The Raven's Tale
Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

The Raven's Tale Details

TitleThe Raven's Tale
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 16th, 2019
PublisherAmulet Books
ISBN-139781419733628
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Retellings, Fantasy

The Raven's Tale Review

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    What a lovely tale... Once upon a dark December, in a year we mustremember, Morbid mounds of ash and ember told agruesome tale of gore-- Wow, I think Cat Winters did a great job on this book! I was reading through her author's notes, etc and she was telling how she went about finding out as much history as she could before writing this book. I think she made a remarkable book on fiction and fact to create a young Poe. I loved reading about Lenore! The book is written in two POV's; Edgar and Len What a lovely tale... Once upon a dark December, in a year we mustremember, Morbid mounds of ash and ember told agruesome tale of gore-- Wow, I think Cat Winters did a great job on this book! I was reading through her author's notes, etc and she was telling how she went about finding out as much history as she could before writing this book. I think she made a remarkable book on fiction and fact to create a young Poe. I loved reading about Lenore! The book is written in two POV's; Edgar and Lenore. I must say it's bloody brilliant. I loved the creepiness to the book and the way the author incorporated a muse for different people. It was so freaking gothic and awesome and like I said a bit creepy. If you accept what you have created then the creepiness goes away and you find that you have a friend for life. That's all I'm going to say before I sit right here and type a spoiler before the book is even out yet. This is February and this fine book will be out in April; I'm putting it on my birthday book buying list for myself. *Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a complimentary copy of this book for review.*Happy Reading! Mel ♥MY BLOG
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    I can't tell if I hate this or am just not in the mood for it, either option being depressing as hell because EAP was my original literary love and I was so pumped for this. I'll pick it back up soon and try again.
  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    Edgar, Edgar, Edgar—what a magnificent writer he was. So when I heard there was going to be this book on a young Edgar Allan Poe, I was so incredibly interested! Lenore, Lenore, Lenore! I want to read about you anywhere forevermore!Let me tell you something, my dear friends, I loved Edgar and his struggles and his sensitivities in this book. This boy definitely needed a muse to help him escape his terrible adopted father and all the things that occurred because of him! And Lenore? She was such a Edgar, Edgar, Edgar—what a magnificent writer he was. So when I heard there was going to be this book on a young Edgar Allan Poe, I was so incredibly interested! Lenore, Lenore, Lenore! I want to read about you anywhere forevermore!Let me tell you something, my dear friends, I loved Edgar and his struggles and his sensitivities in this book. This boy definitely needed a muse to help him escape his terrible adopted father and all the things that occurred because of him! And Lenore? She was such a lovely and horrific creature who was the perfect muse to draw out the tales that one day become famous.Now, what I wanted and what I thought this book was going to be about DID NOT HAPPEN! I repeat: DID NOT HAPPEN! I wanted a romance between Edgar and his muse that was so dark and twisted that it would haunt me for days with its beauty, sadness, and passion. I wanted that and needed that ... still do! However, this strange and lovely little book was still quite enjoyable with beautiful writing and real history entwined! 
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    DNF - 50%I'm sorry. I tried. I really tried. I love Winters' writing but I just cannot care about this. I guess I just don't find the life of Edgar Allan Poe anywhere near as interesting as I thought I would.ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🦅
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  • Hannah Greendale
    January 1, 1970
    An atmospheric and inventive nod to one of literature's most memorable writers. In portraying a young Edgar Allen Poe, Winters has clearly done considerable research to achieve a sense of authenticity, and her idea to characterize Poe's muse as a "raven-haired maiden in a gown spun from threads made of cinders and soot"* is marvelous. Chapters alternate between Edgar and his muse, Lenore, which lends itself to an unfortunate amount of repetition. The stakes are low and, by the midpoint, the narr An atmospheric and inventive nod to one of literature's most memorable writers. In portraying a young Edgar Allen Poe, Winters has clearly done considerable research to achieve a sense of authenticity, and her idea to characterize Poe's muse as a "raven-haired maiden in a gown spun from threads made of cinders and soot"* is marvelous. Chapters alternate between Edgar and his muse, Lenore, which lends itself to an unfortunate amount of repetition. The stakes are low and, by the midpoint, the narrative starts to feel stagnant. However, readers who push to the final page are rewarded with a chilling poem crafted by Winters in the style of Edgar Allen Poe. "What are you?" he asks once again, and he gulps with a grimace, as though swallowing swill. "Why do you look so cadaverous . . . and . . . so raven - ous?" "The word is pronounced ravenous," I say with a smile.*-*Note: All quotes taken from an Uncorrected Proof.
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  • A.G. Howard
    January 1, 1970
    I adore Poe, and really admire how much research Ms. Winters put into this tribute to his teen years. The story almost has a "magical realism" feel to it over straight up fantasy, which gives events a very surreal and dreamlike quality at times. Also, the nods to Poe's prose and poetry throughout are beautiful!
