Review – The Raven’s Head

Cover of The Raven's Head by Karen MaitlandThe Raven’s Head, Karen Maitland
Received to review via Netgalley & Bookbridgr

I forgot I’d requested this on Netgalley, and ended up getting it via Bookbridgr as well. Oops! Especially oops considering I wasn’t a big fan of Maitland’s last book, and I was starting to think her recipe was getting a little past its sell-by date. There were ways in which this book was just as predictable for Maitland if you’ve read her other books, but something about the writing/tone kept me going, and I did enjoy it.

It’s full of dastardly characters, of course, and if there’s a sordid torturous thing you can think of, one of the characters has probably done it. Even one of the most innocent characters has a downright chilling moment. But there are things which got my attention and evoked some pathos, too: the friendship of Felix and Regulus, Gisa’s care over Peter, Gaspard’s fear for Vincent.

I think Vincent’s voice was really well done — as long as Maitland was intending him to sound like a sociopath, anyway. The way he manipulated people, only saw his own gain, twisted every situation to be about himself… Well, there are people like that.

Overall, more enjoyable than I found the last couple of Maitland’s books, but the medieval historical fiction with touches of paranormal that might just barely be explained away, plus awful characters doing awful things, and dire secrets, etc, etc… It’s getting a little old.

Rating: 3/5

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