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A Gathering of Ravens

(Grimnir #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Beowulf meets The Lord of the Rings in an epic novel of vengeance, faith and the power of myth.

To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcnéas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind—the last in a long line of monste
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 29th 2017 by Bantam Press (first published June 20th 2017)
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Scott A version of Beowulf, yes. I played fast and loose with a few different myths when creating Grimnir's people: his father Balegyr, for instance, is the…moreA version of Beowulf, yes. I played fast and loose with a few different myths when creating Grimnir's people: his father Balegyr, for instance, is the "origin" of the Irish myth of Balor of the Eye; his brother draws heavily from Beowulf.(less)
Scott It's a stand-alone that will be part of a larger cycle. Ultimately, I envision three stand-alone novels linked by the main character, Grimnir.
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Ambitious in scope and audacious in its execution, A Gathering of Ravens spectacularly weaves together the threads of history and mythological tradition, spiriting readers away on a journey through legend and time. A master storyteller, author Scott Oden has combined elements from Norse and Celtic lore with the richness of the early medieval landscape to create a novel that is epic in every sense; we have bloodshed and tri
Nick T. Borrelli
Click here for my full review:

Let me first begin by saying that I absolutely love Norse mythology. I have been obsessed with it since I was a boy and remember vividly walking to the public library on the corner of my street to check out any book that I could find on the subject. I had heard smatterings about Scott Oden's A Gathering of Ravens from various social media outlets and I must admit that the cover of the book instantly caught my attention when I
James Schmidt
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review today is for:

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

Where do I begin with this epic historical fantasy? Let’s go back a little. I struck up an internet friendship with Scott after I kept seeing mention of his book. A book with Norse myths, and an Orc as the protagonist? Sign me up! I was not disappointed. I received a very early e-arc of the book thanks to Scott. I was in a huge reading slump an
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
For anyone who likes historical fantasy or mythology, this is the book to go to! I would like to thank Tom over at Bantem Press for the opportunity to read A Gathering of Ravens for review and taking part in a promotional tour for it. This is an adult fantasy that was pitched as a "Beowulf meets Lord of The Rings." Having not read either of those books/series, I was going into reading this not knowing much about what to expect or how the ending was going to turn out.

This is set across the years
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Tense, atmospheric, and vividly written, A Gathering of Ravens is one of those books that has been underappreciated, too overlooked, and not received nearly the attention it deserves for the incredible work that it is. If you’re a fan of historical fantasy, and you haven’t read this yet, you’re really doing yourself an injustice. Oden infuses this book for the passion of his craft, and love of the subject he writes about.

This is worth your time.”
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Originally reviewed here:

3 Stars

A Gathering of Ravens was one of the 2017 releases that I was really looking forward to. I was super excited when I was approved for a copy.

I can only be honest when reviewing, otherwise what's the point? So, here goes. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it either. I just didn't connect with it at all. I really wanted too. Everything about the blurb screamed "perfect for Tracey!!". And yet, I was underwhelmed.

Why? Is it me?
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To start things off, this is one of the best historical fantasy novels, and one of the best books of any genre I have read in a long time. I don't read a lot of modern fantasy, as I find many of them too bloated with padding to achieve a high page count. Scott has done in some 350 pages what many a modern fantasy author fails to do in 500+ pages; entertain the hell out of me! This book simply kicks ass. The story is always moving forward, each scene informs and entertains while moving the plot f ...more
Eric Woods
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It has everything I love in fantasy. Well… almost everything. It’s missing a named weapon and a dragon but it has everything else. Full bodied and interesting characters, deadly creatures of myth and legend, harsh and uncompromising action, a layered story built by the character’s desires rather than plot fiat, and a sense that the world is so much larger than just the peek we get. And all of this is done without falling into the traps that much of the popular modern fantasy s ...more
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

Meet Grimnir, loveable, kind, caring, eloquent, polite, well mannered, sociable and pacifist cuddle bunny.

Faugh! Meet Grimnir, snarky, foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, mean, vile, obstinate, brutal, loner, all around badass, your new favourite anti-hero and a fucking awesome character!

You know by now that whenever possible I avoid spoilers or detailed analysis of the story in my reviews
Greg (adds 2 TBR list daily) Hersom
This is my review that is also posted over at :

Grimnir is a monster, literally. The Norse call him skraelingr. To the Irish, he is the fomoraig, and to the English he is an orcneas. Born and raised to do war, for and against the old gods. Immortal, they spend their endless lives, longing for glory in the final battle of Ragnarok.

