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Highland Raven

(Celtic Blood #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  689 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Librarian note: alternate-cover edition of B00NK6B60O.

Destined to become Queen of Scotland.

Bound by blood to the Celtic gods.

Scotland, 1026--Gruoch, descendant of the line of MacAlpin, should have been born into a life of ease. But fate is fickle. Her father's untimely death, rumored to have been plotted by King Malcolm, leaves her future uncertain and stained by the proph
Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 266 pages
Published June 2015 by Clockpunk Press (first published December 3rd 2014)
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Cait • A Page with a View
I was pretty much here for the ravens, Scottish highlands, Macbeth influences, and all of the detailed Celtic mythology woven throughout. But the story itself was a bit odd, slow-moving, and just... not something I really connected with or was compelled to keep reading. It was more like I was digging around the story to find the influences of other stories that I loved (which probably isn't the best sign).
Bambi Unbridled
[The End]
Bambi: Nooooooooooo! It can't be over!
[Frantically checking Audible to see if the next book is out]
No! Gah! ::flails::

It's been a while since I had that reaction to the end of a book, but I was utterly captivated by Highland Raven. It was just so... so... magical, for lack of a better word. And I can't say enough good things about the narrator, Lesley Parkin. She really did a fabulous job with the accents and tenor of the story - she brought all the characters and the setting to life
Christine Spoors
I recently bought a kindle paperwhite so thought this would be the perfect time to read some of the Scottish inspired books I've got on my TBR. Highland Raven is set in Scotland in 1026 and follows Gruoch, who goes on to become the wife of Macbeth. I will admit that I've never actually read or seen Macbeth so I don't know the story.

This book seems to be an introduction to Gruoch and set before she even meets Macbeth. I enjoyed this book but I will admit that the pacing was a little odd. The plot
Leni - The White Book Cottage
4,5 Stars
Wow what a story!
First of all look at that cover <3
The end left a lot of questions, but the rest of the story was beautiful and magical.
Bridget Vollmer
3 1/2 starts...pacing was a bit odd but overall a different yet enjoyable read.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think I've burned through all the worthwhile Highland novels, and while futilely searching for more, this showed up as a suggestion in my Amazon feed. Marketed as a book about the old gods of the Isles and appealing to fans of Outlander and Mists of Avalon (both of which I really enjoyed), I was totally lost.

The first book completely drew me in. The ways of the old gods are always fascinating for me to read about. I like contemplating other ways of living, other religions and practices, and o
Melissa Hayden
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fantasy
This is one of those stories I was drawn into and really enjoyed, yet it's difficult to write about. I don't want to give away anything as I want you to have all the feels as you experience the story as well.

This story is Gruoch's. Who is Gruoch? She's who we know as MacBeth. This story tells of what she's experienced as she has grown up. On the day she was born her father called to the goddess. That goddess has answered and will call on Gruoch when she's older. Gruoch lives a good, but at times
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With such a title, Lady Macbeth Daughter of Ravens, it is impossible not to think immediately to Shakespeare's Macbeth, the work that is considered as his most tragic one (and the blurb of our book will dispel any doubt). Thinking to the Shakespearean Macbeth will not be wrong, since the characters of the classic story play also in Karsak’s where once again everything is or will be influenced by political decisions of others. However, until now, I do not believe I can say that it is a retelling. ...more
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
4.5 Stars

Melanie Karsak does it again! Highland Raven is a delightful mix of historical and fantasy that pulls inspiration from Shakespeare's Macbeth. The story centers on Lady Macbeth, before she ever took that name and is instead Gruoch MacAlpin the daughter of a royal bloodline and at the heart of magic from the Celtic gods.

Karsak has made her way onto my favorites list with her The Harvesting series, and are among my favorite audiobooks because of her care at picking amazing narrators who b
Nicole Hewitt
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 Stars

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I knew that it was about Lady Macbeth, but that was about all I knew. That was enough to intrigue me.

The story starts with Gruoch's birth. Her father is the Scottish king, and her mother dies in childbirth. She is raised by her aunt, her father's sister (who calls her Corbie). The early part of the book focuses on her life with her beloved aunt and her aunt's abusive husband. I found myself drawn into the story right away and wondering what
Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book for the tour to read and review. No other compensation was offered nor would it have been accepted. The following is my honest review.

I have been a reader of Shakespeare since I was in middle school. My brother and I even bought one another a complete collected works book one year for Christmas which we laughed about.

But then I hit high school and I had this literature teacher who was amazing. And we read many of Shakespeare's works, including MACBET
Courtney Vickers
Sadly I didn’t finish this book. It sounded interesting, I was really interested when I began reading it but that was where my interest stopped. I just didn’t connect with this book at all, it felt bland. I skimmed ahead to see if it got better but I also had up with that.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I am torn of how I feel about Highland Raven. There are some of it that made me bored and lose my attention. Other times, I was intrigued and wanted to read on. The end has a cliffhanger, so I think I will be giving the second book in The Celtic Blood series a try.
3 stars.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This really surprised me. I loved all the Celtic mythology woven into a historical fantasy. Where it lacks in World building it makes up for in magic!
Kirsty Bicknell
I have been a fan of Melanie Karsak since reading the tense zombie drama, The Harvesting, followed by her steampunk adventure, Chasing the Star Garden.
One of the main things I love about her stories is that there is always a strong heroine and Lady Macbeth is no exception. Although this book is obviously inspired by one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Melanie Karsak allows us to understand the young woman whose murderous intentions find their roots in magic, rather than being inherent.
Rickus Bookshelf
DNF at 22%. Could not get into this story.
Bridget Robertson
I fell asleep both listening to the Audio and reading the Kindle.

