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Blood Eye (Raven #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,314 ratings  ·  137 reviews

The first book in a thrilling Viking trilogy that launched the career of acclaimed historical novelist Giles Kristian - who's now confronting the tumult and devastation of the English Civil War in The Bleeding Land...

For two years Osric has lived a simple life, though he is feared and shunned for his mysterious past and blood-red eye. When raiders from across the sea rans

Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published (first published February 26th 2009)
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Two Reviews, Oceans apart
I decided my review of Raven: Blood Eye by Giles Kristian, would not be complete unless my review of it in 2011 was brought to the table too.
So, this is a review of two parts. Two reviews of one book, but years apart. In the name of equivalence.

I have a confession. I rarely reread. I know many people that love rereading old favourites, or books they have not read for a long time or books they want to try again to see if they feel differently about them, but I hardly e
Simon Turney
I was doubly surprised by Raven. I bought it, in all fairness, because I'd spoken to Giles on twitter - he's a really nice fella - and it had a cool cover. There. Admission of guilt.

I've got 3 viking sagas sat in my bookshelves, all unread, because I obsess over the Roman era and I have trouble with Viking culture, because I've always thought they didn't have one. So it took me a long time to get around to braving Raven. So that was my first stumbling block: not been keen to launch into viking t
John Snow
I had high expectations, but the book was a bit disappointing. Not that Kristian doesn't write well and he certainly displays a wide knowledge of Saxons, Vikings, and Norse mythology; somehow I felt at home in his world. It was the way the story is told that disappointed me.

In the book one event follows the other - first this happens and then this - in a uni-linear and repetitive pattern. In each second chapter or so the author seems forced to put in a big fight or a battle; after some time it b
Stu - (Sequere me in tenebras)
"The Good, The Bad And The Unbelievable."

One of the most important aspects of telling a story are characters. I certainly find myself often drawn to characters as well as a good story. Both really come hand in hand, so to separate them seems strange, but from a critical appraisal point of view it occurs a lot. My main problem with Raven: Blood Eye was the characters. What I did enjoy was the story. I'll get to both shortly.

When it comes to historical fiction, a lot of authors tend not to take n
Edit: currently rereading. (August 2013)
Below review was written when I first read the book in 2012..

This book was a bit of a disappointment for me. It looks the goods. Seemed promising out of the gate, but overall, it simply felt a bit flat.
The author can write well enough. There was no amateur writing to be had here, but the story, for me, was just words on a page. Nothing of note happens in a hurry through the meat of the book. Seemed to be a lot of standing or sitting around doing not much o
Robin Carter
Vikings...A period that just screams to me to read it, if Rome is blood and sandals, then Vikings is Sea , Sword and sudden violence.
My exposure to Viking historical fiction has been limited so far, but I'm trying to catch up, I thought Robert Low had managed to reach the pinnacle of the sub genre with the oathsworn, and then out comes the raven series to take it one step further.
The writing has true power and pace, but what also come over is a true love of the subject and the characters that th
Guy Haley
I won't bang on about the plot: Young man meets Vikings, is taken in, finds he is a natural killer and has bloody adventures in Southern England in the 8/9th century. That about sums it up.

I like Vikings, for a whole parcel of reasons. I studied them at university, and married a lady Viking. I've had this lying around for aged and fancied something Norse. Blood Eye adequately captures the spirit of the era and is overall entertaining, but there are some major issues with it.

Firstly, although the
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: An historical voyage of an orphaned young man destined for Norse greatness.

Opening Sentence: It was April.

The Review:

Blood Eye begins where all good sagas do; humbly. It starts with an orphaned boy that is not truly accepted in his small village and yet does not know to want for more. When a twist of fate and chance encounter puts him along the path to his true destiny, he begins a long and treacherous journey to greatness.

Though this story
May 19, 2014 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of medieval novels, historical fiction
Giles leads readers into the grim yet fascinating world of middle age england through the character of Osric, a young man with no memory of his past apart from a blood ruined eye. His world is disturbed by the appearence of a group of norse traders unsettling him and his common folk. Yet the peace is further disturbed when the local priest tried to posion the Jarl Sigurd and Osric forewarns the Jarl of this trick. A fight ensues and men are killed yet Osric is spared only by the quickeness of hi ...more
Old-fashioned blood and guts Viking saga written with a modern sensibility - explicit description of violence including disembowelings, curses, sexual innuendo and violence - first in a planned series about a mysterious boy with an unusual blood eye and some weird capabilities; though the book stays within the "real world", the fantastic elements are implied and they may or may not show up

Osric/Raven the narrator - narrating in old age, so we know he survives his trials - has been found withou
Lisa Yarde
At the dawn of an age of Scandinavian raiding throughout Western Europe, a young man rediscovers a forgotten heritage that links him to a proud band of Norse warriors in Blood Eye, the first of Giles Kristian’s Raven trilogy. Swept up in their quest to find honor and glory in battle, Raven tests the limits of his endurance and finds companionship among these resilient but brutal warriors.

