The Black Dawn duology closes with THE BOOK OF THE CROWMAN; the fantastical eco war mixed with a religious like mythology and spiced with the otherworldly spun around young man, Gordon Black and his quest along the black feathered path. Accompanying Gordon, on a parallel path, is Megan, a Keeper in training who evolves into something much more powerful than a designated scribe of the Crowman’s legend, as initially introduced.
Author Joseph D’Lacey fortifies his characters giving them unique powers such as the ability to heal/revive the dead/near dead, morph into animal form, and transpose through time in a mystical ‘weave’ which creates a ghost like apparition of the traveller seen by few and feared by more.
The Ward and the Green Men return but with more purpose than the search of the seemingly elusive Crowman, rather, the two groups engage in fierce battle for the land – one to maintain and nurture mother nature, the other to build and deface (hence the earlier reference to eco war). Gordon, still being chased by the Ward and haunted by his family’s earlier abduction is faced with a choice few could stand to make. The ultimate result is the gratification of a legend, a validation of belief and a sacrifice beyond measure.
Twists and turns aplenty in the later stages of THE BOOK OF THE CROWNMAN really turn the story on its head, making this reader question what was considered to be actual story or a retelling lent more towards fiction than historical fact (re: Megan’s account). I thought this was a nice way to end it all but could see how some readers would want more closure – personally, the openness and individual interpretation of the revelation at books’ end is a real highlight.
Overall, an enjoyable read that introduces some interesting concepts and others that don't quite hit the mark. Well worth a look in as a form of escapism.