The Raven's Tale

The Raven's Tale

Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appea...

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Title:The Raven's Tale
Author:Cat Winters
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Raven's Tale Reviews

  • A.G. Howard

    I adore Poe, and really admire how much research Ms. Winters put into this tribute to his teen years. The story almost has a "magical realism" feel to it over straight up fantasy, which gives events a very surreal and dreamlike quality at times. Also, the nods to Poe's prose and poetry throughout are beautiful!

  • Lisa Wolf

    In

    , muses are considered dangerous to the soul, yet at the same time, they're acknowledged to exist. The Sunday sermon exhorts the congregation to "Silence your muses!" lest they lead you into temptation and keep you from pursuing an honest, hardworking, upright life. Such is the world in which we meet young Edgar Allan Poe, a 17-year-old devoted to poetry whose foster father wants to see him settled in the family business as a clerk. It's all about respectability!

    Poor Eddy! He'

    In

    , muses are considered dangerous to the soul, yet at the same time, they're acknowledged to exist. The Sunday sermon exhorts the congregation to "Silence your muses!" lest they lead you into temptation and keep you from pursuing an honest, hardworking, upright life. Such is the world in which we meet young Edgar Allan Poe, a 17-year-old devoted to poetry whose foster father wants to see him settled in the family business as a clerk. It's all about respectability!

    Poor Eddy! He's consumed by thoughts of a deadly Richmond theater fire from eleven years earlier, and from his obsession with the fire, his muse emerges into life. His attention makes her more and more real, a girl of smoke and ashes who assumes human form and accompanies Edgar through the streets and in his home, leading him to greater and greater devotion to his writing. Edgar's goal is to escape his awful father and begin his university studies, where he hopes to achieve greatness through his poetry -- but the dream is on the verge of slipping away as his financial situation becomes dire and he's forced into debt and out of control gambling in a futile attempt to pay for his fees.

    The idea of personification of muses is an interesting one (and there's also a secondary muse, who represents Poe's forays into satire). We see how Edgar becomes consumed by his obsessions with his art, and if we didn't know that his friends and family are all able to see his muses as well, we might think he'd tumbled into madness.

    The concept is unique and inventive. The author weaves together her extensive research into Poe's youth with her flights of fancy in his interactions with the muse. Sprinkled throughout are both lines from what will become his published work and other rhymes and verses that are written by Cat Winters in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. It's fun to see the use of his style, and seems credible that his great works could have started in bits and pieces, with all sorts of variations, as they do here.

    Overall, I thought

    mostly (but not totally) successful. It's an interesting and engaging read, but the reality of the muses was not entirely believable. I'm not sure that the balance between established history and invented fantasy really works well, but as someone not previously familiar with Poe's early years, I found the parts based on real-life events especially interesting.

    The writing takes on all sorts of rhythms and moods that feel true to the Poe of popular imagination, and that makes reading

    a treat (despite some of the plot bumps).

    Don't you just love that line?

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    What a lovely tale...

    Wow, I think Cat Winters did a great job on this book!

    I was reading through her author's notes, etc and she was telling how she went about finding out as much history as she could before writing this book. I think she made a remarkable book on fiction and fact to create a young Poe.

    I loved reading about Lenore! The book is written in two POV's; Edgar and Len

    What a lovely tale...

    Wow, I think Cat Winters did a great job on this book!

    I was reading through her author's notes, etc and she was telling how she went about finding out as much history as she could before writing this book. I think she made a remarkable book on fiction and fact to create a young Poe.

    I loved reading about Lenore! The book is written in two POV's; Edgar and Lenore. I must say it's bloody brilliant. I loved the creepiness to the book and the way the author incorporated a muse for different people. It was so freaking gothic and awesome and like I said a bit creepy. If you accept what you have created then the creepiness goes away and you find that you have a friend for life.

    That's all I'm going to say before I sit right here and type a spoiler before the book is even out yet. This is February and this fine book will be out in April; I'm putting it on my birthday book buying list for myself.

    *Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a complimentary copy of this book for review.*

    Happy Reading!

    Mel ♥

  • Book of Secrets

    3.75 Stars → THE RAVEN'S TALE is a fictionalized account of 17-year old Edgar Allan Poe and his turbulent relationship with Lenore, his muse. In this world, muses are real, physical beings, and they're considered corrupt and dangerous by polite society. Lenore comes to Edgar at a particularly vulnerable time in his life, at odds with his foster father and leaving for university. Edgar's passion for poetry and dreams of making a living as a writer are in sharp contrast to the wishes of his practi

    3.75 Stars → THE RAVEN'S TALE is a fictionalized account of 17-year old Edgar Allan Poe and his turbulent relationship with Lenore, his muse. In this world, muses are real, physical beings, and they're considered corrupt and dangerous by polite society. Lenore comes to Edgar at a particularly vulnerable time in his life, at odds with his foster father and leaving for university. Edgar's passion for poetry and dreams of making a living as a writer are in sharp contrast to the wishes of his practical and cruel foster father. Will Lenore save Edgar's creative spark, or will she be snuffed out forever(more)?

