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The Raven's Tale

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appea ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Amulet Books
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Meryn (thebluntbibliophile) Negative. The story is told from the perspectives of Poe and his Muse, and it's about her trying to get him to accept her influence. There's not…moreNegative. The story is told from the perspectives of Poe and his Muse, and it's about her trying to get him to accept her influence. There's not really any romantic aspect, but there's a lovely dynamic between them nonetheless. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
What a lovely tale...

Once upon a dark December, in a year we
Morbid mounds of ash and ember told a
gruesome tale of gore--

Wow, I think Cat Winters did a great job on this book!

I was reading through her author's notes, etc and she was telling how she went about finding out as much history as she could before writing this book. I think she made a remarkable book on fiction and fact to create a young Poe.

I loved reading about Lenore! The book is written in two POV's; Edgar and Len
Candace Robinson
Edgar, Edgar, Edgar—what a magnificent writer he was. So when I heard there was going to be this book on a young Edgar Allan Poe, I was so incredibly interested! Lenore, Lenore, Lenore! I want to read about you anywhere forevermore!

Let me tell you something, my dear friends, I loved Edgar and his struggles and his sensitivities in this book. This boy definitely needed a muse to help him escape his terrible adopted father and all the things that occurred because of him! And Lenore? She was such a
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I can't tell if I hate this or am just not in the mood for it, either option being depressing as hell because EAP was my original literary love and I was so pumped for this. I'll pick it back up soon and try again.
Emily May
DNF - 50%

I'm sorry. I tried. I really tried. I love Winters' writing but I just cannot care about this. I guess I just don't find the life of Edgar Allan Poe anywhere near as interesting as I thought I would.

ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🦅
Hannah Greendale
An atmospheric and inventive nod to one of literature's most memorable writers. In portraying a young Edgar Allen Poe, Winters has clearly done considerable research to achieve a sense of authenticity, and her idea to characterize Poe's muse as a "raven-haired maiden in a gown spun from threads made of cinders and soot"* is marvelous.

Chapters alternate between Edgar and his muse, Lenore, which lends itself to an unfortunate amount of repetition. The stakes are low and, by the midpoint, the narr
A.G. Howard
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adore Poe, and really admire how much research Ms. Winters put into this tribute to his teen years. The story almost has a "magical realism" feel to it over straight up fantasy, which gives events a very surreal and dreamlike quality at times. Also, the nods to Poe's prose and poetry throughout are beautiful!
♠️ Tabi ♠️
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is written in such a way as to leave me wondering if the ghost of Poe came to this author as her Muse for this book.

"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!" I imagine myself saying from the pulpit in the pink sanctuary of our church. "My name is Edgar Poe, and today, for reasons I don't fully comprehend, I'm obsessed with with the seventy-two bodies buried beneath us."

Oh, what a tale! While I am not obsessed with Poe's works to the point I can quote them from any angle, have mused upon the d
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
Dark and absolutely marvelous!


Got an ARC!! One of my most anticipated! 😍 Can’t wait to start it!

DNF @ 30%

Lately, I’ve stopped writing reviews for books that I DNF, but since I received an ARC of this in exchange for one, I figured a brief summary of why this didn’t work for me was necessary.

You should know that I adore Cat Winters. This is the first book by her that I haven’t flat-out loved. I will still one-click buy literally everything she writes, so take this review with a grain of salt.

Usually, I find her prose so enthralling that I tend to inhale her works in a single sitting. This o
Dannii Elle
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—"

In Cat Winters re-imagining of the life of Edgar Poe, he isn't the master of the Gothic that we know him as in the present-day. Edgar Poe is the seventeen-year-old son of a family that would see him forego his creative outlets for a respectable job in his foster-father's business. But Edgar Poe already feels the pull inside of him. The allure of the morbid and macabre is strong
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
With a dark almost macabre feel, The Raven's Tale is classic Poe without being classic Poe.

With nods to both Poe himself and Shakespeare, this wonderfully imaginative and lushly enchanting tale was hard not to get wrapped up in.

With all the tragedy, angst and horror one would expect from both Poe and Winters, the two combined created on heck of a story line that was everything I was expecting and hoping for.

Twisted, dark, and filled with all the things I remember from my Poe days, I loved both
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Thanks to Netgalley and Amulet Books/ ABRAMS Kids for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

My first and only encounter with Cat Winters was in the YA anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. In her most recent work, Winters introduces us to a teenage Edgar Allen Poe and his supernatural muse, Lenore. Although I have never shied away from the poet and his works, I cannot say I am an ardent fan.

On the other hand, Cat Wint
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

I have never been so sad to not love a book. Like ever. And usually, when it's a book by an author I adore, I can find some things to like even if I don't love everything. But this was just not the book for me, I guess? Le sigh, let us break it down!

The Things I Liked:

•Young Edgar is, you know, a regular dude. I liked that he wasn't completely broody and maudlin. He was just a guy w
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

Why am I only now reading Cat Winters? Where have I been the last five years? Under a rock maybe? I’m not sure, but I'm incredibly pleased to have discovered her with The Raven’s Tale.

I can’t remember the last time the quality of a novel’s prose stopped me dead in my tracks, but the poetically macabre tones of this story were brilliantly drawn. I’ve no idea if this is a hallmark of Winters’ work, but this book alone lands he
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was all in on a Cat Winters book about Edgar Allan Poe. I absolutely loved this idea and it’s breaking my heart to rate this so low.

