Jesse Blackadder Laura Bloom grew up in Sydney, reading constantly and dreaming of becoming a writer. Feature Titles Most Popular Newest. The Raven's Heart Jesse Blackadder "Jesse Blackadder has all the hallmarks of a great historical fiction writer, achieving a fine balance of thoroughly researched atmospheric detail and suspenseful story.
In "The Raven's Heart" s Paruku, the young bay stallion, flees from humans who invade his desert sanctuary, Chasing the Light: A Novel of Antarctica Jesse Blackadder A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. A fictional recounting of the little-known true stor She is STAY. Sixty Seconds Jesse Blackadder You can never go back - but can you forgive? A gripping story of pain and redemption.
Dream Riders is an exciting new middle-grade series about horses, friendship and being true to yourself. Frankie's dream is more like a n May 04, Mirella rated it really liked it.
Set in 16th century Scotland, The Raven's Heart is a riveting tale of intrigue, obsession, and the fight for power. They meet at Blackadder castle, an ancient fortress that rests on the shores of Blackadder Water in Berwickshire. A rumour about the castle states that when the first Blackadder swore a blood oath and sprinkled his blood into the water, men have been driven by madness in order to own it. Aliso Set in 16th century Scotland, The Raven's Heart is a riveting tale of intrigue, obsession, and the fight for power. Alison Blackadder 19s father, William, is obsessed with taking back Blackadder Castle after usurpers stole it.
Assasins have been trying to kill both Alison and her father in order to keep them from claiming the castle. As a result, Alison has spent her life dressed as a boy to send the killers off their track.
When Mary Stuart was secretly returned to Scotland, Alison and her father were part of the party escorting her home. At her father 19s urging, however, Alison is turned back into a girl in order to become one of the Queen 19s ladys-in-waiting. But when Mary discovers Alison 19s dual role as boy and girl, she tasks her with teaching her and her other ladies to secretly pass themselves off as men to gain freedom from the court 19s restrictions and to preserve their identities.
This novel is filled with life and death risks, treachery, and profound love. Her curiosity roused, she travelled to Scotland to Blackadder to find her roots. There, she discovered the ruins of Blackadder Castle. As she began to research, this story came to life in her imagination. The story gives us a unique look and interpretation into the era in which Mary, Queen of Scots lived and reined.
Each character is well drawn, with a depth of personality that truly makes them believable. Couple that will colorful descriptions of clothing, surroundings, and castle life, and it does make for a fascinating read. A strong lesbian undercurrent runs through the novel, which may not appeal to all readers.
Nevertheless, it is a compelling, well-told tale with plenty of plot twists and excellent dialogue to keep readers interested. She is determined to regain her birthright, Blackadder Castle, which was taken by force from her family three generation previously by the Hume family.
Because her father was the only rightful heir of Blackadder, he was forced to flee, and thus disguise his only child, Alison, as a nephew. So from the age of six, Alison has been living as Robert, eluding the ruthless Hume clan. She was driven by revenge and anger, which clouded her judgment. She had a wavering love and hatred for her queen, and I could not trust her loyalty. Because of her upbringing as a boy, her sexuality was very confused and her dalliances with both genders seemed arbitrary.
I really appreciated her portrayal of the historical characters. Mary was a woman who knew how to charm, but was uncertain about her role as ruler of her realm. Bothwell was initially a gallant and loyal subject, but the temptation of power turns him into a brute.
It didn't take me long to agree to this tour. You see, I'm familiar with Mary, Queen of Scots. But only in conjunction with Elizabeth I, and we know how that ends. I've been interested in find out as much as I can about the Queen. This one seems to paint her in a very different light. I had a hard time with Alison. I understood being raised as a boy her entire life to protect her and then being asked to switch gears was probably hard on her.
But, I'm curious how her lifestyle effected the choices It didn't take me long to agree to this tour. But, I'm curious how her lifestyle effected the choices she made in life. The psychologist in me questions the idea of nature versus nurture immensely in this story. Which bring me to a very important aspect. This story leans heavily on lesbian themes. I have nothing against it, but I don't want to read about really. So that really put me off the book. I almost put it aside, but I can't digging because I was curious.
But, I became invested in the idea of Alison getting her castle back. What would she do to keep Mary and her word? And was Mary as aware of Alison's feelings as we the readers are? I wasn't sure, because Alison was in such denial over her own feelings. I felt she was going to extreme measures to make sure her feelings weren't obvious to everyone.
Almost to the point that she was reckless with who she was fraternizing with. I learned a great deal about Mary in this book. I would love to supplement those things with other books, I just need to pick that right one. I was intrigued that she so depended on Queen Elizabeth. As a Queen in her own right, I have no idea why she needed another Queen's approval on who she would marry. In felt like she wanted all the glory that went along with being Queen but none of the work.
