“Jesse Blackadder has all the hallmarks of a great historical fiction writer, achieving a fine balance of thoroughly researched atmospheric detail and suspenseful story . . . In The Raven’s Heart she doesn’t hit one wrong note.” —Sunday Telegraph
Scotland, 1561, and a ship comes across the North Sea carrying home Mary, the young, charismatic Queen of Scots, returning after 13 years in the French court to wrest back control of her throne. The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen’s return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward. Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger and treachery at every turn. This sweeping, imaginative and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion, and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.
The Raven’s Heart is a breathtaking epic from a bold, fresh voice. Winner of the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award, The Raven’s Heart was published in Australia in 2011.
Jesse Blackadder finally had enough of people asking if she was related to Rowan Atkinson, star of the BBC sitcom Blackadder. She traveled to Scotland to find the origins of her surname and discovered the ruins of Blackadder House on the banks of the Blackadder River. The Raven’s Heart grew from there. Jesse lives in Byron Bay Australia.