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Monday, August 22, 2011

Raven: Swordsmistress of Chaos

From out of the bonds of slavery there arose a warrior... a warrior feared across all lands, a warrior whose blade was stained with the blood of thousands - man and beast - who smiled as she killed, with hair as gold as summer sun, eyes as blue as the heavens, and a body which invited only love yet dealt bloody, merciless death to her enemies.
__And so she was chosen; a simple girl plucked from the slavepens of Lyand by the sorcerer-priests and schooled in every art of weaponry until no mere man could defeat her - in any form of physical combat.
__Together with her mysterious companion, Spellbinder, and the great black bird which watched over them, Raven set forth to meet her destiny.

Raven was a short-lived fantasy series published by Corgi in 1978-79, around the time that a new series of Conan novels were appearing from Sphere. The paperback boom that had been running since the early 1970s was starting to run out of steam with Westerns in particular starting to glut the market; publishers were looking around for new areas to exploit with original novels and sword and sorcery had been relatively untouched.

Richard Kirk was the pen-name of Robert Holdstock and Angus Wells, the two collaborating on the first novel and continuing to share the name, although writing further novels solo. I'm not a huge fan of sword and sorcery, but these I kept just for the Chris Achilleos covers. Mind you, I also kept a second set of Robert Holdstock novels that will be the subject of another gallery later in the week.

Raven Swordsmistress of Chaos [by Robert Holdstock & Angus Wells]
Corgi 0552-10694-1, 1978, 174pp, 70p. Cover by Chris Achilleos

Raven II: A Time of Ghosts [by Robert Holdstock]
Corgi 0552-10861-8, 1978, 203pp, 80p. Cover by Chris Achilleos

Raven III: The Frozen God [by Angus Wells]
Corgi 0552-10905-3, 1978, 174pp, 85p. Cover by Chris Achilleos

Raven IV: Lords of the Shadows [by Robert Holdstock]
Corgi 0552-11029-9, 1979, 204pp, 95p. Cover by Chris Achilleos

Raven 5: A Time of Dying [by Angus Wells]
Corgi 0552-11131-7, 1979, 190pp, 95p. Cover by Chris Achilleos

3 comments:

Phil Stephensen-Payne said...

How can you have a Raven gallery without even mentioning the classic Kate Bush music video inspired by the first cover:

Babooshka

Rob Matthews said...

A second set of Holdstock novels later in the week - let me think - Robert Faulcon?

Anna Smith said...

Hi don't know if you will be able to help me but a long time ago I was given a original raven statue which is signed by Chris archellios on the base some bits need placing back together but I wondered if it would be worth anything and how do I get it restored as I'm not very arty