Raven Boy

Raven Boy

Raven Boy was first published in 2013 and is Kateryna Kei’s first young adult book. The novel is a historical fantasy set in Viking times, focusing on a young boy who is forced to wrestle with a terrible destiny. This story is the first part of a planned series – titled The Raven Boy Saga – but at the time of writing no further instalments have been announced.

After the Viking King falls in battle, it is left to his widow to choose a successor. Although the honour usually falls on a king’s first born son, Turid is concerned for her boy’s safety. Her twin sons have both yet to come of age and are just not experienced enough to lead their village in a time of war. Unable to come to a decision alone, she visits the local runecaster for advice.

The prophecy that the runecaster reveals is somewhat disturbing. While her eldest, Olaf, would make a strong leader, he would not be able to defeat the encroaching foreigners. Her youngest, Hrafn, would stand a chance at winning the war but it would come at a great cost. Hrafn was destined to live a tragic life, finding true love only to lose her forever.

Although Turid is torn between what is best for her people and what is best for her boys, she quickly decides that the new leader must be Hrafn. However, her decision leaves her son in a very difficult situation. As a child, the other Vikings are reluctant to obey his commands. The foreigners far outnumber them and they believe that a warrior is the only one who can lead them to victory. On top of that, Olaf feels as though Hrafn has stolen his rightful place and begins to distance himself from his brother. With war on the horizon, Hrafn must muster all of his cunning to devise a plan to defeat his enemies before his people are completely wiped out.

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