Rowan of the Wood by Christine & Ethan Rose
Blue Moose Press (April 22, 2009)
244 pages, Ages 9-12
$11.01 (Amazon.com, 10/14/09, paperback)
$0.99 (Amazon.com, 10/14/09, Kindle Edition) I believe this is a “sale” price only
Overall: 25/30 83% B
Cover/Title Bonus: 4
I received this book in PDF format from the author to read and review.
Release the magic.
Cullen meanders through the redwood forest each day on his way to school with a book in his hands, losing himself in fantastic worlds of elves, fairies, and wizards. He loves escaping to these magical lands because reality is not at all fun. Unpopular and younger than the other kids in his class, he suffers an existence of ridicule along with his two misfit friends Maddy and April.
His life changes when he stumbles upon an ancient magic wand inhabited by Rowan, a powerful wizard. He inadvertently releases this wizard and finds himself possessed with a great power and an obsessive need to find a lost love.
Rowan and Fiana were separated on their wedding day, fourteen centuries ago. Rowan survives, trapped in time until a young boy releases him. Fiana uses dark magic to stay alive and young, continuously searching for her husband. Over the centuries, she descends deeper and deeper into the darkness, eventually giving up her search, until a young boy brings him back to her.
I found this book to be odd but original. Cullen finds a wand that’s holding Rowan prisoner inside. Some how Rowan gets sucked into Cullen and they share his body. Rowan has been separated from his wife since their wedding night 1400 years ago. There’s ancient history at hand that explains what happened. There are witches, vampires, blind children, and mean foster parents involved.
Most of the story takes place in a wooded area of California. And the ancient past is set in Caledonia present day Scotland. It’s pretty adventurous.
Here’s where I had a minor issue. I enjoyed the concept but I found the story to read like a “short” story. I wanted more detail or something. I can’t quite pin point exactly what was missing. I guess I just wanted “more”, which I guess isn’t a terrible thing really. :)
I also noticed within a few pages of the book that this was geared towards 9-12 year olds, per Amazon.com, but there were quite a few words used that I had to stop and figure out what they meant. Thank goodness for the built in dictionary in my Kindle! Otherwise, a dictionary would have been necessary during this book. Although most of the words could have been figured out through reading the context again or further into the paragraph but I NEED to understand what I’m reading, I can’t just pass over a word hoping the author will disclose the meaning to me shortly.
Here’s a list of the words I “clipped” on my Kindle.
“I” know what a claymore is but how’s a 9 year old supposed to know that it’s an enormous sword? These words skipped me up in reading and I may find them enlightening now but a younger version of me would have resented an author for using words I didn’t know. :)
Magic wielding Celtic witches, vampires, a young boy all on an adventure to find love and peace. It was original but as I said in the plot section I wanted more. I learned quite a bit about the Celtic folklore, which was awesome because I’m really into that.
Rowan was the guy stuck in the wand. He made me sad because he’d been trapped for over 1400 years knowing nothing of what transpired.
Fiana is his lost love. She was interesting but crazy as all hell. I didn’t really understand every action she did. I do “understand” why but I don’t understand why she wasn’t strong enough to get past the evilness.
Cullen is a cute young boy. I wanted to know him better. His foster parents are complete jackasses. His older “brother” was no better than his parents.
His teacher Ms. Max MacFey was pretty cool. His friends Maddy and April were nice additions.
For a 9-12 year old geared book there were several references to the lust that Fiana and Rowan for feeling for each other. I thought it was handled well for the age but I think it was interpreted rather hotly, at least for me. The sexual tension was palpable to me, which I thought was nice and would probably be overlooked by a younger reader.
I enjoyed this book. I would have enjoyed learning a bit more about Cullen and his friends Maddy and April. Their relationships intrigued me a bit more than Fiana’s and Rowans actually.
This would be enjoyed by lovers of fantasy, vampires, witches and YA.
The cover is actually really cool! It’s a bit busy looking but it depicts the story so well and I think that is important.
Rowan of the Wood by Christine Rose
Witch on the Water by Christine Rose
Connect with Christine & Ethan Rose
What do you think? I know I didn’t give too many details away, I don’t like spoiling it, but it really was interesting to read. I’ve briefly started the second book, Witch on the Water but I haven’t gotten “into” it yet. I picked up another book I’ve been waiting to read but will come back to Witch soon!
Stop back on the 18th! Christine & Ethan have a guest post and a giveaway to host here!