My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranomal
Publisher: Amulet Books
Published: April 19th, 2019
Trigger Warnings: Parental abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, poverty.
Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!” – Synopsis by Goodreads.
“…And I could take down every single one of them with a few strokes if my pen, for I see the ugliness inside us all.”
Cat Winters doing a book inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s muse/life? I’m all here for that! I really enjoyed this one but it’s ODD, no like really ODD.
Honestly, I have no idea where to even begin with this book – it’s a strange one, but I’ll do my best. The Raven’s Tale in a very unique, haunting and beautiful tale. It centers around our main protagonist, the famous author Edgar Allan Poe and his muse, Lenore. We start off by learning that Edgar was adopted after losing his parents to a fire. His adoptive parents are well off and he has had the best of everything but is still seen as a bit of an outcast because his biological parents were into the arts and that is completely frowned upon. Edgar’s adoptive mother is caring, but fairly weak and now sickly – she doesn’t really stand up for Edgar but she does love him and tries to support him in her own quiet way. His adoptive father, on the other hand; is a complete bully of a man. He obviously cares very little for Edgar and lets him know it at every chance he can get. He’s ashamed at Edgar’s love of poetry and wants him to go into the family business. He’s abusive, neglectful and just an all around horrible human being. I couldn’t find one redeeming quality in this man.
Edgar is finally going to University and is very eager so he can get away from his controlling father, hopefully for good. Edgar is in love with a young woman and she seems to feel the same way about him, but her parents are not at all happy about the match, so they have to have their romance in secret until he comes back a better match for her when he’s through University. Of course, nothing goes as planned. Edgar can’t give up his love of poetry – it’s his life force, it’s what makes him who he is and lately his poetry has gotten more and more dark.
In this world, if your passion/vision is strong enough than your muse can enter this world and become part of it, eventually morphing to it’s full potential when fully realized. Edgar’s muse is Lenore. Yes, Lenore from the very famous poem, The Raven. I’m a huge fan of Edgar’s work and I’m so happy it focused on Lenore because I don’t think there is anything more iconic than her in his works. The muse, Lenore is a dark and morbid character. She feeds off creativity and needs it to live. However, Edgar is horrified that she has come to life and completely ashamed and denies her the creativity that she so desperately needs by denying himself. We see both Lenore and Edgar fall into a desperate dark depression. One that can truly only be undone by Edgar giving into his passion – his writing.
This story is very dark and deals with themes of abuse, depression, and poverty. It’s a very polarizing read – it would be very easy to be confused by this one since it’s such a odd concept. It’s told in two POV’s – Edgar’s and his muse, Lenore. Lenore chapters tend to be more lyrical and dark, which I doubt will be for everyone but I loved it. The writing is stunning. Cat Winters has a wonderful talent of being able to blend historical fiction with elements of the supernatural so seamlessly. This is my third book I’ve read by this author and I just love her writing style.
I recommend this one to people who love a dark tale or fans of Poe. This is also a wonderful book to maybe branch out a little if you tend to stay on the straight and arrow with your reading choices. This one will definitely challenge you I think.
Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for the e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.