Customer Reviews


109 Reviews
5 star:
 (74)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Eye? More like blood everywhere!
This book was my first in this genre; and quite frankly it did not disappoint. I will be reading the successive books in this series and acquiring similar themed books from different authors as a result of reading this. This book has made me hungry for more.

This is truly a man's book. Filled with violence from the almost from the first page to the last, and...
Published on 31 Jan 2010 by Joe Bloggs

versus
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Norse by NorseWest
Historic fiction is having somewhat of a boom period in publishing and Giles Kristian's `Raven' series is looking to ride this wave with his debut novel `Raven: Blood Eye'. Set in the middle ages it follows Raven as young man who goes from being an apprentice carpenter to a blood thirsty Norseman within days. In terms of action the book has plenty of fighting and...
Published on 6 May 2010 by Sam Tyler


‹ Previous | 1 211 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Eye? More like blood everywhere!, 31 Jan 2010
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) (Paperback)
This book was my first in this genre; and quite frankly it did not disappoint. I will be reading the successive books in this series and acquiring similar themed books from different authors as a result of reading this. This book has made me hungry for more.

This is truly a man's book. Filled with violence from the almost from the first page to the last, and rich with humour only the boys can appreciate (such as the inevitable banter between a group of seafaring Norsemen when they get together). These two aspects combine to create what seems a realistic portrayal of the times gone past.

The author does not shy away from the grim aspects of battles and injuries, and can be quite descriptive about these facets.
What also adds to the realistic aspect of the book is the main character, Osric/Raven, who by no means is a character who has superhuman powers or unmatchable skills with a sword. And I like this about the main character; he is an unremarkable boy in the midst of great men. He learns from them, and I can't help but feeling that he may match their skills eventually.

What I liked the most about the book is the group of supporting characters; the `Norsemen'. I enjoyed every page that these characters graced, and I found myself wanting to learn more about these interesting and unique characters. They really add a lot to the story, even if they only play a small part.

I must disagree with one of the previous reviewers slightly; who says that the characters are all memorable and distinguishable. Whilst I will agree that this is the case for the main characters, some of the lesser mentioned characters are a bit indistinguishable at times. But this does not take anything away from the story. You remember the names you need to remember. If you don't remember who someone is, they are not important; it doesn't matter.

The book is written in the first person, which I was a little sceptical about at first. Having never read a first person novel. But I came to love this. The reason being that you never leave the main character as you do in third person books; to help tell some necessary aspect of the plot. Which sometimes I find can be boring, and find myself wanting to get back to the main character and all the action.

This book by no means has a complicated plot, but it is well told none the less. With a great sense of adventure, even though the characters barely leave the southern half of the UK.

I would recommend this book to anyone who shows interest in Norsemen and great books.

I hope this review has been helpful and has persuaded you to buy and enjoy a gem of a book. Thanks for reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like vikings? Who knew..., 27 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) (Paperback)
I was doubly surprised by Raven. I bought it, in all fairness, because I'd spoken to Giles on twitter - he's a really nice fella - and it had a cool cover. There. Admission of guilt.

I've got 3 viking sagas sat in my bookshelves, all unread, because I obsess over the Roman era and I have trouble with Viking culture, because I've always thought they didn't have one. So it took me a long time to get around to braving Raven. So that was my first stumbling block: not been keen to launch into viking tales.

Moreover, opening the book, I discovered that it's written in first person perspective. I'm not a lover of such. I find that I can read most genres and even novels that are hard work if they're in 3rd person, but they have to be exceptional for me to bother in first person. Stumbling block 2.

I started reading Raven, teeth gritted against the perspective, expectations of cultural interest low, but knowing that the author is an articulate, intelligent and pleasant man. Thus I persevered... until page 2.

As soon as I turned the page it was no longer a matter of perseverance. I was quite simply hooked. All my expectations, worries and niggling doubts vanished and by the 2nd chapter I was rethinking my attitude to the viking era in general. You see, though I had little interest in the whole Viking thing, it turns out that I love them, but had forgotten it, locking it away deep inside with a label saying: to be opened when you're busy arrogantly pigeon-holing things. Suddenly I remembered Kirk Douglas as Einar in the Vikings. Suddenly I was remembering Asterix and the Normans. Suddenly I was back by the campfire in the Thirteenth Warrior, listening to the twelve norsemen boast. It turns out that I was blinkering myself.

