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Prisoner of the Raven

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The sweetest surrender is love... Fleeing from troubles at home, young Aleyn signs on to the crew of a merchant trade cog off the coast of Eire, but he has no idea what dangers await him on the open water. Viking raiders patrol the shores like hungry wolves, taking whatever they wish, and when Aleyn's ship is attacked and the crew killed, he finds himself the helpless pri The sweetest surrender is love... Fleeing from troubles at home, young Aleyn signs on to the crew of a merchant trade cog off the coast of Eire, but he has no idea what dangers await him on the open water. Viking raiders patrol the shores like hungry wolves, taking whatever they wish, and when Aleyn's ship is attacked and the crew killed, he finds himself the helpless prisoner of Ranulf Eriksen, a ruthless, powerful Viking jarl who commands the longship Lymskyr. Aleyn expects to be killed or sold to the Saxons as a slave, but Ranulf offers him a bargain: his body in exchange for his freedom. Faced with the choice of temporary whoredom or lifelong slavery, Aleyn chooses to give himself to the handsome and oddly-compelling Northman. What Aleyn could not have foreseen was how much two lonely people in extraordinary circumstances could learn about each other in so short a time. Ranulf is also unprepared for the strength of his feelings for Aleyn. As Ranulf's Viking crew begins to suspect Aleyn of using witchcraft to meddle with their leader's wits, the jarl must defend his lover from the murderous intent of his men without further risking his own tenuous hold on power..


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The sweetest surrender is love... Fleeing from troubles at home, young Aleyn signs on to the crew of a merchant trade cog off the coast of Eire, but he has no idea what dangers await him on the open water. Viking raiders patrol the shores like hungry wolves, taking whatever they wish, and when Aleyn's ship is attacked and the crew killed, he finds himself the helpless pri The sweetest surrender is love... Fleeing from troubles at home, young Aleyn signs on to the crew of a merchant trade cog off the coast of Eire, but he has no idea what dangers await him on the open water. Viking raiders patrol the shores like hungry wolves, taking whatever they wish, and when Aleyn's ship is attacked and the crew killed, he finds himself the helpless prisoner of Ranulf Eriksen, a ruthless, powerful Viking jarl who commands the longship Lymskyr. Aleyn expects to be killed or sold to the Saxons as a slave, but Ranulf offers him a bargain: his body in exchange for his freedom. Faced with the choice of temporary whoredom or lifelong slavery, Aleyn chooses to give himself to the handsome and oddly-compelling Northman. What Aleyn could not have foreseen was how much two lonely people in extraordinary circumstances could learn about each other in so short a time. Ranulf is also unprepared for the strength of his feelings for Aleyn. As Ranulf's Viking crew begins to suspect Aleyn of using witchcraft to meddle with their leader's wits, the jarl must defend his lover from the murderous intent of his men without further risking his own tenuous hold on power..

30 review for Prisoner of the Raven

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sala Bim

    There were some things here that just made it impossible for me to like this. It started out ok, but ugh. Thankfully it was short so I didn't have to suffer long...I was going to stop here but I just have to say this one thing. This is a POSSIBLE SPOILER: I just have to mention that I can't understand what makes authors think that readers want to watch lovers have sex with other people, LET ALONE in front of each other, LET ALONE with a person of the opposite sex of the lover who's watching! Oth There were some things here that just made it impossible for me to like this. It started out ok, but ugh. Thankfully it was short so I didn't have to suffer long...I was going to stop here but I just have to say this one thing. This is a POSSIBLE SPOILER: I just have to mention that I can't understand what makes authors think that readers want to watch lovers have sex with other people, LET ALONE in front of each other, LET ALONE with a person of the opposite sex of the lover who's watching! Other than for ménage or voyeurism-related interests, I don't know a lot of heterosexual readers who enjoy reading heterosexual romances where, out of the blue, the straight male starts having sex with another man IN FRONT OF his wife or girlfriend, just to prove a point! As a gay reader it makes me feel taken for granted, demoralized, and somewhat offended. Like the author took it for granted that us gay men wouldn't bat an eye at the fact that Ranulf had sadistic, angry sex with a female slave right in front of Aleyn (while looking him in the eye, no less) just to hurt him for not giving it up because it's "normal", right? Well every gay man doesn't lust after straight men, or bisexual men, or hyper-sexualized, hyper-masculine, grunting oafs. So honestly what was the point of that scene? It didn't move the story along at all and for me everyone involved lost accreditation, including the two male leads, the giggling, willing slave girl, and the author. It's such a pitiful, degrading trope that I wish authors of gay literature would just do away with it. I haven't read any heterosexual romances where the opposite is taken for granted and just carelessly thrown in like that. Stuff like that matters to us gay readers too. Also, why did Ranulf HAVE to have multiple wives and children? It didn't make him any sexier or more desirable or more believable. And what happens when they come to live with Renulf? We already know that, according to the way the author set the story up, logically there can really be no happy ending for them. But by then I wasn't rooting for a happy ending anyway. But I digress. I'm not mentioning this to slam the author, but only because I was disgusted by the author's carelessness and I wish that someone had mentioned this in a review so that I would have known better beforehand.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason Bradley

