The Raven Tower

The Raven Tower➼ [Reading] ➾ The Raven Tower By Ann Leckie ➱ – 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 au 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 Raven eBook É 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. 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 thatThe 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 uasi 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 onceSlight spoiler but I loved the ending If we get a seuel it'll be interesting to see where things go from here NOW AVAILABLEBOOK SCHWAGi 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 ualified 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 reuired 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 introsummary 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 godbut a rock god sorta like thisor like the flipside of my book schwageolo 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 mosuitoes 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 suirmy 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 timecome to my blog Cue up Simon and Garfunkle for this ride Just a single song on endless repeatDon'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 islandNow 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 frayEnjoy 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 dieSo 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 himher 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 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 TowerThing 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 thrivingBut 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 TowerNow 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 uite a lot of things and it also isn’t shy about waxing poetic—to itself—about its age old history and the pastConseuently 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 techniue in employing it wasn’t skillful but the constant distraction of it was mentally exhausting and frankly not very pleasant at allWhich 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 uite 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 uality 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 allBottom line? If a uniue 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 Here is a story I have heardIt is a story that is easy to admire to appreciate to acknowledge as something wholly uniue within the fantasy genre and yet it is a difficult one to enjoy You likely have never read a story uite 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 heardIt 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 heardIt 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 heardIt 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 uestion 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 heardIt 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 tellinghttpsfemledfantasyhomeblog2019 This is a stand alone fantasy following a trans man main character who is the aide of the “heir to the throne” and his story is being told to him via 2nd person narration by a god of this world This was a slow story that mostly concerned itself with the process of creating pantheons the nature of gods and the nature of religion The god is telling it’s history while also sharing what is going on politically in the current timeline I found the current timeline characters to be difficult to attach to and cared way about the gods and the religious discussion I did appreciate that the main character’s gender was not a problem or focus throughout the story and the characters that did find out did not make an issue of it His being trans was also not used as a twist or plot device If you enjoy books about religion how they mold society and how people use them to explain their world this may be interesting to you Otherwise it’ll probably read as slow and slightly boring Holy sht y'all And let me repeat holy shtI 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 belowThe 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 sidesThat's not an exact uote 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 uniue triple perspective that NK 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 goodMost 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 uality they possess in any wayAnother 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 narratedThe only bad thing and I put this in uotes 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 thoughAll 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 35ish starsLeckie slides comfortably into the fantasy genre after receiving much acclaim for her sci fi works I expected this to be as complex as her Radch universe which was intimidating but it's really not Maybe even too far in the opposite direction It was surprisingly a simple fairly uick read despite the majority of it being either set up or history The people and places were easy to keep track of and most of the characters were sufficiently likable or hateable as they were intended Not that it's not slow and boring sometimes because it is There are essentially two stories being told a present timeline plot told in second person by an unseen narrator and a long history detailed by the same narrator giving context for the events in the present timeline As one might imagine the history parts are super boring Even in the present timeline not a lot happens until well past the half way mark because it's mostly build up and setting the stage for later events Even then the most exciting part of the book takes place in a single room with a bunch of characters talking to each other I know I'm not selling it well but I really did mostly enjoy the book overallMaybe kind of spoiler y? Personal pet peeve I don't know if it's just a literary trend that has taken place within the last few years or whether it's been going on sporadically for a long time without me recognizing it but I've read a lot of novels mostly SFF recently in which the climax of the narrative takes place in the last ten pages No resolution and no denouement except maybe a rushed where are they now included as an afterthought We don't even get that here Bugs mePosted in Mr Philip's Library 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 uite 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 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 meOf 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 themI got uite 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

The Raven Tower ePUB ☆ The Raven  eBook É
  • Hardcover
  • 416 pages
  • The Raven Tower
  • Ann Leckie
  • English
  • 25 May 2016
  • 9780356506999