Raven is an engrossing story, surprisingly taking place mostly on land, despite the longboats in early play. As much of the tale revolves around their Saxon victims/allies/acquaintances in Britain as it does around the norsemen. Raven himself is a fascinating character, built in many layers and continuing to acquire them as the story progresses. The other characters are equally strong: Sigurd the great Jarl, Olaf the second in command, Black Floki (my personal fave) and a cast of many glittering folk. There are twists, magnificent actions sequences that will have you shouting for the brotherhood, gruesome scenes of torture and murder, rousing heroic moments, betrayals, love interest... in short everything you could want from the book.

Along with Angus Donald's Outlaw series, this is one of few series in 1st person perspective that is not only readable, but simply magnificent.

I am currently halfway through the sequel now and finding it every bit as good as the first. In short, Raven was an attitude changing book for me and has opened up a new genre entirely as readable.

Buy Raven and you'll want to read the others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of far fetched fun!, 15 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) (Paperback)
Being a total sucker for swordplay and Vikings I was never going to resist this one for long was I ?

Meet Raven a norseborn lad with memory loss. Found, presumeably washed up on shores of Wessex and raised by the English. Who has a sudden and unexpected reunion with his forgotten past when a boat load of Vikings disturb his fishing trip!

What follows is 3oo pages of Robert Low on speed. As in the company of these adventurers Raven drops his previous life and turns his back on the English faster than you can say rape and pillage!

The war band are coerced into a daring robbery by a typical English villian who of course double crosses them and mayhem, improble escapes and strangley, two heroic last stands, follow.

This book is very fast moving and great fun. Murder rape and torture all feature, so the easily shocked beware, but it is almost comic book stuff, totally ubelievable in a good escapist way.

Kristian has a winning style and writes an engaging tale there nicely sets up the inevitable trilogy. Doesn't quite match the later Low 'Oathsworn' books for the on board banter or fully realised characters, but is not unlike Cornwall in style. Which for a young debut making author has to be good thing.

In summary a Norse ripping yarn!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Norse by NorseWest, 6 May 2010
By 
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) (Paperback)
Historic fiction is having somewhat of a boom period in publishing and Giles Kristian's `Raven' series is looking to ride this wave with his debut novel `Raven: Blood Eye'. Set in the middle ages it follows Raven as young man who goes from being an apprentice carpenter to a blood thirsty Norseman within days. In terms of action the book has plenty of fighting and pillaging to keep the more savage reader at bay as Kristian does not skimp on describing in detail what happens to people who lose in battle. There are certainly parallels between Kristian's battle scenes and those of his hero Bernard Cornwell. Kristian is already very good at creating a realistic feeling battle and is able to balance the story of the individual characters and of the fight as a whole whilst the action is taking place.

The scenes of carnage stand out in an otherwise mishmash of a book. As part 1 of a planned trilogy, I actually think that Kristian attempted too much with the character of Raven. The way in which his life changes so dramatically in such a sort space of time does not feel very believable. There is also a problem with side characters coming in and out of the story at such a pace that you do not know who half of them are. It was also a real shame that one character was killed off for no other reason than Kristian's apparent inability to know what to do with them. This is a debut novel and elements show Kristian's naivety, especially in terms of a believable narrative whole. However, there are plenty of great action sequences to show that the raw talent is there and that with some more experience the second and third Raven books should improve greatly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Read, 16 Mar 2010
By 
Dennis S. Neff (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) (Paperback)
I am so pleased to see someone who can fill the long gaps between new Cornwell issues of his incredible Uhtred adventures. It is unbelievable that this is Giles Kristian's first work. I read every Viking saga book I come across and this one is second only to Cornwell's tales of Alfred's world in terms of action, characterization, historical content and its ability to put one into the time depicted. The only negative is that it is just too hard to put down, thus the enjoyment ends much too quickly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 1 Mar 2009
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Hardcover)
Before reading RAVEN Blood Eye, I was somewhat of a historical fiction virgin. However, not only has this book got me truly excited about its sequel, it has made me delve into the genre, picking up Bernard Cornwell's latest. RAVEN Blood Eye has all I want from a good read - great characters, a suspense-driven plot and a writing style which enables you to be transported back to the smells, the tastes and the excitement of the Viking era. I loved it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling, leaves you wanting more, 4 Sep 2009
By 
C. Wyatt "King Chris" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Hardcover)
I like my historical novels, but am bored with endless books set in the Roman era. With a keen interest in pre-Norman English history, historical novels set in this period are few and far between. And good ones even rarer. This novel was a cracking page-turner, good on detail and full of adventure. Can't wait for the next chapter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 8 Sep 2009
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Hardcover)
A sensational debut novel from a very promising new author!