    First, I want to say that vikings are a major fetish for me. I loooove them. I love to fantasize about them, I love to research their history, I love their mythology. I love everything!! But above that, Kirby Crow did the entire Norse/Dane viking warrior thing right! More please? More big grumpy powerful men who know what they want and how to take it. rawr!!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dreamer

    Enjoyable little Viking m/m Slave romp from Kirby Crow.. "Men do not kiss!" he managed to exclaim. Ranulf laughed and slid down a little, so that his chin was even with Aleyn's breastbone. He licked Aleyn's nipple and nipped it with his teeth. "I suppose they do not do this, either?" Enjoyable little Viking m/m Slave romp from Kirby Crow.. "Men do not kiss!" he managed to exclaim. Ranulf laughed and slid down a little, so that his chin was even with Aleyn's breastbone. He licked Aleyn's nipple and nipped it with his teeth. "I suppose they do not do this, either?"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    I really liked this story about an "Irelander" who is taken prisoner by a raiding Viking jarl. Aleyn battles his attraction to Ranulf with everything he has - hiding behind the fact that he's been taken against his will. Strangely enough the much stronger man doesn't force him to do anything he doesn't want - other than accepting the pleasure he gives him. Another interesting aspect of this story is how the two different value systems of the fiercely independent Irish prisoner and the "survival of I really liked this story about an "Irelander" who is taken prisoner by a raiding Viking jarl. Aleyn battles his attraction to Ranulf with everything he has - hiding behind the fact that he's been taken against his will. Strangely enough the much stronger man doesn't force him to do anything he doesn't want - other than accepting the pleasure he gives him. Another interesting aspect of this story is how the two different value systems of the fiercely independent Irish prisoner and the "survival of the strongest" Viking conqueror clash. This adds another layer of struggle to the story which makes it feel more real.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Trix

    It shows this is an early work of the author. I only read "Scarlet and the White Wolf" series but it seemed much better than this. (view spoiler)[Even accepting it was an early work, there were quite a number of things that bothered me a bit. The overall story was very similar to the above mentioned series so much that I was expecting Aleyn to discover some secret magic skill. And the characters themselves were roughly drawn. Ranulf was one moment a fearless leader, then emotional infatuated man. It shows this is an early work of the author. I only read "Scarlet and the White Wolf" series but it seemed much better than this. (view spoiler)[Even accepting it was an early work, there were quite a number of things that bothered me a bit. The overall story was very similar to the above mentioned series so much that I was expecting Aleyn to discover some secret magic skill. And the characters themselves were roughly drawn. Ranulf was one moment a fearless leader, then emotional infatuated man. Aleyn was whiny almost to annoyance and his denial was a bit overdone. The writing style also seems like a first try, since some observations or thoughts of the characters were weirdly inserted in the story. (hide spoiler)] It was an ok story for a first try for the author and it was easy enough to read through it. But it obviously needs serious improvements to be more likable. I'd give this 1.5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Reuter

