The Raven's Tale

The Raven's Tale

by Cat Winters


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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!”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419733628
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication date: 04/16/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 118,208
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Cat Winters is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels Odd & True, The Steep and Thorny Way, The Cure for Dreaming, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which collected three starred reviews and was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA fiction. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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The Raven's Tale 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Stacy_Renee 8 days ago
Edgar Allan Poe is ready to start University and leave behind his overbearing adoptive father, John Allan, who positively hates Edgar and deems his work a waste of time. "Silence your muses!" he tells Poe, but Edgar loves his craft and will do no such thing. In steps Poe's actual muse; a dark, feathered thing trailing soot and ash and Poe names her Lenore, giving her the power to roam as a living thing. The problem is, everyone can see this demon-like muse and Edgar must choose to shun her to stay in his family and friends' good graces or embrace her and his true calling. This was a little difficult to get into at first and even once I did, it took me a while to finish. I continued reading because Edgar Allan Poe was one of my first favorite authors and I've always adored his poetry and dark stories. What I did enjoy was the haunting quality of the story; particularly Lenore's chapters. She was not an idea or a spirit. She was a real thing that people could see and knew was Poe's muse. She is kind of feral and terrifying and Poe is not quick to embrace her for what she is. The personification of a gothic muse made this book infinitely more interesting. I also loved all the bits of Poe's poetry that are included throughout the story! If you like E.A. Poe or historical fiction with a macabre twist, give this a try!
YoungMensanBookParade 19 days ago
The Raven’s Tale is a fictional book about Edgar Allan Poe. He is a real person most famous for his short stories and poems. Edgar Allan Poe is well known as an American writer, editor, and literary critic. The Raven’s Tale mainly focuses on his early life as a seventeen-year-old teenager before he was famous. Even as a young boy, Edgar always loved poetry about mystery and macabre. When his mother died from tuberculosis, Edgar’s muse, Lenore, evolved and came out of the shadows as a girl his age obsessed with dark poetry and macabre. The chapters flip back and forth between being told by Edgar and Lenore. Foster parents took Edgar Allan Poe in at a young age and although Edgar had always gotten along with his foster mom, he and his foster father, John Allan, had never been close. His foster father had never liked that Edgar loved writing poetry and had always tried to make Edgar silence his dark muse. Right before Edgar goes to college, he gets engaged to a girl who he has been dating since he was 16. He also promises to write to her throughout his time at the University of Virginia. When Edgar Allan Poe leaves for college, his father gives him some money, but Edgar soon finds out that he owes a lot more than that to pay for his tuition and all the other costs. Throughout his time at the University of Virginia, Edgar keeps owing more and more debt to the school. He tries to plead with his father and his cousin James Galt for money, but James refuses to loan him money and his father only gave him a small amount, which Edgar loses while trying to turn the small amount of money into the thousands of dollars he owes by gambling. Edgar faces many challenges, struggles, and decisions throughout his childhood and adulthood, like being torn between whether to silence his muse and never write poetry again or to dedicate his life to Lenore and his macabre. He also has to somehow get out of debt and borrow money. Will Edgar follow his father’s wishes in working for the family business or pursue his passion for poetry and writing? Will his wealthy father help him with his money problems, or will that be his father’s chance to finally throw Edgar out penniless and poor? Cat Winters spent a lot of her time researching Edgar Allan Poe’s life and did a really good job providing interesting details about Edgar Allan Poe’s life. I recommend this book to people of all ages, especially to those who are big fans of Edgar Allan Poe and for people who enjoy dark, mysterious fantasy books and for those who enjoy young adult fiction, historical fiction, biographical fiction, or paranormal fiction books. Review by Ashlynne N., age 11, North Texas Mensa
Tanith_Argent 11 months ago
