Review of Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson

The Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover – The Lady of the Ravens-min

Genre: Fiction – Historical Fiction – London Tower – Romance

📖 So, I recently read the Ravenmaster by Chris Skaife (fabulous book, highly recommended) then whilst doing the weekly shop, I meandered down the book aisle and this beauty popped out at me. I must say, the cover is stunning, well done to the illustrator. I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover… but this one is very pretty. And luckily the book was enjoyable too! So, win-win.

✍️ This is such an intriguing little book. Joan is quite an interesting character a hard worker who adapts to most situations that come her way, she sees all that happens at court, yet rarely does she interfere. Joan’s mother enjoys the patronage of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, so Joan becomes a lady in waiting to Elizabeth of York from an early age. Joan’s depiction of courting, motherhood and life at court is quite fascinating. Hickson captures the fear that unwanted courtship from a man in a superior position, very well and it gives a real insight into what court life must have been like for a woman in a position such as Joan’s.

🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

‘Think yourself honoured, young mistress. The ravens avoid us men because the archers use them for target practice. But there is a legend, which says that as long as they haunt the Tower, it and the kingdom will stand. Just lately they’ve been coming and going so perhaps there’s something in it.’ At the time I didn’t understand what he meant but so vividly had the raven’s image imprinted itself in my mind, that the incident and his words remained with me ever since.

👓 Joan’s escape from court appears to come in the form of caring for the Ravens. The birds are often tormented by the guards, yet they stay strong and resolute, and with the support and protection of Joan and her family, they even begin to thrive.

👫 I enjoyed the inclusion of Joan’s husband Richard who underneath everything was a lovely, kind man whose love and loyalty to his family shined through. I enjoyed reading about the couple and how their story developed across the pages. Her adopted role of a stepmother was a great inclusion in the story and again I enjoyed that the author did not take the path of a hated stepmother but a family trying to make their way together during a difficult period of history.

🗺 I quite enjoyed this different take on the Tudor period (an often-saturated market when it comes to historical fiction books). The Country is recovering from the War of the Roses and this story features the early reign of Henry VII. There is a continual threat of revolt and fear of false allegiances within the court (indeed, within Joan’s own family), all of which add drama to an already busy court life.

💔 Any Negatives: I really enjoyed this book but there were areas that, for me, dragged on a bit. It is very well researched, but I feel some of the action could have been a bit more centre stage.

💭 Overall View: An enjoyable book and a great new take on the Tudor period. I’m looking forward to reading more from this fabulous author.

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Grease

I was saddened to hear the news that Olivia Newton-John had passed away. As a teenager I watched Grease on repeat, knew every word off by heart, I even loved Grease 2! I think Grease was one of the first things (apart from a pantomime) that I went to see in the theatre and it was magical.

Thank you for the wonderful memories and may you rest in peace. 🕊

#Writephoto Round-Up – Solitude

She screamed from the top of the tower but it was pointless.

Every other location she had been transferred to, the doors had been locked, but here they were open. For she was a threat to no-one. The doors may be open but she had no way of leaving for how could she cross the water…

Solitude – Image by KL Caley

I’m sure many of you will have been wondering where this fabulous little Castle is? For those that guessed Scotland – correct! But how far North did you go?…

This little Castle is Kisimul Castle and also known as Kiessimul Castle, is a medieval castle located on a small island off Castlebay, Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. It gets its name from the Norse ciosamul, meaning “castle island” (Wikipedia).


I’ve had so many wonderful responses, here is the list below (if I have missed anyone, please let me know). So sorry for the delayed response, I’ve been battling some form of flu all week, which has knocked my socks off. I’ve only just began to feel a little like my usual self but the headache’s still hovering and I’m starting to get a bit of jaw/earache too (probably been grinding my teeth). C’est la vie, it could be much worse. Anyway, thank you all so much for your wonderful creations.

