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The Black Hawks

(Articles of Faith #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  929 ratings  ·  190 reviews

Dark, thrilling, and hilarious, The Black Hawks is an epic adventure perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.

Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in t

Kindle Edition, 429 pages
Published October 3rd 2019 by HarperVoyager
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Graeme Shelton There is! 'The Black Hawks' is narrated by Colin Mace.

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There is! 'The Black Hawks' is narrated by Colin Mace.

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  929 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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Start your review of The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1)
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher—Harper Voyager—in exchange for an honest review.

Entertaining, intense, and filled with great lines spoken by morally grey characters to root for.

If you’ve been following the adult fantasy market for the past two years, you’ll most likely realize that the cover art is quite similar to Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames—one of my favorite fantasy debuts of all time. The cover art is done by the same artist—Richard Anderson—and as always, he never fails to deliver a
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US today 8/16/20

I loved the audio! And I quite enjoyed the book and look forward to the next.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Robin Hobb
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah yes! The usual caveat applies. While I do not know David Wragg, I did receive an advance reading copy of this book for free. I do not think that affects my review of it.

This is a solid adventure story, well told.

So, let's get right to why this is a four star rather than a five star. I read this with no clue that it's not a complete story. I got right to the last few pages, wondering what brilliant tactic would bring our heroes out of danger and . . .

Cliff hanger.

I don't mind a good cliff han
James Tivendale
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: freecopy, fantasy
I received an uncorrected proof copy of The Black Hawks in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank David Wragg and Harper Voyager for the opportunity.

Chel is from a minor noble house and is bored to death working for his step-uncle. He has no real ambitions. He misses his family and cannot wait until he can see them again. The city Chel now resides within is attacked by the Norts with their giant black ships that fling fireballs and huge silk birds who breathe flames on the unfortun
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

Actual rating: 3.75 stars

“Don’t confuse the absence of immediate cruelty with kindness, highness”

I love Mercenary stories, I love the idea of a group of friends and getting to know these people and usually they have to be diverse and different for it to work. It takes a certain level of talent to achieve this and David had this level and did a great job for a debut.

Six of Crows, Never Die, Kings of the Wyld, Valley of the Free are all books
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Harper Collins/Voyager and Netgalley.
This year was going to be the one where I read more fantasy. As it turns out, I'm a bit particular about my stuff. I absolutely adore epic. Unfortunately my epics are few and far between. I love Robert Jordan. He's the one who introduced me to this mess. Sanderson? I only love one series of his, and the way it's going I'll be dead before he's finished. Luckily, I have Mark Lawrence! Grimdark? I love that shit. This? I should have known as soon as
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I've not had much luck with new fantasy debut books in recent years but I'm giving the thumbs up to David Wragg's The Black Hawks. It is no fantasy classic and has plenty of flaws but despite that this still proved to be a fun and engaging read. It is a bit of a weird one to assess as it has elements of both grimdark fantasy and traditional old school coming of age fantasy stories. It was definitely a weird mix but I think Wragg successfully blended it all together into a story that worked!

We f
Ed McDonald
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I was sent an advance copy of this book by Harper Voyager. I never manage to get through all the books that I’m sent, and I duck out on a lot somewhere around the 20% mark if they aren’t grabbing me. But hey, I like things that are dark and feathered, right? So how did debut novelist Wragg do with this outing?

First up, here’s what you get (very briefly):
Chel, a young nobleman of no great consequence, ends up stuck with a cowardly but somehow adorable prince, and after some intrigue and fuckery,
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC provided by Harper Voyager via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

‘Would you rather be a tarantula, or a hairless cat?’
If that does not intrigue you, nothing will.

The Black Hawks has a premise that should be as catnip to cats for most of us fantasy readers. Morally ambiguous, indolent mercenaries with a lack of ambition, loyalty and compassion who tend to be in the wrong side of the winning/losing column? Hell yeah, sign me up! Twice!

This first book in the Article
Will.J.R. Gwynne
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, audible

The Black Hawks by David Wragg is an interesting debut that had entertaining aspects and was altogether a very solid read.

It may have been that I was not in the right mood when reading this, so I will perhaps reread this when the sequel is announced. While there was no weakness as such to this book, I didn’t feel any driving force. Like amazing characters, or a shocking plot. It was solid, but nothing in particular hooked me.

The characters were varied all with believable personalities and an in
Anna Stephens
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This a remarkably assured debut novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the setting, and the central premise - of a barely-competent lackey trying to protect a thoroughly incompetent prince - makes for a whole lot of fun.
Humour abounds in The Black Hawks as the band of mercenaries take somewhat reluctant possession of said prince and bodyguard in a bid to get him to their employers and collect their reward. Oh, if only it were that simple.
Told from the single third-person POV of Vedren
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘Never fight fair, never spare a killing blow, never consider for a moment that what’s on the end of your blade is another, living, thinking, dreaming human being. Your enemy is your enemy, understand? You start playing the wondering game, someone will kill you.’
The Black Hawks is the debut novel by David Wragg, and let me say right now, it’s a damn enjoyable, immensely riveting read. The moment I saw the cover my interest was instantly peaked, I mean let’s just take a moment to appreciate how
Peter McLean
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Black Hawks is a type of fantasy I haven’t read in a long while – it’s FUN!

Maybe I’ve just been wallowing in Grimdark for too long, but this brought a smile to my face almost instantly. There’s something about the interplay between the characters that was just a joy to read, and I found the whole thing enormously refreshing and entertaining, like a cross between Nicholas Eames and Joe Abercrombie.

