by David Clement-Davies
Publish Date: August 2007
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Rannoch is born to a time when the herd is being subjected to a tyrannical rule, where the new Lord of the Herd will do anything to stay in power, even if that means killing anyone in his path. So, when Rannoch comes into the world with an oak-leaf shaped fawn-mark upon his brow, his foster mother fears for him. The mark is spoken of in an ancient prophecy, and the one who bears it will be a king. His foster mother knows that the Lord of the Herd would attempt to rid this new threat to his rule.
So, begins Rannoch’s journeys. As he grows up roaming between different places, trying to find where he can be safe, Rannoch encounters many tests of character and morals. He comes face-to-face with true evils like ignorance and prejudice. The prophecy unfolds, and Rannoch must live up to his destiny, or the Herla (deer) will fall into darkness.
Although the form the characters take—deer—may seem unlikely for such a tale, the author does an outstanding job keeping them deer-like while at the same time easy for the reader to connect to, much the same as with human characters. The many characters have a depth of character that make them seem very real, and Rannoch, the main character is as believable as he is unique.
The author’s writing style is a pleasure to read, as it is reminiscent of epic stories and ancient legends. An air of mysteriousness hangs around the plot even though what is going on is never really a problem to understand. What was really intriguing, though, was how the novel seemed to be reflecting upon our own world. Aspects of human nature, such as fanatic group mentality and power-hungriness are explored, and the ills of our own world unfold in this excellent tale.
[Note: This book is a bit older, but it's an excellent read! I'll post reviews of some older books that you might not have read before. :) ]