Ash Morrigan's Reviews > The Way of the Black Beast

The Way of the Black Beast by Stuart Jaffe
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's review
Jun 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: e, first-reads
Read from May 20 to June 03, 2012

I was worried, at first, that I wasn't going to like The Way of the Black Beast, because I had some trouble just getting into and understanding the story. For instance, when the character of Fawbry is first introduced, I read and re-read that sentence multiple times trying to decide what the heck was going on. "Fawbry, she had said, was a minor nuisance in Terrgar."

Maybe it was just me (I know I can be a mite dense sometimes) but I just didn't get that Fawbry was a character name, not a place name. I read it as a city that was causing trouble for a country, but knew that couldn't be right (contextually speaking.) I am glad that I stuck with it though, because it wasn't much past 6% into the novel when the story started to resonate for me. It wasn't until much later that I realized that I felt much the same about this story as I had when reading C.J. Cherryh's The Morgaine Saga. And that's a pretty good compliment, in my opinion.

Malja is one of those cool and conflicted characters that, like Drizzt Do'Urden, probably isn't very realistic and probably wouldn't be fun to hang out with in reality, but she sure is a blast to read as she slices and dices her way through the men and beasts standing in her way. The fact that she isn't invulnerable physically, just makes the stakes that much more interesting. Oh, and her damned-to-fail attempts to protect her mute ward from using his special skills, yeah... so sad. So fun to read.

So, basically, if you like moody, ambient fantasy/post-apocalyptic smashups, then this is right up your alley.

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