Entries:

perfect-des-res/ – pensitivity101

 #writephoto — I Am an Island – This, That, and the Other

 #Writephoto – Island Mist – About the Jez of It

 #writephoto – The Bag Lady

 A special place – Keep it alive 

Fishy, Dead Fishy #writephoto | TanGental 

secrets – nope, not pam 

The Art of Architecture – Very Important Stuff Here

#writephoto — I Am an Island

#WRITEPHOTO – Solitude

#WRITEPHOTO – Solitude – ❀ Welcome To LSS Attitude of Gratitude❀

A Remote Getaway :: N2W 2200802

Castles In The Sand – Random and Superficial Thoughts

Solitude | #writephoto Flash Fiction – Jemima Pett

Thursday Challenges: Write Photo, Doors, Trios, 99-Word Fiction, and Other Gems – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write


I hope you’ll join me for another #writephoto challenge, this week’s is now live and can be found here:

https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2022/08/04/writephoto-stairway/

Thank you all again for taking part in #writephoto – Solitude

With special thanks to Sue who originally made the #writephoto challenge so meaningful for all of us and gave me her blessing to continue it. I think she would have loved this magical place.

Take Care
KL ❤

Roaring good time…

Hubby was working today, so I had to drag myself out of bed and get on with looking after mini mister. Luckily, I must say, he was a well behaved little angel (phew).

I’d booked tickets for this show months ago, but now that the day arrived, the thought of being in a hot room with loads of bodies wasn’t the ideal way to recover from whatever viral thing had gotten hold of me all last week (not covid, tested many times).

However, it actually went really well, the story was great fun, and made really interactive and not too scary (thank goodness). Most importantly, my little guy had a roaring good time.

Rivers

‘A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.’

– James N. Watkins

As a writer and an author-in-progress, I adore this quote. I started writing my first novel years ago, having first read a historical account in a newspaper in 2013. The story mulled itself over and over in my head, then persistence gave way and I decided to read more into it. The characters began to speak to me, both the original storyline and a modern storyline which corresponded. I put my fingers to the keyboard and let the click-clacking begin. I had many stops and starts, I got married, attended Uni, and had a baby but still, I am drawn back to the story, which is in the final throws now. I have completed the modern storyline and have a handful of chapters of the historic storyline to go and then “Hallelujah!” my first draft will be complete.

I already have a second story outlined and a third and fourth gnawing away at me (I’ve collated some notes to try to keep them at bay for now). The hardest part, putting my bum in the seat and just writing without distraction, but I’ll get there. Like the river, I’ll ebb away at that rock and hopefully someday, I’ll make it.

Love and best wishes to all those rivers trying to cut their way through the rock. You’ll get there.


A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. – James N. Watkins

Originally written in response to:

Much Love.

KL

#WRITEPHOTO – Stairway

Afternoon Everyone,

Welcome to the weekly #writephoto prompt!

Secret stairway

Hidden in the trees

Almost gone unnoticed

where do these steps lead?

Stairway – Image by KL Caley

For visually challenged writers, the image shows wooden stairs surrounded by grass and trees (almost hidden).

The regulars already know this bit, but for those that don’t:

  • Each Thursday at Noon GMT I will post the #writephoto prompt
  • Use the image and prompt as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, as long as it is fairly family-friendly.
  • Please have your entries linked back to the original prompt post by the following Tuesday at Noon GMT.
  • Link back to this post with a pingback (Hugh has an excellent tutorial here)  and/or leave a link in the comments below, to be included in the round-up.
  • Please click their links to visit the blogs of other contributors and take time to read and comment on their work.
  • Use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.
  • There is no word limit and no style requirements, except that your post must take inspiration from the image and/or the prompt word given in the title of this post.
  • Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish, or you may replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work.
  • By participating in the #writephoto challenge, please be aware that your post may be featured as a reblog on this blog and I will link to your post for the round-up each week.

If you need some more inspiration or fancy a bit of light reading, check out last weeks round-up.

I can’t wait to read your creations.

Take Care.

KL ❤

Flu

Flushing cold, flushing hot

I think the flus what I’ve got

I thought it was covid

But the tests say its not

I’ve taken the night nurse

To numb the pain

Hopefully tomorrow,

I’ll feel right as rain.

Hen

This weekend, I had a rare night out! I had the pleasure of attending the hen party of my soon-to-be sister-in-law.

After two hospital visits in two days with two different relatives, last week, I was more than ready for some joyful times and a little boogie too.

Party Ready 🥳

Being the history geek that I am. I had to look up the history of the Hen Night and it turns out it is a Scottish Custom. Although I must say I’m glad I didn’t spend the evening plucking hens 🤣.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

Take care.

KL ♥️