The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer's legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if...more
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McDonald begins this tale by placing the reader in the Misery - following the action of Captain Galharrow and his crew of Blackwing mercenaries during their latest mission. The Misery is a post-apocalyptic, shifting wasteland under a broken and wailing bruise-coloured sky. This vast expanse of land is unpredictable, frightening and f ...more
I’m calling every fan of Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence to put Blackwing on their radar. Blackwing, the debut work and the first book in the Raven’s Mark series by Ed McDonald is one of the most original grimdark fantasies I've read so far.
My experience will most likely differ from a lot of readers but I envisioned Blackwing as something that was created out of an open world video games with a post-apocalyptic se ...more
After a highly intriguin ...more
ARC provided by Ace Books in exchange for an honest review.
“Some men are born to charm ladies and spread their irresponsible seed across the land. Some exist to create the great works of art that inspire dreams and drive creativity for generations. Others are born to till the fields, put bread on the table, and raise their sons to till the fields, put bread on the table, raise sons of their own. I was born to end lives.”
2017 appears to just be the year for amazing debut fantasy novels, and B ...more
One hundred years ago Nall's Engine was fired on the enemies of the Republic, and in its wake it left a blackened and scarred landscap ...more
First of all, this is a debut? Yo.
This book absolutely does not read like a debut. It's written with all the polish & originality you'd expect from an author well into their career.
Ryhalt Galharrow is a product of his environment. Long years spent hunting down scum in the wasteland of the Misery have coated his humanity in a fine layer of desolation.
Now, I want to speak to my fellow gamers nerds for a moment. This novel is the bastard child ...more
Blackwing is a new entry into the Grim Dark Fantasy realm, and a well written one.
Galharrow is a hard and seasoned warrior, doing his duty as a sort of bounty hunter on the edge of a torn and terrible place called the Misery. It's a terrible rift in reality and the world, a place where horrid and contorted creatures and plants thrive.
And Galharrow has a Past.
So that's as many spoilers as you'll get from me. Venture in if you dare.
Every time I step into a new fantasy adventure, I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. There's something about the prospect of fantasy journeying to so many unexpected places and showing the reader all sorts of new, unexpected and magical things that fuels my love for the genre. So when I saw a number of my friends in the blogging community raving about this fantasy debut, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Thankfully, the Netgalley Gods sm ...more
Lets face it: you're going to read this book eventually, so you'd might as well be one of the cool kids and do it sooner rather than later.
I hope, and highly suspect, you'll enjoy the ride as much as I did.
Blackwing (2017) begins in Misery, but things will get far worse before they get better. This gritty fantasy is set on a world where there are three moons ― red, blue and gold ― whose light can be woven into magical power and stored in canisters for use by sorcerers. Two unimaginably powerful magical forces face off against each other across the terrible void called the Misery ― a magic-blasted wasteland. On the side of mankind are the Nameless: ancient, ...more
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The building blocks were in place for a decent story.
This was one of those flintlock era fantasy books that mixed in ma ...more
The story starts with action already taking place and events happening. After trying to capture a few sympathizers who ran to the Misery, Ryhalt Galharrow receives a surprising call from his master, a Nameless called Crowfoot. After years of paying him little attention, he gives him a new mission. Vague and impossible to predict. He ends up meetin ...more
Blackwing is a remarkable debut that was gritty, original and empathetically compelling. A blend of fantasy, horror and science fiction, it gave me strong vibes of Stephen King, albeit way more accessible in that it was less mind-bending with a fluid prose that was easy to appreciate, though no less poetic when it needs to be.
The story follows the first person perspective of Ryhalt Galharrow ...more
"Only three kinds of people willingly enter the Misery: the desperate, the stupid, and the greedy."
This book is so different from everything I've read this year, basically is been forever since I’ve read a post-apocalyptic book and oh how I missed it.
I need to read more of it.
I was unable to stop reading from the moment I started the first chapter.
I can’t believe this is a debut if it hadn’t been mentioned in the cover of the book I would never have guessed it.