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  • Lisa Wolf
    January 1, 1970
    In The Raven's Tale, muses are considered dangerous to the soul, yet at the same time, they're acknowledged to exist. The Sunday sermon exhorts the congregation to "Silence your muses!" lest they lead you into temptation and keep you from pursuing an honest, hardworking, upright life. Such is the world in which we meet young Edgar Allan Poe, a 17-year-old devoted to poetry whose foster father wants to see him settled in the family business as a clerk. It's all about respectability!Poor Eddy! He' In The Raven's Tale, muses are considered dangerous to the soul, yet at the same time, they're acknowledged to exist. The Sunday sermon exhorts the congregation to "Silence your muses!" lest they lead you into temptation and keep you from pursuing an honest, hardworking, upright life. Such is the world in which we meet young Edgar Allan Poe, a 17-year-old devoted to poetry whose foster father wants to see him settled in the family business as a clerk. It's all about respectability!Poor Eddy! He's consumed by thoughts of a deadly Richmond theater fire from eleven years earlier, and from his obsession with the fire, his muse emerges into life. His attention makes her more and more real, a girl of smoke and ashes who assumes human form and accompanies Edgar through the streets and in his home, leading him to greater and greater devotion to his writing. Edgar's goal is to escape his awful father and begin his university studies, where he hopes to achieve greatness through his poetry -- but the dream is on the verge of slipping away as his financial situation becomes dire and he's forced into debt and out of control gambling in a futile attempt to pay for his fees.The idea of personification of muses is an interesting one (and there's also a secondary muse, who represents Poe's forays into satire). We see how Edgar becomes consumed by his obsessions with his art, and if we didn't know that his friends and family are all able to see his muses as well, we might think he'd tumbled into madness.The concept is unique and inventive. The author weaves together her extensive research into Poe's youth with her flights of fancy in his interactions with the muse. Sprinkled throughout are both lines from what will become his published work and other rhymes and verses that are written by Cat Winters in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. It's fun to see the use of his style, and seems credible that his great works could have started in bits and pieces, with all sorts of variations, as they do here.Overall, I thought The Raven's Tale mostly (but not totally) successful. It's an interesting and engaging read, but the reality of the muses was not entirely believable. I'm not sure that the balance between established history and invented fantasy really works well, but as someone not previously familiar with Poe's early years, I found the parts based on real-life events especially interesting.The writing takes on all sorts of rhythms and moods that feel true to the Poe of popular imagination, and that makes reading The Raven's Tale a treat (despite some of the plot bumps).Whenever I'm not writing, time trudges forward with the maddening, mortifying, miserable, morose, moribund pace of a funeral procession.Don't you just love that line?
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  • ♠️ TABI ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    This is written in such a way as to leave me wondering if the ghost of Poe came to this author as her Muse for this book. "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!" I imagine myself saying from the pulpit in the pink sanctuary of our church. "My name is Edgar Poe, and today, for reasons I don't fully comprehend, I'm obsessed with with the seventy-two bodies buried beneath us." Oh, what a tale! While I am not obsessed with Poe's works to the point I can quote them from any angle, have mused upon the d This is written in such a way as to leave me wondering if the ghost of Poe came to this author as her Muse for this book. "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!" I imagine myself saying from the pulpit in the pink sanctuary of our church. "My name is Edgar Poe, and today, for reasons I don't fully comprehend, I'm obsessed with with the seventy-two bodies buried beneath us." Oh, what a tale! While I am not obsessed with Poe's works to the point I can quote them from any angle, have mused upon the differing tempos, or sat in brooding thought regarding his stories . . . I do really love the writing of Edgar Allan Poe. I feel like those weird, dark poems and stories GET me, which of course is something strange to say if the first Poe thing you think of is The Tell-Tale Heart.Anyways.This literally reads like something pulled from Poe's mind. Cat Winters strikes again with her literary talent, reminding me yet again why I love her books so much. Every single sentence feels like the author spent hours crafting it into mad perfection. The amount of research she puts into her books truly shows because every time I am pulled into history and I never want to leave. But, this wasn't just historical fiction. This is a book about Poe who dreamed in dark fairytales and lost loves and beating hearts. There is magic in this story in the form of Lenore, Poe's dark muse. Now did my brain automatically go "ship them"?? Yes, of course it it did. There is just so much conflicted tension between these two artists--one of flesh and blood, the other of dreams and feathers--that I couldn't help myself!!Yet while this book is about the magical bond between Poe and his muse, an interesting take on where this famous poet got the inspiration for his well-known works . . . it is also about the growth of a young man chained by social expectations into a man who becomes who he wants to be. There is a lot of thematic elements about this, so don't just come expecting a dark and magical tale--like Poe's works, there is great depth to the surface horror and melancholy. And that's what really sold me on this, what really made me believe it was if the muse of Poe himself came to the author and helped her write this story.basically: read this book okay ARC received in exchange for my honest review
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  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Dark and absolutely marvelous!--------Got an ARC!! One of my most anticipated! 😍 Can’t wait to start it!
