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The Darkling Thrush

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3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,221 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword's Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches' grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries' old murder.
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 216 pages
Published April 2012 by Just Joshin (first published April 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,015)
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Ingela
Written January 2, 2015

3.1 Stars - Mysterious myths and an interesting adventure part ... but too little snuggle factor for me

A Josh Lanyon fantasy / mystery tale. — 5:30 hrs narrated by Max Miller (new for me).

A little disappointed to be honest..
Hardly a romance but a pretty interesting mystery. - Although very different with a strange feeling over it. Both the story itself and this slow and quite odd narration. Melancholy and very quietly in the expression, but still enjoying to listening to.
...more
Breann
Jul 18, 2013 Breann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Breann by: Tj
I always enjoy a character who sticks his nose where it probably doesn’t belong and gets into all sorts of trouble.

Colin Briggs accepts a job to find an ancient and dangerous grimoire, The Swords Shadow. Pretty soon into his search he realizes that he’s in way over his head and that he’s not the only one on the search.

This was definitely a paranormal book with some fae and magic, but there wasn’t much world building. We saw each experience through Colin’s POV and that was all we got of this wor
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Monique ~ Sinfully
Audio Book 3.5 Stars... OK! Narrator Max Millar was amazing, I loved his seductive tones:)
Lauraadriana
May 24, 2012 Lauraadriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fave-authors
I have trouble explaining this book...I was fantasy for sure...but I also got a very steampunk feeling from it. It was enjoyable and entertaining and beautifully written...How does Josh Lanyon do it? I don't know, I'm just happy as hell he can.

In this world Colin Bliss is a book hunter from Boston(librivenator) of Magick books who is working in the London Bureau. He is young but well known for discovering a very obscure grimoire (book of Old Magick).

Out the blue he is hired (on the sly) to hunt
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Feliz
What if there was magic in our world today? What if it was as normal to be a witch, or clearsighted, as it is for us to be good at sports or a musician? This is what Josh Lanyoon must have thought when he created an AU world with telephones, aircraft, and automobiles where "the Americas" are officially still called "The colonies", where people spend their lives transcripting books by hand or hunting famous lost grimoires, where there is a secret police in charge of suppressing or destroying book ...more
Vivian
Sep 30, 2013 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-pn, fantasy, own
The book geek in me loved the premise of an outsider librarian going off the range after making a colossally bad workplace decision.

Colin Bliss, young, talented and naive makes a whopper of bad judgment call and then realizes he has to live with it for a year. A very long year. Until an opportunity presents itself and he decides to engage in some unsanctioned activities since, well...since he's been sidelined.

Septimus Marx, the scowling presence that always unsettles Bliss is the proverbial bad
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Ami
3.25 stars
Positive: Wow for the fantasy thing. I must say the the description is quite good. It is intriguing ... the quest to find the lost legendary grimoire in the remote Western Isles. It's like I'm watching "Merlin"

Negative: I don't know, I feel like there is a disconnection between Colin and Septimus. If I expect some kind of romance, this is not it. I cannot really believe their relationship.

Still, if I need to sum up, I will go with intriguing
Edina Rose
Nov 27, 2012 Edina Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ebook and Audiobook reviews

ebook
Librivenator, librireddo, Vox pessimeres, veneficus...

I so love the vocabulary in this book!

Our 23 year old librivenator is so adorable in his youth and errors and naivete! Mix this with good looks, intelligence and self-deprecating humour and you've got someone I want to hear more about.

I would like to know how the relationship between Bliss and Marx evolves. They live in different countries, Bliss is doing an exchange program when they meet. Will Bliss st
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Emanuela ~plastic duck~
May 24, 2012 Emanuela ~plastic duck~ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emanuela ~plastic duck~ by: itmfiddler
It was a bit more difficult than usual to enter the story because in a fantasy book it always takes me a while to learn the rules of the world created by the author, to memorize the names, items, places, but once I found myself comfortable, I wouldn't want the story to finish.