This was a very addictive and c ...more
I find it less inspiring building a world on such concept. Somewhat lazier, to me, is building it on scraps than starting from scratch. I understand that tremendous amount of effort goes adapting a new, deranged, world on scaffolds of existing one, but in this case, again, to me, lesser (or blanker the sheet when creating a ...more
So, there are two ancient entities, the Deep Kings and the Nameless, in the middle of a long cycle of wars that have lasted for ages, the book didn't go into specifics about how long it's been going on, but I would guess for thousands of years. At the end of the book one of the Nameless told the MC that they've been waging a war against the Deep Kings since before humans had lang ...more
Blackwing is a book that throws you into the dark and bloody world of the Misery, a place that is pretty much summed up by it’s name. Ed McDonald has carved a fantastic debut in Blackwing with some really great features of fantasy.
Book 1 of The Raven’s Mark is a solid page turner, with enough set-pieces, intrigue and good general story-telling to make it a quick read. It was refreshing to read a book with clear c ...more
Crowfoot was to blame for the Misery, if attributing blame to something like him counts for anything. He and the other Nameless are beyond the reproach of us whimpering mortals. Some people formed cults around them as if they were gods, but if Crowfoot is a god then creation isn’t worth spit. For two centuries the Nameless warred with the Deep Kings and their empire, Old Dhojara, and what had been accomplished in that time? A lot of weeping, a lot of bones turning yellow beneath the M ...more
Which is a very good rating for me for Noir fiction of which I'm just not a fan. It generally reads to me like a bad 80's action movie there the main character generally brags, tells you why their nemesis is a mindless cow, brags some more, realizes they've screwed the pooch and then miraculously recover so they can brag some more.
I didn't know going in this was going to be Noir. For part of it I was also finally reading Low Town which like this piece is both Noir and Grimdark. It's sad ...more
Blackwing started of good, but only got better and better the farther in I went. It managed to hook me body and soul and really drag me into its world! I felt the hot desert air and smelled the danger on the wind. The world has a mix of magic and some technology - sometimes both used in one device. While I don't usually like that, it w ...more
I like how his writing gives off this gruff vibe which fits Galharrow. Its a tough world and everyone is kinda shaped up to fit it. There is the nobility that they call Cream. And wizards, and Spinners I t ...more
The setting is a blasted land called the Misery that resulted from the fallout of a magical super-weapon built by an almost-god who has since disappeared. Our hero, and I use the term loosely, is Captain Galharrow of Blackwing. Blackwing itself is a sort of secret police answering directly to another almost-god, but Galharrow mostly makes his living as a bounty hunter along the frontier.
Galharrow is a beautifully broken character, a hardened alcoholic with a trag ...more
This wasn’t really a bad book, I loved the concept and all the elements in this book. It was just poorly executed, in my opinion. I loved the characters, loved the magic system, absolutely loved the world, but overall the book was just blah for me. It reminded me a lot of the first book in the Powder Mage trilogy. Only because they both felt like the only point of the book was to set up the world and future books. Which makes me excited to get my hands on the next one.
This is a debut grimdark fantasy from a wonderful new voice to the genre. Not only is Ed McDonald a solid writer throughout the story, he also managed to get his dislikable character to be someone I stuck with throughout, despite the first-person narrative. It's not so much that Captain Galharrow of the Blackwing is a disagreeable person, as that he comes across as brusque and conscientious to a fault. He is a straight-arrow leader who is keen to u ...more
|Grimdark Fantasy: * May/June '18 - Blackwing - **BEWARE OF SPOILERS**||11||58||Sep 27, 2018 05:21AM|
|/r/Fantasy Discus...: January 2018: Blackwing - Link to Reddit Discussions||1||11||Sep 09, 2018 12:40AM|
|Dragons & Jetpacks: Blackwing/Overall discussion/***SPOILERS***||17||26||Jul 01, 2018 08:54PM|
|Grimdark Fantasy: * May/June '18 - Blackwing by Ed Mcdonald - **NO SPOILERS**||11||44||May 28, 2018 08:41PM|
Ed is a medieval historian and swordsman by training. He currently lives in London, UK.