  • Navessa
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 30%Lately, I’ve stopped writing reviews for books that I DNF, but since I received an ARC of this in exchange for one, I figured a brief summary of why this didn’t work for me was necessary.You should know that I adore Cat Winters. This is the first book by her that I haven’t flat-out loved. I will still one-click buy literally everything she writes, so take this review with a grain of salt.Usually, I find her prose so enthralling that I tend to inhale her works in a single sitting. This o DNF @ 30%Lately, I’ve stopped writing reviews for books that I DNF, but since I received an ARC of this in exchange for one, I figured a brief summary of why this didn’t work for me was necessary.You should know that I adore Cat Winters. This is the first book by her that I haven’t flat-out loved. I will still one-click buy literally everything she writes, so take this review with a grain of salt.Usually, I find her prose so enthralling that I tend to inhale her works in a single sitting. This one was a struggle to get through. And Winters for me has always had this haunting, poetic way of writing that stays with me long after I finish reading. For a book about a haunted poet, the writing here wasn’t up to her usual scratch.This book read like it once had a lot of info dumps that were heavily edited out and instead shoved into dialogues and inner monologues in a way that felt forced. In the forward, Winters mentioned how much research she did for this. It shows. Not in a good way. Usually I find her world-building to be effortless and organic. This felt stilted and forced in comparison.This also lacked her usual elegant prose. Instead, this story suffered beneath the mimicry of a century-old writing style.So, brilliant concept, but the execution fell short for me.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
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  • Dannii Elle
    January 1, 1970
    "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—"In Cat Winters re-imagining of the life of Edgar Poe, he isn't the master of the Gothic that we know him as in the present-day. Edgar Poe is the seventeen-year-old son of a family that would see him forego his creative outlets for a respectable job in his foster-father's business. But Edgar Poe already feels the pull inside of him. The allure of the morbid and macabre is strong "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—"In Cat Winters re-imagining of the life of Edgar Poe, he isn't the master of the Gothic that we know him as in the present-day. Edgar Poe is the seventeen-year-old son of a family that would see him forego his creative outlets for a respectable job in his foster-father's business. But Edgar Poe already feels the pull inside of him. The allure of the morbid and macabre is strong, and whilst he is immersed in the act of immortalising the dead with his words, he wills his muse into existence.Lenore is a thing of dark beauty. She is moonless midnights and hidden coves in forgotten cemetries. She combines the fear of a ghostly apparition with the repulsion of the open grave. She wills dark energies into existence and consecrates the wilfully overlooked. Lenore is Edgar's muse and if he does not create then she will suffocate.Edgar Allan Poe is a well-known and deeply-revered name today, but this fictionalised version of his upbringing casts his figure in an alternative light. Here, Edgar is just a boy learning to hone his craft and understand the world around him. This is largely focused on the coming-of-age of a boy who wills himself respectably average even as he finds himself unable to resist the allure of the dark recesses of his mind.I adore how many of Poe's original words made their way into this retelling of his life. The reader gets to understand the basis for his satires, the lexical struggles for rhymes that evaded him, and the drawn-out events that are compounded into verse. We witness the many prior versions that existed of his poetry before the final product that sees his name as immortalised as the long-dead he seeks to do the same for, with his words.This is such a darkly Gothic tale, focusing on Poe's creations of and adoration for the macabre, but also one of such gentleness, dealing with the hope and creativity of the spirit. Winters honours Poe's greatness and her lyrical style does homage to the master she channels as her own muse, in this tale of the darkness and light that can reside within all of us.
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  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    With a dark almost macabre feel, The Raven's Tale is classic Poe without being classic Poe.With nods to both Poe himself and Shakespeare, this wonderfully imaginative and lushly enchanting tale was hard not to get wrapped up in.With all the tragedy, angst and horror one would expect from both Poe and Winters, the two combined created on heck of a story line that was everything I was expecting and hoping for. Twisted, dark, and filled with all the things I remember from my Poe days, I loved both With a dark almost macabre feel, The Raven's Tale is classic Poe without being classic Poe.With nods to both Poe himself and Shakespeare, this wonderfully imaginative and lushly enchanting tale was hard not to get wrapped up in.With all the tragedy, angst and horror one would expect from both Poe and Winters, the two combined created on heck of a story line that was everything I was expecting and hoping for. Twisted, dark, and filled with all the things I remember from my Poe days, I loved both the lines from some of Poe's finest tales and poems right down to the twist of his muse taunting him in all the most horrific ways one can imagine for a muse to taunt and tease and torment. Truly a delightful read that had me completely captivated and wanting more. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 Thanks to Netgalley and Amulet Books/ ABRAMS Kids for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.My first and only encounter with Cat Winters was in the YA anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. In her most recent work, Winters introduces us to a teenage Edgar Allen Poe and his supernatural muse, Lenore. Although I have never shied away from the poet and his works, I cannot say I am an ardent fan. On the other hand, Cat Wint 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 Thanks to Netgalley and Amulet Books/ ABRAMS Kids for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.My first and only encounter with Cat Winters was in the YA anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. In her most recent work, Winters introduces us to a teenage Edgar Allen Poe and his supernatural muse, Lenore. Although I have never shied away from the poet and his works, I cannot say I am an ardent fan. On the other hand, Cat Winters is definitely in the Poe fan club and her extensive research shines as she shows Poe's internal struggles with his Gothic style by giving him a Gothic storyline. While I felt "Eddy" was a bit hard to take for the majority of the novel, I was truly captivated by Lenore. It is her narrative voice that still haunts me and truly shows the writing depth of Cat Winters. Because the writing is the true gem of this tale. Every sentence is so vivid in detail that I could see the whole story before me like a painting. I am glad that I gave Cat Winters my attention and now I am curious as to which of her previous works I should check out. Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comment section below.Goodreads review 23/03/19Publication Date 16/04/19