It seems like she didn't have much control over her own country and thus her own destiny. Once I got past the lesbian theme, I was ok with this book. It wasn't the best historical fiction, but I think my opinion might have been slightly skewed by my own feelings.
The Raven's Heart
I'm still very interested in Mary though! Alison is a really good character. From a very early age, she is forced to dress as a boy and then a man in order to save her life from the Hume Family who are not big fans of the Blackadder family. The Hume family has taken the family castle and Alison hopes that she will be able t "The Raven's Heart" is the story of Alison Blackadder, a fictional character who is supposed to be related to the real Blackadder family, who are ancestors of the author. The Hume family has taken the family castle and Alison hopes that she will be able to get her family's castle back through finding favor with Mary, Queen of Scots.
Alison is a fascinating character as she is able to intrigue the queen by dressing as both a man and a woman and taking the Queen to taverns several times in disguise so that she may walk among her people. I wonder if Mary actually did that in real life?
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Anyhow, it was really fascinating to me. I thought the author did a great job of bringing Mary to life. She is both intriguing and sort of scary at the same time. As the book goes on, she seems to get scarier and scarier with the way that she orders lives to be taken, including that of Alison's lover, Angi, almost simply to spite Alison.
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On the other hand, Mary seems to be able to put a spell over almost everyone that she meets, especially all of the nobles that are courting her favor. You really do get to see how her personality seemed to shift once she made it to Scotland from France.
I am really beginning to enjoy reading about Mary, Queen of Scots. I really enjoyed the writing in the book. It was nice that the book was written from Alison's point of view so that we have a front row seat to all of the action. As a side note, I thought it was so interesting that the author chose to create a fictional ancestor to tell a story about. It really is fascinating. The Blackadder family has been eagerly awaiting her return, hoping for favor in their quest to regain their stolen family castle and lands from the powerful and murderous Hume clan.
Enlisted as a spy for the queen, she must learn to discern friend from foe and guard her heart against those who would seek to manipulate her for their own gain. However, the pacing often plods along, leaving the reader to shift through pages of filler to get to the important aspects of the plot.
The first pages would have been quite dull were it not for the impressive rendering of the setting. Characterization is another weakness. There are almost too many of them in the story, making sympathetic portrayal impossible. Many of them would make a brief appearance before being duly dispatched. However, both Alison and Queen Mary are compelling characters; equally soft and hard, they both struggle to find their places in a male-driven world.
Jun 23, Oceansword rated it really liked it. This isn't a book that will appeal to all readers of historical fiction but if you're willing to savor a well-researched, historically accurate plot with just a touch of romance really, not much this one's for you. The story focuses upon Allison Blackadder, the last in line of the Blackadder clan of Scotland. Years past, the Hume family usurped the Blackadders and took their castle, marrying all the family's women and forcing the one male heir, William, into hiding.
Years later, William is livi This isn't a book that will appeal to all readers of historical fiction but if you're willing to savor a well-researched, historically accurate plot with just a touch of romance really, not much this one's for you.
Years later, William is living under an assumed identity and has raised his daughter Allison as a boy ever since the treacherous Hume family discovered that William still lived. With the return of Mary Queen of Scots, Allison's family wishes to gain the Queen's favor, and hopefully win back their castle, by forcing Allison to once again act a female and infiltrate the inner circle of the Queen.
While this book could have easily devolved into a silly tale of cross-dressing, author Blackadder instead portrays a nuanced young woman whose gender is believably nuanced. Depending on the circumstance, Alison lives as "Alison" in a life much restrained by rules upon what women can do and as "Robert" which allows her far greater freedom. Allison comes to love and be betrayed by both men and women but believably her primary goal in life is not romance. It's survival and gaining back her family's lost inheritance. If you loved Phillippa Gregory, this book probably won't be your cup of tea but me, I couldn't put it down.
The Blackadder Family's castle was stolen from them by the Hume clan when Alison Blackadder's father was very young. He was sent into hiding for over two decades, and Alison grew up disguised as a boy. Had the enemy clan known about her, she surely would have been kidnapped by them and forced into marriage, as was the fate of her aunts. When Mary Stuart returns to Scotland from France to claim her throne, Alison's father William arranges for her to serve the queen. He believes that Mary will force the Humes to return Blackadder Castle to them if Alison befriends her.
The hasty transition from living as a boy to becoming a lady-in-waiting is not easy for Alison, but she does so to please her father.
Related The Ravens Heart: A Story of a Quest, a Castle and Mary Queen of Scots
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