Saturday 20 April 2019

The A-Z Blog Challenge, Letter R

Letter R of My Favourite Books by title
Two authors, two genres
Medieval Mystery and Sci-fi

rThe first is, The Raven's Wing, by Indie author Michael Wombat. Here's the blurb: 

They say you should follow your dreams. They never tell you what to do when the dreams start following you.

The year is 1322. Minstrel John has enough on his plate with his wife's funeral. He could do without the naked woman who keeps forcing her way into his dreams, the angel dropping skulls in the village church, the stranger that attacks him for no reason, and the sexy, one-eyed, fire-dancer who is after only one thing - his music. Then there are the voices in his head, compelling him to investigate a mystery that just keeps on growing.

Based on a true story, this is not history, this is the 14th century as experienced by those who lived there, and who saw it as the leading edge of time. As John discovers, demons and magic can be very real.

I have read several of Michael's books and they are all brilliantly written, fast paced, with lots of action and unexpected twists. None of them slot easily into a particular genre.

The Raven's Wing is a murder mystery of sorts, set in the medieval times, and actually based on a true story, which the author has researched in painstaking detail. The story contains true elements of witchcraft - and what it was in that time. It also includes magic, elaborating on it in a fictitious sense to add to the story, which doesn't stop twisting and turning, enthralling you to the very end, and leaving you wanting more.

I marvel at Wombat's ability to write so concisely and describe things using words I can barely conceive of. He throws in Gaelic and lots of other words and terms from the time period - all beautifully indexed for the reader's reference. I have even cooked up the medieval recipes from this book - the Waffres are amazing and worth the price of the book alone. This is a book to enjoy and savour.

*** second is, Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C Clarke. Here's the blurb:

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at an inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence. It will kindle their wildest dreams... and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows who the Ramans are or why they have come. And now the moment of rendezvous awaits — just behind a Raman airlock door.

This book - and series - is a complete contrast to the first book mentioned. A pure science fiction novel. Rendezvous With Rama is the start of a series of four books, called the Rama Series. 

The story is about about a space ship that comes into our solar system on a regular basis so a rocket is organised and they meet this ship to try and discover what is inside. The series develops into one where they actually send up a colony of people to live inside the space ship when it comes back round again and it is about what goes on in that society.

Being Arthur C Clarke, a man devoted to astronomy and science, you get a sense that the ideas in the book are actually plausible. What I loved about these books is the possibilities it offers and also how it depicts the human race and our society, as well as how we might interact with an alien species. 

If it interests you and you like science fiction, these are definitely worth a read.



  1. I can't wax lyrical enough about The Raven's Wing... loved it!

  2. Well, I saw you on twitter with your "R" sparkling by Alex so I thought I'd just stop by and say "HI". Sorry I'm not an advent reader, but I like music... you know rock & roll and some of the other stuff. I do read some books though, but they better be good like Stephen King's "The Gunslinger/Tower... awesome and there's 6 more books that follows, but unless they interest me I fall asleep really fast or just get really bored. Sorry! Anyway HELLO & hope you had a nice Easter!

    1. Hi, I discuss The Dark Tower Series under Letter D. Actually this is one of the few posts that doesn't include one of Stephen King's books.

      Thanks you for visiting.