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .I have never been so sad to not love a book. Like ever. And usually, when it's a book by an author I adore, I can find some things to like even if I don't love everything. But this was just not the book for me, I guess? Le sigh, let us break it down! The Things I Liked: •Young Edgar is, you know, a regular dude. I liked that he wasn't completely broody and maudlin. He was just a guy w You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .I have never been so sad to not love a book. Like ever. And usually, when it's a book by an author I adore, I can find some things to like even if I don't love everything. But this was just not the book for me, I guess? Le sigh, let us break it down! The Things I Liked: •Young Edgar is, you know, a regular dude. I liked that he wasn't completely broody and maudlin. He was just a guy who loved to write, had fallen in love, and wanted to make something of himself on his own terms. I mean, sure he was intense and such, but that isn't a bad thing! It was a good choice to write him in a likable and relatable way. •The time period/historical stuff was so fun to learn about! Since I didn't go to college in Virginia in the 1800s, this was a fun new adventure! I loved the look into the lives that Edgar and his contemporaries lived. Also, the author has a ton of information at the end of the book about Edgar, his family, and his friends that we meet in the book. This was probably my favorite part. The Things I Didn't:  •Nothing... happened? Like Eddy had a beer today, cool, cool. He hugged his mom, splendid. I just kept waiting for the plot and it wasn't there. It never came. Like okay he "met" Leonore, his muse. Whatever even that is, I have no idea because it wasn't ever fully explained.  Fought with his dad. Wrote some stuff. And then this whole thing repeated a few times: Muse encounter, writing, fight with Dad, lather rinse repeat as needed. •Lenore was a bore. See what I did there? It's nice that I amuse myself, no? Anyyyyway, I had to because Lenore certainly wasn't amusing me. Like, she was pretty pissed, and I get it because hello, Edgar wasn't exactly treating her nicely. But would I treat a hallucination/bird-person nicely? NO. In part because you all know how I feel about bird people, but also I wouldn't want to be hallucinating so um of course he wanted her to vanish? Like sweetie, use some common sense. You're whatever a muse is, and that is probably scary. •Like I mentioned, I never completely understood the muse concept. Is this something that was popular in the nineteenth century? Or was it just a thing for the sake of the story? I am fine with whichever, but try as I might I couldn't find anything specific on this "muse" business, because there are a lot of things/products named Muse. And when I searched "Poe Muse" it just kept trying to link me to a Poe Museum which is decidedly not what I wanted and this is turning into more of a story about Google than a review so I'll stop. My point is, why did everyone and their mom (literally) see this... thing? Woman? Bird? Look I don't even know, okay. •I just couldn't bring myself to care about anyone or anything. Okay, except for Poe's adopted Mom, she's the real hero here. Maybe next we just write a book about her, but in the book she breaks up with the shitty "father" (who by the by is cheating on her while she lays in her sickbed, what a prince 🙄) and then she takes up... Idk, burlesque dancing to make a living for her and her son, and then she meets a doctor who is able to fix her health stuff but also he falls in love with her and treats her like the queen she really is. And Edgar doesn't die in a gutter, the end. (I mean technically he didn't die there, but shh. He was unconscious there and it makes my story sound much better.) Bottom Line:  Wow look I legitimately made up several of my own stories in this review that might have spiced up the actual book in which nothing happens, but it is a look into old-timey stuff and dead folks which is kinda cool?
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...Why am I only now reading Cat Winters? Where have I been the last five years? Under a rock maybe? I’m not sure, but I'm incredibly pleased to have discovered her with The Raven’s Tale.I can’t remember the last time the quality of a novel’s prose stopped me dead in my tracks, but the poetically macabre tones of this story were brilliantly drawn. I’ve no idea if this is a hallmark of Winters’ work, but this book alone lands he Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...Why am I only now reading Cat Winters? Where have I been the last five years? Under a rock maybe? I’m not sure, but I'm incredibly pleased to have discovered her with The Raven’s Tale.I can’t remember the last time the quality of a novel’s prose stopped me dead in my tracks, but the poetically macabre tones of this story were brilliantly drawn. I’ve no idea if this is a hallmark of Winters’ work, but this book alone lands her a spot on my short list of most talented writers. It was simply that good.Historically speaking, the novel pairs nicely with both Cothburn O’Neal’s The Very Young Mrs. Poe and Lynn Cullen’s Mrs. Poe. Like these titles, the novel follows the course of one of Poe’s relationships, but The Raven’s Tale is a much different tale in that it blends Poe biographical history with the development of the hauntingly dark qualities of his imagination.Having said all this, I have to admit falling head over heels for Lenore. I’m a history buff and assumed I’d favor the facts, but Winters’ unsettling muse grew on me and by the end of the novel thoroughly upstaged the rest of the cast. Lenore is a deliciously chilling apparition, but I came to adore the allegorical nature of her role both in the novel and in the larger world of publishing.An absolute must read!
