THE RAVEN TOWER, by Ann Leckie, Hachette Book Group, Orbit


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 itself…and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever.

approx. 274

Out February 2019


I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Oh boy, oh boy oh…

I was not prepared to find the use of second-person narrative. This POV is NOT my favorite and it gives a more distant and impersonal feel to the characters and their actions. To simplify what second-person perspective does in this book I’ll just say, it gives the feeling one would get if gathered around a campfire and you’re listening to elders tell of great legends long ago. That in itself isn’t really bad, but it just didn’t sit well with me.

Because of the constant switching between POVs, following the story felt fragmented and disjointed. The strength of the story was lost on me.

Now, with all that said… this story was also ingenious and courageous, let alone impressive. The author’s use of second-person narrative was executed expertly and I have to give her kudos for this.  The premise is what caught my attention, and I’m certain those readers who don’t mind this POV will love the book. Personally, I think second-person narrative does better in movies, like “10,000 BC.”

It just wasn’t for me. Perhaps, it would fair better for the book if something about second-person narrative is included on the back cover.

Although I finished it, I didn’t rate it. I’ll leave the rating for other readers to determine.

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