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Rowan of the Wood

by Christine Rose, Ethan Rose

Series: Rowan of the Wood (1)

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688391,047 (3.79)None
Twelve-year-old Cullen's life changes incredibly when he discovers a magic wand inhabited by a powerful wizard.

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This book is categorized as young adult, but I think it is just as, if not more, enjoyable for adults.
One of the most interesting things about the book is that it travels back and forth in time and through time.
I really enjoyed some of the commentary on religion and good/evil too.
Yes, some of the concept is a lot like Harry Potter's situation, but the story soon branches off into its own unique story line.
I feel as though I could be leaving a much better and more informative review on this book, but unfortunately I finished it several months ago and have forgotten some great stuff.
I will be re-reading this book because I got a little lost at the end, but no worries as it is a quick read, and it was never boring. I normally might not re-read, but the sequel Witch on the Water just came out. I know they are planning a third book as well, but I'm not sure beyond that.
I also met the authors of this book at my local book store. They are super nice people, and as a bonus to me - they are animal-loving vegetarians! I follow Christine on Twitter (christinerose), which is how I found out about the book in the first place. She and her husband Ethan are also here on Goodreads. ( )
  __Lindsey__ | Apr 17, 2013 |
One should understand that Blue Moose Books, the publisher of Rowan of the Wood is part of Blue Moose Films, which distributed Christine Rose's two films (and no others). I have to conclude that this book was effectively self-published. It's not bad by self-publishing standards, but so many things in this novel need more polish. All sorts of bad habits are in evidence: Mary-Sues, thesaurus addiction, telling and not showing, abuse of adverbs and adjectives, flat characterizations, etc. As noted in other reviews here, the vocabulary used is not consistent with my expectations of young adult lit. Frankly, there were too many annoyances for me to appreciate anything new brought to the genre by this book. ( )
1 vote Wova4 | Nov 3, 2009 |
See my blog for this review in full detail (links/images)http://bookreviewsbyjess.blogspot.com/2009/10/rowan-of-wood-by-christine-ethan-rose.htmlPlot: 4Setting: 4Writing: 3Originality: 5Characters: 4Passion: 5Overall: 25/30 83% BCover/Title Bonus: 4I received this book in PDF format from the author to read and review.Summary (Website) Release the magic. Cullen meanders through the redwood forest each day on his way to school with a book in his hands, losing himself in fantastic worlds of elves, fairies, and wizards. He loves escaping to these magical lands because reality is not at all fun. Unpopular and younger than the other kids in his class, he suffers an existence of ridicule along with his two misfit friends Maddy and April. His life changes when he stumbles upon an ancient magic wand inhabited by Rowan, a powerful wizard. He inadvertently releases this wizard and finds himself possessed with a great power and an obsessive need to find a lost love. Rowan and Fiana were separated on their wedding day, fourteen centuries ago. Rowan survives, trapped in time until a young boy releases him. Fiana uses dark magic to stay alive and young, continuously searching for her husband. Over the centuries, she descends deeper and deeper into the darkness, eventually giving up her search, until a young boy brings him back to her. PlotI found this book to be odd but original. Cullen finds a wand that’s holding Rowan prisoner inside. Some how Rowan gets sucked into Cullen and they share his body. There’s ancient history at hand that explains what happened. There are witches, vampires, blind children, and mean foster parents involved. SettingMost of the story takes place in a wooded area of California. And the ancient past is set in Caledonia present day Scotland. It’s pretty adventurous. WritingHere’s where I had a minor issue. I enjoyed the concept but I found the story to read like a “short” story. I wanted more detail or something. I can’t quite pin point exactly what was missing. I guess I just wanted “more”, which I guess isn’t a terrible thing really. :)I also noticed within a few pages of the book that this was geared towards 9-12 year olds, per Amazon.com, but there were quite a few words used that I had to stop and figure out what they meant. Thank goodness for the built in dictionary in my Kindle! Otherwise, a dictionary would have been necessary during this book. Although most of the words could have been figured out through reading the context again or further into the paragraph but I NEED to understand what I’m reading, I can’t just pass over a word hoping the author will disclose the meaning to me shortly.Here’s a list of the words I “clipped” on my Kindle. * toque * amalgamation * apoplectic * magus * tor * quaffed * quailed * fagots * puissant * claymore“I” know what a claymore is but how’s a 9 year old supposed to know that it’s an enormous sword? These words skipped me up in reading and I may find them enlightening now but a younger version of me would have resented an author for using words I didn’t know. :) OriginalityMagic wielding Celtic witches, vampires, a young boy all on an adventure to find love and peace. It was original but as I said in the plot section I wanted more. I learned quite a bit about the Celtic folklore, which was awesome because I’m really into that. CharactersRowan was the guy stuck in the wand. He made me sad because he’d been trapped for over 1400 years knowing nothing of what transpired.Fiana is his lost love. She was interesting but crazy as all hell. I didn’t really understand every action she did. I do “understand” why but I don’t understand why she wasn’t strong enough to get past the evilness.Cullen is a cute young boy. I wanted to know him better. His foster parents are complete jackasses. His older “brother” was no better than his parents.His teacher Ms. Max MacFey was pretty cool. His friends Maddy and April were nice additions. PassionFor a 9-12 year old geared book there were several references to the lust that Fiana and Rowan for feeling for each other. I thought it was handled well for the age but I think it was interrupted rather hotly, at least for me. The sexual tension was palpable to me, which I thought was nice and would probably be overlooked by a younger reader. OverallI enjoyed this book. I would have enjoyed learning a bit more about Cullen and his friends Maddy and April. Their relationships intrigued me a bit more than Fiana’s and Rowans actually.This would be enjoyed by lovers of fantasy, vampires, witches and YA. Cover/Title BonusThe cover is actually really cool! It’s a bit busy looking but it depicts the story so well and I think that is important. Series Rowan of the Wood by Christine Rose Witch on the Water by Christine Rose Connect with Christine & Ethan Roseico_wwwblogger_icontwiiter_icon goodreads amazon-icon_bigger_normal_normal Trailerline_separatorWhat do you think? I know I didn’t give too many details away, I don’t like spoiling it, but it really was interesting to read. I’ve briefly started the second book, Witch on the Water but I haven’t gotten “into” it yet. I picked up another book I’ve been waiting to read but will come back to Witch soon!Stop back on the 18th! Christine & Ethan have a guest post and a giveaway to host here!Jess Sig ( )
1 vote junklekennedy | Oct 31, 2009 |
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com

