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Ravenwood (Tanyth Fairport #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  61 reviews
You're never too old to make a bad decision.

After twenty winters on the road, Tanyth Fairport makes one last pilgrimage in her quest to learn all she can about the herbs and medicinal plants of Korlay before settling down to write her magnum opus. Her journey is interrupted when she decides to help a small village and learns that much of what she knows of the world may no...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published October 28th 2011 by Createspace (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.5 stars. O.K. I've bumped it up to 4 stars.

Interesting for several reasons. I listened to this open-source book as a podcast from podiobooks. The book was divided even into 16 (as I recall) 45 min episodes read and well produced by the author Nathan Lowell. I would like to thank him for making this good read available with no DRM.

The writing was well done (even if a touch formulaic at points). A fascinating concept for a set of adventures surrounding Tanyth Fairport a 50 something, pre-menop...more
Nathan Lowell
Jan 13, 2010 Nathan Lowell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little biased, but I liked this one. It was quite a challenge to write because of the nature of the heroine. And the time limit.
Ah, Nathan Lowell. Can you do no wrong? Ravenwood is yet another fantastic book from the highly-praised author of the Trader Tales series. As effortlessly as Lowell approached future tech and made it easily understood and digestible in the stories of Ishmael Wang, he hits a home run in the opposite direction. Ravenwood is set in a far distant past, in a time when swordplay was the main offensive weapon in conflict.

Tanyth Fairport, a wandering homeopath, has spent 20 years learning all she can ab...more
Ann Schwader
A highly entertaining Podiobook fantasy from the author of the "Share" SF series (and, yes, I've listened to all of those, too). I'm not sure how well Lowell's storytelling translates to print -- but on audio, he makes treadmill sessions & household chore time fly by.

Ravenwood is a pagan-themed tale featuring a rarity in in most fantasy: a woman protagonist over fifty (or at least close to it!). Tanith Fairport is a healer and long-time student of herb lore, on the road to improve her knowle...more
I bought a selection of fantasy novels for something like $ 0.99. It had a couple of gems, and Ravenwood was one of them.

This story is a refreshing change from the dark, bloody and cynical stream of fantasy that is now very popular and which I like plenty. Ravenwood is the opposite in many ways. It goes at a slow but steady pace, takes place in an understandable and not too intricate world, lacks in (gratuitous) violence and is carried by an unlikely and fascinating protagonist: a lonely wander...more
Sharon Michael
I hope this is the first of a series but my book budget will suffer as this will go on my 'auto buy' list after the first read/ first book of the series.

As far as I know, this is the author's first fantasy and it fits exactly into what I think of as a 'comfort read'. Real, average people (though they are dealing with magic, of course) but in basically ordinary circumstances. An interesting story to tell with a certain amount of mayhem and suitably nasty bad guys to defeat, very few stereotypes a...more
Nov 30, 2011 Betsy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, Lowell fans
Recommended to Betsy by: Nathan Lowell
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Enjoyable light fantasy. Lowell always writes well -- clear, straightforward, enough detail and background to support the story but not overwhelm it. He does a good job of writing about a middle aged woman dealing with the beginning of menopause and the development of some unexpected abilities while traveling about the countryside collecting herb lore.

As with his Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series, Lowell doesn't do overly dramatic or herculean. He writes about simple ordinary people dealin...more
Jul 20, 2010 Carlissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a great fantasy story.
Recommended to Carlissa by: iTunes
I found this podcast while searching iTunes store to see what podcasts were available. This one sounded interesting; I was hooked after listening to the first episode. I liked the way the main character, Tanyth, was developed, and how the town of Ravenwood was formed. The narrator (the author, Nathan Lowell) was excellent and really made the story come alive. I am looking forward to more in this series.

7/20/10: I listened to this podcast again and enjoyed it even more the 2nd time around.
Again, Nathan Lowell has created an enjoyable read. All of his books are available through www.Podiobooks.com for free. If you read his stuff and like it then donate some money to him. This is unsolicited. My son turned my on to The Traders Tale (?) series which starts with Quarter Share. All of his books have likeable characters who use persuasion and insight to deal with problems, not brute force. They lead by example. Each of the books uses basic economic logic to deal with problems. The auth...more
Jeffrey Paris [was Infinite Tasks]
I've been avidly listening to Nathan Lowell's podiobooks, and he is an absolutely darling reader. Ravenwood is my least favorite yet, perhaps because of the fantasy setting, but also the excessive repetition of the magical occurrences. Still, I will listen to anything Nathan wants to read, and Tanyth is a very well-rounded character. Good for Nathan, writing intimately about a menopausal herbalist with a history of domestic violence!
T.L. Merrybard
As an almost 50 myself, I enjoyed reading the story from the point of view of an older lady with some creaky bones and such. Tanyth is no woose, though. She is one tough cookie. I appreciate that myself as I am no pushover when it counts either. We Crones rock!

