Fantasy, Reality, Reviews and Drama Lessons from Gordon A. Long
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Interesting Contacts

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Generations

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Once again I must preface my review of one of the Artesans of Albia series with the disclaimer that this book cannot be reviewed in isolation. It marks the start of a new trilogy, but it also continues the conflicts and characters set up in the previous books of the series. It contributes its part to the story arc of the whole trilogy that it begins.

So, while it needs to stand on its own as an artistic work, each book in this trilogy will be an integral part of the whole series, and contain only its section of the whole. Hence my divided feelings about this specific novel.

Every book needs its dark part. Every story line includes a section where the antagonist seems to be winning, where everything looks extremely dark for the protagonists. “The Scarecrow” is that part of the trilogy. The whole book is extremely dark. Except for one playful scene at the beginning, this novel takes us deep into the depraved mind of the villain, as his schemes come to fruition against the unsuspecting heroes.

And this is the strength of the book. The Scarecrow is a very nasty being. I hesitate to call him a person. I always thought Baron Reen was a bit underrated as the villain of the last trilogy. He was usually hidden, and his evil was always done through underlings. Personally, he was a bit of a vain fop, which was part of his clever disguise.

In the new installment, the gloves are off. Through some unknown and terrible process, Reen has become a totally evil but physically devastated being, existing only in darkness because of his ruined eyes, leaching off the emotions and physical energy of his minions and victims. His ability to delude the former queen, Sofira, into loving such a deformed monster demonstrates the depth of his power. By clever contrast, the hesitance and concern of Sofira’s father provides the reader with an alternate point of view that further denotes the depths of the villain’s depravity.

It is difficult to discuss the positive side of the story, because the heroes spend most of their time failing to recognize the power of their adversary and making his task easier through their own weaknesses. So there is little uplifting or positive in this section of the series.

This book, as the beginning of a new trilogy, does not contain the scope and political complexity of the previous volumes, and as such could serve as a possible entry point into the series for those who have not started at the beginning. If they are thrilled by the exposition of evil.

Recommended for fans of Dark Fantasy. A four-star book playing its essential part in a five-star series. A must-read for all fans of the Artesans of Albia.

 
 
 
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Television series
 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


Mind of the Beast

Brian and Juliet Freyermuth


As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

Alan Bradley


Raven's Wing

Shawna Reppert


Hooligans

Chaz Fenwick


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
 


 
Erik Kort


 
(Short Story)

Aine Greaney


Mysteries of Shetland

Anne Cleeves


Ravensblood

Shawna Reppert


The Cold Forever

Dmitry Pavlovsky


Ava's Man

Rick Bragg


Ava's Man

Rick Bragg


The Best Laid Plans

Terry Fallis

 

 

Wordscapist: the Myth

Arpan Panicker


Murder and Mendelssohn
Kerry Greenwood

Drawing Conclusions
Donna Leon

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon
Alexander McCall Smith

The Dead in their Vaulted Arches
Alan Bradley


The Commons Book 1

The Journeyman
Michael Alan Peck


At War With Satan
Steff Metal

Phobos: Mayan Fear
Steve Alten

Guystuff
Linton Robinson

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

You Can't Get There From Here
Gayle Forman

Psychic Warrior
T. D. McKinnon

Forager
Peter R. Stone

Butterman (Time Travel) Inc.
PK Hrezo

Winter Fire
Laurie Dubay 

Canadian Pie
Will Ferguson 

Bertie Plays the Blues
Alexander McCall Smith

Miss Timmins' School for Girls
Nayana Currimbhoy

Xenophobia
Peter Cawdron

The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
Enid Shomer

The Importance of Being Seven
Alexander McCall Smith

Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic
Meghan Ciana Doidge

Unnatural Habits
A Phryne Fisher Mystery

Kerry Greenwood

Strays
Book I of The Glaring Chronicles

Matthew Krause

The Hundred-Foot Journey
Richard C. Morais

The Crooked House
John Longeway

Eye Candy
by
Ryan Schneider

Season of the Harvest
Michael R. Hicks

Chronicles of Trellah Book I:
The Perpetual Rain

T. S. Graham


The Casual Vacancy
J. K. Rowling
Alexander McCall Smith
Charlotte Henley Babb

David Litwack 
G. T. Denny
John Patrick Gallagher
Cas Peace
Steve Umstead
L.M.Dewalt
J.W.Bacarro
Mark Everett Stone