Epeolatry Book Review: The Tower of Raven by Kevin M. Folliard
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Title: Tower of Raven
Author: Kevin M. Folliard
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Demain Publishing
Release Date: 31st Dec, 2020
Synopsis: In a fairy tale world, 17-year-old Prince Cedrick thirsts for adventure, romance, and an escape from the pressures of his overbearing mother, the Queen Regent. Cedrick’s older brother Roderick bas been recently crowned king, and his mother now plots to have her second born wed to a suitable noble woman.
Cedrick’s childhood friend Garth urges him to “sow a few wild oats,” while he still can, and sends him on a quest after a beautiful long-haired maiden, trapped in a tower beyond the haunted place known as Crows Town. In the deserted misty streets of Crows Town—formerly the Kingdom of Cherrywood—Cedrick encounters the spirit of an ancient witch who summons a murder of crows, kills his horse, and sends him wounded into the forest on the other side of the mountains.
The siren song of Raven, the witch’s adopted daughter, draws Cedrick to her tower. Broken and weak, however, he finds himself unable to climb to her rescue, and instead hoisted upward by enchanted tendrils of long dark hair.
Under the power of Raven’s healing magic, Cedrick experiences an awakening…but whether that awakening is for good or for evil…you’ll have to read ‘Tower Of Raven’ to find out…
Prince Cedrick, more interested in discovering true romance than in feigning interest in the young girl his mother proposed for him, is convinced by his best friend to sneak out of the kingdom and sow his oats. But where will he go? The first of several vivid dreams happens. Enter the fairy tale.
A damsel in distress, trapped in a tower beyond a forlorn ghost town. Traversing the once splendid town of Cherrywood, now aptly nicknamed Crow’s Town, offered Cedrick a challenge he craved.
Crow’s Town – desolate and dilapidated. Ghost town or gauntlet? Crows, first nowhere, then everywhere. A spooked horse, an old hag, and a threatening warning about Princess Raven in the tower – Cedrick tackled more than birds on his journey.
The mystical hair endowed onto the maiden proved to be its own formidable character. Folliard’s descriptions of color and texture and intricate movement bestowed upon his readers a coiffure practically human. Rapunzel had nothing on Princess Raven. No hindrance was greater than Cedrick’s desire for she-who-adorned the magical mane. Would his own fairy tale come true? Would he rescue Raven and spend happily ever after with her? Was she all that she appeared to be, or had the old hag foretold the truth?
The pressures Cedrick encountered often came after a dream scene, seven of them, and sometimes those scenes gave too much away and weakened the real-time action. The dreams were powerful and foreboding, but by Chapter 10, it hit me that the story felt unbalanced because real time took a back seat to dream scenes. It was the only thing that kept it from earning five stars.
It didn’t stop me from falling in love with fairy tales again, in a sadistic kind of way. The obstacles to Folliard’s protagonist were far more harrowing than many that have come before Tower of Raven. I was plagued with a feeling of doom as I read this story, sprinkled with just enough delight and sweetness to make me think – for quick moments – that the skeletons and destruction might not be so bad. I finished the story yearning to read more “fairy tales” a la Folliard.
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Brenda Tadych is a Pennsylvania native and graduate of Harrisburg Area Community College. She has been a contributing writer with the Press and Journal publication, Dauphin County Woman since 2011 when she began writing seriously, quite by accident. In addition, her articles have appeared in The Patriot-News, Hummelstown Sun, and Wisdom-Magazine.com. She was a participant in the Perry County Council of the Arts programs, “A Novel Idea” and “Critique 101.” One of her short stories was published in the anthology, Strange Magic. An installment with a supernatural twist can be found in the serial novella, The Blue, the Gray, and the Red.
She credits black and white classic monster movies with cultivating her excitement in horror, and the 1970’s for enriching it with “The Exorcist,” “Halloween,” and that guy who introduced her to characters like Carrie White, Mr. Barlow, and Jack Torrance.
Her Dauphin County Woman columns can be found at womannewspapers.com. For a journey into her random world, visit her blog at brendasumthin2say.blogspot.com. She can also be contacted at [email protected].