Blog Tour | Review: The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

I thought I was being super organised but it turns out I’m a day late on the blog tour – clearly the clock’s going back messed with me somehow. Anyway, I’m still going to rave about The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn for the blog tour.

The Bird Tribunal, published by Orenda Books, is the first psychological thriller I’ve read that has literally creeped me out – I felt tense reading it. Here’s what it’s about:


Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape… TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough…

What I say:

I loved every single minute of The Bird Tribunal because everything about it was incredibly strange. I’m used to the typical format of a novel, with punctuation to mark dialogue, a mixture of long and short chapters and, sometimes, flashbacks to something frightening. Well, this book didn’t really have that but I think that’s what made it all the more haunting and great to read. When a writer messes with the ‘traditional’ order of novel writing, you know something great’s about to happen (at least we hope so.)

I’m more than delighted to say that Ravatn has pulled it off and has written a lyrically haunting psychological thriller. At only 185 pages long, this eloquently written novel will most definitely entertain and spook you something chronic. The feeling of isolation and doom is present from the first page until the very last so be prepared to read and feel uncomfortable.

Allis Hagtorn, the character whose head we’re inside of, doesn’t have the best track record and also isn’t the most reliable narrator going. Her moral values are a bit screwed and she makes some questionable choices (of which I can’t say) but for the most part, she seems to be willing to try. However, her employer, Sigurd Bagge, has a very bizarre demeanour. He’s socially awkward, huge and makes Allis feel scared constantly. If I’m honest, I felt scared whenever Allis and Sigurd shared a room as I was never too sure what would happen.

You’re never really sure about which character’s telling the truth about what but you’re quickly able to discover something’s not quite right with both of them. Deep at the heart of this novel lie a few secrets that, if discovered, would ruin everything – but for who? Ravatn injects tons of mystery into what has happened whilst allowing her characters to possess an insane amount of curiosity so that they can get to the truth.

I can honestly say this book stands out among a lot of the books I’ve read lately. Not only was the landscape terrifyingly beautiful, so were the characters, their encounters and the language. I raced through this novel in one sitting because I simply needed to know what was so thrilling about this book – now I know.

There’s nothing quite like a book that grabs you by the throat from beginning to end and throws some pretty unexpected twists and turns into the wood works. The Bird Tribunal is different and one of those books you absolutely need to read! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way it made me feel and the characters have made a lasting impression on me – this is the perfect psychological thriller!

Other stops on the blog tourThe Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

Where to buy

Grab your copy of The Bird Tribunal from Amazon UK | Amazon US | Foyles | Waterstones


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