Friday, June 23, 2017
Review: A Gathering of Ravens: A Novel - by Scott Oden
The story in Scott Oden's, A Gathering of Ravens. takes place a thousand years in the past. It is a mix of legend, history, myth, magick, and the growing influence of Christianity. It's not the kind of fare I would usually read or review, but I'm so glad I picked this up.
An epic tale from an orc's point of view. From the synopsis of A Gathering of Ravens...
To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcnéas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind—the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.
At its root, the story is about Grimnir's quest for revenge against the Half-Dane Bjarki. A Gathering of Ravens is filled with wonderful characters, even secondary players like Blind Maeve are imbued with life in this wonderfully layered tale.
With sudden vehemence, Grimnir carved his seax through the Saxon's throat. He slashed once. Twice. And on the third blow vertebrae crunched as the dead man's head came free. Grimnir straightened, holding his prize by its long hair.
If you like stuff like that, A Gathering of Ravens is definitely a tale worth your time. Treachery, double-crosses, epic battles, and unexpected compassion. All leading to the climatic Battle on the Plain of Tarbh.
...carved the blade across (his) belly and ripped him open from right to left, viscera tumbled out, loops of red and purple intestine, sacks of organs; blood splashed the roots of the tree, and the stench of bowel rose from the cavernous wound.
A Gathering of Ravens: A Novel is available in both hardcover and e-book formats from Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's Press.
From the author's bio - 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. When not writing he can be found walking his two dogs or doting on his lovely wife, Shannon.