Lemon may be one of my new favourite characters in anything, bless her murderous little heart.
David Firmage
3.5. The banter felt a little bit forced between the group. Nice twist. Not a bad debut overall and I will read book 2.
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Black Hawks is a beautifully written start to an epic fantasy that has been somewhat incorrectly marketed as a merc story. It has this air because the cover artist's most recent and perhaps most well known works are the Nicholas Eames Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose, books that are specifically about a group of mercs, and if you add on to that Never Die by Rob J Hayes a pretty clear thread starts to emerge. The book is even named after the group of mercenaries.....That being said I dont think ...more
Mike Everest Evans
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review to come on The Fantasy Hive:


The Good: Larger than life characters throw thrown together in a small world of consequences and c*ck ups – despite covering the well-worn tropes of a mercenary band, this is anything but your average crew.

The Bad: Not a negative, but if you’re expecting a bunch of merry (or not so merry) mercs from the get go, curb your enthusiasm. The crew don’t show up for the first few chapters (70 or so pages).

The Ugly Truth: If you
Oct 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I was relatively bored at the first half of the book. Thanks to other reviews, I was keep reading this book. The last 30% the story is getting better and better. This book has a splendid ending, so it is a good marketing way to sell the next book of the series.

I have no problem with characters that obviously need to grow, especially on the first novel of a series, but my concern is this novel has no sympathetic character for me. Immature characters could be interesting, and I found none on this
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"Ah, you can fight on with an arrow in you! You can fight on with a dozen, like a fucken pin-cushion. I knew a fella, a Clydish man, mark you, not like one of you northern piss-sheets, fought on with sixteen arrows, two spears and a sword in him. Carried on for hours, cracking heads and ripping limbs.’ ‘And he lived?’ ‘Well, no, but he didn’t lie down and die at the first blow, did he?’ ‘So what’s the big secret? If you’re hit by an arrow, don’t die?’ ‘Aye. That’s the secret: don’t die."

Need som
Tom Lloyd
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A highly entertaining and very readable adventure that combined great characters with a fun adventure. It's all told from the POV of Chel, but he's easy to like and entertaining in his continuing inability to be any sort of a useful bodyguard/escort. The rest are fun too, a good mix in the mercs and one issue I had was simply that I wanted more of them! The book's called the Black Hawks but we don't quite see as much of them as I'd have liked, everything centres around Chel while I'd have enjoye ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
That ending was just the best!
Hiu Gregg
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
That was a lot of fun. Some great banter, some lovely characters, and I could have kept reading forever. A few quibbles, but we'll get to them in the dreaded "review to come".
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it

Grim dark has never been a genre that has particularly impressed me. Mainly because i firmly believe it lacks, for lack of a better word 'eloquence' and relies heavily on blood and gore and characters' saying fuck -this word comes up about 200 times in this book. - a gazzilion times (there's obviously a fuck word convention grim dark authors' participate in) to the detriment of developing anything else in the story.

To David Wragg's credit, while this book doesnt particularly have what i would

Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating: ★★★★☆


Dark, thrilling, and hilarious, The Black Hawks is an epic adventure perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.

Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.

All he has to do is
Karen  ⚜Mess⚜
My favorite book read in 2020!!!!
THIS is the kind of book I love to read. David Wragg writes in the tone and style that I search for in a book. My review cannot begin to express my joy in finding this book.

Let's start with the characters. EXCEPTIONAL character building. This is what screamed a joyous roar at me. Each character had their own personality. I run into so many books where personalities are so alike and generic. Oh! What a scrumptious joy to journey with the gang The Black Haw

Marta Cox
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
I keep seeing the term grimdark meaning a fantasy that is violent and doesn't necessarily have an heroic lead and from this truly striking cover I thought this might just fit into that category . Now having finished this I'd say yes it's violent and bloody but perhaps not really grim.
Our young hero Chel might lack experience but he definitely has heart, morals and knows the value of loyalty. Stuck in a position beyond his control he really just keeps on doggedly plodding along until one day eve
Rob Hayes
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I watched Attack on Titan a while back. The main character drove me up the wall, then down it just to climb back up a second time. I found a few of the secondary characters so much more interesting and couldn't help but wish the story had been about them. That's pretty much how I felt about the Black Hawks too.

Let's get this out of the way. I enjoyed the book. I had fun listening to it, and it served as a perfectly fine fantasy story. It just never popped for me. It did nothing to stand out from
Stephen Richter
It was the cover that brought this book to my attention. So a shout out to Richard Anderson who will get my Hugo nomination for this cover. But what about the book ? If I did not know better I would have thought Joe Abercrombie wrote this under a nom de plume. David Wragg has the same humor, character development and a snappy way of writing fight scenes . I actually had separation pains when I was too busy to read this book. By Fantasy standards, this is a short book, 425 pages or 12 hours as an ...more
Kitvaria Sarene
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this one, but didn't love it.
While I quite enjoyed most characters, it somehow lacked a little bit of depth to make it a personal favourite for me.
The easy prose, well done humour, action and interesting characters still made it a good read, and I don't regret investing the time, it just isn't one that will stick with me overly long.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, epic-fantasy, ebooks
This book sounded exactly like something I would love, with a rag-tag group of mercenaries and a protagonist thrown into it against his will. While I enjoyed the humour, and the characters of the other mercenaries, I wasn't a huge fan of the main character, Chel, and the pacing felt off for me. However it did show a lot of promise, so I gave it 3 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperVoyager for a free eARC.
K.S. Marsden
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Chel is sworn to serve his odious step-uncle, but a chance encounter with Prince Tarfel whisks him away on an unexpected adventure, in the company of mercenaries and killers.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Vedren Chel has to serve his step-uncle - a coward who avoids all conflict; so Chel's life is made up of running around with his clothes, and never having a chance to improve his station. Until the city his is in falls under attack, and Chel is suddenly honour-bound to
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