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I was all in on a Cat Winters book about Edgar Allan Poe. I absolutely loved this idea and it’s breaking my heart to rate this so low. Edgar was fairly captivating. He was passionate and creative and friendly. Lenore was creepy and it was interesting getting her POV. Their relationship felt toxic, even though it seemed imperative to Edgar’s writing. Plot wise is where I really struggled. The story dragged and even though I was intrigued, I could have easily set the book down and never finished i I was all in on a Cat Winters book about Edgar Allan Poe. I absolutely loved this idea and it’s breaking my heart to rate this so low. Edgar was fairly captivating. He was passionate and creative and friendly. Lenore was creepy and it was interesting getting her POV. Their relationship felt toxic, even though it seemed imperative to Edgar’s writing. Plot wise is where I really struggled. The story dragged and even though I was intrigued, I could have easily set the book down and never finished it. I will say that the writing is reminiscent of Edgar’s writing and I love that Cat was able to imitate that. Overall, it was an amazing idea and the research behind it really shows the effort. Sadly, it just wasn’t for me. **Huge thanks to Amulet Books for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
    January 1, 1970
    And I could take down every single one of them with a few strokes if my pen, for I see the ugliness inside us all." Trigger Warnings: Parental abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, poverty.Cat Winters doing a book inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's muse/life? I'm all here for that! I really enjoyed this one but it's ODD, no like really ODD. Honestly, I have no idea where to even begin with this book - it's a strange one, but I'll do my best. The Raven's Tale in a very unique, haunting and beautiful ta And I could take down every single one of them with a few strokes if my pen, for I see the ugliness inside us all." Trigger Warnings: Parental abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, poverty.Cat Winters doing a book inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's muse/life? I'm all here for that! I really enjoyed this one but it's ODD, no like really ODD. Honestly, I have no idea where to even begin with this book - it's a strange one, but I'll do my best. The Raven's Tale in a very unique, haunting and beautiful tale. It centers around our main protagonist, the famous author Edgar Allan Poe and his muse, Lenore. We start off by learning that Edgar was adopted after losing his parents to a fire. His adoptive parents are well off and he has had the best of everything but is still seen as a bit of an outcast because his biological parents were into the arts and that is completely frowned upon. Edgar's adoptive mother is caring, but fairly weak and now sickly - she doesn't really stand up for Edgar but she does love him and tries to support him in her own quiet way. His adoptive father, on the other hand; is a complete bully of a man. He obviously cares very little for Edgar and lets him know it at every chance he can get. He's ashamed at Edgar's love of poetry and wants him to go into the family business. He's abusive, neglectful and just an all around horrible human being. I couldn't find one redeeming quality in this man. Edgar is finally going to University and is very eager so he can get away from his controlling father, hopefully for good. Edgar is in love with a young woman and she seems to feel the same way about him, but her parents are not at all happy about the match, so they have to have their romance in secret until he comes back a better match for her when he's through University. Of course, nothing goes as planned. Edgar can't give up his love of poetry - it's his life force, it's what makes him who he is and lately his poetry has gotten more and more dark. In this world, if your passion/vision is strong enough than your muse can enter this world and become part of it, eventually morphing to it's full potential when fully realized. Edgar's muse is Lenore. Yes, Lenore from the very famous poem, The Raven. I'm a huge fan of Edgar's work and I'm so happy it focused on Lenore because I don't think there is anything more iconic than her in his works. The muse, Lenore is a dark and morbid character. She feeds off creativity and needs it to live. However, Edgar is horrified that she has come to life and completely ashamed and denies her the creativity that she so desperately needs by denying himself. We see both Lenore and Edgar fall into a desperate dark depression. One that can truly only be undone by Edgar giving into his passion - his writing. This story is very dark and deals with themes of abuse, depression, and poverty. It's a very polarizing read - it would be very easy to be confused by this one since it's such a odd concept. It's told in two POV's - Edgar's and his muse, Lenore. Lenore chapters tend to be more lyrical and dark, which I doubt will be for everyone but I loved it. The writing is stunning. Cat Winters has a wonderful talent of being able to blend historical fiction with elements of the supernatural so seamlessly. This is my third book I've read by this author and I just love her writing style. I recommend this one to people who love a dark tale or fans of Poe. This is also a wonderful book to maybe branch out a little if you tend to stay on the straight and arrow with your reading choices. This one will definitely challenge you I think. Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for the e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    Pains me to DNF this, miss Winters is one of my favorite authors but I just couldn't get into this. The writing isn't bad at and the idea is very interesting but at almost halfway through, I just couldn't connect with this at all.The "magic" was missing for this reader. :(
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  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    ARC Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review You can find this review and others like it on the blog here:http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev...First, I would like to thank NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. That being said, I apologize for being so ridiculously late getting this review posted. I have been slumping the past couple of weeks and I finally sat myself down yesterday and dedicated the time it took to finish up this creepy yet so p ARC Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review You can find this review and others like it on the blog here:http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev...First, I would like to thank NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. That being said, I apologize for being so ridiculously late getting this review posted. I have been slumping the past couple of weeks and I finally sat myself down yesterday and dedicated the time it took to finish up this creepy yet so poetic book. Also to all my friends reading this review, you should be so proud of me, I struggle with my writing and when it comes time to sit down and write my reviews, I usually end up at a loss for words. Knowing this, I did something a little different this time around and made notes on what parts of the book I'd like to mention in this review. My hopes for this new process is that the review will be a little more coherent and not just the ramblings of a crazy girl trying to remember what she just read! So here goes nothing!The Raven's Tale is about a young teenage Edgar Allan Poe and the beginnings of his macabre writings. We jump right into the inner workings of Poe's mind while he sits in church listening to a sermon on silencing muses and how the fancies of the imagination are a sin. But in young Poe's mind, he can't stop thinking about the many lost souls buried far beneath the church he sits in, knowing that he will