I do not claim to be a Wiccan. I am an Animist with deep love of the old way of the Goddess. I celebrate the cycles of the moon and the earth, using their same year of hoydays.
During this time period Wicca did not exist. No one would have said “Blessed Be”. Training of priestesses would have been secret ( the only thing the book got right) . And please, for the love of the Goddess, learn how to pronounce Samhain, a word that comes
Carrie Wells
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy historical fantasy, and appreciate Shakespeare... even if you don't... this is a great novel that captures realistically a world of witches and fairies, warrior women and barbaric men, and a woman exploring a life she had no idea existed. I'm excited to see Lady Macbeth in a light I'm not sure Shakespeare would have bothered with but that offers a back story to one of literature's most tragic females. Sultry scenes sneak up on you, but don't overwhelm the story itself. I'm anxious f ...more
Jonelle Jones
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this quick read, looking forward to getting my hands on book 2. Easily connected to the protagonist, the wizardry is presented in a palatable, interesting, and relatable manner. Also, the connections to Shakespeare's Macbeth are so intriguing! Now that I have finished this book, I am actually going to re-read Macbeth.
Stacy Spoonster
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lady Macbeth

This is a wonderful blend of history and fantasy. The writing is as always superb. I would highly recommend this book, and all of Melanie Karsak's books to anyone!!
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I need more now! If you love historical novels and fantasy novels, then this is the perfect book for you! I was unable to put this book down and am totally craving for more.
Melissa Dinwiddie
I’m SO glad I gave it a try! One of her BEST!

I’ll admit I was reluctant to pick this book up. After all, I know what Lady MacBeth has in store for her, and it’s not good—why would I want to read the story of a character I know is doomed? It did not sound like a good time to me...

How wrong I was!

Karsak writes that one of her authorial inspirations is Marion Zimmer Bradley, and I can definitely feel the influence of The Mists of Avalon here. Goddess spirituality, Druidism, and a reframing of an o
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Destined to become Queen of Scotland.

Bound by blood to the Celtic gods.

Scotland, 1026--Gruoch, descendant of the line of MacAlpin, should have been born into a life of ease. But fate is fickle. Her father's untimely death, rumored to have been plotted by King Malcolm, leaves her future uncertain and stained by the prophecy that she will avenge her family line.

Escaping to one of the last strongholds of the old Celtic gods, Gruoch becomes an adept in arcane craft. Her encounters with the otherworl
Izzie d
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my first book by this author.
The story is based on legend, folk lore etc. The blurb said 'Fans of Outlander and Mists of Avalon will relish this sweeping Scottish Historical Fantasy that tells the tale of Gruoch, a woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.'.
It is odd but strangely compelling.
There are a lot of characters and as their names were unfamiliar I found myself a little confused at times. The heroine even states she is feeling overwhelmed at one point when
Kimberly DeVore
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has captive my attention during my long day of driving an semi

I have had this ebook for a while, had listen to it up until April when I put it aside. I pulled it up on my kindle on Thursday while driving to NC and started listen from the beginning. I was very please at the story line. The voice of the book is awesome and captivating. It had several twist then help kept my attention of not wanting to put it down. I finished the next day and am looking for more to finish the series. I also am
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not terrible, but not very interesting. Writing style was meh at best, could have benefited from a much more brutal editor. No real depth from main character, things kept happening without examination, early hints of good sex scenes didn't deliver. World building was lacking, magic use within that world had some head-scratching moments. Odd anachronisms throughout, and some questionable retellings of known myths and stories that made it sound like research involved a quick Wikipedia check. Read ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Something wicked this way comes!

What an outstanding book! I would recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy, history, or historical romance. The author has an original voice and writing style that is easy to get entangled in. I will admit I was sucked down the rabbit hole a time or ten Wikipedia-ing these historical figures. Usually this can be tedious, but reading into context helped me appreciate the characters and setting all the more.

There were a few anachronisms that were unavoidable but
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this story as an audiobook, excellently narrated by Lesley Parkin, who really brought it to life, drawing out its subtle nuances and breathing life into the characters - with my eyes closed I could see the movie playing in my imagination! I absolutely loved the way that the author has woven in elements of the inspiration Shakespeare and real Scottish history, but still kept it a very original story, giving Lady Macbeth her own backstory, and I can't wait to listen to book 2 and fin ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would be a good read for anyone who is interested in Lady Macbeth's story, however you don't need to be a fan of Macbeth to understand and enjoy this book. We get to meet Gruoch before she was Lady Macbeth and watch her grow into her own with paranormal influences on her story. This had a great blend of history and fantasy to it that I enjoyed as a fan of both genres. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes Macbeth and stories about Scotland and Celtic beliefs and magic. I think the magic an ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover Update Request 2 15 Jun 24, 2015 07:23AM  
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Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Connect with me online:

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Other books in the series

Celtic Blood (4 books)
  • Highland Blood (Celtic Blood #2)
  • Highland Vengeance (Celtic Blood #3)
  • Highland Queen (Celtic Blood #4)
“The night is still fighting the morning and so am I,” 0 likes
“Three is a holy number, as well you know. Even the priests of the White Christ know this with their Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is interesting, no, that the Christians maintain a pantheon of gods, or a single god with three faces, but still call us heretical for having more than one god?” 0 likes
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