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.
Author 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.
David recently chatted with me about his remarkable story:
Is there an Author you consider your inspiration? Just one? I was that geeky, spectacled boy that always had a book under his nose. I’ve read and read my whole life. As a boy I loved Tolkien. I also love the classics. My current favorite is Amin Maalouf. If you have not read SAMERKAND then get a copy now.
What Inspired you to write your book? CROWMAN is inspired by the Native American myths about the sun being kept in a box and freed by the crow. Once I started to think about what such a world would look like, the book began to form in my head. I lived near the arctic for a few years, and I got some insight into what a world with no sun is like. It’s a lot brighter than you’d think. The moon, the stars, the northern lights and the reflection of light from the snow, all become very important. I even learned to tell the time by the position of the moon.
Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character? In CROWMAN, my favorite character is MUKITO. He’s a young bandit boy who once he meets up with UTAS and ERROI changes his outlook on life. He’s not always the smartest, but honest with himself and in the end shows a great deal of bravery and resilience. The story would have been very different without him
My least favorite is GUTUZO who is a greedy, cowardly bully. He abuses his power and the people around him. He is completely self-centered.
Which one of your characters would you like to meet and why? In my latest project, I have a character called Tito. He is a bit clueless and gets into all sorts of trouble, but his heart is in the right place. He’s usually the butt of someone’s joke or victim of someone’s scheme yet somehow always lands on his feet. He’s sweet and innocent and very kind. I wish I was like that.
What is the hardest part of editing- grammar checks, reducing content, or something else? I am terrible at editing. I use all sorts of soft-wear and text to speech but I always miss something. The hardest part is not to get discouraged. No one ever wrote a first draft that didn’t need work. Thank God for editors, I say.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be- why? Well, I would not want to live in CROWMAN. It’s an interesting world for sure, but it’s a harsh world and it’s ruled by an evil spirit. Life is cheap there, and did I mention no sun.
What’s exciting you about your next project? I’m finishing the Sun Thief trilogy, CROWMAN is book one and CROWTOWER comes out in June. I’ve started on CROWBAIT, the final book, and I am surprised and excited at the way things are heading in that book.
OH I cant wait for these follow-up! Thank you so much for sharing some of your insights with us. I truly wish you all the very best success with this unique and amazing series.
My Recent 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.
I hope you’re intrigued and will take a moment to look David up:
Connect with David on Twitter: @DRDVDRAE