Rummanah Aasi

Description: 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!”

Review: The Raven's Tale is a fictionalized account of Edgar Allen Poe's teen years.  Edgar “Eddy” Poe is desperate to escape the suffocating life of upper-crust Richmond, Virginia. He is looking forward to going to college and being free to follow his passion for poetry as well as getting away from his controlling foster father. The passionate and talented Edgar is close to achieving his goal when she appears. A girl in a dress of ashes and raven feathers, she is Eddy’s muse, whom he names Lenore. Lenore is fierce, powerful, and hungry for words, but she needs Eddy to commit to her so she can evolve from her new frail human form into a higher being. Poe has to decide whether or not he can continue his artistic expression or live his life without it.
   The story is narrated by Poe and his personified muse in alternating chapters. Edgar and Lenore share the present-tense narration in distinctive first-person voices. Several of Poe’s most well-known works are given the nod in the narrative, however, I found the alternating chapters at first engaging, but I soon found it tedious and repetitive. There is not much character growth for Poe as he whines and complains about his financial woes. I also found the discussion surrounding the family slaves to be troubling and problematic. I normally really like Cat Winter's infusion of supernatural into her stories, but The Raven's Tale was unfortunately a complete miss for me.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There are some disturbing images and underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Blood red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
3 Responses
  1. Kindlemom Says:

    Sorry this didn't work out for you. Sometimes her books are almost too strange and out there so I totally get it.

  2. I stopped reading this one after the first couple of chapters, after reading your review, sounds like I made the right choice. I just couldn’t get into this one.

  3. Edgar Allen Poe is such an interesting guy and the Raven should be such a good story! Too bad this is not good.

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