A Land Beyond Ravens: A Book Review

2 Oct

landbeyondravensI recently had the opportunity to review a few books. I absolutely love reading, and unlike some people, I enjoy reading all sorts of different books and stories, but one of my favorite types of stories to read are historical ones. I love delving into the past and learning about a world that I have never been a part of, so I was thrilled to be able to review A Land Beyond Ravens, by Kathleen Cunningham Guler. Ms. Guler has written a series of books known as the Macsen’s Treasure Series, and this story is the latest book written about this intriguing time. But enough of the behind the scenes stuff, let’s talk about the book itself.

I definitely came into this story a little behind, as I haven’t read the other three novels that come before this one. The story centers around Marcus ap Iorwerth and his wife, Claerwen. These are not average people, however – Marcus is a mastery spy who has worked directly under King Uther Pendragon, and Claerwen can see visions of the future. The two have been trusted with some of the biggest secrets in history, namely the secret of King Arthur.

Marcus and his wife earlier helped to hide both of Uther’s children, Arther and Morgaine, and thanks to occasional help from Merlin the Enchanter (known as Myrddin), the two are committed to making the future of their country the right one.

Okay, so onto the nitty gritty. Was this an easy book to read? There was a good balance between dialogue and description, and as I’m not someone who loves to read tons of description, this was good for me. It was, however, not necessarily an easy read, as I felt as though I was trying to catch up to the story the entire time I was reading it. I doubt, however, that I’m representative of the average reader, as I’m sure that most people who would purchase the book would have read the previous three.

That being said, I do feel that it is important to make every book in a series be able to stand on it’s own of necessary, explaining enough of the back story so that the reader can follow along with the tale without feeling confused. Unfortunately I don’t feel that Ms. Guler did this well enough for me. I was a bit confused and, in truth, I still have really no idea about what the importance of Macsen’s Treasure is. There is talk about a grail (the idea behind the hunt for the real grail is ingenious), and about a grail from Macsen’s Treasure, but I truly have not been able to figure out what is so important about the treasure.

So, would I read this story again? I’ll probably be reading it again so that I can figure out if I missed something or not. This tale, and the three before it, are ideal stories for anyone who loves historical tales, and especially who enjoys reading about fifth century Britan.

The best thing about this novel is how Ms. Guler manages to avoid all of the hoopla and mysticism that most stories talk about in this era, and truly embraces the history of the time.


2 Responses to “A Land Beyond Ravens: A Book Review”

  1. Jenera October 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    I did this one too! I liked it also but I think I might read it again just to be able to read through non stop without consulting the glossary in the front.


  1. Pump Up Your Book Promotion’s October Authors on Virtual Book Tour – Day 13 « Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours - October 21, 2009

    […] Beyond Ravens, Book 4 of the Macsen’s Treasure Series (Bardsong Press), will be stopping off at If You Can’t Say Something Nice… and All Voices! No one in 5th century Britain knows more secrets than master spy Marcus ap […]

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