March 2015 Book of the Month.
The quest for eternal life; a tale of alchemy and skulduggery in the thirteenth century. Starting in France our young hero, Philippe, in the employment of a count in the court of Louis VIII discovers some false documents which he uses for a bit of blackmail ending with the lad fleeing for his life. He was to deliver a silver raven’s head to another noble man … Making his way to England he ends up with a lord obsessed with finding the secret to bring people back to life who is in cahoots with an abbot obsessed with finding the elixir to eternal life. Young boys are useful in their experiments … oh, and there is a girl … the local apothecary’s niece … so lots to keep you entertained. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
'I’ve been Karen Maitland’s publisher since her first medieval novel, Company of Liars – which regularly tops lists of favourite historical novels. And working on these books is nothing less than a delight; each is unique and imaginative in its depiction of the Middle Ages. And yet they are all linked by Maitland’s trademark weaving of dark, sometimes deadly, threads of plot and the pleasure she takes in giving readers an insight into how greatly superstition and religion influenced attitudes and ways of life. In her hands the Middle Ages have never seemed so relevant; she finds echoes of our modern issues in the past – whether climate change in Company of Liars, the riots of 2011 in The Vanishing Witch or the power of the tabloid story in The Raven’s Head. Karen Maitland’s novels are supremely entertaining and addictive as well as educative, as any of her ardent fans will tell you.' - Publishing Director, Mari Evans
The Raven's Head by Karen Maitland, author of the bestselling and much-loved Company of Liars, will delight fans of Kate Mosse or Deborah Harkness seeking a new, dark fix. 'A compelling blend of historical grit and supernatural twists' Daily Mail on The Falcons of Fire and Ice Vincent is an apprentice librarian who stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to destroy his master. With the foolish arrogance of youth, he attempts blackmail but the attempt fails and Vincent finds himself on the run and in possession of an intricately carved silver raven's head. Any attempt to sell the head fails ...until Vincent tries to palm it off on the intimidating Lord Sylvain - unbeknown to Vincent, a powerful Alchemist with an all-consuming quest. Once more Vincent's life is in danger because Sylvain and his neighbours, the menacing White Canons, consider him a predestined sacrifice in their shocking experiment. Chilling and with compelling hints of the supernatural, The Raven's Head is a triumph for Karen Maitland, Queen of the Dark Ages.
|Publication date:||12th March 2015|
|Publisher:||Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group|
|Primary Genre||Historical fiction|
Closing date: 28/10/2021
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion, some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
It is 1224 and Vincent, a penniless, French librarian is in a dull, badly paid job. When he discovers a secret he attempts to blackmail his master, Gaspard, but it fails and he flees, taking with him a silver raven’s head (the alchemical symbol of death). Once in England, Vincent attempts to sell the raven’s head, but no-one is interested until he hears of the super-sinister sorcerer, Lord Sylvain. Like all Karen Maitland’s novels, this one is filled with magic and darkness, but believably done with great brio and attention to historical detail.
Karen Maitland travelled and worked in many parts of the United Kingdom before settling for many years in the beautiful medieval city of Lincoln, an inspiration for her writing. She is the author of The White Room, Company of Liars, The Owl Killers, The Gallows Curse and The Falcons of Fire and Ice. She has recently relocated to a life of rural bliss in Devon. Click here to read a our Ask the Author feature on Karen Maitland. Author photo © John C. GibsonMore About Karen Maitland