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The Woman & the Raven    by Marlene Vor Der Hake order for
Woman & the Raven
by Marlene Vor Der Hake
Order:  USA  Can
BookSurge, 2007 (2007)

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*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Marlene Vor Der Hake wrote The Woman & the Raven as if a storyteller were relaying a myth. However, it is a long and confusing myth that is hard to get into.

The Woman lives in an icy land where she spends her time going over scrolls of learning and spells in an ancient language long forgotten. The Raven keeps a close eye on her, but she does not know why and is not always aware of the surveillance. She has a few adventures in trying to return a sword to its rightful owner and in trying to retrieve a stone from a lake. After an encounter with trolls, she meets the elves and learns the Raven's purpose as she, too, becomes a raven.

Normally, I love novels where a storytelling relates a tale directly to the reader. Unfortunately, this story did not hold my attention and I had a hard time figuring out what was happening. The words are lyrical and it is easy to get lost in them without understanding their meaning. Another thing that made it hard to follow is that it was all narration with very little dialogue. What little dialogue existed would be combined into one paragraph, making it difficult to know who was speaking. Also, a lot of commas seemed to be missing, which jarred the story's flow.

The Woman & the Raven is a poetic myth than can be enjoyed much more for Marlene Vor Der Hake's use of language than for the storyline.

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