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The Raven's Tale

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,007 ratings  ·  338 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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Lem◍nade Midnight Hi Diana Haun, my answer is too short. The Raven's Tale, a novel by Cat Winters is branded as YA.…moreHi Diana Haun, my answer is too short. The Raven's Tale, a novel by Cat Winters is branded as YA.(less)
M.K. 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 reall…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)

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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 L
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. ...more
Emily May
Dec 29, 2018 marked it as dnf
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! ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
Sad DNF at 42%. After a really interesting and excellent beginning, I think this has stagnated pretty hard – the stakes feel a bit low for the story being told. Edgar's romance with Sarah Elmira Royster and desire to stay at UVA are just not high enough stakes; knowing the history, I'm really struggling to get invested. I think this spends too much time introducing the characters, and the horror just isn’t terrifying enough to hold up the book.

The Raven's Tale plays with the idea of art as a re
megs_bookrack ((is on vacation))
What a delightful surprise!

A finished copy of this gorgeous book just showed up in my mailbox!!!

Thank you so much, Amulet Books!
Someone must have told them that ravens are my spirit animal...

I am really excited to have this and will probably start it soon.

I love it!
Diana | Book of Secrets
3.75 Stars → THE RAVEN'S TALE is a fictionalized account of 17-year old Edgar Allan Poe and his turbulent relationship with Lenore, his muse. In this world, muses are real, physical beings, and they're considered corrupt and dangerous by polite society. Lenore comes to Edgar at a particularly vulnerable time in his life, at odds with his foster father and leaving for university. Edgar's passion for poetry and dreams of making a living as a writer are in sharp contrast to the wishes of his practi ...more
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
Thank you Amulet Books for the free (gifted) review copy in exchange for an honest review!

Cat Winters weaves together a creative and melancholy story in this Edgar Allan Poe retelling.

The Raven’s Tale takes us on a journey following Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar struggles between writing his poetry and putting up with all the pressure that he receives from his father. Edgar’s writing soon turns into a muse named Lenore. A muse that is frowned upon by the inhabitants of Richmond.

If you’re a fan of Edga
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Lisa Wolf
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
In The Raven's Tale, muses are considered dangerous to the soul, yet at the same time, they're acknowledged to exist. The Sunday sermon exhorts the congregation to "Silence your muses!" lest they lead you into temptation and keep you from pursuing an honest, hardworking, upright life. Such is the world in which we meet young Edgar Allan Poe, a 17-year-old devoted to poetry whose foster father wants to see him settled in the family business as a clerk. It's all about respectability!

Poor Eddy! He'

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
Jennie Damron
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
My favorite poet is Edgar Allan Poe. His gothic writings and tales of horror have fascinated me as long as I can remember. I enjoyed this book. I thought the research done on Poe's teenage years to be well thought out. The story was clever and I was intrigued by Lenore, Edgar's muse. She was dark, intriguing, horrifying, but strangely beautiful. I thought it connected perfectly with Poe's later works which I think was one the author's goals. I enjoyed reading this book and appreciated being swep ...more
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 g
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
Historical Fiction
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
The Raven's Tale is another book that is honestly rather difficult to give a rating to so I think I need to go by some pro's and con's:

♦ Poor pacing and repetition. This book really was not action-driven, so don't open it expecting the adventures of Poe and his muse. There are many pretty (dark, sultry) words, but not a whole lot going on. If you are an artist of any kind, read this book. If you are an adventurer, a fast-paced reader, looking for the high stakes....search elsewhere.
♦ M
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 beau
Apr 26, 2019 marked it as dnf
Pains me to DNF this, miss Winters is one of my favorite authors but I just couldn't get into this.
The writing isn't bad at and the idea is very interesting but at almost halfway through, I just couldn't connect with this at all.

The "magic" was missing for this reader. :(
An interesting enough concept but one I unfortunately just couldn't get into. ...more
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
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. ...more
Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany)
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
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
The Raven's Tale

Full Review can be seen at:


The Raven's Tale
By: Cat Winters

What a fantastic tale of early Edgar. I adored this in such a way that I just want to go read a bunch of Poe's work and consume it all. Cat Winters has given new generations a fantastic tale to begin their love of the amazing gothic poet. Winters definitely put a lot of research and love into this novel because you can sense her adoration for this beloved poet! I enjoyed this because I ha
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
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads, arcs, 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
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
*Rating* 3.5


Cat Winters' The Raven's Tale is a re-imaging of Edgar Allan Poe's early life. The Raven's Tale is dripping in mood and the macabre. The year is 1826, Edgar Poe is struggling with his foster father who took him in after his own mother died. As he is sitting in a church under which 72 people were buried after a horrible fire in 1811, he sees a girl dressed in soot and black feathers. She tells Edgar that sh
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Cat Winters is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of five novels for teens: IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, THE CURE FOR DREAMING, THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY, ODD & TRUE, and THE RAVEN'S TALE. She has been named a Morris Award finalist, a Bram Stoker Award nominee, and an Oregon Spirit Book Award winner, and her young adult novels have appeared on Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist ...more

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“Yes," I saw, for my work is poetry, and I am most certainly paying attention.” 0 likes
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