So Grimnir’s disposition is already brutal, but to add to it, he’s the very last of his kind. To say he’s a pissed-off is a gross understatement. A
S.E. Lindberg
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-by-se
A Gathering of Ravens delivers an Orc with serious depth, and he carries a bloody seax too.
“Since young adulthood, I’ve wanted to write a book about Orcs—those foot soldiers of evil first revealed to us in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I wanted to write it from the Orcs’ point of view. And I wanted to redeem them.”Scott Oden, Author’s Note from A Gathering of Ravens

Scott Oden did not want to “write about a redeeming orc,” or the “redemption of an orc.” Rather, the
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
5 Words: Religion, monster, power, revenge, mythology.

I don't read a lot of them, but I do love historical fantasy. And this one was pretty much perfect.

It did take a little while to get going, but once Aidan was revealed I was hooked. And once we got to all of the added politics later in the second half I couldn't put it down.

I loved the setting, how vast and realistic everything felt. I loved the mix of history and mythology, and I loved how the different religions explored strengthened the pl
Eh, but this is going to be such a difficult review for me, because even though I could see the things I could appreciate, there was something about the book overall that failed to fully capture me and convert me into a diehard fan.

A Gathering of Ravens is a story of revenge, set in the time of Vikings when the power play in between Odin and Jesus was in full swing. (And we all know who came out on top, damn it!) The historical settings, myth and magic are intertwined as Grimnir (an evil, ugly A
Joanna Park
Review can also be found at:

I loved this fantastic, gripping book! Firstly let me say that I don’t read a lot of fantasy books but I had heard so much about A Gathering of Ravens that I had to read it for myself, and I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed. My main issue with fantasy books is I find they are quite descriptive and that tends to lose my interest. This book is nothing like that it intrigued me from the start with the fast pace and action
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
Know as a skraelingr to the Danes, orcneas to the English and fomoraig to the Irish. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. His name is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind. Driven by an centenaries old vengeance, Grimnir takes hostage a young Christan and drags them into this blood soaked and war torn world in order to fulfilled his oath.

I was very surprised when I found out Grimnir was an Orc. I've have never read a boo
The Nerd Daily
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Ephrem

Norse and Celtic mythology are beautifully woven in this historical fantasy novel set in medieval Europe, where the battle between the Old and New religions are at its peak. With his masterful storytelling skills, Scott Oden spirits the reader across different legends and lore while introducing a diverse cast of characters, including Grimnir, our not-so-normal protagonist who is the last of his kind.

The book begins in Denmark where two Christians fin
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I'm knocked a little speechless by this one. There is so much fantasy in this book, and seemingly so much history. I'm always impressed by historical fiction in which the writer has done their research and included real events, real times and real places and written them to be entertaining on top of it all. This book starts heavily on the fantasy side, and ends heavily on the side of history. I suppose, even the fantasy aspect was part of history. The author researched his mythology and wro ...more
Frank Errington
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review copy

The story in Scott Oden's, A Gathering of Ravens. takes place a thousand years in the past. It is a mix of legend, history, myth, magick, and the growing influence of Christianity. It's not the kind of fare I would usually read or review, but I'm so glad I picked this up.

An epic tale from an orc's point of view. From the synopsis of A Gathering of Ravens...

"To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcnéas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christophers-rec
A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden is a one of the best books I have read in awhile. From the very first page to the very last this book held me in thrall.

A Gathering of Ravens is a book about murder, revenge, and redemption. A tale of Grimnir. Some call him Orc, some The Bringer of Night, and some Corpse-maker. From Grendel to Grimnir their kind has always been feared and hated, and because of this fear all of his kind are dead except Grimnir. The last of his kind to walk the worlds.

Grimnir em
Dyrk Ashton
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orcs
ARC Review

I want to start out by saying if you love, well, anything whatsoever having to do with extremely well written fantasy, read this book. To focus that: Norse mythology, Celtic mythology, thrilling action, epic, a bit of the ol' Grimdark, fascinating characters, human and non-human, amazing locations, deep history and colorful world... I could go on. I'm going to keep this short because I want very badly to trespass into spoiler territory. So I'll just say this...

What strikes me as much a
C.T. Phipps
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
A GATHERING OF RAVENS is an interesting premise for a book: a tale of a monstrous orc-like creature who is the last of his kind along with an idealistic pacifist Christian girl during the last days of paganism in the Viking Era.

It is a story which is reminiscent of the tv show VIKINGS as well as some of the writings of Bernard Cornwell. You really don't think any fantasy which includes an orc would be so serious and grim but it's more Beowulf than a Lord of the Rings rip off.

