The Raven's Heart by Jesse Blackadder

Reviewed by
March 2011, no. 329

The Raven's Heart by Jesse Blackadder

Reviewed by
March 2011, no. 329

Mary Queen of Scots, widow of the youthful French king, returns from her long exile in France to a country bereft of pageantry. A young messenger, Robert, gallops through the deserted streets of Edinburgh announcing her contentious return. When Robert’s horse is offered as royal transport to the palace, the flame-haired Mary rejects the side saddle, saying, ‘In France a queen rides astride.’  This moment telegraphs the pre-occupations of Jesse Blackadder’s second novel, The Raven’s Heart, in which history, invention, gender, sexuality, power, expectation, and reality collide.

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