The Book of the Crowman is the sequel to Black Feathers. Together these two books make up The Black Dawn, a story that D’Lacey originally intended to take up one volume. As these two books are a part of the same story, neither are stand alone novels, so this review will rate the Black Dawn as a whole with the emphasis on Volume II in particular.
D’Lacey has created a beautifully written book that is in part an apocalyptic tale, and also a story with fantasy elements. Whether you love Sci-Fi or Fantasy, this is a book that lovers of all types of speculative fiction will enjoy. The tale follows a young boy and a young girl in a journey to adulthood. Their tales are told simultaneously even though they lived hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of years apart. The boy is Gordon Black. He lives in England during the apocalypse and is prophesied to find the Crowman. The Crowman is a spirit of the earth, and he represents all the human race needs in order to save themselves. The earth is dying from human abuse, and Gordon knows the only way to save the world is to help the Green Men, those a that have a bond with the earth. But the fight won’t be easy as he has to battle members of the Ward, which is comprised of men who want to continue to dominate the earth. Because of the prophecies they are hunting Gordon, and they will stop at nothing to get their hands on him.
The young girl is Megan Maurice, and she lives in a time long after the apocalypse, when the only people left are those that live entirely off the land. Her society is completely environmentally conscious, and works hard to stay that way lest they cause another Black Dawn. Megan is chosen as the last keeper: it is up to her to tell the story of Gordon Black and the apocalypse, and to make sure that everyone heeds the story of the Crowman. Megan and her teacher are both imbued with a kind of magic that let’s them see visions and travel to other times. If Megan can’t become a keeper, then Gordon will have gone through numerous hardships for nothing. But the Black Feathered path to becoming a Keeper is far from easy, and Megan does not know whether she has the strength to finish.
This book is an environmental novel at its heart, and its message is one that is extremely important. It is one of those stories that I wish everyone would read because D’Lacey writes in a way that brings real issues of how humans treat the earth to the forefront of his plot. But even if the message of the book does not move you, the writing certainly will. The author is brutal and honest, and writes in a way that makes his story come alive to the reader. His writing is flawless, and he can make even the darkest scene feel beautiful.
The plot can be a bit slow in part I, but in part II it really picks up, and it becomes hard to put the book down.
The only negative thing a have to say about this book is that the ending left me a little unsatisfied, and wanting more of an explanation. In a way though, the ending fit the story well, and left the reader open to her own interpretation.
Overall I would give this book an 8.5/10, which is the highest rating I have given so far! It is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it.
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.
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Contact InformationIf you would like to submit a book for review, or you have any questions about Avid Reviews, you can contact me by email: mrmileti(at)gmail(dot)com (The writing in the parentheses is substituted for symbols to deter SPAM and bots who gather email addresses. Obviously substitute for the actual symbols to send me an email!)
Monica Mileti lives in Carmel Valley California. She graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in English in 2010. Since then she has had a miriad of medical issues and has been through eight major surgeries. Because of this, she works from her home as a writer and a graphic designer. She is currently working on her serial novel, The Bane of Bennu, which is published with Jukepop Serials. She also writes fantasy and sci-fi book reviews on her blog, Avid Reviews. In her spare time she loves to sing and spend time with her cats.
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