The Raven Tower

Ann Leckie
The Raven Tower Cover

The Raven Tower


Leckie's foray into fantasy delivers on mythology and worldbuilding, told through a distinctly non-human lens.

Ah, ravens. They're smart, they're beaky, they come in murders, and many in our world are better Londoners than I am. They're also the subject of more than their share of both folklore and, through that, fantasy interest. Whether they're harbingers of death, guides to the spirit world, speakers of prophecy and truth or otherworldly tricksters, there's a lot of mileage in these feathery next-level dinosaurs. Now, in Ann Leckie's first novel-length foray into fantasy, a raven god is front and centre, alongside a cast whose human members often play second fiddle to their divine counterparts.

Many readers will be familiar with Leckie for her science fiction work: the superlatively brilliant Ancillary Justice, its sequels, and the same-universe standalone Provenance. On the surface, The Raven Tower is a very different book. We find ourselves in Vastai, a low-tech, small-scale polity, whose citizens fear and worship the forest, envy the better harbour of their neighbour (in one timeline, at least) and have come to rely on the blessings of a specific god to keep their town flourishing. Gone are the spaceships and corpse soldiers, but the presence of the gods themselves - who are very much real in this world, and regularly appear to humans - means that The Raven Tower feels just as connected with non-human intelligences as Leckie's previous works, and just as accomplished at giving those intelligences believable motivations and voices.