    Truth? I'm not a romance novel fan, and this book did nothing to change that. The characters were your average romance novel characters, who acted in idealized ways. (Prisoner: You have enslaved me, but oh well. You cannot dim my fiesty nature! Jailer: You're so cute when you're fiesty. I've spent my life raping, murdering, and pillaging, but will now throw away all my values for your fiestyness and hug puppies. Also? Sex. Just saying. Prisoner: Goodie!) However, I wasn't reading this for the plot. Truth? I'm not a romance novel fan, and this book did nothing to change that. The characters were your average romance novel characters, who acted in idealized ways. (Prisoner: You have enslaved me, but oh well. You cannot dim my fiesty nature! Jailer: You're so cute when you're fiesty. I've spent my life raping, murdering, and pillaging, but will now throw away all my values for your fiestyness and hug puppies. Also? Sex. Just saying. Prisoner: Goodie!) However, I wasn't reading this for the plot. The summary promised sex, and in that, Crow delivered very well. :D Hot stuff, well worth the read. If you like the usual romance genre characters and plot, you will adore this. If you're looking for gay sexytimes, this is still worth a look.

  7. 5 out of 5

    blub

    3.5 stars Starts with Aleyn being given two choices that involves giving his life up. Aleyn chooses the less evil of the two and finds himself as a bed warmer to a Viking jarl. It was a good read. The characters were interesting and I liked reading the characters together.

  8. 4 out of 5

    MyzanM

    I suffered through this. Occasional it was OK, but I din't like it most of the time. I kept hoping it would turn around, but it never did that for me. I suffered through this. Occasional it was OK, but I din't like it most of the time. I kept hoping it would turn around, but it never did that for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    EmeArsh

    I think had it been longer it would have been batter. but still real good.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lada

    A quick, tame slavery story. Very minimal internal conflict, maybe because the captor was pretty nice for a Viking raider. I skimmed all the sex scenes, so the brief MF sex here wasn't really a problem for me. A quick, tame slavery story. Very minimal internal conflict, maybe because the captor was pretty nice for a Viking raider. I skimmed all the sex scenes, so the brief MF sex here wasn't really a problem for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eriserato

    It wasn't horrible and the writing was okay. I just didn't like Ranulf's angry-awkward reaction to Aleyn's rejection at Arklow. The scene was kinda pointless and not what I signed up for in an m/m book. Also, Aleyn's sudden turn around of his feelings for Ranulf was just that...really sudden. And it felt more like the author was trying to convince the reader that Ranulf was simply doing what was normal for him by taking Aleyn and making him his bedwarmer. I'd rather Aelyn just said plainly that It wasn't horrible and the writing was okay. I just didn't like Ranulf's angry-awkward reaction to Aleyn's rejection at Arklow. The scene was kinda pointless and not what I signed up for in an m/m book. Also, Aleyn's sudden turn around of his feelings for Ranulf was just that...really sudden. And it felt more like the author was trying to convince the reader that Ranulf was simply doing what was normal for him by taking Aleyn and making him his bedwarmer. I'd rather Aelyn just said plainly that Ranulf never hurt him, gave him pleasure, and treated him kindly when he had no reason to - and that's why he fell in love. Instead we got something like this: "You're my thraell because I'm strong and you're weak. It's natural for you to submit to me." "You forced me into this! I hate you!" ---------some kinda plot---------- "I love you! Why are you being so cold!" "Noooo, I forced you - called you my slave. I'm the WORST." --------makeup sex--------- Roll the credits. (I need to go to bed. The book was OKAY, alright?!)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Delena666

    It's more 4.5 for me or 4.6 so I gave it 5 stars instead of 4. I liked it very much, although even after some time after reading it I still can't voice what was it that made me want to rate it 4.5 instead of 5 (if only I could). I liked the characters, I liked the writing style and I especially liked the difference in the mindsets of the main characters - it was really interesting. As I think about it, I usually don't like short stories (or is it novella?), but this one felt much more satisfying It's more 4.5 for me or 4.6 so I gave it 5 stars instead of 4. I liked it very much, although even after some time after reading it I still can't voice what was it that made me want to rate it 4.5 instead of 5 (if only I could). I liked the characters, I liked the writing style and I especially liked the difference in the mindsets of the main characters - it was really interesting. As I think about it, I usually don't like short stories (or is it novella?), but this one felt much more satisfying than any other same-length stories I've read so far. As a historical romance (I guess it can be called that) it doesn't give out many details on the historical setting, which is not particularly good or bad, considering it's only about 80 pages long. But it is set so deep down the ages (not a "traditional" Regency period, which people in general and romance-lovers have more knowledge about) that it makes happy end more believable.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mirany