I'm pagan and do enjoy this aspect of the story, but must admit after a little while I kind of skipped the ceremonial bits as they were a bit samey. Loved that the pagan blessings and festivals were part of the lives of the village, thoug...more
Bob Hall
I just loved this book it was one of the first books I got when I was given a kindle for christmas, The story is about a woman who endured her husband's beatings while her son lived with them but when he left to join the army she also left and then stayed with the village healer. She spent the next 20 years going from one village healer to another all the time learning from them the art of healing.then she comes upon a small settlement where she ask if she can use their well for fresh water she...more
Slow on plot but rich in character and world building
A good read; well developed characters. Fantasy.
Joe Young
A story about a brave, mid-fifties, unassuming women who wandered the roads of an agrarian society for twenty years dressed as a slight man and carrying an oak staff. She had left an abusive husband after a particularly severe beating. On her journey, she spent time with other enlightened women and learned the ways of herbs and folk medicine absorbing the ways of the natural world including prayers and incantations. She was heading towards a renown wise, old women in the north who had accumulate...more
Ancestral Gael
After reading other reviews of " Ravenwood " I decided to download it and give it a try as my preferred listening option on the commute to and from work. The author, Nathan Lowell was a far superior narrator his own story than others to whom I had listened and, though the plot developed slowly, I was happy to listen further to the pleasant reading.

I have to admit I was at a loss as to the time and place that Tanyth, the main character, inhabited. At once, it seemed to be the past but I could not...more
Fe Punsalang
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A pleasing story that shows that the mundane life of ordinary people can still be interesting.

For all the detail about life in a small village, I did have one question. Where was the livestock? There was one brief mention of chickens I vaguely remember, but they never seemed to eat any or their eggs. Also, while they ate a lot of cheese they didn't seem to have a cow or even goats. Surely a pig or two would be standard also.
Robert Marshall
Author Lowell has created an absolute work of art. With sparkling clarity his characters spring from the pages directly to the visual centers of the readers mind. I rarely read a book from start to finish, without pausing to read a few chapters in one or more other books, but this book kept my interest and I read it without interruption. I look forward to reading the rest of this series (While I wait the release of OWNER’S SHARE as an ebook).
Teresa Carrigan
Free podcast type book. Fantasy. Not as good as the Solar Clipper series (SF) by the same author but worth listening to. Not sure whether it's supposed to be an alternate universe, in the far future, or the author just didn't do his homework - multiple times foods were mentioned that were not available in Europe until well after the Renaissance, but the story feels like it's in the Middle Ages.

Later: also free as an ebook from Amazon. The experience is different through the written word; still d...more
Scott Jucha
Another excellent series start to a great character study. Lowell weaves a story of Tanyth and her life's search for herbs, potions, and health-healing capabilities. What she begins to discover during her arduous path on the road describes a wonderful journey of a soul in search of something greater than the everyday, the mundane.
More fantasy of economic accumulation from Lowell. And tea, so much tea.

Like the lead in his Solar Clipper series, Tanith is a survivor working through personal loss by engaging in meticulous work. The herb-craft here seems deeply researched, and the low-fantasy setting is explored very nicely. The effect is mesmerizing.

I cannot force myself to finish this. Are we in medieval Europe? It seems so at first blush. The dialect is crazily inconsistant, veering wildly from "my dear" and "mum" to "if'n" and "somethin'". There are pages where no gerunds are blessed with their final "g's"...and a few pages later, they 're back.
B. Ross Ashley
Lowell is a fantastic writer. I listened to his Podiobooks.com recording of this fantasy, in approximately 35-minute instalments, while starting a sock on my Knittingboard sock loom; I'm nearly half done on the first of a pair of socks now, almost to the heel turn. I'm sure Tanith "Mother" Fairport would approve.

Tanith has been on the road twenty winters, moving from place to place learning herbs and healing from a succession of women, when she comes upon a new little village of city kids who ha...more
Ryan Burt
I enjoy Nathan Lowell as a writer a lot. Unfortunately this one I didn't enjoy as much as some of his other ones. Maybe part of it was it was harder to relate to an older lady who is finding herself.

I do like how his stories are more common day. Sure there is some action and danger in this but there is also every day tasks. Enjoyable but still only 3 stars.
Declining civilization living in and in the tops of humongous trees is threatened by a much larger mechanical/electronic empire--but a lad (and his sister, who has been sent off to an unspecified locale but probably said empire) are set to resist a takeover. The lad is a plumber and there are all sorts of poop and tree puns (religion is based on "be-leaf"), but all of the characters are standard types, action scenes are the sort where participants can take timeouts to converse and explain their...more
Timothy Cummings
A very well written story. The characters are well developed and memorable, the story moves at a near perfect pace.
As Nathan Lowell does so well, instead of big heros, big drama, he takes regular people and shows the heroism. The Solar Clipper series is the life of a sailor and happens to be set in space, but this one is a rural low-tech setting, small village surviving difficult economic challenges, with kindness shown to a rather ordinary-appearing middle-aged woman. She finds a place in their lives and hearts, as they do in hers, and this unassuming woman is not as 'ordinary' as she appears--low-key heroi...more
Rebecca Yeates
Not bad. Listened to the free audio book
02/24/10 - I finished listening to the story. Overall it was an enjoyable story. I liked the characters, I liked the pacing. I thought it was predictable, but that did make for a comfortable listen. It was kind of like watching a TV series that you knew was going to last for only one season.

I am compelled to look for more stories based on the characters and written by this author.

This is a good story so far. I like the main character and am finding it easy to get into the story line. I'll post m...more
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Nathan Lowell has been a writer for more than forty years, and first entered the literary world by podcasting his novels. His sci-fi series, The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper grew from his long time fascination with space opera and his own experiences shipboard in the United States Coast Guard. Unlike most works which focus on a larger-than-life hero (prophesized savior, charismatic captain, or...more
More about Nathan Lowell...
Quarter Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #1) Half Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #2) Full Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #3) Double Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #4) Captain's Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #5)

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