Stacy's Reviews > The Black Hawk

The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne
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May 21, 12

bookshelves: romance
Read in May, 2012

A really fun read with strong, distinctive characters and a plot that actually hangs together. Spies! Historical turmoil! True lovers parted by politics! Lovely prose and witty dialog! What else can you ask for?

Hawker, aka Adrian Hawkhurst, the no-nonsense, reformed-criminal, swoon-worthy hero here, has always been the most compelling recurring character of this series. You'll enjoy The Black Hawk much more if you've read The Forbidden Rose and The Spymaster's Lady, in which Hawker is an important secondary character. Both of those are worthwhile on their own (Rose more so than Lady) and cover significant parts of Hawker's career as a spy and his relationship with the love of his life, Justine, who happens to be the enemy. Sort of. Hawker also appears, to considerably less effect, in the dreary My Lord and Spymaster, which you can safely skip.

There are actually several stories here, framed by the current mystery that brings Hawker and Justine back together after years apart, but even that has roots in their shared past. Most of action is told in flashback, with a significant middle portion detailing an assassination attempt on Napoleon that both Justine and Hawker need to stop.

One imagines that Hawker's enigmatic friend Paxton will be the next of the spy crew to get his own book.
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