Raven does not know the name his parents might have given him at birth, where he was born or whether he has a
Mr. Matt
Osric is a young man with no memories of his life beyond the past two or so years. His distinctive blood-flecked eye made him an outcast among the Saxon people of his village. When Norsemen come to his village they set off a chain of events that unlocks his hidden past and Osric becomes the Raven, a Nordic warrior following Sigurd the Lucky. The band gets tied up in an adventure involving Saxon politics, a mysterious Christian relic, Welsh savages and a beautiful young Saxon noblewoman. Good tim ...more
I picked up the Raven trilogy on a whim because I was in the mood for a Viking themed story. After reading this first volume however, reading the rest is not going to be as carefree as I had hoped. The writing is not bad, but the sheer amount of time spent on battles and travelling is tedious. I appreciate the difficulty a life of travel and battles may present for a writer in such abundance, but it could have been spruced up with much more generous character development. I enjoyed what I read a ...more
I was so excited upon recieving the news that i had won this book on the Goodreads First-reads giveaway, as it is something that is not only on my to-read list but a novel that really stands-out when i go around the bookshops. I am eagerly awaiting with anticipation & aprehension in reading this book and finding out what it is like, as it has caught my attention & interest for a long time now. I hence cannot thank Giles Kristian the author so much for holding his book on a Goodreads give ...more
HNC Library
Raven blood eye is the coolest Viking book that I have read so far, it gives a realistic view on Norsemen life which makes it a thrilling and seat gripping work of fiction. Though it shows that the Norsemen were vicious and fearless fighters, it also shows that they were highly religious people that would sacrifice an animal in hope they would be granted a safe journey. It also shows that the Norsemen were sometimes peaceful people in the form of trading, and when Osric was concerned. This has c ...more
Mia Darien
There was a lot I liked about this book, but there was enough I had issues with to keep me from saying that I REALLY liked it.

In the interview in the back of my copy, Kristian says he doesn't plan his stories. He just writes. It shows. The story definitely just wanders through its plot, following our narrator. For the most part, this works. It has the feel of the old saga. It gets annoying at times, though. At least to me.

I loved the Norseman. They were a violent, eventimes cruel group, who did
This was an interesting book. I don't think that I have ever ready any others like this. The time period is very interesting, a bit earlier in European history that I usually read. But the writing definitely takes you back to that time period of the Vikings. Raven, as he is renamed as he comes to join his Viking captors and befriend them. Raven is a youth who is just starting to find himself and define who he is. This really is the start of his story, it give you a good backdrop of who he is as ...more
Paul Bennett
I was seven years old when the Kirk Douglas-Tony Curtis movie "The Vikings" came out. Like their later collaboration in "Spartacus", the movie was flawed historically but that didn't matter to a seven year old. I was enthralled with the film and the lore of the Vikings. In this first book in a series Giles Kristian has awakened that feeling of being enthralled albeit on a much more real and visceral scale. The setting is Britain's east coast, Wessex and Mercia and the main character is a young m ...more
Starr Griggs
Wow! I can’t say that I am a huge fan of historical fiction, I’m not. I am a ginormous fan of a really good story. I don’t really care what genre that story falls under. Sometimes, I stay away from certain genres because my lack of exposure to them or my experience with them. No offense to those who like historical fiction because of the facts that bog down a story, but that is what turns me off from HF. That was not the case with Blood Eye. It was an amazing bloody story. Yep, bloody –blood flo ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I will admit upfront that books with a heavy bent toward violence, war, and brotherhood of men aren't really my thing. But now and then, I get a hankering for some 'guy' fiction -- like Clive Cussler or Mickey Spillane -- because I want an action movie type of read, and in this case, Blood Eye was a perfect summer flick of a book.

In 9th century England, Osric is apprenticed to a mute carpenter, the only man in a small seaside village willing to take him in when he was found two years earlier. Un
David Caldwell
I won a copy on Goodreads Firstreads.One of the best things about the giveaway program is that you can experiment with new authors and genres that you have not explored previously.