Fans of historical fiction should read this book - it's an absolute must.

The story follows a band of Norsemen as they travel the English coastline raiding villages along the way. Placed in an inescapable position, the band are forced to make a daring raid deep into Mercia leaving their beloved ships firmly behind! Treachery divides the group on the return leg of the journey and the finale involves battles in Wales and on the Wessex coastline.

Saturated with brutal battles, gory sacrifices and the hardships typical of this harsh period; fans of the genre will not be disappointed with this book.

The first of what I certainly hope will be a lengthy series, this book definitely sets a high opening standard and my expectations are very high for the forthcoming second book.

A refreshing yet definitive newcomer to the genre, exceptionally well written and littered with battle scenes - this book has it all!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough, 24 Jun 2011
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) (Paperback)
I did not plan to, but since amazon.com had the cheekiness to send me a mail advertising this book, I simply must post my review here at amazon.co.uk as well.

Being a Norwegian who reads allot of historical fiction I decided to read this book. I'm sorry to say I was disappointed.

Many compare this book to Bernard Cornwells books, but where Cornwell is a brilliant writer and storyteller who portrays vivid characters with depth, Kristians characters are mostly extraordinarily one-dimensional.

The Vikings laugh, kill and drink. They are all supreme fighters and they keep mentioning the gods at every possible opportunity. Then they laugh some more, kill some more and drink some more, before they yet again show of their supreme fighting skill, deftly followed with a mention of the gods. Further on in the story they do it all again, and again, and again.....repeat sequence seven times or so, and you will essentially have read the story. Skirmish heaped on drinking heaped on skirmish heaped on boring plot heaped on skirmish heaped on drinking. In an effort to try to compare it with something equally monumentally boring and repetitive, the first thing that comes to mind is the TV-show "The Pacific", whose characters possibly outfight Kristians characters in terms of lack of depth and personality.

Bernard Cornwell has given us characters like Uther of Bebbanburg, Lord Derfel Cadarn and Nicolas Hook. Persons with doubts, fears, love and hate. On top of this Cornwell dives rather more into the politics, ideas and bigger picture of the time. All this he succeeds in mixing beautifully into exciting books. Kristian has mostly succeeded in portraying a bunch of staggering alcoholics and sociopaths(come to think of it, it's possibly an even bigger feat not to manage to get something entertaining out of that mix) to the degree that I must wonder how much Mr. Cornwell actually was paid to recommend this book.

However, I can not speak for the last 30 pages or so, because by that time I simply was not interested in reading the end. To put down a book before I have read it to end has only happened two times before in my life, and I have read allot of books. That sums it up for me, you do the rest of the math.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unpredictable tale, 13 Dec 2012
By 
Lisa J. Yarde (Brooklyn, New York United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) (Paperback)
At the dawn of an age of Scandinavian raiding throughout Western Europe, a young man rediscovers a forgotten heritage that links him to a proud band of Norse warriors in Blood Eye, the first of Giles Kristian's Raven trilogy. Swept up in their quest to find honor and glory in battle, Raven tests the limits of his endurance and finds companionship among these resilient but brutal warriors.

Raven does not know the name his parents might have given him at birth, where he was born or whether he has any living relations. His entire existence revolves around life in the Wessex settlement of Abbottsend, where he serves the old, mute carpenter Ealhstan and finds himself shunned by others who are suspicious of his blood-red eye. While fishing for his master's breakfast at dawn, two boats come ashore. The crew wields swords, axes and shields. Their words, suddenly easily understood by Raven, promise trade, but the menace surrounding Jarl Sigurd's men belies the promise of an easy exchange. Just when it seems the visitors will take their riches and go, treachery brings about a violent end to village life. Raven and Ealhstan become captives of the bloodthirsty crew.

Every event that unfolds in this tale is unexpected, from Jarl Sigurd's arrival and departure from Abbottsend to his tenuous truce with an English lord whose village he almost destroys. Even the bond Raven forges with the men who have taken him from the only life he remembers is as unpredictable as his ability to survive and forge a new identity among them as an equal. There is no assurance of survival for anyone. Would-be enemies can easily change allegiances, while many a man cannot depend on the loyalty of his own compatriots. Blood Eye is a rich story of adventure told in the style of the Norse sagas, revealing much about the harshness of life in the Scandinavian sailing age and the surprising fellowships forged between people.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 211 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1)
Raven: Blood Eye (Raven 1) by Giles Kristian (Paperback - 7 Jan 2010)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews