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The Raven Tower

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  14,299 ratings  ·  2,396 reviews
Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking first fantasy novel from Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches ove
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Orbit
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Chris Leckie recently said on Twitter that it is standalone in the sense that there won't be a sequel, but it won't necessarily be the only novel from this …moreLeckie recently said on Twitter that it is standalone in the sense that there won't be a sequel, but it won't necessarily be the only novel from this world.(less)
Trish Some publishers offer advanced reader's copies, so that people can write reviews before the publication date. Sometimes these are reviews by people wo…moreSome publishers offer advanced reader's copies, so that people can write reviews before the publication date. Sometimes these are reviews by people working in the industry, book bloggers, professional reviewers, and sometimes they offer them to the more general public. Many of the books on the Goodreads Giveaway program are ARC's. The books are usually marked as an advanced copy and might not be the complete formatting that the published book will have, can contain errors, etc.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,299 ratings  ·  2,396 reviews

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Spencer Orey
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a smart, easy to read Hamlet-inspired fantasy novel with some great moving pieces. I'm starting to appreciate fantasy books that stay tightly focused on a single situation rather than over-expanding out. This one is a real case study in how to do that.

The system of Gods and magic is cool, and there are some larger mysteries around language, worship, responsibility to others, and power that are fun to think about.

The main point of view is the controversial part, but I thought it was refr


i had high hopes for this book. leckie’s imperial radch trilogy has been so celebrated by the SF kids that even i wanted to read it, and SF books have always had very limited appeal to me. when i heard she was doing a fantasy novel this time out, i figured that would be a more suitable entry point to her work for me, as i am *marginally* more qualified to assess fantasy than SF.

and maybe it would have been, but this was actually my SECOND fantasy novel of the month,
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf
Cue up Simon and Garfunkle for this ride. Just a single song on endless repeat.

"Don't talk of love,
Well, I've heard the word before.
It's sleeping in my memory;
And I won't disturb the slumber
Of feelings that I've died.
if I never loved, I never would have cried.
I am a rock. I am an island."

Now make a novel of a god of a single rock, surround him with endless time, sleep, and other gods getting by or rising into a WWI assemblage of alliances and obligations, always keeping out of the fray.

Mogsy (MMOGC)
2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I am but a simple reader, with simple tastes. I can appreciate when an author tries different things, or when a novel tries to break out of its genre and stylistic norms. But at the end of the day, all I want to do is read a good story I can relate to and, above all else, enjoy. Which, unfortunately, was not The Raven Tower.

Thing is, this novel does in fact contain a fascinating premise: in a prosperous kingdom named Irade
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic
Here is a story I have heard.

It is a story that is easy to admire, to appreciate, to acknowledge as something wholly unique within the fantasy genre, and yet it is a difficult one to enjoy. You likely have never read a story quite like it, and whether you would like to read another is probably what will divide the fans from the frustrated.

Here is another story I have heard.

It is a story that is technically impressive, told with an unusual point-of-view, and through an original voice. You, for al
This is a stand-alone fantasy following a trans man main character who is the aide of the “heir to the throne” and his story is being told to him via 2nd person narration by a god of this world.

This was a slow story that mostly concerned itself with the process of creating pantheons, the nature of gods, and the nature of religion. The god is telling it’s history while also sharing what is going on politically in the current timeline. I found the current timeline characters to be difficult to at
Holy sh*t, y'all. And let me repeat: holy sh*t.

I have to start this review with how I heard about this book. I had the amazing opportunity to meet with Ann Leckie twice during SIBA18, both during the Rise of Alt SFF panel and again during the moveable feast of authors, where she had 90 seconds to tell my table about her first foray into fantasy. I loved the way she summarized her book and I have no doubt her synopsis will sound way, way better than anything I could pen, so I'm going to unapologe
Mary Robinette Kowal
May 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Wow. I'm a fan of Ann Leckie and she does not disappoint with The Raven Tower. I'm also impressed as hell with the structural integrity of this novel, which I realize is a very writerly thing to think about, but she is writing on Hard Mode in this. You want to know what flashbacks are for and how to use them? This book understands how to use them to ratchet tension up. You want to understand how and why to use second person vs. first person? OMG, the creeping dread that she managed to wring out ...more
3.5ish stars.

