This week's review is of Rowan of the Wood by Christine and Ethan Rose. This was another of the books I picked up at the Oklahoma Steampunk Expo.
The story starts off with Cullen, a put-upon 12-year-old who's an avid fantasy reader living in present-day northern California. Things shift to post-Roman Britain and Rowan, a druid who escapes an attack by raiders by disappearing into a wooden wand. Also along is Rowan's bride-to-be Fiana, two girls who are Cullen's only friends, and a teacher he has a crush on.
The plot takes off when Cullen finds the wand and begins to communicate with Rowan. At times Rowan even takes over Cullen's body. Rowan wants to find Fiana. She has been searching for him, but she becomes more desperate and dark as time passes. The ending makes this book the first in a series.
I found the characters pretty well-drawn. What was very interesting was Fiana; she doesn't start out bad, but we see her fall as time and frustration take its toll.
On the other hand, there's some switching of viewpoints within scenes. This can be confusing and undermines the narrative flow. To some degree events are set in motion in the present due to coincidence. I suppose this can be attributed to magic, but it's still a bit odd.
I am curious to see how the series progresses. I'm giving this book 3 stars out of 5 at Goodreads.