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Raven Boy: The Raven Boy Saga Book 1 & Book 2 by [Kei, Kateryna]
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Raven Boy: The Raven Boy Saga Book 1 & Book 2 Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 231 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

I am a dreamer and a restless traveler obsessed with Harry Potter and Irish dancing. In between working as a translator / interpreter and eating too much chocolate, I write songs, poetry and fantasy books. I love forest, long walks, especially on the beach, and reading while having a good cup of tea. I hate strong smelly cheeses and waking up early.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1256 KB
  • Print Length: 231 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Kateryna Kei; 1. edition (13 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BFKABJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,168,568 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Raven Boy is the story of Hrafn, a twelve year old twin, who is pushed into the position of Viking `king' after his father is killed in battle with the `foreigners'. He was not the immediate choice for the position. His mother had to choose between her sons, her husband's brother, or herself. Unable to make the decision on her own she visits the rune caster for advice. She is shocked by the prophecy he gives her, as are the townsfolk. Her youngest son wastes no time in proving himself, first with a sword and then in battle with the foreigners, aided by the psychic link he has with his pet Raven. Hrafn's adventures continue and there is even some romance with the talented Anna.

So far, so good. I cannot fault the story. The magic is believable within the world Kei has created but - and it is, sadly, a humongous but - the standard of writing is such that reading to the end became a chore.

If the author used an editor she should have her money back. The tense changes within sentences, there are numerous spelling mistakes, the punctuation is poor and there are so many phrasal anachronisms - these young Viking lads call their mother "mom" - that it is next to impossible to remain immersed in the fictional world. And, let's not forget the exclamation marks! There are lots!

It's a real shame because the story is genuinely good. An editor would have been able to work with the author to knock the manuscript into the book it deserves to be.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This novel did have real promise and I was utterly hooked for the first third of the story. It had a very dramatic start and Turid's impossible choice between duty and family was utterly heart wrenching. As Hrafn faced his responsibility and was forced into war, I was left really intrigued as to what would happen to him next.

However, the story had a number of problems which just became more and more apparent as I read. The prose is very clumsy and I suspect that the cause may be that the author does not speak English as a first language. The Vikings use a lot of modern words which sound very unnatural, sentences are structured strangely and words are frequently misspelled. These things all stacked up over time to make the novel rather difficult to read.

On top of this, the story has a rather large time jump between the first and second half and afterwards focuses on an entirely new character. While Hrafn does eventually re-enter the story, I found this shift to be jarring. It was almost as though two novels were compressed together and, because of this, the story felt rushed and lacking in detail. I think that it would have worked better if the tales were separated, allowing for the characters to receive better development and leaving more space for the relationship between Hrafn and Anna to develop (as it stands, they fall in love immediately at first sight).

All in all, the novel was intriguing and I'm curious as to how it will pan out but at the same time I hope that the sequel will receive a bit better editing that this instalment.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've been on kind of a Viking bender lately, being hopelessly addicted to Vinland Saga, so this was a nice addition to my reading list.

It's basically two different stories that only come together at the end. First of all there's Hrafn, a 12 year-old boy forced to become the leader of his father's band of Viking raiders as the result of a prophecy. The first half is more historical/action based, with fighting and plotting galore as Hrafn tries to adapt to his new role in life.

The second half is more epic fantasy in style, following the adventures of Anna, a girl with a mysterious past training to become a witch. The two stories meet up when Hrafn's band travels to Anna's country, and the two meet up and fall in love.

While there are occasional editing flubs, the author speaks about a million languages, so it's no big deal. I also really loved the index of name meanings at the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8ecac930) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ea64510) out of 5 stars Interesting story....but 9 Dec. 2013
By Deborh Neu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The storyline in Raven Boy is very interesting. The characters are likable and interesting. The description is vivid. My problem is with the way the story is written/told. It reminds me of an old fashioned bed time story being told by a parent.....basically it is "being told" to me, instead of allowing me to experience the action as it occurs. It is written passively. I prefer being allow to see and feel the characters as the action takes place. Example...."pulling the sword, he thrust it at...." instead of "Raven pulled his sword."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e96dc54) out of 5 stars Getting lost in bizarre names 17 Jan. 2014
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We know very little about new author Kateryna Kei (the name itself is magically beautiful!) - her origins, her background - only that she loves Harry Potter and Irish dancing, chocolate, nature walks and writing songs and poems and fantasies. She apparently works as a translator and an interpreter, but the languages she speaks remain a mystery. Perhaps that is in her favor: her first novel, RAVEN BOY, claims to be the beginning of a series, and despite the problems with lack of an editorial eye to correct spelling and grammar and syntax, she seems to have a flare for fantasy young adult books.

