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Summary

Listen. A god is speaking.

My voice echoes through the stone of your master's castle. This castle where he finds his uncle on his father's throne. You want to help him. You cannot.

You are the only one who can hear me.

You will change the world.

A triumph of the imagination, The Raven Tower is the first fantasy novel by Ann Leckie, New York Times best-selling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

©2019 Ann Leckie (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about The Raven Tower

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A different genre - but just as interesting

An interesting and intricate storyline - well, two storylines. Ann Leckie continues to explore identity and language- and prejudice. And does so in a subtle way.

Adjoa Andoh’s narration is as compelling and varied as ever. I disagree with other reviewers who disparaged her performance. I wonder if people are somehow disconcerted by or unable to connect with narration using a West African accent - although I find it a welcome change and provides a new perspective.

14 people found this helpful

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Wonderful and refreshing

Ann Leckie once again dazzles with an inventive and well written novel.

Adjoa Andoh performs it flawlessly.

5 people found this helpful

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  • DK
  • 18-08-19

Ann Leckie’s version of Earthsea

This book was entertaining to the end. There were some complaints about the story in other reviews that, if you didn’t like this, I can see being valid. Those didn’t bother me. It’s magic was r

2 people found this helpful

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Well told tale

I enjoyed this story. It was different to many fantasy type tales and had the flavour of mythology rather than heroic violence. The narration contributed to this and was well paced, telling the story through the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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Not for me

Having enjoyed other works by the same writer I was saddened that this did not interest me. The reading was fine. Just the tale being boring.

1 person found this helpful

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4 stars

Felt unfinished. Disappointed the two dimensionally evil character had the only Irish accent. Most of the other side characters were given complex internal lives and motivations.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Underwhelming

There are two concurrent stories in the book. One strand follows a human storry involving an usurpation plot. This is not uninteresting even if it is predictable and plodding. The other strand follows the adventures of -wait for it, a stone. It is a god too, but mainly it is a stone. Can you imagine following the riveting adventures of a stone? Well if you fancy this, buy the book . If it does not sound too appealing, give it a miss. I can also reveal that the stone 'storry' occupies two third of the book to one third for the human-usurpation plot. This is shockingly tedious. Like many others I loved the author' s sci-fi trilogy but this never failed to dissapoint. To top it, the voice recording is trully cringy, one of the main character keeps repeating 'my lord, oh my looooord' in a really whinny way. By the end of the book it was making me laugh, it really grates. What a shame. I am not buying anything else from this author unless reviews start with 'a return to form".

5 people found this helpful

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Gripping from the outset

Adjoa Andoh's performance is spot on as usual. Very clear narration and each character has its own fully recognisable voice.

Is this a whodunit? It certainly starts out like one but it soon becomes much more than that. Ann has crafted a truly unique world full of gods of all shapes and sizes.

I hope Ann Leckie is willing to return to fantasy writing from time to time.

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My favourite book?

There's numerous songs that get stuck in my head, and that I listen to dozens of times in a row and don't get sick of for weeks. There are podcasts that I will revisit episodes of because I can't stop thinking about the performances. There are films and shows that I get the urge to watch every time I think about them, because I suddenly remember how much I love the scenes in them.

Never in my life have I longed to be reading a book the way that I long for the Raven Tower. I have listened to this book at least ten times since I first discovered it, two of those within the last month. I will remember a scene, or an idea, or I'll just miss the quiet contemplation of Strength and Patience, and I will find myself hitting the play button for another go. I love this story, and this world, in a bone deep kind of way that no other book I've read has ever matched.

This world is an endlessly fascinating one. I have spent hours thinking about the nature of the gods' powers, and would gladly spend days discussing the fine points of the universe with someone if one of my friends would give into my endless pleading for them to read the book. This is the only story of its kind that I have ever read, and I only hope that someday I find another one that I love as much.

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  • MO
  • 23-03-21

Excellent!

Excellent story: fantasy and detective story - great world building. Loved the characters which were brought to life by the narrator. Narration was fantastic - very skilled actor with multiple realistic accents. She brought the story to life!

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  • Leni
  • 12-05-20

Interesting and different, but with flaws.

The Raven Tower starts off very strongly, with the first six hours being fun and interesting to follow as we learn more of the world and its inhabitants (god and mortal alike). The second half begins to falter however, feeling a bit messy and without any real direction. The ending is a bit lackluster with no payoff due to little emotional investment. I suspect it was meant as a twist, perhaps, but I just feel indifferent.

The Good Bits:
- I liked the way it was written (one character being addressed by the other)
- The writing is neat, can't quite put my finger on it. Keeps things interesting and fresh... to begin with, at least!
- The setting and world is fascinating!
- The narrator's african voiced are really nice, and I wish there was more who got that treatment.

The Questionable Bits:
- The narrator is hit or miss for me, with a 20 / 80 rate. The Stone God has a good voice, as does... whatever her name was with the african voice. Those were fitting. I find the protagonists voice grating (If I have to hear another anguished "MY LORD!" again I'll go nuts), and I found her redneck accent out of place, while the scandinavian accent was really really annoying. She fails to convey the masculine characters with conviction, but then again I didn't expect her to suddenly go deep and growly so it gets a pass.
- The Stone God's journey is interesting to follow. Surprisingly, I cared very little for the plot around the throne and all the spectacle there. The characters felt thin, not very fleshed out, and Mauat (?) was just overall fairly unlikeable, while Eiolo (?) was just... there, I guess? She got a surprising amount of respect for being seen as a servant/page, and was seldom challenged in any meaningful way.
- The story kind of... goes nowhere for a while. Or I should say, it begs bogged down. Or maybe it's quick? It's hard to tell- events do happen, but at that point I don't really care about the outcomes of the characters very much so it just passes in a blur. The ending comes, and it's kind of abrupt, and it's a bit ominous/dark, but I don't really feel much from it. Just goes "Uh-huh?" and then it ends abruptly.

Final thoughts:

I'd still recommend this book because I enjoy Leckies writing ,and it's a solid, relatively easy read. It had some fun ideas and concepts (such as Gods having to be careful about what they say, lest they make it TRUE, or die trying). The performance, however, leaves a lot to be desired and I think the tone of the work would work a lot better if the reader themselves got to imagine the voices.

Solid 3/5, nothing amazing but it ain't half bad actually. Just wish the characters were a bit... more, and I'd kick it up to a 4/5 for sure.