Review Blog

Dec 18 2019

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

cover image

Orbit, 2019. ISBN: 9780356507002.
(Age: Adult) Recommended.
Listen. A god is speaking.
My voice echoes through the stone of your master's castle.
This castle where he finds his uncle on his father's throne.
You want to help him. You cannot.
You are the only one who can hear me.
You will change the world.

This challenging and thought-provoking fantasy will have fans of award winning Leckie wanting to talk and discuss it. A change from her science fiction (Ancillary Justice and Provenance) Leckie explores the idea of how gods and men fare when a pretender takes over the throne.
Written to the warrior Eolo in the second person (using pronouns you, your, and yours), by the Raven, it took me some time to become familiar with this as it was relatively new to me, but once I settled into the book, found it a fascinating way of getting to know the characters from a different perspective. Eolo is a warrior, body guard to Mawat, the true heir to the throne, and seen from the Raven's eye is cool and courageous and very willing to take risks to uncover what is happening and whether murder has been committed.
Underlying all is the story of the Stone, a great and patient god, and the stories of how men use gods to try and understand and manipulate what is happening in their world. And what an ending! It will stun readers and leave them desperate to reread parts to see how Leckie managed to pull it all together.
This is a challenging fantasy; the second person writing may daunt some until well into the novel and the thought of how people have worshipped different gods over the ages makes for a fascinating background to the story.
Pat Pledger

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