TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 January 2014
It is 4.00am and I just finished Ravenfold and I am really crying my eyes out.
Ravenfold is the tale of Romelda, a gentle but spirited soul, a slip of girl, who at 14 was married to an 'human ogre', Oswald de Sutton. A depraved, lustful and violent man. There would be outrage nowadays, but in Medieval times, such fate was common, as women were considered as mere commodities and their fathers and then husbands and lords had total control over them. But Oswald could not break Romelda's spirit. He tried to crush her, he did that physically, for sure, but never could he reach her spirit. Even when he cruelly killed her pet, Raven.
Yes, it is a sad tale, but it is not all that gloomy. There are new beginnings too and there is the hope that one can find solace in strong friendship, regardless of one's ordeal. It is very well written, the language is not archaic but not too modern that you cannot feel you are in Medieval time. I liked the set up, it feels like you are sitting on the floor, facing the story teller, you feel the tension and your emotions are on a roller coaster because you feel rage, hopelessness, injustice, sadness. But despite of all these negative emotions, you are comforted by the fact that something good can be born from the most evil. Romelda's child was like her and not like his father. And for this, there is the concealed message that behind every good man, there is a wise woman (and sometimes more than one) who let the men think they are in charge but they are the ones who make things happen. Or at least, I like to think so. Even though, in the case of Oswald, good man is definitely not the description. Maude was one of these formidable ladies. I did not like her at the beginning, but she redeemed herself as the story progressed, as she tried to protect her daughter and then her son.
Just one thing. I thought it might for Y/A and I downloaded it onto my children's Kindles (boy nearly 13 and girl nearly 11) but I will hide it in their clouds. It is not gruesome as such but there are some scenes, like the birthing or the nightly visit scenes that can be too much for sensitive children. It might be fine for teenagers, though but I would recommend the parent to read it first and then decide, depending on their children.
I read it in one sitting (well, I had to get up to get my tissues and my coffee) and when I do this, it is for me, a very good book. And whenever I read a book in one sitting, it means it is an undisputed 5 stars from me.
If you read it, I hope you will appreciate it as much as I did. I do not want to use 'enjoy' because it is hard to enjoy someone else's misery, even if it is well told. Just prepare a few tissues beforehand.