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The writing is pretty solid, coherent and straightforward with some occasional problems in tense and POV that confused me. The smuts not bad, especially considering the genre. So the rating probably should lean closer to a three, but I suppose I've been spoiled by good fic, because the lack of plot and reasonable character development just irked me. The whole plot was like going down a checklist: first touch? They hate each other. Rounding third base? Some feelings. Conflict! Lots of feelings Re The writing is pretty solid, coherent and straightforward with some occasional problems in tense and POV that confused me. The smuts not bad, especially considering the genre. So the rating probably should lean closer to a three, but I suppose I've been spoiled by good fic, because the lack of plot and reasonable character development just irked me. The whole plot was like going down a checklist: first touch? They hate each other. Rounding third base? Some feelings. Conflict! Lots of feelings Resolution! Omg, they realize feels. Last twenty pages? Full on sexy times. Some people can devote their lives to each other knowing them for only a month, but considering the amount of upheaval, injury, death, and the time period, you'll think the two would have a little more to work through then what they did. Perhaps I am expecting too much.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Seregil

    It's the second time I've read this and I still like it quite a lot. It felt shorter than I remembered ( or maybe I just wanted it to be longer?), but even though several years have passed in which I went through quite a lot of MM I still like it. There are a few reasons: 1 - it has Vikings in it. Viking MM stories seem to be scarce (at least good ones) 2 - it is a sort of stockholm syndrome slavefic (a genre I'm fond of) and the captor manages to actually be kind of a good guy (too good even, to It's the second time I've read this and I still like it quite a lot. It felt shorter than I remembered ( or maybe I just wanted it to be longer?), but even though several years have passed in which I went through quite a lot of MM I still like it. There are a few reasons: 1 - it has Vikings in it. Viking MM stories seem to be scarce (at least good ones) 2 - it is a sort of stockholm syndrome slavefic (a genre I'm fond of) and the captor manages to actually be kind of a good guy (too good even, to the point that it gets him into trouble considering he's a Viking leader and is supposed to be badass) 3 - the writing is good - for instance there quite a few characters significant to the plot and they're presented quite briefly, but I still managed to feel like I knew them and didn't even mix them up in my head (and I often mix up the characters)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gwengwel

    I don't know what to think of this book. I didn't hate it but it's not something that I'm going to want to read again. The book's not on a professional level. The other reviews left me believing a better story, especially with the subject addressed. After reading the book, I felt that they were complacent on their voting (maybe they follow the writer since a long time). Or maybe it's because I really didn't connect. I didn't like the personage, they didn't feel real and no viking's ever going to I don't know what to think of this book. I didn't hate it but it's not something that I'm going to want to read again. The book's not on a professional level. The other reviews left me believing a better story, especially with the subject addressed. After reading the book, I felt that they were complacent on their voting (maybe they follow the writer since a long time). Or maybe it's because I really didn't connect. I didn't like the personage, they didn't feel real and no viking's ever going to keep alive a prisoner that behave liked Aleyn. I'd kill him myself loll. The book have some language anachronism (mostly with the sex scenes), it was almost enough to go to the http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2... files.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Terra Noah

    4.5 I was excited to read this because of the vikings and because they were Danes. I enjoyed this book and the writing was good. I liked how different the characters were and the whole setting on the ship felt realistic. The one thing I didn't like was the very rare modern terms used during sex (hiding it behind "spoiler" to keep things PG in the review. Words like (view spoiler)["sheep fucker", and "fucked his ass harder" (hide spoiler)] . It wasn't used back then. It would have been fine, if the 4.5 I was excited to read this because of the vikings and because they were Danes. I enjoyed this book and the writing was good. I liked how different the characters were and the whole setting on the ship felt realistic. The one thing I didn't like was the very rare modern terms used during sex (hiding it behind "spoiler" to keep things PG in the review. Words like (view spoiler)["sheep fucker", and "fucked his ass harder" (hide spoiler)] . It wasn't used back then. It would have been fine, if the prose was written in modern language, but it wasn't, so it stood out like a beacon every time. But I didn't let it distract me from the overall story (though obviously it did a little since this stands out). Anyway, I liked the main characters and Aleyn's backstory was nice.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rhianon

