The Raven Queen
by Jules Watson
Cover Artist: Juliana Kolesova
Review by Mel Jacob
Spectra Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780553384659
Date: 22 February 2011 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Jules Watson latest Celtic history offers a gritty mix of legend, myth, and archaeological history in The Raven Queen, the story of Queen Maeve of Connacht. She brings to life a woman determined to be independent and to assume the kingship of her country. Her brother also wants the kingship, and Maeve must kill him to succeed. Her old husband Connor of Ulaid (Ulster) wants revenge by either destroying her or demanding a sacred bull prized by Connacht.
Used as pawn by her father and married to three different kings, Maeve never wants to be at the mercy of men again. Her one daughter was taken from her at birth and she had her son in secret, but he died. Since that time she has taken pains to bear no more children despite using sexual favors to control men and gain allies.
She leaves King Conor of Ulaid and flees to her father only to find him dying. Determined never again to be at the mercy of men, she begins a quiet campaign to gain the kingdom. Money, sex, and sympathy help her cause, but anger her brother who sees the kingship as his.
When she flees from her brother and his thugs, she encounters the blind druid Ruán. Searching for control of her world, she hopes he can intercede for her with the sidhe (fairies) to help her defeat her enemies.