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Ravenwood (Tanyth Fairport #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,089 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
You're never too old to make a bad decision. After twenty winters on the road, Tanyth makes one last pilgrimage in her quest to learn all she can about the herbs and medicinal plants of Korlay before settling down to write her magnum opus. Her journey is interrupted when she stops to help a small village and learns that much of what she knows of the world may not be quite ...more
Published January 2010 by Podiobooks
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Nathan Lowell
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm a little biased, but I liked this one. It was quite a challenge to write because of the nature of the heroine. And the time limit.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, podibooks
3.5 stars. O.K. I've bumped it up to 4 stars.

Interesting for several reasons. I listened to this open-source book as a podcast from podiobooks. The book was divided even into 16 (as I recall) 45 min episodes read and well produced by the author Nathan Lowell. I would like to thank him for making this good read available with no DRM.

The writing was well done (even if a touch formulaic at points). A fascinating concept for a set of adventures surrounding Tanyth Fairport a 50 something, pre-menop
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
Ah, Nathan Lowell. Can you do no wrong? Ravenwood is yet another fantastic book from the highly-praised author of the Trader Tales series. As effortlessly as Lowell approached future tech and made it easily understood and digestible in the stories of Ishmael Wang, he hits a home run in the opposite direction. Ravenwood is set in a far distant past, in a time when swordplay was the main offensive weapon in conflict.

Tanyth Fairport, a wandering homeopath, has spent 20 years learning all she can ab
Dava Stewart
Nov 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I really want to give this book 3.5 stars, because it's more good than bad. Here are the things I really like:

I like the style of writing. It's calm. Soothing. Gentle. Sometimes non-stop action wearies me, and stories like this one are the antidote to that over-stimulation. I like that the main character is an older lady. I like the world - it's fantasy, and the setting seems like medieval Europe, but isn't quite.

The things that bugged me are small, and though they don't ruin the story, they di
Joe Young
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about a brave, mid-fifties, unassuming women who wandered the roads of an agrarian society for twenty years dressed as a slight man and carrying an oak staff. She had left an abusive husband after a particularly severe beating. On her journey, she spent time with other enlightened women and learned the ways of herbs and folk medicine absorbing the ways of the natural world including prayers and incantations. She was heading towards a renown wise, old women in the north who had accumulate ...more
Sharon Michael
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I hope this is the first of a series but my book budget will suffer as this will go on my 'auto buy' list after the first read/ first book of the series.

As far as I know, this is the author's first fantasy and it fits exactly into what I think of as a 'comfort read'. Real, average people (though they are dealing with magic, of course) but in basically ordinary circumstances. An interesting story to tell with a certain amount of mayhem and suitably nasty bad guys to defeat, very few stereotypes a
Tanyth is a middle aged woman in a land where few women seem to get to that age, and she has been traveling for 20 years training with various herb women. We meet Tanyth during her journey as she comes to a little village, that she ends up helping.

The beauty of this story is the gentleness of it. I feel like I knew Tanyth and had a real sense of her day to day life, from the smells and sounds of the dawn to her boots. It wasn't about something exciting, or tragic or unjust or heroic happening in
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a great fantasy story.
Recommended to Carlissa by: iTunes
I found this podcast while searching iTunes store to see what podcasts were available. This one sounded interesting; I was hooked after listening to the first episode. I liked the way the main character, Tanyth, was developed, and how the town of Ravenwood was formed. The narrator (the author, Nathan Lowell) was excellent and really made the story come alive. I am looking forward to more in this series.

7/20/10: I listened to this podcast again and enjoyed it even more the 2nd time around.
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought a selection of fantasy novels for something like $ 0.99. It had a couple of gems, and Ravenwood was one of them.

This story is a refreshing change from the dark, bloody and cynical stream of fantasy that is now very popular and which I like plenty. Ravenwood is the opposite in many ways. It goes at a slow but steady pace, takes place in an understandable and not too intricate world, lacks in (gratuitous) violence and is carried by an unlikely and fascinating protagonist: a lonely wander
Fe Punsalang
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann Schwader
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A highly entertaining Podiobook fantasy from the author of the "Share" SF series (and, yes, I've listened to all of those, too). I'm not sure how well Lowell's storytelling translates to print -- but on audio, he makes treadmill sessions & household chore time fly by.

Ravenwood is a pagan-themed tale featuring a rarity in in most fantasy: a woman protagonist over fifty (or at least close to it!). Tanith Fairport is a healer and long-time student of herb lore, on the road to improve her knowle
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, Lowell fans
Recommended to Betsy by: Nathan Lowell
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Enjoyable light fantasy. Lowell always writes well -- clear, straightforward, enough detail and background to support the story but not overwhelm it. He does a good job of writing about a middle aged woman dealing with the beginning of menopause and the development of some unexpected abilities while traveling about the countryside collecting herb lore.

As with his Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series, Lowell doesn't do overly dramatic or herculean. He writes about simple ordinary people dealin
B. Ross Ashley
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lowell is a fantastic writer. I listened to his recording of this fantasy, in approximately 35-minute instalments, while starting a sock on my Knittingboard sock loom; I'm nearly half done on the first of a pair of socks now, almost to the heel turn. I'm sure Tanith "Mother" Fairport would approve.