    I enjoyed that this book imagined what a teenage Poe would have been like, and how his "muse" buried the seeds in his mind for many of his greatest works. The plot struggled in parts, moving slowly especially during his time at university, though the writing was lovely and atmospheric. I was also hoping for more explanation of what the muses actually were. Living spirits, maybe? As a fan of Poe, there was much to appreciate in this well-researched novel. ♥

  • Hannah Greendale

    An atmospheric and inventive nod to one of literature's most memorable writers. In portraying a young Edgar Allen Poe, Winters has clearly done considerable research to achieve a sense of authenticity, and her idea to characterize Poe's muse as a "

    "* is marvelous.

    Chapters alternate between Edgar and his muse, Lenore, which lends itself to an unfortunate amount of repetition. The stakes are low and, by the midpoint, the narr

    An atmospheric and inventive nod to one of literature's most memorable writers. In portraying a young Edgar Allen Poe, Winters has clearly done considerable research to achieve a sense of authenticity, and her idea to characterize Poe's muse as a "

    "* is marvelous.

    Chapters alternate between Edgar and his muse, Lenore, which lends itself to an unfortunate amount of repetition. The stakes are low and, by the midpoint, the narrative starts to feel stagnant. However, readers who push to the final page are rewarded with a chilling poem crafted by Winters in the style of Edgar Allen Poe.

    -

    *Note: All quotes taken from an Uncorrected Proof.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    Sad DNF at 42%. After a really interesting and excellent beginning, I think this has stagnated pretty hard – the stakes feel a bit low for the story being told. Edgar's romance with Sarah Elmira Royster and desire to stay at UVA are just not high enough stakes; knowing the history, I'm really struggling to get invested. I think this spends too much time introducing the characters, and the horror just isn’t terrifying enough to hold up the book.

    plays with the idea of art as a re

    Sad DNF at 42%. After a really interesting and excellent beginning, I think this has stagnated pretty hard – the stakes feel a bit low for the story being told. Edgar's romance with Sarah Elmira Royster and desire to stay at UVA are just not high enough stakes; knowing the history, I'm really struggling to get invested. I think this spends too much time introducing the characters, and the horror just isn’t terrifying enough to hold up the book.

    plays with the idea of art as a rebellion something others attempt to suppress; one of the narrators is Lenore, Edgar Allan Poe's muse. The characterization of this book holds that the father has pushed his muse, Cassandra, into a fire, which is fascinating.

    Maybe those who like flat-out horror will find this one more compelling.

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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I can't tell if I hate this or am just not in the mood for it, either option being depressing as hell because EAP was my original literary love and I was so pumped for this. I'll pick it back up soon and try again.

  • Emily May

    I'm sorry. I tried. I really tried. I love Winters' writing but I just cannot care about this. I guess I just don't find the life of Edgar Allan Poe anywhere near as interesting as I thought I would.

    🦅

  • Candace Robinson

    Edgar, Edgar, Edgar—what a magnificent writer he was. So when I heard there was going to be this book on a young Edgar Allan Poe, I was so incredibly interested! Lenore, Lenore, Lenore! I want to read about you anywhere forevermore!

    Let me tell you something, my dear friends, I loved Edgar and his struggles and his sensitivities in this book. This boy definitely needed a muse to help him escape his terrible adopted father and all the things that occurred because of him! And Lenore? She was such a

    Edgar, Edgar, Edgar—what a magnificent writer he was. So when I heard there was going to be this book on a young Edgar Allan Poe, I was so incredibly interested! Lenore, Lenore, Lenore! I want to read about you anywhere forevermore!

    Let me tell you something, my dear friends, I loved Edgar and his struggles and his sensitivities in this book. This boy definitely needed a muse to help him escape his terrible adopted father and all the things that occurred because of him! And Lenore? She was such a lovely and horrific creature who was the perfect muse to draw out the tales that one day become famous.

    Now, what I wanted and what I thought this book was going to be about DID NOT HAPPEN! I repeat: DID NOT HAPPEN! I wanted a romance between Edgar and his muse that was so dark and twisted that it would haunt me for days with its beauty, sadness, and passion. I wanted that and needed that ... still do! However, this strange and lovely little book was still quite enjoyable with beautiful writing and real history entwined! 

  • megs_bookrack

    What a delightful surprise!

    A finished copy of this gorgeous book just showed up in my mailbox!!!

    Thank you so much, Amulet Books!

    Someone must have told them that ravens are my spirit animal...

    I am really excited to have this and will probably start it soon.

    I love it!

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