Leckie slides comfortably into the fantasy genre after receiving much acclaim for her sci-fi works. I expected this to be as complex as her Radch universe, which was intimidating, but it's really not. Maybe even too far in the opposite direction. It was surprisingly a simple, fairly quick read despite the majority of it being either set-up or history. The people and places were easy to keep track of and most of the characters were sufficiently likable or hateable, as they were inten
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019
I found The Raven Tower to be both conceptually intriguing and boring.

I wonder if my general indifference to the novel has to do with the fact that this story's narrator is a rock. A rock that is a god, but still a rock that likes to just exist. Or be rolled around by someone.

The most compelling part of this novel, for me, was the concept of gods and how they interact with and are nurtured by humans. I thought it was quite interesting how Leckie had weaved the history of the world with the dev
Rebecca Roanhorse
Most novels are straightforward things, a linear story with a single POV that entertains and, if you, the reader, are lucky, it makes you think, too. And if you, the reader, are also a writer, there is the rare book that is so impressive that it makes you want to be a better writer. This is that kind of book. Which also means it may not be for everyone. In fact, I can assure you it's not. There are multiple POVs, none of them 3rd person. There are multiple timelines. Your narrator is a rock (who ...more
I rushed to Netgalley to get hold of an advance copy of this book based on how much I enjoyed Leckie's science fiction series. The Raven Tower is fantasy which I also love, but somehow this one just missed the mark for me.

Of course the writing is good and as usual for this author it is presented in an unusual way. Very unusual actually since the narrator is a rock who is also a god. This god spends a large part of the book philosophising on anything and everything as to be expected since he does
Nils | nilsreviewsit
After hearing such praise for Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice series, but having never read it myself, I was really excited to try her fantasy debut, The Raven Tower. The premise sounded just my kind of story; I mean the idea of a Raven god and a Raven’s Lease who’s duty is to sacrifice themselves when the Raven god dies, sounded like a bloody good fantasy read! Plus the characters were proposed to be extremely diverse. However... this book just wasn’t for me.
At first I did like the unique narra
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*** 3.33 ***

I need to explain my rating... I hated giving this author's work anything below a 4 star, but I couldn't and stay honest with myself. I think I tend to be tougher on authors of which I have high expectations and I already know that they are really, really good at what they do. Ann Leckie is one of those authors, who has become a must read for me ever since I read her Sci-fi series. Even in this book I loved the imaginative world and characters. However, I wonder if the style of writi
Liz Barnsley
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here is a story I’ve heard…
Ann Leckie has written a highly absorbing, beautifully imagined fantasy novel, with a quirky, atmospheric and highly engaging character voice…
I probably didn’t need to take the third party precautionary measure because I believe this to be true, but care in all things, especially when you pick up The Raven Tower because it will deprive you of sleep and leave you longing for more.
In a world where God’s and human’s intertwine, a God cannot speak false. One God tells the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bentley ★
See this review and more like it on!

I was in the cutest little local bookstore earlier this month when I came across The Raven Tower in the employee recommendations section. To be honest, the cover was so striking and gorgeous that it caught my eye almost immediately and after checking out the premise on the inside dust jacket, I put aside another book I was interested in reading (I promise I'll come back for you one day little abandoned book baby!) and snagged
Allison Hurd
This was sheer delight. I loved the mystery, the linguistics (something I think Leckie does very well) the characters, the mythology...

Here's my pitch:

It's Pratchett's "Small Gods" but in a Grimm's fairy tale universe.

I had some minor quibbles. I think the characters' names were ear-grating, a few of the actions took me time to justify, and the second person narration also took some getting used to. I listened to it, and was infatuated with Andoh's work, as always, though I think she did Eolo a
Enthralling fantasy told by a god!!

The POV (1st & 2nd person) from an ancient god enveloped me in a richly developed world.

I ADORED this god!!!

As you read this, you may notice that Leckie took inspiration from Shakespeare’s Hamlet:
—Heir coming home
—Father missing or dead
—Uncle takes his place
—Many people die
—And more

But, Leckie has made a world all of her own & taken that ancient narrative and created something completely new.

What more to expect:
—Gods. Lots of them.
—A trans m
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ann Leckie seems to enjoy writing books in which the main characters are big, sentient objects.