Edgar was fairly captivating. He was passionate and creative and friendly. Lenore was creepy and it was interesting getting her POV. Their relationship felt toxic, even though it seemed imperative to Edgar’s writing.

Plot wise is where I really struggled. The story dragged and even though I was intrigued, I could have easily set the book down and never finished i
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
And I could take down every single one of them with a few strokes if my pen, for I see the ugliness inside us all."

Trigger Warnings: Parental abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, poverty.

Cat Winters doing a book inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's muse/life? I'm all here for that! I really enjoyed this one but it's ODD, no like really ODD.

Honestly, I have no idea where to even begin with this book - it's a strange one, but I'll do my best. The Raven's Tale in a very unique, haunting and beautiful ta
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I need to first mention this cover.  It's gorgeous and fits the book so well.  

Edgar Poe lives with the Allan family.  His parents are dead and they took him in.  John Allan is not nice to Edgar.  Edgar writes poems and the arts are basically a sin.  The bishop preaches that the town was punished by fire and death because of the theater there.  Those people followed their muses and muses are evil.  They even built the church over the bones and destruction from the theater fire.  Edgar is in love
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters is this author's newest historical fantasy novel. As she's one of my favorite authors (this is the fifth book I've read from her), I can't believe I lucked out and got approved by NetGalley for this novel featuring Edgar Allan Poe, one of my favorite classic writers, and his muse. Unfortunately, it's my least favorite of everything I've already read from her. That being said, I'm still giving it thr
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Feb 26, 2018 marked it as arcs-digital
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, 2018-reads, fantasy
So much work went into creating this novel that it makes you wonder if Winters borrowed a raven haired muse herself.

“The Raven’s Tale” follows a young Edgar Allan Poe as he struggles with his writing and the pressures of his father when his muse comes to life and wants nothing more than to feast upon his writing and to be seen by the world only she is not a creature of beauty but rather the darkness and melancholy of his soul and she will not rest until her poet recognizes his worth.

I am a hug
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
Maybe it's because I've never read anything from Poe, but I did not understand what this book was going for. Despite my love of Cat Winters, this story did not strike me as particularly well crafted overall.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Raven's Tale blends historical fiction with gothic fantastical elements as it retells the life of a young Edgar Allen Poe. It takes a very interesting approach that is poetic and atmospheric. Ultimately I do think it works, although it took me a little while to get a feel for what the author was doing. Largely based on real historical events, this rendition weaves in Poe's muse, personified as a macabre young woman named Lenore (name taken from iconic poem The Raven). This is a dark story, f ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, dnf
An interesting enough concept but one I unfortunately just couldn't get into.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

First off, I cannot get over how intriguing the concept of the muses appearing both in personified form, but also their whole history in general is. There were so many fascinating elements to The Raven's Tale such as the prejudice the characters have against the theater and the horror/mystery genre as a whole. The Raven's Tale is a story about Poe struggling to come to terms with
Lenore .
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy via Edelweiss!

As a huge Edgar Allan Poe fan, I expected to enjoy this historical retelling about the author's early poetic endeavours, but after 20% of a snail's-pace plot, vague supernatural elements and repetitive descriptions of nervousness, I'm too exhausted to attempt to finish Winters' novel. While I applaud the author for her close imitation of Poe's literary structures and expressions, her claustrophobic crowding of the narra
Sarah  Loves Books and tea
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an intriguing and beautifully written story about the young Edgar Allan Poe and his ghostly muse Lenore who tries to inspire and encourage him to write his poetry even though it is against the wishes of his strict foster father. Edgar and Lenore were amazing characters, I loved the development of the bond between them and some of their scenes together were heart breaking especially in the final chapters.

The writing is lush and lyrical and very addictive and I raced through this anxiousl
Darque  Dreamer
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-reads
The Raven’s Tale is evocative of gothic beauty. Winters paints a picture of madness and creates vivid symbols of imagination and genius. It is a tale woven with darkness and prose that will send shivers down your spine.

This book fed my gothic soul and the Poe lover in me. It was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more! My mind was alight with images so clearly described by the beautiful writing found within, and my heart consistently beat like the Tell Tale Heart.

I truly felt like I was
This was such a cool, lovely read with so many fun, recognizable details for Poe nerds. I loved the way Winters depicted his battling muses, and his works in progress, and the way his poetry developed, and the way the final poem plays on The Raven is just brilliant. It's clearly extremely well researched, and I enjoyed it so much. I'm embarrassed to admit this was my first Winters read but I'm excited to get to her others!
Leonie Byrne
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Thank you to Netgalley, Cat Winters and Abrams Kids for my arc of The Raven's Tale.
This book really intrigued me, a retelling of the life of Edgar Allen Poe, how could I resist? The Raven is my favourite ever poem!

Edgar Allen Poe is desperate for the moment he can escape to university and out from under the thumb of his overbearing foster father John Allen. Once at university he can finally make his way in the world of writing and get enough money together to marry his sweetheart Elmira.
But w
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Cat Winters is an award-winning, critically acclaimed author of fiction that blends history with the supernatural. Her young adult works include IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, THE CURE FOR DREAMING, THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY, ODD & TRUE, and a forthcoming novel about Edgar Allan Poe's teen years, THE RAVEN'S TALE (available April 16, 2019). She is also the author of two adult novels, THE UNINVITE ...more
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