Tanith has been on the road twenty winters, moving from place to place learning herbs and healing from a succession of women, when she comes upon a new little village of city kids who ha
Bob Hall
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this book it was one of the first books I got when I was given a kindle for christmas, The story is about a woman who endured her husband's beatings while her son lived with them but when he left to join the army she also left and then stayed with the village healer. She spent the next 20 years going from one village healer to another all the time learning from them the art of healing.then she comes upon a small settlement where she ask if she can use their well for fresh water she ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
As Nathan Lowell does so well, instead of big heros, big drama, he takes regular people and shows the heroism. The Solar Clipper series is the life of a sailor and happens to be set in space, but this one is a rural low-tech setting, small village surviving difficult economic challenges, with kindness shown to a rather ordinary-appearing middle-aged woman. She finds a place in their lives and hearts, as they do in hers, and this unassuming woman is not as 'ordinary' as she appears--low-key heroi ...more
Jeffrey Paris [was Infinite Tasks]
I've been avidly listening to Nathan Lowell's podiobooks, and he is an absolutely darling reader. Ravenwood is my least favorite yet, perhaps because of the fantasy setting, but also the excessive repetition of the magical occurrences. Still, I will listen to anything Nathan wants to read, and Tanyth is a very well-rounded character. Good for Nathan, writing intimately about a menopausal herbalist with a history of domestic violence!
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure I'd like this book, until my sister-in-law said, "You have to read it"! Well she was right, I really enjoyed it. Loved the character, Tanyth,and the inhabitants of Ravenwood. She's a healer of sorts, gathering her wisdom from others, and sharing. A lovely fantasy, and I hope there are more books from this author. If you enjoy learning about herbs,and ancient beliefs, then read this book. Hope you like it as much as I did.
Robert Marshall
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent-reads
Author Lowell has created an absolute work of art. With sparkling clarity his characters spring from the pages directly to the visual centers of the readers mind. I rarely read a book from start to finish, without pausing to read a few chapters in one or more other books, but this book kept my interest and I read it without interruption. I look forward to reading the rest of this series (While I wait the release of OWNER’S SHARE as an ebook).
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
A pleasing story that shows that the mundane life of ordinary people can still be interesting.

For all the detail about life in a small village, I did have one question. Where was the livestock? There was one brief mention of chickens I vaguely remember, but they never seemed to eat any or their eggs. Also, while they ate a lot of cheese they didn't seem to have a cow or even goats. Surely a pig or two would be standard also.
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Engaging read, good story, likeable characters, and a touch of magic. I thoroughly enjoyed Lowell's Trader series and am reading this new fantasy trilogy a book a day--did I mention fast read? The protagonist had me at stiff body in the mornings and creaking knees, as she got ready for her miles and miles of walking through the woods.
S.H. Jucha
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another excellent series start to a great character study. Lowell weaves a story of Tanyth and her life's search for herbs, potions, and health-healing capabilities. What she begins to discover during her arduous path on the road describes a wonderful journey of a soul in search of something greater than the everyday, the mundane.
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Slow on plot but rich in character and world building
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A good read; well developed characters. Fantasy.
Ry Herman
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'll give this book props for having a 53 year old herbalist as its protagonist, and for focusing on the lives of ordinary people who are only ordinarily heroic. However, a certain slowness of pace, coupled with a somewhat repetitive and adjective-heavy writing style, eventually left me impatient with it. In the end, it wasn't bad, but no more than OK.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A lovely read.
Mark Zodda
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The pleasure in reading Nathan Lowell is in his writing and not necessarily in the journey. He writes about interesting characters and puts them in intriguing situations. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
Melissa Hayden
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars
Tanyth has spent the last twenty winters, of her fifty-three, travelling between different herbal experts. She learns something new from each. She's on her way to the last of the old witch women, who kept old knowledge of plants and seeds - Gerdie Pinecrest. Tanyth passes through a little town. Her kindness remembered when one of there own falls ill. The next morning they go out looking for her for healing help. Finding these young couples need help Tanyth stays for the winter to teach
Ancestral Gael
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
After reading other reviews of " Ravenwood " I decided to download it and give it a try as my preferred listening option on the commute to and from work. The author, Nathan Lowell was a far superior narrator his own story than others to whom I had listened and, though the plot developed slowly, I was happy to listen further to the pleasant reading.

I have to admit I was at a loss as to the time and place that Tanyth, the main character, inhabited. At once, it seemed to be the past but I could not
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book quite more than I expected. It was part of a seven-novel pack Amazon Kindle advertises for 99 cents, and frankly, this was the only book worth the money but that still makes it a steal.

I really liked this author's writing right from the start. He has a lovely way with words and the overall flow of writing. His characters are interesting and unique, and the plot was simple but had some good twists. It was actually a much quicker read than I expected, especially after t
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Nathan Lowell has been a writer for more than forty years, and first entered the literary world by podcasting his novels. His sci-fi series, The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper grew from his long time fascination with space opera and his own experiences shipboard in the United States Coast Guard. Unlike most works which focus on a larger-than-life hero (prophesized savior, charismatic captain, or ...more
More about Nathan Lowell...

Other Books in the Series

Tanyth Fairport (3 books)
  • Zypheria's call (Tanyth Fairport, #2)
  • The Hermit of Lammas Wood (Tanyth Fairport, #3)

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