The Blurb (from Goodreads):
Scotland, 1561, and a ship comes across the North Sea carrying home Mary, the young, charismatic Queen of Scots, returning after thirteen years in the French court to wrest back control of her throne.
The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen’s return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward.
Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger, and treachery at every turn.
This sweeping, imaginative, and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion, and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.
The Raven’s Heart is a breathtaking epic from a bold, fresh voice. Winner of the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award, The Raven’s Heart was published in Australia in 2011.
Jesse Blackadder finally had enough of people asking if she was related to Rowan Atkinson, star of the BBC sitcom Blackadder. She traveled to Scotland to find the origins of her surname and discovered the ruins of Blackadder House on the banks of the Blackadder River. The Raven’s Heart grew from there. Jesse lives in Byron Bay, Australia.
I was sure I was going to love this book as soon as I read the subtitle: ‘The Story of a Quest, a Castle and Mary Queen of Scot’. And I did love it! The Raven’s Heart is a fabulous, dark, surprising historical novel, with a hefty dose of mystery, intrigue, and passion.
Jesse Blackadder says that she had finally had had enough of people asking if she was related to Rowan Atkinson, star of the BBC sitcom ‘Blackadder’. So she travelled to Scotland to find the origins of her surname and discovered the ruins of Blackadder House on the banks of the Blackadder River. Wondering about how the castle came to fall, Jesse Blackadder began to imagine this book … and then began to write it.
It all made me very jealous of her – what a fabulous last name and what a fabulous heritage to have.
As you all may know, I’ve been fascinated by Mary, Queen of Scots and Scotland since I was a child and so any book set during that bloody and turbulent period was always going to draw me in. However, I thought this version of the famous events of the 1560s was thoughtful, original and unusual, and I really loved the book.