Fight For Your Soul
“Pagan or devout, man or beast, Gerwulf struggles with a past that has damned him and a future that may yet offer salvation. In Feast of the Raven, Catherine Spader has crafted an enthralling story set amidst a fascinating era of history.
Richly complex characters clash over their way of life, caught between the ambitions of an uncompromising king and the allure of an insatiable spirit of the wild.
At once lyrical and visceral, taut and epic, Feast of the Raven captivates. A wonderful first novel from a very promising new author.”
Totally sucked me in!
“I typically read contemporary fiction but gave Feast of the Raven a try because I am interested in European history. I was immediately sucked into the story-line and historical details.
The author’s writing is rich in description and does a nice job bringing the smells and scenes alive. You can’t help but be drawn to the odd characters and complex circumstances. It was a quick read too – not intimidating or heavy like some novels in the fantasy genre. Loved it and already shared it with a friend for him to read.”
Damn good book! Not to be missed!
“It’s abundantly clear almost immediately that the author is passionate about her subject matter. The scenery is vivid and real, the historical period evocative and compelling. Yet while the story is meticulously researched, it’s not dry or didactic. It’s dynamic, real.
The lead character, Gerwulf, is stunningly written. I’m a 21st century woman, and yet I *feel* his soul-searching anguish, wanting to know who his is, where he comes from, what his path in life should be, despite the twelve-hundred year gap. We all have that longing to belong, and at the same time to be uniquely ourselves.
There is just the right touch of shamanistic magic to leave the reader wondering how much was “abra cadabra” and how much is psychological superstition of a time when Christianity was fighting for supremacy over the “pagan” gods of Northern Europe.
While short, this book contains epic struggles: of societies — the so-called civilized Franks against the barbarian Saxons — of religions, of man against man, and of man against nature. And not just in the sense of man against the world around him. The story’s greatest struggle is the man against his own nature, his own inner demons, and his own identity. I can’t wait for book 2!”
An enthralling battle over progress and the hearts of men!
“First off: You should read this book. Do it.
Here’s why: Spader captures both the time period and her characters with vibrant details. I was transported. I felt the thrill of the hunt, the fear of the unknown, and the sharp desires of Gerwulf every step of the way. Even in his unique situation, it was easy to empathize with him. His conflict between his sense of self and the changing world is an intimately familiar struggle. Spader’s strong historical knowledge brings the landscape and the people to life.
The details are familiar and approachable, yet strangely educational. As well versed as I am with history and mythology, I constantly discovered new depths. Feast of the Raven is an intriguing and enthralling adventure into the past, a time before we lost our sense of the mystic forces in the world. A time when gods fought over the hearts of mankind.
Again: read this book. Whether you are a fan of history, fantasy, or just a solid story, it is worth your time. My only complaint is that the ending leaves me wanting the next book right away.”
“Superbly written and impeccably edited….Spader is unquestionably a talented writer: Her writing style is fluid and at times lyrical, her description of northern Germany meticulous and fully immersive, and her knowledge of folklore extensive. But it’s her characters that make this novel so readable. Interesting and emotionally compelling, they are certain to resonate with readers.”
Gerwulf frets convincingly over his soul . . .
A compelling start to a historical fantasy series
“(Feast of the Raven) …strikes an appealing balance between historical fiction, sword and sorcery, and a noirish detective story, with quick pacing and just enough world building to lend weight to the plot. Sequels are planned, and they are welcome: the reader should be eager to see what other secrets Spader’s vast medieval forests might yield. A compelling start to a historical fantasy series about a troubled warrior seeking redemption.”
Can’t wait for the sequel!
“When I read the last page of the new historical novel Feast of the Raven by Catherine Spader, I wanted to immediately begin the sequel. I don’t usually read historical fiction, let alone one about Germanic mythology. But Spader’s well-crafted characters and fast-paced writing pulled me into the story of Gerwulf, a half-wolf, half- human creature.
The story is driven by Gerwulf’s conflict over whether he should give into his brutal wolf compulsions or to cast them out and embrace human Christianity. He is assisted in this journey by Brother Pyttel, a less than honorable monk with access to King Karl, the Christian King.
This is Spader’s debut novel but you can tell by her writing that she is no novice. Her sentences and paragraphs flow because her writing is clean and descriptive and not cluttered with superfluous words.
Unfortunately, I may have to wait a bit to read the sequel. Spader is just beginning the next chapter in Gerwulf’s tale. Please hurry Catherine!”