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Literature / Tales of the Black Raven

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One part James Bond, one part Gray Mouser, all badass.

Tales of the Black Raven is a Sword & Sorcery Fantasy series by Seth Skorkowsky, the author of the best-selling Valducan urban fantasy series. It is published by Ragnarok Publications.

SOME CALL HIM HERO. OTHERS, A MENACE. But everyone agrees that Ahren is the best thief in the world. Whether he’s breaking into an impregnable fortress, fighting pirates, or striking the final blow in political war, Ahren is the man for the job. After being framed for murder, his reward posters have named him

The Black Raven. In order to survive, Ahren finds himself drafted into the Tyenee, a secret criminal organization whose influence stretches across the world. Their missions are the most daring and most dangerous, and the penalty for death. When no one else can do it, they send The Black Raven.


The sequel, Sea of Quills was released in September of 2015.

  • Antihero: Ahren is a thief who wants to get rich and be infamous as the world's best thief. Those are the entirety of his motivations and while he has a certain code of honor, it seems very-very flexible as events permit.
  • Artifact of Doom: There are a number of these Ahren is hired to steal. They tend to have horrible side-effects.
  • Bounty Hunter: These start appearing in Sea of Quills, showing the downside to the Black Raven's fame.
  • Calling Card: The Black Raven leaves a feather of his trademark bird at every heist or murder.
  • Cartwright Curse: In true Pulp fashion he doesn't get to stay with the women he seduces.
  • The Casanova: Like James Bond, women absolutely love the Black Raven.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ahren had one of these in the past but she's since grown up to The Rival.
    • Sadly, she's killed a few stories later.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Ahren's two love interests in the book are both these.
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  • Circus of Fear: Ahren joins one of these to bring the group down from the inside.
  • City of Adventure: Every city the Black Raven visits seems to be one of these, full of secret societies and tombs and weird magic.
  • Consummate Professional: Ahren is a job-focused technician amongst thieves who rarely let's emotions get in the way of business.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ahren is more Neutral on the alignment scale but resents the abuse of the poor, destitute, and helpless. He also gets offended that the world's greatest thief sometimes gets assigned to shake down businessmen as part of the Tyenee.
  • Famed in Story: Ahren has become the world's most famous thief—something which has its downsides.
  • Femme Fatale: Ahren meets a number of these on his journeys.
  • Frame-Up: Ahren is subject to one during his first mission. Ironically, it works out for him because the murder he's accused of is what helps catapult him from an unknown thief of above-average skills to a world-famous rogue.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Gangster: The Tyenee are portrayed as first. It turns out they're not, at all.
    • Ahren remains loyal to the Tyenee out of gratitude for all they've done for him, though.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Black Raven goes from being an average sailor with a background in thievery to the world's most infamous rogue.
  • Gentleman Thief: Subverted. Ahren is the world's greatest thief but he's decidedly working class in his habits and tastes.
    • He's more a gentleman than most thieves in his profession, though.
  • Lovable Rogue: A Downplayed Trope example as Ahren has very little of the flamboyant personality usually associated with this trope.
  • Mysterious Stranger: Most of the stories present Ahren as one of these. The reader gets very little insight into his character or motivation and must judge them by his actions and responses.
  • Red Baron: Ahren's name as the Black Raven is famous throughout the land.
  • Thieves' Guild: The Tyenee appear to be one of these but work more like the modern mafia.
  • The Stoic: Ahren rarely shows emotion and maintains a cool professionalism without.
  • Sword & Sorcery: Tales of the Black Raven is an homage to the old Fritz Leiber stories.


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