Review: The Raven Queen by Jules Watson

by Jules Watson

Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Bantam Publishing


In this dazzling retelling of one of Ireland’s most stirring legends, acclaimed author Jules Watson brings to life the story of Maeve, the raven queen, who is as fierce as she is captivating.

She was born to be a pawn, used to secure her father’s royal hold on his land. She was forced to advance his will through marriage—her own desires always thwarted. But free-spirited Maeve will no longer endure the schemes of her latest husband, Conor, the cunning ruler of Ulster. And when her father’s death puts her homeland at the mercy of its greedy lords and Conor’s forces, Maeve knows she must at last come into her own power to save it.

With secret skill and daring, Maeve proves herself the equal of any warrior on the battlefield. With intelligence and stealth, she learns the strategies—and sacrifices—of ruling a kingdom through treacherous alliances. And to draw on the dangerous magic of her country’s oldest gods, Maeve seeks out the wandering druid Ruan, whose unexpected passion and strange connection to the worlds of spirit imperil everything Maeve thought true about herself—and put her at war with both her duty and her fate.


I became a fan of Jules Watson when I read her enchanting novel The Swan Maiden back in 2009 and have been anxiously awaiting the follow up release of The Raven Queen. Well, I am happy to report that the magic of Watson’s storytelling carries on and the waiting was well worth it!

The Raven Queen is a re-imagining of the legend of Queen Maeve of Irish mythology, whose story is included in the Ulster Cycle. As we meet Maeve, she is escaping from her cruel husband King Conor and arriving at her father’s stronghold only to find that he is dying. With the death of her father, Maeve is left vulnerable, with a brother who would like nothing better than to see her dead and her country threatened by Conor’s forces she knows what she must do. Through blood, sweat and tears (and a little spiritual guidance from a blind druid) Maeve earns the respect and blessing of her people to become queen. Faced with the toughest fight of her life, the raven queen finds it takes more than fighting prowess to overcome the threat to her people and in the process also finds the woman inside she had kept hidden for so long.

An entrancing story of loyalty, courage, self-discovery and love, The Raven Queen is resplendent with spirituality and a strong mystical element that feels otherworldly. Jules Watson did a fantastic job of bringing an Irish legend to life. I highly recommend!

Click HERE to enter to win a copy of The Raven Queen and read an interview with author Jules Watson.

For more information, please visit Jules Watson's WEBSITE.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.



  1. Great review. Sure sounds like a good book, and not only cos I love old Ireland

  2. I am looking forward to reading this at some point!

  3. I have never heard the legend that this woman comes from, but I look forward to learning more about her and reading this book.

  4. Have you read the Dalriaida trilogy? I really enjoyed those as well as The Swan Maiden!

  5. What a lovely review, Amy. You definitely have made me want to read this book! :)

  6. Great review, Amy! I'm looking so forward to reading this. I think the cover is one of my gorgeous!

  7. Great review! Watson is an author I've been wanting to read for a while. This one sounds good (with a very pretty cover!)


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