After a prologue as well as a preface that lay the drift for the fantasy world we are about to enter, Kei begins her Viking tale with a battle in which the Viking king konungr Torgeir is killed and the queen Turid must decide on his successor - the konungr's gentle brother Ørjan (who suffers convulsions under stress) or one of Turid's twin sons - Hrafn and Olaf, merely `twelve winters old'. Prophecy enters the scene, Hrafn is the chosen one, and in his battles and travels he encounters the strong willed, beautiful, and loving Anna whose mysterious includes preparation to become a witch (she can talk with animals, has the ability to open and close locked things at will, knows potions and spells) and it is here that the beginnings of a love affair begin.

Though Kei provides and index of names at book's end the Norse and many other language names she has pinned on her characters take considerable patience to allow the eye to remain joined to the brain to follow the story. That seems to be a trait for these fantasy books (think Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, etc), so for readers who love the genre the names should not provide a problem. A suggestion: list the cast of characters after the Prologue as a reference. This is a good start for a new novelist who seems to flow with the world of make believe very comfortably. Grady Harp, January 14
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e96dc24) out of 5 stars Romance and Adventure for Viking Fans of all Ages 18 Jan. 2014
By horrorgirldonna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When the Viking King is killed, his widow is called to help determine an appropriate successor to the throne. Seeking help the the gods, she learns the only person to fill the king’s boots is a boy—the youngest of her son’s twins, Hrafn, a boy of only twelve years old. The first part of the book focuses on the historical background of this society, but I thought the Kei really hit her stride by the second half of the story—with the entrance of the character Anna, a witch-in-training. Anna would become Raven’s (Hrafn) soulmate. She’s a wonderful character—independent, beautiful and tough—a terrific character and relatable to female readers. She’s a sort of mystical spirit with the ability to communicate with animals, as well as conjuring potions and spells.

Kateryna Kei spins a tale reminiscent of the the boy King Arthur—an unlikely child-hero thrust into the world of men. Kei has a talent for creating vivid descriptions and interesting, likable characters. Her prose is natural and flowing, and suitable for adults as well as younger readers. I understand this is the first book in a series. I’ll be in the lookout for the next installment of the Raven Boy.
HASH(0x8ea9c744) out of 5 stars Good Story, Bad Editing, Not Enough Info About Vikings 14 July 2014
By Fantasy Book Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
When his father is killed in battle, young Hrafn, a boy blessed by ravens, is chosen to lead his Viking clan.

Let me start out by saying there is an interesting story here. There are old legends and magic at work here, and this story is quite inventive. There is a lot of potential to this tale, but the writing itself does not match up to what the author was trying to accomplish. I kept hoping for it to improve because there is clearly a well thought out story here, but sadly, it just isn't crafted well.

I think I could identify most with Turid. I got a better look inside her mind than any other character, and her concern for her children is believable. Not only has she been forced to choose between them, but she struggles inside with the fact that it is her younger son who will lead her people.

Though there are a few spots that are written nicely, there is at least one paragraph on each page that felt awkward and clumsy. Lines such as "he will be a very good viking" and "a couple of minutes of birth-time were making a big difference" and "big black raven" need to be reworded entirely. They have an awkward feel to them, and it doesn't flow well. It is too choppy and dumbed down when it shouldn't be.

Some of the dialogue is quite interesting, and a few characters actually can spin a good tale. However, there is a lot of trailing off of dialogue as the characters can't think of anything else to say. I found that frustrating. Also, using words repeatedly like "raven bird" is silly. I know a raven is a bird, so why say it like that? I really wanted to like this story, but the writing held me back.

With historical fiction, I want to feel immersed in the time and place I'm reading about. That's true of any book, really. But I never got the feeling I was actually among the Vikings. Either the author did not know enough about Vikings to bring their culture to life, or she did not share it with her readers. There is very little description of the world around. We are told "she rode there" without a single line of how she got there. Was it cloudy? Cold? Raining? I'll never know.

There is a lot of potential in this book, but the abundance of grammar errors and poorly chosen words doesn't do it justice. An author's job is to create art, which I believe this author has done. All she needs is more time to refine her craft and an editor who can help her along the way.

I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
HASH(0x8ea6406c) out of 5 stars A Viking Tale 22 Mar. 2014
By Doug Huestis, author "The Three Talents of Timothy O'Dowd" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author has a good imagination for story telling. The improbable notion that a Viking land would have chosen a child as king could make a good story, but, unfortunately, instead of letting the story show itself, the author has told it to us in expository fashion. Also, it is clear to the reader that English is not the native language of the author. There are numerous errors of syntax and grammar and word use. For example, the word "loose" is consistently used instead of "lose," two words of completely different meanings. Also, both the definite and indefinite articles are repeatedly misused; omitted when they should be there and inserted when they should not be. The author seriously needs a good editor.
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