I have never been a big history buff of any era.I much prefer modern to future settings or fantasy realms. But I figured a book about Vikings in the 9th century wouldn't be too far off from some fantasies that I have read.I was both right and wrong.

Blood Eye tells the story of a young man who does not know his past.He
Very Viking, though the author never uses that term at all. A good view of the Old Beliefs as well as what Christianity was once like. Bloody in many parts, as a life lived by sword and spear would have been. I liked it enough to allow no space between this and the next in the trilogy.

We know from the outset that Osric--or Raven as he is soon renamed--survives to be an old man, telling his tales of battle and glory. That in no way detracts from the adeventures that soon follow, as we discover th
Mildly entertaining. Not as bad historically as I was expecting (I'm a medieval studies major with a passion for Vikings). But I cannot remember the last time I yelled at a book so frequently; there are so many contradictions that just annoyed me. One example is when Osric first sees the longship he sees the dragonhead prow and I immediately was annoyed because the Vikings would have removed that when approaching land. Then a few pages later they approach land once again and explain in detail ho ...more
The first in a planned trilogy, Raven: Blood Eye is set during the early days of the Viking incursion into what would later become known as England. Pretty much the entire novel centres around one such such fictional raid: before, during and after the said event, with the subseqent sequels planning to 'open out' the Viking world.

If I had to compare it to other similar novels I've read, I would probably have to place it somewhere in the gap between Bernard Cornwell's (an author, incidentally, who
An astounding start to a series I must now consume as if Odin himself has willed it!

Full of characters you'll invest in completely, this book carries with it an authority that makes it all the more 'real'.

Fast paced and full of incident it remains a story of fellowship, even tho at times the actions of the fellowship seem ruthless they are a team, a band of brothers if you will.

I've already discussed this with Giles but if this book/ series is not adapted into an HBO format series or film franch
Have been holding on to this book for ages for some unknown reason and then finally felt myself drawn to it this week. Obviously, at some unconscious level I was waiting for the other two books in the trilogy to be availabe as I will now hardly have to wait to read all three. Needless to say this means that I have thoroughly enjoyed Blood Eye - I found it very hard to put down and in spite of having been incredibly busy (Euro 2012 for starters, 16th birthday to cater for etc.)managed to finish t ...more
I found that book really interesting, a great story of Viking adventures with just right dose of Christianity and Norse mythology. It is a quite realistic narrator of happenings in that time, illustrated with interesting characters that reveal the mysterious ways of Scandinavian inhabitants. The book is also good at showing the tension between two religions although I felt that the story favoured the Norse deities and has generally shown Christian priests and monks only as a whining cowards. I w ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Adam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Males
Never before have i been interested in the past, and even less so in boats full of unwashed dudes with giant bears - but i found myself strangely compelled to turn page after captivating page.

One word: Badass

It makes me want to do away with my iPhone and laptop, and travel back in time to when boys my age would instead carry a sword rather than an xbox controller. This book has taken me so far away from the norm, and i envy Giles Kristian for his imagination and take on such a misunderstood race
Ryan G
My Freshman year in college I took a Introduction to the Arts class during the interim period of January. Most of the kids where home from break, but I used that month to eat up a gen ed credit. During that class we were taught the concept of the willing suspension of disbelief. Naturally it's a concept we all understand from the moment we pick up our first book or watch our first movie. There has to be a willingness on the part of the audience to put the implausibility of the story aside, and b ...more
As an avid reader of historical fiction, and particularly with literature pertaining to Vikings, I found myself entranced in the end by this first book in the Raven series. I have a soft spot for anything Viking, and Giles writes in a way that makes me feel like he is in the room telling me the story. The character development is thorough and fleshed out so that the reader can understand each person's actions and motives. The imagery is quite compelling as well. I will admit that, in my opinion, ...more
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Family history (he is half Norwegian) and his storytelling hero, Bernard Cornwell, inspired Giles Kristian to write his first historical novels, the acclaimed and bestselling Raven Viking trilogy – Blood Eye, Sons of Thunder and Odin’s Wolves. For his next series, he drew on a long-held fascination with the English Civil War. The Bleeding Land and Brothers’ Fury follow the fortunes of a divided fa ...more
More about Giles Kristian...
Sons of Thunder (Raven #2) Odin's Wolves (Raven, #3) The Bleeding Land (Bleeding Land Trilogy #1) God of Vengeance Brother's Fury (Bleeding Land Trilogy #2)

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