The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters

The Details

Publisher: Amulet Books
Published: April 16th, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Retellings
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

38101643 Goodreads Blurb

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!”


My Review

Firstly, I would like to give a very special thank you to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I adore Edgar Allan Poe and was thrilled I received a copy of this from Netgalley. I hope my tardiness in actually finishing this book and writing my review does not take away from how much I honestly loved this dark yet inspiring dramatization of the life of young Edgar Allan Poe.

Usually, with Poe media, we get late twenties Poe, a man who was eulogized in the press by people who didn’t like him so they painted him in an incredibly unflattering light. Sadly a light that still shines on his brilliant creator over a hundred years after his mysterious death.

I loved all the allegory of expressing art or leaning in and understanding what you want to create. I also love that Winters didn’t try to shove Poe into just the dark gothic box he gets placed in so often. The book is filled with wordplay of well known Poe works– The Raven in particular. This book explores Poe’s early life, his home with the Allans and how his adopted family shaped everything about how he became.

I loved the dual narrative. Edgar and his muse talking about the fire to create. With Edgar, we get more day to day traditional narrative, but with the muse, we get this beautiful poetic song so much like Poe’s writing and I adored every moment of the story.

There is only so much we can know about historical people. We only have receipts and second-hand accounts of how people were at age 16, 17, 18. We’ll never truly know what Poe was like as a college student, but we can make assumptions, and I think this book paints a close to true life portrait Poe’s time at the Univerity of Virginia. I love the idea of dueling muses and trying to figure out your place. Poe was so complicated, and I loved how Winters played the different parts of Poe against each other.

As we approach spooky season, I’m going to highly recommend this novel to my friends out there looking for something that’s not scary, but still dark. This book is worth picking up and checking out if you’re interested in Poe.

Until next time Internet,


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