Touch the light. Hold the light. The light burns. The light runs away. Hold the light. Lock the light away.
The great spirit Vatu keeps the Sun in a box, where no thief can steal it. Once a year, the box is opened and life springs across the dark lands. The whole world belongs to Vatu. He is darkness, he is master of all. There is no hiding from him.
But Utas must try, for his daughter’s sake. She is sick from darkness, and yet she glows with a mysterious light. If Vatu can find them, he will destroy them, or worse, drag them back into his mad, dark world. Torn between duty and mercy, between justice and freedom, Utas tries to escape, but it seems inevitable that the darkness will reclaim him.
For the greatest mercy and the greatest punishment Utas can suffer is to return to his true self.
My 5-Star Review!
I was intrigued by this metaphysical dark fantasy from the moment I read the description. Uniquely named characters and concepts drew me in immediately and filled my mind with questions and lush imagery…a masterful book blurb to say the least!
Vatu, the great spirit of darkness. I could see him, an ethereal and all-consuming shadow intent upon absolute control. Utas, the hopeful apparition fleeing from himself, and his beautiful daughter who is delicate and mysterious. Their plight pulled me along. I was invested in their harrowing journey, their disappointments, their hopes. Symbolism and spirituality are illustrated like characters, filling the narrative with thought-provoking themes that made me pause and consider.
As father and daughter make their way, they are joined by a melange of artfully created characters: Erroi, the warrior, whose body and spirit are independent of each other and who travels in dreams. He is beautifully silent and deliciously mysterious. Mukito, a boy whose cruel stepfather has left him few alternatives other than thievery. The innocent Zintoa, and noble Eskanza. The characters are elaborate, simple, fully-developed, flawed and entirely captivating.
The narrative is rich with unfamiliar people and places, intriguing me page after page. Dialog forms much of the story, yet there are descriptions that whisk the reader away. Poetic tangles of dream-like reveries adorn the journey, some so intricate and imaginative I simply had to read them again….and again! There were times I wasn’t sure what was reality and what wasn’t and I was reminded of an episode of STNG, ‘Masks’, where the hunt of Masaka and Korgano parallels the birth of Athena at the Parthenon.
Mythological and magical, Rae’s Crowman is a masterpiece of epic fantasy, conceptual and allegorical fiction in which I would willingly immerse myself book after book after book.
David Rae lives in the West of Scotland. He lives in a world of his own; a world of wonder, a world where hoards of workers spill out of factories, a world were fog and smoke shroud all kinds of creatures, a world where ruined castles, factories and houses were haunted by ghosts, gangs and memories. He lives in world where witches have been burned at the cross and martyrs have been hung on the Gallowgreen. He writes poetry and short stories and reads every trashy novel, every children’s book and every comic that comes his way.
He studied Botany, Architecture, Mathematics, Computers, Geography, and Ecology. He worked in a sweetie factory, as a scaffolder and ditch digger. He worked as draftsman and as an ecologist, as a statistician and as a policy maker. H is married and has four children, lovely children and now lovely grandchildren. And He continues to read and to write and marvel at the world He live in.
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