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The Scarecrow (Master of Malice) (Volume 1) Paperback – December 18, 2015
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About the Author
Cas Peace was born and brought up in the lovely county of Hampshire, in the UK, where she still lives. On leaving school, she trained for two years before qualifying as a teacher of equitation. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They return whenever thay can. As well as her love of horses, Cas is mad about dogs; especially Lurchers. She currently owns two rescue Lurchers, Milly and Milo. Cas loves country walks, working in stained glass, growing cacti, and folk singing. She is currently working on writing and recording songs or music for each of her fantasy books. The song associated with King’s Envoy is “The Wheel Will Turn”; for King’s Champion it is “The Ballad of Tallimore”; and for King’s Artesan it is “Morgan’s Song (All That We Are).” For The Challenge it is “Meadowsweet”, for The Circle it is “Larksong,” and for Full Circle it is “Beyond the Veils.” All Cas’s book songs can be found at and downloaded (free!) from her website, see below. Also find Cas on www.reverbnation. Cas’s first novel, King’s Envoy, was awarded a HarperCollins Authonomy Gold Medal in 2008. Her Artesans of Albia fantasy series has won the critical acclaim of US fantasy, sci-fi, and non-fiction author Janet Morris. Cas is a member of the British Fantasy Society and had a short story included in their 40th Anniversary commemorative anthology Full Fathom Forty. She’s also a contributor to the Janet Morris-edited anthology HEROIKA 1: Dragon Eaters. Cas has written a nonfiction book, For the Love of Daisy, which tells the lifestory of her mischievous and beautiful Dalmatian. She is also a freelance editor and proofreader. Details and other information can be found on her website: www.caspeace.com.
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Top customer reviews
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So, while it needs to stand on its own as an artistic work, each book in this trilogy will be an integral part of the whole series, and contain only its part of the whole. Hence my divided feelings about this specific novel.
Every book needs its dark part. Every story line includes a section where the antagonist seems to be winning, where everything looks extremely dark for the protagonists. “The Scarecrow” is that part of the trilogy. The whole book is extremely dark. Except for one playful scene at the beginning, this novel takes us deep into the depraved mind of the villain as his schemes come to fruition against the unsuspecting heroes.
And this is the strength of the book. The Scarecrow is a very nasty being. I hesitate to call him a person. I always thought Baron Reen was a bit underrated as the villain of the last trilogy. He was usually hidden, and his evil was always done through underlings. Personally, he was a bit of a vain fop, which was part of his clever disguise.
In the new installment, the gloves are off. Through some unknown and terrible process, Reen has become a totally evil but physically devastated being, existing only in darkness because of his ruined eyes, leaching off the emotions and physical energy of his minions and victims. His ability to delude the former queen, Sofira, into loving such a deformed monster demonstrates the depth of his power. By clever contrast, the hesitance and concern of Sofira’s father provides the reader with an alternate point of view that further denotes the depths of the villain’s depravity.
It is difficult to discuss the positive side of the story, because the heroes spend most of their time failing to recognize the power of their adversary and making his task easier through their own weaknesses. So there is little uplifting or positive in this section of the series.
This book, as the beginning of a new trilogy, does not contain the scope and political complexity of the previous volumes, and as such could serve as a possible entry point into the series for those who have not started at the beginning. If they are thrilled by the exposition of evil.
Recommended for fans of Dark Fantasy. A four-star book playing its essential part in a five-star series. A must-read for all fans of the Artesans of Albia.