Rowan of the Wood by Christine Rose
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Rowan of the Wood (Amazon / Smashwords ) is an enjoyable story about a young boy dealing with life as a foster child. He escapes his unloved life by reading fantasy stories, but one day he finds himself in a situation that is confusing and dangerous when all the elements of one of his stories finds him in real life.
Meanwhile, a second story is unfolding. A story of legends, myths, witches and vampires. We move through the centuries with another character, a woman who is desperate to find her lost love and will do anything to stay alive long enough to find him.
The story is written in a way that held my attention, but as a writer I could see its flaws. Firstly, there’s a lot of telling rather than showing. However, most of the time I was comfortable with this as the telling was mostly done in a storyline that covered about 1400 years and I appreciate how hard it would be to “show” all that passed during that time. Secondly, although the author has noted the intended audience as “young adult”, I felt the age of the young boy – a 12 year old – together with the book cover shown actually targets a younger audience…and the content is not suitable for the younger age group (in my opinion). This could have been easily resolved by increasing the age of young Cullen to about 15 or 16. Thirdly, there are many similarities between Cullen and Harry Potter – so many, in fact, that I found it distracting at times because I felt as if Harry was the model used when Cullen was created. Whether or not that’s true, I don’t know, but I think it’s a shame that Cullen didn’t come across as his own person.
These things aside, I enjoyed the story. The characters fit together well and their motivations were realistic. I found that the author’s writing style was easy to read for long periods of time without becoming fidgety. In fact, I finished the book in a very short period of time and have already started the second book.
This book is recommended to readers who have a mature mind, a young heart and enjoy books about never ending love and adventure.