A Gathering of Ravens: A Novel

A Gathering of Ravens: A Novel

by Scott Oden


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312372941
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/20/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 667,789
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

SCOTT ODEN was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. His previous books include Men of Bronze, Memnon, and The Lion of Cairo. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon.

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A Gathering of Ravens 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SELindberg More than 1 year ago
A Gathering of Ravens delivers an Orc with serious depth, and he carries a bloody seax too. “Since young adulthood, I’ve wanted to write a book about Orcs—those foot soldiers of evil first revealed to us in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I wanted to write it from the Orcs’ point of view. And I wanted to redeem them.” – Scott Oden, Author’s Note from A Gathering of Ravens Scott Oden did not want to “write about a redeeming orc,” or the “redemption of an orc.” Rather, the author set out to present an orc that was not shallow, zombie-like drone (ala Tolkien, and most of high fantasy novels stereotype). The milieu in A Gathering of Ravens is reminiscent of Poul Anderson’s Viking Age The Broken Sword, being full of Dane’s and Celtic faeries and Norse myths. The style is more readable than that classic, but is still saturated with just the right amount of call-outs to geographies and history to blur the lines between fantasy and history. This is no historical fantasy, but the foundation of history is so well played the fantasy feels “real.” Equally balanced are the sorceries of Celtic witches, Norse deities, and Christian beliefs. All supernatural “sides” of faiths conflict here. All are presented as real, though some are being superseded. So who is the orc protagonist employed by Scott Oden to redeem the Orc culture? He is Grendel’s brother, as named by some. The lady Étaín, a servant of the Christian God, the Nailed One, and unlikely companion of him describes him: “He is called Grimnir… the last of his kind, one of the kaunar—known to your people as fomóraig, to mine as orcnéas, and to the Northmen as skrælingar. In the time I’ve known him, he has been ever a fomenter of trouble, a murderer, and as cruel a bastard… I can vouch neither for his honesty nor his morals, as he is bereft of both. And while he did kidnap me, threaten me with death, mock my faith, and expose me to the hates of a forgotten world, he also saved my life …” Grimnir is a brutal bastard. His name suits him, since he might as well be caring a flagstaff with the contemporary “Grimdark subgenre” splayed upon it. Yet his predicament and motivations are compelling as any vigilante hero. Way to deliver on your muse, Scott Oden!
hermitbear More than 1 year ago
You gotta love a novel bold enough to use the phrase “scrofulous bastard” in its opening paragraph. It sets the tone for whole book, which is an exhilarating blend of sword-and-sorcery and epic fantasy. The main character is a battle-scarred Orc on a quest for vengeance in the year 999. Along the way he takes a young Christian woman hostage as a guide. The interplay between the old gods and the “new” religion of Christianity figures prominently in this novel that blends history with folklore – and mixes beautifully poetic language with grisly scenes of battle. Not recommended for the faint of heart, but fans of grimdark fantasy literature, or the writings of the late Robert E. Howard, will love it.