This is definitely
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Gathering of Ravens is a skillfully woven historical fantasy that straddles legend and reality to deliver a sucker punch of an action story.

Grinmir, the last of his ancient kind, has abducted Étaín to assist him on his quest for vengeance against the one who killed the rest of his kin. He, a direct product of the world of the old Norse gods, and she, the devout follower of Christ, traverse across countries and time in a journey that will change both of them. Set in the era of Gaels, Saxons, a
This was a fantastic read. I enjoyed the whole ride.

Very nice blending of fact and fiction, makes everything all the more real.

Grimnir is no one's hero, but you will find yourself rooting for his cause and wanting him to succeed.

Well worth a read. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Oden's books.

Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2017
Grimnir is the last of his species. His kind has tormented the human race since time immemorial. Their reputation has meant that people have given them the chilling names of Corpse-makers and Life-quenchers. His great age had forced him to stay deep in the shadows, but now he has emerged for one thing only; vengeance. The world has changed since he last saw the sun, the Old Ways have retreated and a new religion has gained traction and support in the world, but Grimnir will not be swayed from hi ...more
Liz Barnsley
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
A Gathering Of Ravens was really well written, a bloodthirsty tale, mixing mythology and fantasy in a really clever, engaging and often hard hitting way.

I found that I read it in short, sharp bursts rather than all at once, this worked really well for me as it was a challenging read in that the background was often murky. The two main characters here are utter opposites, one captured by the other, both though building a relationship throughout the book which I found compelling. A relationship ba
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amongst the readers of the grimdark subgenre, A Gathering of Ravens has been highly anticipated and for good reason. To me it read like Beowulf meets the History Channel’s Vikings and held all the gravitas of an epic of old.

The story itself feels quite dense and isn’t something I could read all in one go. I read small chunks of story over the course of several days and still wish I could have spread it out a little more so it could be properly digested. Nonetheless, it was well written and I en
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'To the Danes, he is skraelingr; (could not pronounce) to the English, he is orcn as; to the Irish, he is fomoraig.
He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind, the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that's changed. A new faith has
Robin Carter
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

For quite some time i have espoused the huge (and growing) cross over in the Fantasy and Historical Fiction genres, the two genres i have most read and reviewed in the last 25 years.

Scott Odens A Gathering of Ravens takes it a step further, he pulls in the deep myths of the Norse and Anglo Saxon world, just as Christianity is blooming across Europe, Britain and then later wraps in the ancient tales of Ireland. The old world is fading but the pagan world is still a huge part of many lives a
May 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First let me say that I love me some unlikable protagonists. Liars, murderers, thieves... Yes, I'm all down. The badder the better. The MC here has unlikable down to a science, but he's boring AF. And boring is a sin I cannot tolerate.

Then there's the girl issue. And it was an issue for me. The main female protagonist is carted around like a lazy sack of vagina, making the men do all the work, rescuing her and whatnot. No agency. Her character arc reads like a paint-by-numbers.

There are other
Jeff Bryant
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was privileged to read an uncorrected proof of this book from Scott.
Reading Gathering of Ravens, it is obvious Scott Oden is a fan of Robert E Howard and his tales of Conan. The story rises like a mighty warrior from the misty fens, grime faced and red handed. Dark and gritty, it invokes the age that it is set in. The story harkens to the Eddas, the tales of the Norse, and presents Grimnir, a unique protagonist, arisen from legend and the sons of Cain.
The story puts its roots down as deep as
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: June 2018: A Gathering of Ravens 1 7 Sep 08, 2018 11:41PM  
Sword & Sorcery: ...: Scott Oden - More Grimnir 8 15 May 09, 2018 10:10PM  
Origins 1 14 Dec 31, 2014 12:14PM  

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Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Sh ...more

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Grimnir (2 books)
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“Étaín could have refuted everything Grimnir claimed, had her mind not been shattered from exhaustion; she could have told him that when the earth shook, every man, woman, and child inside Badon shared the same belief: that it was the hand of God, descended to earth to put paid to some nest of sinners, like Sodom and Gomorrah. No, sin was Badon’s downfall, and those whom the Almighty spared would go to their graves hard in the belief that they owed their existence from this day on to divine grace, to piety, and to the love of Christ Jesus.” 0 likes
“this oväder—this un-weather—was of the Devil’s making; that the fumes of Hell warmed the world of Man, and soon the armies of God would strike from the Gates of Heaven to set the balance right.” 0 likes
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