I really enjoyed reading ROWAN OF THE WOOD. It is the first in a series and I can't wait for the next one to come out.

It starts with two Celtic wizards, Rowan and Fiana, on their wedding day. They have been waiting for this day for many years. Once they are married their power will double. Just as they have been declared married, a band of Christian invaders attacks the ceremony. Fiana manages to escape to the otherworld but Rowan, through magic, seals himself in his wand.

Now we go to modern day. Cullen is a foster child living in Northern California among the Redwood trees. He has survived losing his family and is now living in an abusive foster home. What he loves most are the Redwoods which are behind his house and his fantasy books, especially The Hobbit, which had belonged to his father.

In one horrific scene his foster father makes him burn all of his fantasy novels. That one scene was very hard to read.

Well, Cullen then finds a strange sort of wooden wand and out comes Rowan. He had been trapped there for over a thousand years. But he and Cullen are one person. Rowan can only come out when Cullen is scared or threatened.

Fiana has also returned, but she came back a hundred years after the incident. She has been looking for Rowan for thousands of years. In order to stay young and beautiful she has made a deal with dark magic - and she has turned evil!

All of this makes a fantastic and believable read. The love that doesn't really die between Rowan and Fiana is powerful. The loneliness of Cullen and his love of doing what is right is wondrous. I loved this book and anyone who loves fantasy will love it, too.

The authors have gotten this one right and I highly recommend it. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
Cullen is immediately a sympathetic character: he’s geeky and gawkish, he loves books, and has a less than desirable home life. He’s a foster child and his “family” treats him more like a servant than as a member of the household. This is perhaps a bit cliché, finding a spot somewhere between Harry Potter and Matilda, but that didn’t put me off overmuch. Many preteen, teen and young adult readers will easily be able to relate to the outsider/loner/geek because they will see some of themselves in him — I know I saw aspects of my awkward adolescence through Cullen’s bespectacled eyes. Though he isn’t the first character the reader is introduced to, he is the one to which the reader will most likely latch on to and want to protect.

To a seasoned reader, some of the characters will be stereotypes you’ve seen before. For example, the sidekicks to our hero are both attractive young ladies, smart but complete opposites, almost clairvoyant when necessary but always there to smack Cullen upside the head if he gets mushy eyed over the young but somewhat motherly teacher. There’s the savior teacher, who feels some need to protect Cullen and nurture him when all of the other adults in his life abandon him either tragically or emotionally, and the father figure through Rowan who is a comforting and protecting presence.

However, to the intended audience, these characters are all a little quirky in their own way, recognizable to their view of life, and absolutely appropriate to the story and, unlike some clichés, not annoying in the least. Stereotypes aren’t necessarily a bad thing; in Rowan of the Wood, I found I was able to see aspects of people I knew growing up in the faces of the characters, and I think that’s exactly what a teen reader would feel as well. My only wish would be that in the future there be a bit more character development, so the characters step out of their stereotypes and stand on their own two feet.

While I’m not usually a fan of the Celtic fantasy subgenre (can’t tell you why exactly), this hit the right balance between Celtic myth and modern reality. I was really intrigued by the idea of Rowan and Cullen sharing one body and how that conflict is played out. I really enjoyed watching Cullen start to come into himself and look forward to see where he goes in the following books. If you know a young loner bookworm, please put this book in their hands. Stereotypes or no, this book really captures the imagination of a young person trying to figure out their way in the world. Sometimes the only escape is a good book, and sometimes reality is even more fantastic. Rowan of the Wood gets a solid B+ from me. I eagerly look forward to future installments. ( )
  FandomaniaKelly | Jul 24, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christine Roseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rose, Ethanmain authorall editionsconfirmed

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Twelve-year-old Cullen's life changes incredibly when he discovers a magic wand inhabited by a powerful wizard.

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Rowan of the Wood is the story of Cullen, a twelve-year old outcast who lives with an unbearable foster family in California. He travels through the redwood forest every day on his way to school, losing himself in books and the fantasy world of elves, fairies, and wizards. Cullen's life changes incredibly one day when he uncovers an ancient magic wand that is inhabited by a powerful wizard, Rowan.
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