Tales From the Edge of the Woods


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Entering the lush, lyrical, and fantastical world of Ikins’ Totems, readers become travelers—not simply visitors—to Ambergris’ realm.

The golden-eyed bear-wizard Ambergris is our guide and leader into a woods in which mushrooms are soldiers and black flies are no longer annoying insects, but the Black Fly Brigade Sisterhood.

These woods overflow with original characters like Merthwyn, the adopted elven boy; and the good-humored Grandfather Trout, who offers rides through a mysterious pool beneath a hidden falls. Animal totems allow Ikins’ fabulous story to be read on multiple levels as fable, allegory, parable and myth, but most of all, as an adventure into imagination.

In Ikins’ Totems, “An observer would not fail to notice that the microscopic leaves of impossibly gossamer texture seemed to wave and nod at his words, as if he and those plants truly held conversation.” Readers are, indeed, held in the magic of enchanted conversation with all manner of living things within Ikins’ fertile, sumptuous, and quixotic creation. —Nancy Avery Dafoe Author & Poet

Rachael Z. Ikins is a 2015 Pushcart nominee and award winning poet and artist. Her artwork has
appeared in one-woman and group exhibits in Lipe Art Park, Tech Garden and Syracuse
galleries, in venues from Hamilton to Albany, and at the NYS Fair. She has published six chapbooks and a novel.