There are three elements that made this book great:

* books. No one needs to convince me that books are magical items and that they contain much more than what's on the pages. Sometimes I'm so engrossed in a book, I hang ont
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Natasha
A two-star Lanyon from me? Never thought I'd live to see the day. But it is from 2010 and like all things, I think Lanyon has improved with time.

The writing is still marvelous. Extremely poetic and beautiful.

I had a harder time connecting to this story. I'm not sure Lanyon paranormal is for me.
Lori
Aug 12, 2015 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

I liked the world in which this was set - but I kind of wanted more. I enjoyed everything that was here (though maybe a little too insta-love for my tastes) but I wanted it longer and more complex. I'm greedy like that! No matter, I'm pretty sure I will always love Lanyon's words!
JR
Oct 13, 2014 JR rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you know who you are
Colin Bliss is a book hunter. Itching to get out of desk work and back into the field, Colin takes a private job to recover a witches grimoire that could spell the end of the world. Magister Septimus Marx is tagging along with Colin, but is he aiding or inhibiting Colin's quest?

This fantasy mystery caught me by surprise. I been plowing through Mr. Lanyon's catalog which has so far been mostly contemporary, with a few set in America of the past. This one sort of felt a little in the steampunk g
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Kati
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lil' Grogan
May 26, 2012 Lil' Grogan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, 2-5, pnr-rom, m-m
An interesting change to Lanyon's usual work - the mystery of uncovering a historical artifact in a fantasy world. There were enough touches to make discovering the unique rules interesting. To me much of it read as a historical mystery. But perhaps the amount of work put here took away from the rest of the story.

Despite some interesting secondary characters, this was a very solitary adventure for Colin. In general, I thought the characters took a backseat to the plot itself.

So for all my talk
...more
Betryal
May 28, 2012 Betryal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is different from the works I'm used to by Josh that I've read, but I was taken back that I truly enjoyed the story. I will admit to having put it down once by no fault of my own and when I picked it up to resume reading it I was darn glad I had. There's the supernatural, other worldly beings if you wish to call them that and a whole lot of action and ignited suspense all wrapped up in to one unforgettable read.
Alyosha
Exciting. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I spent reading this, at times I even felt like my heart might beat out of my chest.

Fantastic world building, great setting and memorable heroes. I really hope there will be a sequel as I'd love to read more about Septimus and Bliss (who made it on the top ten on my favorite main characters list) and to learn more about the world Lanyon created.
Icedave
3.67 stars
I liked this one for the fantasy/magic/book-hunt parts ...but missed the “romance” and some character chemistry here
Joy
Jan 20, 2013 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It always takes me a few chapters to get into the flow of reading fantasy and this book was no exception--the ending more than made up for the slow start---once again Lanyon has given us a great story
Ije the Devourer of Books
I always enjoys Josh Lanyon's stories. I find his main characters to be interesting and engaging. I also enjoy the way these books have just the right balance of mystery and romance. The main characters always find love along the way and this makes for interesting reading alongside the mystery.

This is the first Lanyon book that I have read which has elements of the paranormal and which is set in a world that is similar to our world but at the same time different because of the presence of magic.
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Leanne
3.5 stars rounded up for the narration

I want to tie up Max Miller, and force him under torture, (with feathers and sex toys...and only if he protests, of course) to narrate everything on my favourites shelf. I love his voice and the way he uses it. Light and achingly vulnerable..or velvety smooth and sexy when it needs to be. His accents (Scots must be really difficult to pull off), excellent characterisations and completely unforced, relaxed style is brilliant.

Oh yes. The story? Perhaps not as
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Joan
Oh dear. I wanted to love this, I wanted it to be a beautiful as Come Unto These Yellow Sands or Cards On The Table and all the other Lanyon books I have read, but somehow I couldn't get into this.