never give up his passion for poetry. This is just the beginning of his struggle to break free of the confines of the small town of Richmond, Virginia where he has lived since being adopted as a baby when his mother died of an illness leaving him and his brother and sister orphans. Aside from his beloved Elmira Royster, he does have one thing to look forward to. In a matter of days he is to leave to study at the University of Virginia and the days couldn't go by any quicker. But when his muse takes on a more human form, walking out of the shadows late one night to break free and run rampant around town, he fears that this could be what keeps him from escaping his terrible foster father. Writing about such a well known person of history, its clear that the author went to great lengths to study every bit of information regarding Poe that she could get her hands on. In the back of the book she mentions what she researched and how she came to certain conclusions on how Poe's life must have been as a youngster. From letters, to bank receipts, to interviews of other students, its clear that she covered all her bases to bring about the most accurate portrayal of our beloved Poe as she possible could. This was one of the bigger parts of the book that stood out to me to be completely honest. From the town he grew up in, to the location of the church he attended, to the names of his friends and family and acquaintances and love interests. There is scarcely a stone not turned.  Winters even goes to mention how she came up with the ideas for the blank periods of time where there isn't a lot of history to be found, and to be honest I think she did a fantastic job staying true to the character and represented Poe in a way that feels so incredibly realistic and believable. I think that on top of having to know the personality and history of Poe so well, this led to the writing in this book being dark and poetic and perfect for the atmosphere that the poet deserves. It feels like the chapters were written by Poe himself and the incorporation of the actual works of Poe into the plot of the book were woven together so seamlessly that it honestly felt like the author somehow went back in time to find out what inspired him to write each and every work of art. There were even times where the author wrote some of her own poems that to be honest were amazing. I loved how the tone never changed and it felt so accurate and similar to what you would expect in a tale about a young Edgar Allan Poe. Some books you get to parts where you want to cringe knowing that this is an artistic liberty that the author must have taken to keep to their plot, but that was so far from the case in The Raven's Tale. Every part of the plot seemed to revolve around actual poems and historical facts that I was convinced it all must be real. If there is anything that kept me from truly loving this book to its full potential, its that there were points where it tended to lag. It felt like I was just waiting for something to happen while following Poe on his daily routine to just end up reading about an average day of waking up, struggling to get by and then going to bed unsatisfied with the days work. This always tends to be my issue with historical fiction though, I know that the author can't take too much liberty into changing the events around too much, but sometimes there are parts that to me don't seem as necessary to the plot. While I did get a little hung up on the slower, dryer sections, they moved on quickly enough to keep me interested and didn't take away from the atmosphere that the story portrays. I also had a little issue with the fact that the book just sort of ends. If I hadn't read on to the author's note I would feel a little frustrated with all the loose ends of the life Poe left behind in Richmond. Knowing that these are real people its easy enough to do some research of your own to find out where they ended up and how their lives turned out, but I didn't start this book to end up doing research once finished. But still like I said, these issues weren't enough to make me dislike the book in any way shape or form. The story itself is still wonderfully written and stay so true to the characters that I really had to reach to find anything that I didn't quite like all the way.My favorite part of the whole book would be how the muses come to life. I absolutely loved Lenore and felt like this was such a beautiful way to describe the inspiration for so many of the poems that we know so well today. I felt so much for her and her journey as well as rooting for Poe to overcome his obstacles and find his connection to Lenore. There were so many times where I wanted her to do away with the evil Mr. Allan and his mission to keep Poe from ascending to greatness that he was always destined to achieve. She knew it all along and now look at how well known Edgar Allan Poe is today! I'm honestly surprised he would ever keep the name Allan after all he went through at the hands of that jerk of a man. This was such a well written, dark, poetic, and lyrical book that takes you right into the life of who we all know today as The Master of the Macabre and I think it did him wonderful justice. Everything was so on point and respectfully written. Be prepared to look over your shoulder at every creak and pop you might hear and don't read this one before bed because that thump thump that you keep hearing just might be the sound of The Tell Tale Heart, or your darkest muse about to step out of the shadows!
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I need to first mention this cover.  It's gorgeous and fits the book so well.  Edgar Poe lives with the Allan family.  His parents are dead and they took him in.  John Allan is not nice to Edgar.  Edgar writes poems and the arts are basically a sin.  The bishop preaches that the town was punished by fire and death because of the theater there.  Those people followed their muses and muses are evil.  They even built the church over the bones and destruction from the theater fire.  Edgar is in love I need to first mention this cover.  It's gorgeous and fits the book so well.  Edgar Poe lives with the Allan family.  His parents are dead and they took him in.  John Allan is not nice to Edgar.  Edgar writes poems and the arts are basically a sin.  The bishop preaches that the town was punished by fire and death because of the theater there.  Those people followed their muses and muses are evil.  They even built the church over the bones and destruction from the theater fire.  Edgar is in love with Elmira and wants to marry her.  But he is going off to school and they promise to write each other.Lenore is Edgar's muse.  She finally appears to him and others.  Most are terrified when they see her, but Edgar is torn.  She helps him write of death and dark topics that aren't allowed.  Lenore wants Edgar to pledge himself to her, but he hasn't yet.  She follows him to school where he meets another muse, Garland.  Garland helps Edgar with satire to entertain the other boys at school.Edgar is doing well at school, but he is also struggling.  John never paid all his fees and Edgar finds himself in great debt.  He starts gambling.  Some of the boys are intrigued by Lenore and want to see her.  But Garland wants Lenore gone.  Throughout the book, we really see Edgar's internal struggles.  Should he do what John wants?  Should he find a way to finish school?  Should he follow Garland or Lenore?  Should he keep writing and telling tales?  The book alternates between Edgar and Lenore's perspectives.   We see Lenore living in the shadows, hiding, but also wanting to be seen.  We see her transforming.  She gets feathers and will be a raven when Edgar pledges to her.  She wants everyone to listen to Edgar (and her) and tries everything she can to keep him close.I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 stars.  Thank you to Amulet Books for sending me a physical copy for review.Warnings for slavery, abuse, and death.  
