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Jack of Ravens (Kingdom of the Serpent #1)

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  259 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Jack Churchill, archaeologist and dreamer, walks out of the mist and into Celtic Britain more than two thousand years before he was born, with no knowledge of how he got there. All Jack wants is to get home to his own time where the woman he loves waits for him. Finding his way to the timeless mystical Otherworld, the home of the gods, he plans to while away the days, the ...more
Paperback, 414 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Pyr (first published July 20th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 640)
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Ithlilian
Sep 28, 2012 Ithlilian marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Sigh, another diappointing book for me in a string of disappointing books. The idea behind Jack of Ravens was interesting initially. Church is thrown 2000 years into the past with a magic sword and a giant to kill, and gets sucked into ancient mythology. I was interested through all of that, even when things turned from concrete to a bit out there, I kept going. Eventually, I no longer saw the point. Different beings and creatues enter, say their piece, or fight the main character, then a new se ...more
Sarah
Despite the few issues that some readers might have with Jack of Ravens, it really is an incredibly well crafted book that is filled with very descriptive and lyrical writing that seems to bring Church and his journey to life in the reader’s mind. While the central story of tragically separated lovers is nothing new, Chadbourn’s telling of it is. This is a welcome addition to my fantasy library, and a book I will easily read again and again. Thankfully, this is the first book in a trilogy, so my ...more
Samuel Tyler
Fantasy should be fantastical in its very nature, but here lies the issue with the genre itself. If a book is too fantastical, what can you believe? For a fantasy world to work it must create its own set of laws and the author must tell the reader what these are, that way wonderful things can happen, but at least you know there are limits. ‘Jack of Ravens’ by Mark Chadbourn is a prime example of a book that sets no limitations and for this reason undermines itself. How can we possibly care about ...more
Penney Nile
Just completed reading this and its companion books, 'The Burning Man' and 'Destroyer of Worlds'. I found the three of them at the library, and I thought, 'Oh, I finally have gotten in at the beginning or the story!' NOT! Apparently, Church's story begins in 'World's End' from the Age of Misrule series (which I intend on reading as well'). The fact that I started with the middle in a series is nothing new for me... I got into 'The Belgariad' and 'The Mallorean' in the same way... which goes to s ...more
Scott
Frequent time shifting but good story
Stef
Not realizing that this was a prequel-y series to a previous series (the Age of Misrule) written by the same author, I was at first a little confused about who the characters were, but was able to quickly fall in the rhythm of the storyline and found that through introductions to new characters a lot of my questions about Church and the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons were answered. At times this book did read like a list of historical time periods and random factoids, but I really loved the wea ...more
Ben
An engaging and challenging read with a very distinct style that lived up to the quote from The Times emblazoned on the cover, 'A sumptous feast of fairytale, magic, dark gothic horror and romance'.

This is the tale of Jack Churchill, 'Church', who finds himself transported mysteriously back to 100BC and a Celtic Tribe, far from the woman he loves. So begins a journey to discover his identity and to make his way back to his beloved. On the way we plunge through a number of different time periods,
...more
Kathleen Dixon
A quote on the back of this book says it is "the answer to all those of us who've been moaning about by-the-numbers fantasy." Hmmm.

I think that the reason I didn't really enjoy this book is that there is too much in it. Or maybe I just don't like my fantasy to be written in a "crisp, accessible prose style (another quote on the back)". Though perhaps if I agreed with that quote . . . . For example, on one page I've just turned to at random there is 'Niamh said archly' and 'Church said redundantl
...more
Jane Jones
I liked this book a lot, it's a mixture of fantasy and horror, I am going to read the series again as I haven't read them for a while, anyone who likes Terry Goodkind, Neil Gaiman etc will enjoy this series, read them if you can, I have also read his Lords of Misrule series which are also good.
Alisa Hedden
An epic fantasy adventure in the making. In a battle between hope and despair, creation and destruction, this demonstrates that lowly humans can actually affect the ultimate outcome. Spreading from our time back to before the building of Stonehenge and back again, spanning the globe from England, across America, into Italy, Vietnam and places in between. From our world to the Far Lands (as well as asking who really killed Kennedy). Showing that we are all tied together. So, maybe the ultimate qu ...more
Noel G
Great stuff - i like the slow build ups in this series. I know many people that would get bored with it, but personally i find that it actually strengthens the character in your mind, which of course makes their actions and emotions all the more real and understandable.

