The Raven Tower

By Ann Leckie

Rating: 4 stars

The country of Iraden has been protected by the god known as The Raven for centuries. Now war is coming to Iraden, the Raven’s Lease is dying and the Lease’s Heir returns to the capital to take his place. Alongside him comes his aide, Eolo, and their world will crumble and change around them.

This is a really interesting book. It’s told in a strange combination of the first and second person. I’m not normally a fan of the use of the second person, but because of the way the narrative is being told here, it’s not immediately the reader that is the “you”, but the narrator telling a story in the present tense to Eolo. It’s interesting and clever and I find it works. I also really like the narrator and their story – they are a god, one of many that roam this world. The magic system of the world is really interesting as well: the gods have magic in that they can only speak the truth. If they say something that wasn’t true before, their words will make it so (if they have the power, otherwise it could kill them).

The narrator weaves their own story with that of Eolo and his master; and, I must confess, that I found the epic story of gods across the ages more interesting than petty power-broking and politicking in the present. At least, until the two stories started to converge.

Because it’s Ann Leckie and it’s expected to be mentioned, there is some playing with gender, although it’s limited to Eolo being a trans man, and being pretty universally accepted as such.

I certainly enjoyed the book (I must confess I still don’t understand the implications of the turning of the stone) and would welcome an expansion of the universe, although it seems that the story here is pretty self-contained and complete.

Book details

ISBN: 9780356507026
Publisher: Orbit
Year of publication: 2019

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