    A mostly light-hearted story of a romantic progression from enemies to lovers, with a bit of bloodshed and bondage along the way. So much about the socio-cultural history of the Vikings, the Danes, the inhabitants of northern Europe and "Irland" from that period has been lost to the ravages of time, of invasions and destruction. Crow does a commendable job of constructing a highly plausible "what might have been" scenario, and though it might not stay entirely within the bounds of historical rea A mostly light-hearted story of a romantic progression from enemies to lovers, with a bit of bloodshed and bondage along the way. So much about the socio-cultural history of the Vikings, the Danes, the inhabitants of northern Europe and "Irland" from that period has been lost to the ravages of time, of invasions and destruction. Crow does a commendable job of constructing a highly plausible "what might have been" scenario, and though it might not stay entirely within the bounds of historical realism, this reader isn't expert enough to pinpoint the flaws.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A really good novella with short but hot sex scenes and a fast moving plot. Despite being short, the characters were well developed. However, I'm only giving 4 stars because I felt that the story could have easily been expanded on and turned into a full length novel, allowing more time for a relationship to build up between the two main characters and to see the tension with the crew gradually build up as well. Over all though, a really great story. A really good novella with short but hot sex scenes and a fast moving plot. Despite being short, the characters were well developed. However, I'm only giving 4 stars because I felt that the story could have easily been expanded on and turned into a full length novel, allowing more time for a relationship to build up between the two main characters and to see the tension with the crew gradually build up as well. Over all though, a really great story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    M.E.

    I liked this little story. It was VERY short. So short in fact, that it does NOT warrant the price of the book. It cost me almost $7 for 75 pages to read. Tsk tsk. But that being said, it's my own fault. Should have paid attention. Furthermore, I liked it. It was fun, and I enjoyed the quick pace. I liked this little story. It was VERY short. So short in fact, that it does NOT warrant the price of the book. It cost me almost $7 for 75 pages to read. Tsk tsk. But that being said, it's my own fault. Should have paid attention. Furthermore, I liked it. It was fun, and I enjoyed the quick pace.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Da'ad

    SO sweet and perfect. I loved Aleyn's character and determination, and most of all, his pride. A great hero. I didn't think I'd like the viking, Ranulf, but I did. A lot! I loved him. The ending was perfect, and I didn't expect that. Thank you, Kirby! SO sweet and perfect. I loved Aleyn's character and determination, and most of all, his pride. A great hero. I didn't think I'd like the viking, Ranulf, but I did. A lot! I loved him. The ending was perfect, and I didn't expect that. Thank you, Kirby!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This had the makings of a good book, interesting characters, a viking plot, but it fell short in the execution for me. I think the biggest problem I had was that the MCs had no reason to fall in love with each other. So maybe they were both super shallow but nothing you can do about that I guess.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Oriolidae M.

    A quick little story, nothing more. It was rushed, superficial and emotionally unconvincing, but I didn't hate it. If you have a Viking-fetish, this might be for you. A quick little story, nothing more. It was rushed, superficial and emotionally unconvincing, but I didn't hate it. If you have a Viking-fetish, this might be for you.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I would have given this 3 stars, since I prefer action, long books and better plots, but the story and the characters were good and since it's all about personal taste I try to be fair and leave it as 4 stars. I would have given this 3 stars, since I prefer action, long books and better plots, but the story and the characters were good and since it's all about personal taste I try to be fair and leave it as 4 stars.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nightcolors

    3.5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Soul Yaoi

    Wish it was longer! :)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    I want a Viking of my own!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amara

    Very good Sunday afternoon read. Review to follow

  28. 5 out of 5

    BTina

    3.5 or something, I love historical stories and there were no blunders, just a happy viking romance with little plot.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Miriki

    I loved it. <3 beware there is 1 m/f scene.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary O'Malley

    A fun, fast read. I found that I was wanting something more at the end, a bit of soul missing in the mix, but it was still an entertaining story. It is definitely worth a look!

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