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Raven Queen [Paperback]

Pauline Francis
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 2.57  
Paperback 6.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 22.33  
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Book Description

12 Feb 2007
This is a powerful historical novel that brings to life an unforgettable story of love, hope and royal duty, from a hugely talented new author. The life of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen, is all too often remembered as just a line in a history book, but this stunning debut novel reveals the full fascinating and tragic story - a tale of treachery, power struggles, and religious turmoil in the Tudor court. Intricately woven and passionately written, "The Raven Queen" is also a sensitive story of love against all odds that will enchant readers.

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd (12 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0746078803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0746078808
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This stunning and lyrical tale will hold readers captive and haunt them long after the last page has been turned."
-- Becky Stradwick, Borders Bookshop

From the Back Cover

I have lived the life of a princess since the day I was born. But it did not bring me what I wanted. I am still trapped.

My beloved Ned speaks of love, freedom, a future. To walk with him in the forest, our raven soaring above us, is my only joy. But my father plans that I shall be betrothed to the King and I am afraid. Queens of England have a habit of dying. I have no desire to take the throne, no wish to find myself in the Tower of London.

Wife, Queen - I fear it will bring me to my knees.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raven Queen by Pauline Francis 16 Feb 2007
Despite being a novel aimed at younger readers, as an adult I found this a compelling and moving tragedy. As the jacket blurb says, Lady Jane Grey, the nine-day queen is "all too often remembered as just a line in a history book," but this thought-provoking, romantic story of the (historically accurate) 16 year old protestant princess Jane and her (fictional) catholic sweetheart Ned will make you reassess all the preconceived notions you had about historical figures and make you wonder about the real human cost of history. Jane feels trapped by her family and the upper-class society she has been born into, whilst woodsman Ned represents in many ways the freedom that the young princess craves so much. The descriptions of tensions and conflicts between different groups in the book - religions, families - give the reader much pause for thought on the topics of acceptance and understanding (relevant as much today as it was in the blood-thirsty Tudor period). The imagery that runs through the novel is worthy of note and -coupled with Jane's eloquent, self-assured voice- creates a poetic and delicate atmosphere. It must be difficult for an author to find a suitable ending for a story that everyone already knows, but the ending to Raven Queen will overwhelm you. This is a truly devastating, heart wrenching dramatic finale that will have even the most hardened reader in floods of tears. A fantastic novel for young and old alike - even those that do not see themselves as readers of teenage/romantic/historical fiction!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for the young 16 Jun 2008
By D. M. Purkiss VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It seems a bit unfair for a previous reviewer to complain that this was a book for young readers, since it IS a book for children! My eight-year-old adored it and galloped through it with huge enthusiasm, so it seemed perfectly pitched.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet 23 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great read of historical fiction, bringing alive a tragic moment in the history of the Nine Day english Queen...Lady Jane Grey. I never knew much about it before.

So with sparse but effective writing, this story cuts to the heart and stimulates interest in history, as well as providing a spiritual bid for freedom in all young people....

An easy read for adults and also kids (with uninhibited, accurately grisly detail of the Tower of London thankfully included!), this is a first class book, accessible through the first person accounts of only 2 characters, one real and one fiction.
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This is the story of Lady Jane Grey, who eventually became queen of Tudor England for nine, brief days, and was executed for her pains. It is a tragic footnote of history which Pauline Francis has gone some way towards fleshing out in this novel for teenagers. She tells the story in the alternating words of Ned, a fictional Catholic boy who comes to work on the Grey's estate when Jane is still living at home, and Jane herself. Francis invents a doomed love affair between Ned and Jane to give the story extra interest for the reader.

Sadly I don't think it worked very well at all. The account is very choppy because of the narrative style and there are lots of gaps where normally, description would give you a clear sense of place and time historically. Here there is nothing and the characters words tend to hang in a kind of featureless fog, making it very difficult to imagine them as real people. As such their love affair also becomes unrealistic as you cannot really understand why they would ever be together, or indeed truly get any chance to spend time together, particularly if you know anything at all about the realities of Lady Jane's life.

Because of these big narrative gaps Francis has to make Jane and Ned the mouthpiece for a lot of what was going on at the time, which also makes them seem rather far fetched and unreal characters, which is a shame as the story could have been much more vivid and interesting.

I think you have to know a reasonable amount about this period in history to make this book work at all, otherwise it has no real depth or context.

I know it is written for the children's book market, and there is a growing market for this fictionalisation of history amongst children, particularly in school libraries, which is where I work.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Historical Inaccuracies Galore 23 Mar 2012
Raven is the vividly descriptive tale of the few months leading up to Lady Jane Grey's death. Adding a love interest, the narration switches between Ned, a Catholic, and Jane, a Protestant. Readers get a glimpse of what Jane's life might have been like before she got caught up in the politics of her world and became a tool of her parents. Jane saves Ned after he is hanged, and finds him work. They fall in love but their love is doomed from the start.

Lady Jane Grey is a part of history, and she's always fascinated me. So I picked this book up eagerly, hoping I had found a new Historical Author to fan girl over. Sadly, it wasn't to be. I was very disappointed by this book. I never understand why or how Jane and Ned fell in love in the first place, as we're never told. I couldn't connect to the book at all. This is just part of what annoyed me. It needed more detail. The book is very quick to get through, which is probably why everything went so quickly. Another problem was the Historical accuracy. Ned's character didn't seem very realistic at all and when it got to the end of the book, everything got really silly. I can't really go into specifics due to spoilers. Back to Historical accuracy. Everyone knows Jane was executed in private but it seems that in this book she's outside.

Considering this is my first read of a book by this Author, I'm a little wary of reading any more by her but I would like to have a go at one or two.
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