I'm a bookseller who received an advance reader copy of the book after having the pleasure of meeting Ann at the SIBA Discovery Show. I was extremely excited about the work, having been a fan of "Ancillary Justice."

Well, "The Raven Tower" lived up to my lofty expectations! Like the Ancillary Trilogy, this work showcases Ann's incredible skill for building fantastical realms. The central trope is a sort
DNF @ 50% (230 pages) 😔

The Raven Tower is unique. It’s strange. It’s ambitious. And unfortunately for me, almost nothing worked.

The premise was interesting. I had heard Ann Leckie liked using unconventional narrative choices, but I had no idea how much she would actually play with the contours of narrative delivery! The book is narrated by an omniscient being called Strength and Patience of the Hill who gives a first-hand account of events throughout the book. Strength is also a god and … wait f
Thomas Wagner
The Raven Tower is one of those impeccably crafted epic fantasy novels in which characters we’re given no particular reason to root for fight for stakes we’re given little reason to care about. This might be a thoroughly unremarkable thing if the book was yet another mid-list debut. But it’s the fantasy debut of none other than Ann Leckie, a writer of enormous and richly deserved acclaim, and that makes it so much more disappointing. It’s a book I found so very frustrating because all of the pie ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lgbtiq
So far, this is my second favorite fantasy book this year with only the amazing conclusion of the Winternight trilogy beating it.

We start the story with an unseen narrator speaking to the main character Eolo, describing Eolo's actions in the second person. Eolo is the loyal and reserved companion of the Heir to the Raven's Lease. The Raven's Lease is a role with considerable power in the nation of Iraden, but it is also the designated human sacrifice to the Raven, the God of Iraden. In this worl
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap, this was good.
With its unusual structure: 2nd person narration coupled with two stories alternating through the book, this is not the easiest story to get through. But Leckie doesn't disappoint. Either of the two tales would be fascinating, but each has their own interesting points. The one going back millenia, describes the birth and evolution of the narrator (who happens to be a god) and the presence of many, many small gods, provides the backstory for the events happening in the pr
Adah Udechukwu
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Raven Tower seemed weird at first. The first 30 or so pages had me confused but soon the novel picked up. It started making a lot of sense. I loved the world building. I loved the characters. The entire concept of the novel was fascinating and oddly compelling.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathy by: Leckie-fans, even if fantasy is not your thing
Unusual second-person narrative. A little odd at first, but it grew on me. Strange that a main character does not have an inner voice.

The book alternates between two stories. There is the present day plot and a back story. I don‘t want to give too much away, I think it is more fun not too know going in. For a long while I suspected that the main narrator was leading us astray. I wasn‘t quite sure, who the narrator really is. Again, I don‘t want to give too much away...

“What is it that makes lang
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"There will be a reckoning."

This.. is a DNF for me. I tried. I really did. I made it to page 137 and just.. I couldn't go on.

You know I believe in being completely honest in my reviews. Whelp.. The Raven Tower will probably tick the boxes for most people, but that just wasn't the case for me. At all. Clearly.

I was pleasantly surprised to have received this. When I first opened it up, I couldn't get over the gorgeous cover, the beautifully detailed pages in the front and the map. HELLO. What read
Queen Terrible Timy
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

You can find this review on my blog with my choice of music.

I've got an ARC from Orbit in exchange of an honest review.

Ever since I laid eyes on the cover and the blurb, I knew I had to read The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. I was kind of obsessed with it and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. Which I did over Christmas and was so happy that I just hugged it to my chest (ask James). So you can imagine how hyped I was when I could finally crack it open. I also have to ment
Rachel (Kalanadi)
In this world, there are many gods, many with their own specialties. Gods can gain power from humans worshiping them and sacrificing to them. They can work out deals where gods use their power to "effect change" in a beneficial way for humans.

A really, really important point in this is that the gods can change reality by speaking it. So they have to be very careful about what they say and how they say it. Because if they literally state something IS when it actually isn't, their power will be us
This is, without any doubt, the most interesting book narrated by a rock I've ever read.

3.5 stars

The Raven Tower is a really interesting novel. It's a story about political intrigue in a coastal city, but unlike most books about political intrigue, it's narrated in second person by a god who resides inside a rock to the main character, Eolo.

It's interesting not only because the narrator is a god and this book explores the meaning of godhood and the relationships between gods and humans, and not
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