As i read the second book first, i of course had a few surprises ruined for myself, but the story was strong enough to pull that through and still make it interesting. The story of how Shavi, Laura and Ruth come together and then
...more
Siavahda ★
This is the first in Chadbourn's sequel series to the Age of Misrule trilogy. The Brothers and Sisters are back; but only Church - Jack the Giantkiller - remembers even part of who they are. Sent thousands of years into the past, Church will have to play with the deadly and unknowable Tuatha de Danaan if he can have any chance of surviving to the present day - to be reunited with the woman he loves.

But beneath this suprisingly well-written fantasy sequel is a solid base of gnostism, mythology, a
...more
DC
{Oh my goodness. I FINALLY finish this book, and what do I see at the end? A darn cliffhanger after all that! ACK!}

I took this book up because the synopsis on its cover promised magic and fantasy. I did not expect to get an amazing plot, traces of English history & mythology, and legendary characters into the bargain.

[At current, I'm more than half-way into this, and I'm really loving this. Oh, what I'd give to read this book in one sitting(!), but I'm afraid I don't have the time to do so.
...more
Tal
kindof follows on from Mark Chadbourn's previous trilogy - you _can_ read it without the previous one, but it'd be confusing.

it's a whirlwind trip through history for Jack Churchill, trying to get home to the woman he loves while saving the world, becoming several legends and doing his best not to get killed :)

i'm beginning to think i'd classify Mr Chadbourn's books as "magical realism", as they deal with our world...as it could be, as a world where myths are not vague stories of long-ago but co
...more
Cat Tobin
This read like an unapologetically Mary Sue-ish romp through someone's favourite periods of history, told in a sadly formulaic way: "Jack seduces the cool woman and the Celts are in awe of him, then his enemies screw it up and knock him unconscious because he's vulnerable, yo"; "Jack seduces the cool woman and the Romans are in awe of him, then his enemies screw it up and knock him unconscious because he's vulnerable, yo"; "Jack seduces the cool woman and the Tudor English are in awe of him, the ...more
Cherie
I did not like this book. I never really engaged with it and would not have finished it except I volunteered to review it for a committee that I am on. I thought it was choppy and it dragged for me. All the characters were whiny and the bad guy was called the Libertarian of all things.
Bronwyn Thomas
Stumbled across this in the library one day and thought I would give it a go. I started it and could not put it down. Now I'm trying to look for more books by him but this is the only book by the author in my library system. Loved the book but now I'm crushed I can not find any continuation.
Paul Sysiak
I really really enjoyed this but i wish he'd spread it over a few volumes and explored the characters more and the periods Jack found himself in. Also - disappointing with Veitch in the end....but you never know what'll happen in the next one - time being fluid and all!
Vicki
A fascinating story. I really liked it. One thing though, one character was very foul mouthed, she used the "f" word a lot. I hate when I really love the storyline, but have problems like that. Thank goodness she was not in the whole book!
Mark
An average imitation of Holdstock and the research wasn't great - tends to regurgitate obvious Celtic mythology stuff.

The story is probably an interesting one, but I didn't like the style of writing.
Jacinta Hoare
I struggled a bit with this book and found it easy to put it down to do other things. However I did like the fact that this was a departure from the fantasy formula that I have been reading lately.

Siobhan
I liked it to a point. Maybe I should have read the other series first.I will read the next one in this series to see if it improves on this one.
Dillon Giannetakis
Mark Chadbourn will always be one of my favourite authors. If only his work was available in more book stores.
Kaety
A sometimes engaging vacation level book full of pat descriptions and plot holes.
David
Part of nine book triple trilogy that has everything a fantasy lover could want.
Susan
Nice premise but I wasn't satisfied with the character depths or delvings.
Scor
I read it. I finished it. I didn't get the point of it.
Mel
Loved it Loved it LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!
Laurence
Wonderful dark gothic romance.
Sasha Rudic
Great idea. Poorly executed.
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A two-time winner of the prestigious British Fantasy Award, Mark has published his epic, imaginative novels in many countries around the world. He grew up in the mining community of the English Midlands, and was the first person in his family to go to university. After studying Economic History at Leeds, he became a successful journalist, writing for several of the UK's renowned national newspaper ...more
More about Mark Chadbourn...

Other Books in the Series

Kingdom of the Serpent (3 books)
  • The Burning Man (Kingdom of the Serpent, #2)
  • Destroyer of Worlds (Kingdom of the Serpent, #3)
Hellboy: The Ice Wolves World's End  (Age of Misrule #1) Darkest Hour (Age of Misrule, #2) Always Forever (Age of Misrule, #3) The Silver Skull (Swords of Albion, #1)

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