The Raven Queen by Jules Watson is a historical fantasy novel detailing the life story of Maeve of Ireland. She starts as a pawn of her father and the wife of Conor, the ruler of Ulster. Maeve finds herself tiring of enduring the schemes of her husband and her father as they both try to use her to help secure the rule over their respective lands. When she runs from her current husband to warn her father the king of the plans Conor has for their beloved homeland, she sets herself upon a path that will lead her to embrace her own power and freedom. As she grows skilled as a warrior and a ruler, she becomes embroiled in dangerous alliances. But it is when she seeks out the druid, Ruan, whose connection to the worlds of spirit that will bring Maeve into conflict with her beliefs, duty and fate.
This story is a wonderful reimagining of the fierce Irish legend that showcases her struggles, sacrifices and triumphs as she desperately tries to protect her people while trying to be free in a “man’s world”. She is a well-rounded character who is wise, but flawed. As the story progresses, she changes and grows to learn the most important lesson of all: what is truly important to her and whether it is worth the price she will have to pay to be free.
The Raven Queen is a great mix of history, legend, fantasy and romance that should please fans who love Celtic legends or historical fantasy. The writing is smooth and easy to follow. Highly recommend with a 4.00 star rating!
In this dazzling retelling of one of Ireland’s most stirring legends, acclaimed author Jules Watson brings to life the story of Maeve, the raven queen, who is as fierce as she is captivating.
She was born to be a pawn, used to secure her father’s royal hold on his land. She was forced to advance his will through marriage—her own desires always thwarted. But free-spirited Maeve will no longer endure the schemes of her latest husband, Conor, the cunning ruler of Ulster. And when her father’s death puts her homeland at the mercy of its greedy lords and Conor’s forces, Maeve knows she must at last come into her own power to save it.
With secret skill and daring, Maeve proves herself the equal of any warrior on the battlefield. With intelligence and stealth, she learns the strategies—and sacrifices—of ruling a kingdom through treacherous alliances. And to draw on the dangerous magic of her country’s oldest gods, Maeve seeks out the wandering druid Ruan, whose unexpected passion and strange connection to the worlds of spirit imperil everything Maeve thought true about herself—and put her at war with both her duty and her fate.