My fault maybe? I don't know. Perhaps a little too complex? Lanyon excels in writing pared-down prose and this just rambled a bit too much for me to really enjoy.

Two stars. It was okay. Not bad, but not one that I would pick up and re-read over again like Come Unto the Yellow Sands.
Elyxyz
Nov 22, 2015 Elyxyz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fino a ieri credevo che Josh Lanyon fosse un uomo e non avevo mai letto nulla di suo, perché il genere mistero/giallo non è esattamente nella mia top ten.
Oggi ho scoperto che mi sbagliavo su entrambi i fronti, perché questa donna è riuscita a conquistarmi, quindi andrò presto a razziare altre sue storie, dopo questo racconto autoconclusivo.

‘Tordo a sera’ è un mix di fantascienza, fantasy e mistero, ambientato in un mondo parallelo al nostro, che mi ha dato una forte impressione steampunk (per es
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Lacey
3.5 stars

I'm not going to go through the plot because I think a lot of other reviews have already done that. Instead, I'll tell you that I loved the idea of a world similar to our own but where magic exists. I loved the plot of this story, and the adventure grabbed me from the very beginning. I was immediately swept away in the mysteries that Colin faced and the fast-paced action of the story.

However, there were a lot of loose ends and confusing ideas that left me really disappointed after finis
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Alaina
I expected to like this book far more than I did, although perhaps my disappointment stems from my overall appreciation for Lanyon's work. When I read something of his that I think is good but not excellent, my disappointment is magnified more than it might be for other authors.

This isn't a bad book by any means. The world building is interesting, Colin, the narrator, is approachable and well-drawn, and the mystery is fun and exciting enough to keep you reading.

However, I would have appreciated
...more
Momof3-in an Ash and Cael sandwich
I'm pretty disappointed honestly and that sucks because I love Lanyon's work and this had just a ton of potential. I felt that maybe there just wasn't enough attention given to the right elements, because this is NOT a romance and the fact that (view spoiler) it just pissed me off.
It was a good idea, and could have been really exciting, and there were parts I appreciated about it, but
...more
Sath
May 24, 2012 Sath rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, m-m, mystery, reviewed
Was quite suprised to find Josh Lanyon writing fantasy, but definately intrigued by the plotline. An arcane society that hunts for rare magic books and grimoires, and can see visions of a books previous owners or author by touching it. Thats a new idea that I had never heard of before. And it still had the usual Mystery elements that Josh Lanyon has in his books. On the whole was quite good. Only a little let down that the Romance seemed a little hastily developed, and the ending was a little an ...more
charlotte
IM YELLING THIS WAS GREAT (besides suffering from the instalove but like... thats josh lanyons standalones for ya)
Lee Brazil
May 24, 2012 Lee Brazil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SO many things to like about this story. Loved it. Great characters, sexual chemistry, neat mystery, logical and well thought out paranormal elements that add to or are intrinsic to the story - not just thrown in and irrelevant- all add up to a great read.
A.B. Gayle
Aug 10, 2014 A.B. Gayle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another of Josh Lanyon's stories I encountered initially as an audiobook. Once again, it kept me riveted for a long solo car journey.

The narrator's use of different voices and accents made the characters come alive. The plot bowled along merrily and kept my attention for the entire trip.

A friend had mentioned there was a Harry Potterish feel to the book. While there might be a reflection of Alan Rickman's, Snape, in the love interest, the POV character didn't feel in the slightest bit an escape
...more
Kirsty
Dec 23, 2015 Kirsty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-romance, fantasy
I really liked this book. Sweet but with more action then I expected.
I really liked how Colin's character knew his faults and admitted them. Its nice to see a character so honest with themselves.
I also liked the mystery around Marx. But I wish more had been written about him.

If I was nick picking, I would say that the pace went off a few times to me. But that didn't stop me from enjoying reading about the things Colin discovered as he did. I liked how the past history came together in the end.
...more
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Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called "arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today." Granted, that was yesterday.

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