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  • Lauren Stoolfire
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters is this author's newest historical fantasy novel. As she's one of my favorite authors (this is the fifth book I've read from her), I can't believe I lucked out and got approved by NetGalley for this novel featuring Edgar Allan Poe, one of my favorite classic writers, and his muse. Unfortunately, it's my least favorite of everything I've already read from her. That being said, I'm still giving it thr I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters is this author's newest historical fantasy novel. As she's one of my favorite authors (this is the fifth book I've read from her), I can't believe I lucked out and got approved by NetGalley for this novel featuring Edgar Allan Poe, one of my favorite classic writers, and his muse. Unfortunately, it's my least favorite of everything I've already read from her. That being said, I'm still giving it three stars so there's still quite a bit that I liked even if it didn't live up to my expectations. As always, Winters' writing is lush and richly detailed. She has clearly done her research to create 1820s Richmond and Charlottesville, Virginia as well as bring Edgar's early years to life. I also particularly enjoyed getting to know our young and creatively passionate Edgar Allan Poe. He's trying to come to terms with himself, his work, and his foster father's expectations for his future. Winters does a pretty fantastic job of recreating his Poe's style, by the way. The weakest points for me though were the concept of the muses and the plot itself. I felt too out of the loop when it came to how the muses work, especially when I realized some other characters have them as well. That said, I still enjoyed reading Lenore's perspective chapters. As for the plot, not a whole lot happens over the course of 368 pages - I suppose I was hoping for a little more action. Overall, though, The Raven's Tale is still definitely worth reading if you're a fan of Cat Winters' wonderful style, Edgar Allan Poe, and historical fantasy.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    IT'S CAT WINTERS AND I CARE ABOUT MYSELF. 
  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    The Raven's Tale blends historical fiction with gothic fantastical elements as it retells the life of a young Edgar Allen Poe. It takes a very interesting approach that is poetic and atmospheric. Ultimately I do think it works, although it took me a little while to get a feel for what the author was doing. Largely based on real historical events, this rendition weaves in Poe's muse, personified as a macabre young woman named Lenore (name taken from iconic poem The Raven). This is a dark story, f The Raven's Tale blends historical fiction with gothic fantastical elements as it retells the life of a young Edgar Allen Poe. It takes a very interesting approach that is poetic and atmospheric. Ultimately I do think it works, although it took me a little while to get a feel for what the author was doing. Largely based on real historical events, this rendition weaves in Poe's muse, personified as a macabre young woman named Lenore (name taken from iconic poem The Raven). This is a dark story, following the difficulties of Poes young life with the mythology surrounding Lenore woven into the story in interesting ways. I would particularly recommend this for fans or admirers of Poe's writing who are interested in knowing more about his life and some of the influences on his work. The orphaned son of an actress, he was fostered by a wealthy family, but has a very dysfunctional relationship with his foster father. It is an emotionally abusive relationship that is quite central to the plot of the story. His father tries to squash Poe's dreams of writing in favor of more pedestrian work.In terms of content, be aware that there is definite emotional abuse, along with images of death and violence. Also, there are depictions of slavery in the book which are historically accurate, but might be a little uncomfortable. I think it's handled reasonably well, but it does get tricky. There is a slave woman who is thought to have been a major influence in the development of Poe's macabre imagination, and in the text, we see the major disparity between the two in terms of ability to utilize that creativity professionally. In some ways, it is tragic that his inspiration may have been a woman of color, and yet what we remember is the work of this white man.Overall, I found this to be interesting, compelling, and creepy. Worth checking out. I received an advance review copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    So much work went into creating this novel that it makes you wonder if Winters borrowed a raven haired muse herself. “The Raven’s Tale” follows a young Edgar Allan Poe as he struggles with his writing and the pressures of his father when his muse comes to life and wants nothing more than to feast upon his writing and to be seen by the world only she is not a creature of beauty but rather the darkness and melancholy of his soul and she will not rest until her poet recognizes his worth. I am a hug So much work went into creating this novel that it makes you wonder if Winters borrowed a raven haired muse herself. “The Raven’s Tale” follows a young Edgar Allan Poe as he struggles with his writing and the pressures of his father when his muse comes to life and wants nothing more than to feast upon his writing and to be seen by the world only she is not a creature of beauty but rather the darkness and melancholy of his soul and she will not rest until her poet recognizes his worth. I am a huge fan of anything regarding the infamous writer since there’s so much about his life that remains a mystery given the conflicting accounts after his death and the subject matter of some of his more famous works set him apart from your average writer and Cat Winters tapped into that mindset so perfectly I had to double check to see which lines belonged to each writer. This story is the personification of adolescence and the constraints of society when your family wants you to go in one direction but your heart or in some cases your very soul pushes you into another and that became very real as Lenora refused to lurk in the shadows and pulled on the hand of Poe encouraging him to continue to write and explore his passions regardless of what others may think. The blending of fantasy and reality through actual quotes, critiques and reviews blend this story together into something that gives us a glimpse into the past while subtly granting us whispers of what the future held for Poe and I loved every second. **special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review!**
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe it's because I've never read anything from Poe, but I did not understand what this book was going for. Despite my love of Cat Winters, this story did not strike me as particularly well crafted overall.
  • Izzie
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting enough concept but one I unfortunately just couldn't get into.
  • The Bookish Austin
    January 1, 1970
    Review: https://thebookishaustin.tumblr.com/p...
