linear story with a single POV that entertains and, if you, the reader, are lucky, it makes you think, too And if you, the reader, are also a writer, there is the rare book that is so impressive that it makes you want to be a better writer This is that kind of book Which also means it may not be for everyone In fact, I can assure you it s not There are multiple POVs, none of them 3rd person There are multiple timelines Your narrator is a rock who is also a god , and there are overtones of Shakespeare s Hamlet in the unraveling dramaand yet, you do not see that ending coming If you are still interested, nay, MORE interested, then, adventurous reader, this is a book for you I loved it, and the I think about it, the move I love it Here s the trick, I think Go in without expectations, without genre pretenses about what a Fantasy novel should be, be patient, keep an open mind, and let this unique marvel work its spell.

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