David Rae, the author of Crowman, contacted me through Twitter and asked if I would review his book. Granted, that was way too long ago, and I’m so sorry that it took me so long to get to this book!
I was even more sad when I realized just how great Crowman is! I’ve learned about myself that when I find a “dark fantasy” book, I can’t say no! This book is the epitome of dark fantasy, and fulfills a reader’s dream on what to expect.
Dark Fantasy books such as Crowman rarely give happy endings, but are so fulfillling in other ways. Characters, world building and points of view are only a small part of what makes a dark fantasy such a great genre!
Thank you to David Rae for giving me a copy of his book in return for an honest review.
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When I find a book that has a brand new mythology, not just an old one that’s repurposed, I get really excited! Crowman has exactly that. The story is not only unique, but the world that David created, and the stories behind the characters are so imaginative.
Vatu, lord of darkness, has stolen the sun. He keeps it in a box, and only allows its light to shine one day a year. On that one day, people have to plant crops and harvest them before the sun is hidden again, because otherwise they won’t have enough food to last the whole year. Very few of the people do, anyway, so they are starving.
Vatu doesn’t care. He only cares about keeping the world in darkness.
Utas has been travelling for weeks. He pretends to be a cloth merchant in order to hide his daughter from the darkness. Alaba glows the closer she gets to the valley of the sun, and the further away she gets from it, the weaker she becomes. Utas doesn’t care about his own safety, only hers, so when he meets Erroi, he isn’t really looking for companions.
Erroi is my favorite character. He seems to be a benign character at first, but he still gives off an air of danger. When Utas and Erroi meet Mukito, the duo becomes a trio.
Utas, in his never-ending journey to protect his daughter, meets many different types of people. I loved the variations of characters that David wrote into his story. Each one gives a unique perspective on the world that keeps the story from getting stale.
Some things about the writing I found really interesting:
- The story is written in present tense, which normally bugs me (my high school English education rearing its head), but in this story I can’t think that writing it in past tense would have made it better. The present tense of the story works.
- This book is written in 3 points of view: Vatu, Mukito, and Utas. Each time the point of view changes, the font changes. I don’t know if this was deliberate on David’s part, but it worked, and I liked it. This change in font helped me realize who was talking, and whose eyes I was watching through.
- Vatu’s point of view is amazing. David did SUCH a good job of using repetition to show his insanity. These parts of the book utilize parallel sentences and minor repetition to get the point across that Vatu is BONKERS. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, but after a couple sentences I actually appreciated the way those parts were written.
My friend Rue also wrote a review on Crowman, so you can check out their review here.
Overall Thoughts on Crowman
Overall, I loved this book, and was so glad that I got a chance to read it! Crowman is part of a trilogy, with the next book coming out in just a couple months. I’ll be sure to update this post with links to the other books once they’re available. For now, I recommend that you read this book, and please let me know in the comments what you thought!
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Until next time, bookworms!