It has been a long road, Gentle Readers, but finally the end is in sight. In mere days, rather than months, A Gathering of Ravens will hit bookstore shelves; the postal service will deliver pre-orders, and the title will appear like a summoned beast in customers’ Kindle queues. The cover, by the incomparable James Iacobelli, will hopefully work its magic to ensnare readers’ attention — and with any luck the prose within will prove worthy of that interest. And what began as a long-held dream will finally come to the ultimate fruition: you will be able to read it for yourselves.
Last month, A Gathering of Ravens earned a prestigious starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. My first novel, Men of Bronze, also received such, and I never thought I would earn another — and surely not from a book featuring an Orc traipsing about Viking-era Europe. But, they had a good deal of praise for it:
“This fast-paced thrill ride might have been bleak or unsettling, but it’s rendered so lovingly that it reveals new layers of familiar territory. The fresh viewpoint is steeped in an appreciation for the terrifying and powerful characters of high fantasy, and Oden does them justice. He provides a satisfying saga that’s as complex as an old tree’s roots, and a pleasure to read.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review).
But, it’s also gotten some bad reviews. Some NetGalley reviewers couldn’t finish it; others found it boring. And you know what? That’s okay. No book is perfect for every reader. I trust the audience this one is intended for will find it, and they’ll enjoy the hell out of it (and hopefully broadcast that enjoyment to the Internet-at-large).
We’ll know in 19 days.
You’re going to see a lot more of me here, and in other places, during the run up to Release Day. I have art to share, deleted scenes to revisit, questions to answer, and a second book featuring Grimnir to prepare for (I envision three, all told). And, as the month fades into July and you have a chance to read it, I’d love your questions, comments, critiques, and what-not.
Let’s do this thing, shall we?