  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)First off, I cannot get over how intriguing the concept of the muses appearing both in personified form, but also their whole history in general is. There were so many fascinating elements to The Raven's Tale such as the prejudice the characters have against the theater and the horror/mystery genre as a whole. The Raven's Tale is a story about Poe struggling to come to terms with (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)First off, I cannot get over how intriguing the concept of the muses appearing both in personified form, but also their whole history in general is. There were so many fascinating elements to The Raven's Tale such as the prejudice the characters have against the theater and the horror/mystery genre as a whole. The Raven's Tale is a story about Poe struggling to come to terms with the gothic elements in his work, but also of him struggling to come to terms with who he is. Throughout the book there are all these characters who expect him to be other than he is. And he has to continuously struggle with their expectations, and who he wants to be.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Literary Weaponry
    January 1, 1970
    This review originally appeared at Literary WeaponryThis ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes. This has in no way influenced my opinions.I will openly admit right now that I am going into this review with some hesitation. This book, as you can see from the description, is about Poe’s life during and around his stint at the University of Virginia. I have loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe since I was a teen and when I received this book I was very excited to dig in, but also nerv This review originally appeared at Literary WeaponryThis ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes. This has in no way influenced my opinions.I will openly admit right now that I am going into this review with some hesitation. This book, as you can see from the description, is about Poe’s life during and around his stint at the University of Virginia. I have loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe since I was a teen and when I received this book I was very excited to dig in, but also nervous in a way. When you start reading about a topic you love there is always that nagging worry in the back of your head that it might, well, be bad.I am happy to say that my nerves were unfounded and I very much enjoyed this book.The first thing I want to discuss is the amount of time and effort the author obviously put into researching Poe’s life during the time frame within the book. This story takes place before he is a well known writer, before he finds his place in the world. Winters visited Poe’s school, the town he lived in, and read correspondence to, from, and about Poe in order to get a good handle on his early life. While reading The Raven’s Tale you could feel the love for the topic that Winters has and I have to say that it is very much appreciated.In this book we are introduced to a young Edgar, entering adulthood, his passion for writing already a part of his very soul. It is this passion that is then given physical manifestation in the form of his muse, Lenore. Lenore, quite literally, is a physical being brought forth from Edgar’s imagination that embodies his love of writing. She feeds on his words and provides inspiration for many of his writings.The problem Edgar must face stems from the creation of Lenore. His pa, John Allan, not his actual father but the man who raised him, detest’s Edgar’s love of writing and believes that time and effort should be put toward working for the family business. This puts him and Lenore at odds. Edgar wants to makes his father happy, make a good living, and marry the woman he loves. He also does not want to give up his writing to do this.Young Poe faces many obstacles on the road to becoming the Edgar Allan Poe we are familiar with today. Lenore, during this time, is both his greatest asset and his greatest foe as her passion for his writing often manifests in unpredictable ways. She can be violent, enraged, selfish, and lacks a care for anything besides getting Edgar to pay attention to her. Her thoughtless ways add more trouble to Poe’s life but also helps him grow.As a whole, I adored this story. Wandering with Edgar through his time at University, watching his interactions with his pa, seeing his love for the woman who raised him and for the woman he had hoped to marry, it is all so lovely. You also see into what caused some of the torture in his young mind. For him to follow his passion and talent for writing he had to fight for it, often giving up the easier and well-paved path laid before him. This book is a wonderful work of historical fiction and fantasy and a must read for any fans of the great Edgar Allan Poe.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    The Raven's TaleFull Review can be seen at:www.DauntlessReading.Wordpress.comThe Raven's TaleBy: Cat WintersWhat a fantastic tale of early Edgar. I adored this in such a way that I just want to go read a bunch of Poe's work and consume it all. Cat Winters has given new generations a fantastic tale to begin their love of the amazing gothic poet. Winters definitely put a lot of research and love into this novel because you can sense her adoration for this beloved poet! I enjoyed this because I hav The Raven's TaleFull Review can be seen at:www.DauntlessReading.Wordpress.comThe Raven's TaleBy: Cat WintersWhat a fantastic tale of early Edgar. I adored this in such a way that I just want to go read a bunch of Poe's work and consume it all. Cat Winters has given new generations a fantastic tale to begin their love of the amazing gothic poet. Winters definitely put a lot of research and love into this novel because you can sense her adoration for this beloved poet! I enjoyed this because I have been a fan of EAP for as long as I could remember from discovering poetry. If you are a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, then I truly believe you will love this fictional historical retelling of his teenage life. Muses are said to be damaging to the soul. At least that is only what some seem to believe. Edgar has one. Or two. Or a few, who really knows, but there is one that speaks to him and craves his words. I adore Lenore, his muse. She is one tough cookie. Why can't I have a muse as determined as her? This novel takes on a journey of Poe's struggles growing up. The struggles he endured at college, at home, and his own insecurities. It was such an eye-opening tale to the truth and personality of Edgar Poe. He was such a strong individual who only wanted to create art. He was burdened in some aspects, and still became one of the greatest poets in literary history. Trigger Warnings:Parental AbuseGamblingAlcohol AbuseDepressionGun ViolenceSuch a beautifully written book on one of my most favorite men of literature. I loved it. I will recommend it to you if we ever talk about Edgar. He is such a brilliant and talented man who deserves any and all recognition. Cat Winters delivered this novel in such a way that it is going to open up classic literature for new generations!Thank you so much to NetGalley, Amulet Books, and Abrams Kids for allowing me to review this one. Until Next Time,DauntlessReading!
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