The Ravenmaster's Boy by Mary Hoffman

The Ravenmaster's Boy

Written by Mary Hoffman

11+ readers   13+ readers   Books for Boys   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a nutshell: intrigue and treachery at the Tower of London, and a bird’s eye view of the end of Anne Boleyn | Three young people witness the fall and execution of Anne Boleyn in this gripping historical adventure. Chief amongst them is Kit Wagstaffe, adopted son of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, a boy with a rare gift: he can communicate with the ravens. With flocks of feathered spies to help, Kit discovers a plot against the young Princess Elizabeth, one he is determined to foil out of his loyalty to and affection for Anne. Figures familiar from history lessons are made vivid, breathing characters in this exciting story and though we know how it ends for Anne readers will be moved and saddened viewing events through Kit’s eyes. This is proof of historical fiction’s power to grip and entertain.

Pippa Goodhart’s Raven Boy tells another gripping story from within the Tower, in a different century. ~ Andrea Reece

Hilary Mantel, Double Man Booker prizewinning author of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies : ‘The Ravenmaster’s Boy is a dark but charming Tudor tale – history with a twist. The events of May 1536 – the days of the fall of the Boleyn regime – are still cloudy and mysterious, and it is possible that the birds of the air know as much as the rest of us about what really happened and why.’

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The Ravenmaster's Boy by Mary Hoffman

Young Kit finds himself on a plague cart wedged between the bodies of his mother and father. But he is alive and is rescued and taken into the home of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. He soon finds he can speak the language of the big black birds, a skill which proves useful when he finds himself caught up in a story of queens and treason, princesses and executioners.

There can be no change in the history of Henry Vlll’s first two wives but without Kit and the ravens another Tudor monarch might never have survived.


"The Ravenmaster’s Boy is a dark but charming Tudor tale – history with a twist. The events of May 1536 – the days of the fall of the Boleyn regime – are still cloudy and mysterious, and it is possible that the birds of the air know as much as the rest of us about what really happened and why." Hilary Mantel, Double Man Booker prizewinning author of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.

Praise for Mary Hoffman:

Shakespeare’s Ghost

“One of the liveliest and most captivating historical fantasies about Shakespeare’s imagination since Susan Cooper’s King of Shadows.” Amanda Craig

Shakespeare’s Ghost is a beautifully written, engaging novel which brings the world of Jacobean acting – and the world of Faery – vividly to life.” Laura Tosi, Professor of Literature, University of Venice.

“A charming and fantastical interpretation of the genesis of The Tempest.” Suzi Feay, The Financial Times.

“Shakespeare’s Ghost combines insights into daily and theatrical life in the early seventeenth century with a rich, clever and unusual plot, full of surprises until the end.” Linda Newbery, Armadillo (Editor’s Choice.)

“It brings the world of Jacobean theatre vividly to life … Perceptively and captivatingly written, Shakespeare’s Ghost is highly recommended.” Historical Novel Society


“Hoffman has written an enthralling and well-paced tale whose conclusion is at once unexpected, poignant and satisfying.” The Guardian, Linda Buckley-Archer (author of The Timequake Trilogy)

“Well researched and rivetingly readable, this runaway bride makes the perfect read for the end of the summer holidays.” The Times, Amanda Craig

“I couldn’t help thinking while reading Troubadour that it might be Mary Hoffman’s best book. So far.”
Bookwitch (Ann Giles)

The Falconer’s Knot

“Hoffman handles the drama with admirable skill. … there is a freshness of perspective and intricacy of plot that lift the story above the obvious or crass.” The Guardian, Diane Samuels

“Hoffman creates utterly engaging characters and vivid settings, and she skillfully turns up the suspense, wrapping her varied plot threads into a satisfying whole. Readers will race through to the satisfying, fairy-tale conclusion, which includes some empowering twists for the female characters.” Booklist

About the Author

Mary Hoffman

Mary Hoffman has written over 100 books for children. Amazing Grace, commended for the Kate Greenaway medal, and its sequels has sold over 1.5 million copies. As well as the successful Stravaganza sequence of teenage novels, translated into over thirty languages, The Great Big Books series of information books for younger readers, illustrated by Ros Asquith has done very well. The first, The Great Big Book of Families, won the inaugural SLA Information Book Award in the under 7s category.

Mary loves to write historical fiction and her books for Bloomsbury - The Falconer’s Knot, Troubadour and David - have been followed by Shakespeare’s Ghost and now The Ravenmaster’s Boy. She runs a widely-read blog called The History Girls:

Mary is an Honorary Fellow of the Library Association (CILIP) and lives in Oxfordshire.

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Book Info


224 pages


Mary Hoffman
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The Greystones Press

Publication date

6th April 2017




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