Though I've been a Poe fan for 30 years, I can't say I knew a lot about his life until I visited Baltimore a few years ago and was looking for things to do, and was surprised to find both a library with a collection of his personal letters and photographs (and a lock of hair, though they wouldn't let me see it for whatever reason); the bar he visited before collapsing and ultimately dying; and his actual grave site. (A temporary home of his was also there, in the projects, but it was locked up while I was in the city and I couldn't visit.) That was all fantastic, but I still didn't get a sense for who the man was in life. This book changed that for me, and I'm grateful for it. The author did a lot of research to try and portray him as accurately as possible. He is broody, moody, and frankly a bit whiny and self-absorbed. Which was kind of perfect! The story focuses on Poe at ages 17 and 18 only, when he is desperately trying to get away from his foster father, who is killing his muse, to go to college and be independent. But his foster father, John Allan, doesn't even give him enough money to cover his classes, let alone living expenses, and Poe is forced to beg and gamble and only winds up in more debt before going home in disgrace. That alone would have been interesting to me, as a Poe fan, but the author went a step farther to make Poe's macabre muse a physical being and co-author of the book. The chapters alternate, one told by Poe and then the next by his muse, Lenore, all the way to the end. He wants to write poetry, and has a fascination with horror that Lenore eggs on while John Allan tries to threaten Poe into giving it (and Lenore) up. Throughout the book, Lenore appears as a grim phantasm and either disgusts or enthralls anyone who sees her...much as Poe's work affected people at that time. What made the book really exceptional for me was that it was written about Poe, but reads as if it could have been written by him, as well. If I have any complaints, it's that at times, especially in the beginning, the book felt a bit wordy and I would find myself zoning out and having to go back a page to reread. It's rather elevated reading, so to me it's not really YA.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge fan of Cat Winters. The Raven's Tale is Cat Winters re-imagining of the life of Edgar Poe. It was poetic, dark, and hard to put down:) Highly recommended.
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
This was an unusual tale of Edgar Allan Poe’s teenage years. He leaves his home and his horrible foster father, only to be haunted by his muse, Lenore. The story alternated between Edgar’s and Lenore’s perspectives. Lenore is strange because she is Edgar’s muse from his imagination, yet everyone else can see her. Whatever Edgar does, affects Lenore. For example, when he gets drunk and passes out, she also faints wherever she stands. This story was tragic because of the way Edgar was treated. His foster father abandoned him at the university, leaving him to get deep in debt. I wanted to root for Edgar, but he made so many bad decisions. I really felt sorry for him. Lenore was pushy and annoying, always barging into Edgar’s life. I also didn’t really understand how she was visible to everyone, yet a figment of his imagination. This story didn’t really work for me. I couldn’t connect to the characters or the tragic plot. Thank you ABRAMS Kids for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
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**
bayy245 More than 1 year ago
I wanted to love this one so badly as I absolutely adore Poe. However, this just didn't seem developed enough for me. The world building didn't immerse me and I spent most of the novel confused about how his muse could just come to life and everyone was okay with it. I am an absolute lover of magical realism, but this didn't feel right as either magical realism or fantasy. I didn't get enough personality from the characters, either. Poe seemed to spend all of his time hiding his muse/his poems or pining after his lover. I wasn't moved by the attempt to humanize the adopted father either. The mother was absolutely helpless and her only devotion seemed to be her adopted son. I know that all of these characters were modeled after real people, yet I felt like they were very dull and two-dimensional. I love the recent resurgence in love for Poe and all of the new books an anthologies we are seeing about him. This one, unfortunately, was a pass for me.
KarenfromDothan More than 1 year ago
Seventeen year old Edgar Allan Poe and his Pa are at odds. Edgar wants so badly to go to college and dreams of becoming a writer. His Pa thinks he should abandon those ambitions and his muse and work for him. He thinks it so strongly in fact that if Edgar refuses, he threatens to kick him out of the house and leave him penniless. This is a combination YA fantasy and historical fiction. It covers just a short period of time in Poe’s early life. Edgar is a passionate fellow with a talent for poetry, but I thought it was his muse who stole the story. She’s dark and fiery, and thrives on the macabre. I enjoyed this story, and thought it was well done with just enough drama to move the plot along. I learned a little bit about Poe, and if like me, you’re still curious about EAP, there are some handy notes at the back of the book. The author has included a few of his early poems, some biographical notes, and a list of references if you’re interested in doing further research. 3.5 Stars