Jesse Blackadder - The Raven's Heart - Book launch

On Sunday night it was boiling hot, but Thang and I faced the heat and went to Shearer's bookshop on Norton Street for the launch of Jesse Blackadder's fabulous new historical novel The Raven's Heart.

Jesse is one of my fellow students at the Writing & Society Research Unit at the University of Western Sydney, and I remember her coming into a seminar late last year with a proof copy of The Raven's Heart, hot off the presses. I ached to read it then, but have had to be patient till now.

The book was developed during a residency at the Varuna Writers' Centre in the Blue Mountains, and is published by Harper Collins under the 4th Estate imprint - the very same imprint that does Jonathan Franzen! Illustrious company indeed! It is Jesse's second novel.
Here is the description from the publisher's website:

′I am awaiting my castle and the Queen is waiting for love.′

Scotland, 1561.

A ship carries Mary, the young Queen of Scots, home from the French court to wrest back control of her throne. Masquerading as a male crew member, Alison Blackadder must find a way to gain the Queen′s favour so she can win back her family′s castle and lands, cruelly stolen by a murderous clan a generation before.

Surrounded by treachery and deep suspicion, the Queen can trust nobody in the Scottish court until Alison, with her flair for disguise, becomes her most valued confidante and spy. But Alison′s drive to reclaim the Blackadder birthright is relentless, setting off events that threaten to bring down the monarchy. Alison discovers lies, danger and betrayal at every turn. Then, unexpectedly, she finds love ...

This sweeping and imaginative tale of political intrigue, secret passion and implacable revenge is a breathtaking epic from a remarkable literary talent.

Congratulations Jesse!

I have my autographed copy, and can't wait to plunge into it.


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