The Black Hawks
An epic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Scott Lynch and Nicholas Eames.
Vedren Chel holds every oath of service sacred — except his own.
His father’s sermons on the nobility of duty left him ill-prepared for the grind of service to his indolent step-uncle. Chel’s wretched oath has dragged him from home and family across a ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 . . .
I don't mind a good cliff ...more
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 ...more
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, ...more
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 ...more
‘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 Articles ...more
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 ...more
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. ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 drag ...more
For once, you actually get exactly what the summary promises. There's not much else going on, and the action moves quickly to the very dramatic (and pretty evil) climax at the end. I think some readers might be disappointed by the lack of ...more
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 ...more
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
Bound to a dead-end job in the service of his uncle, life isn't all that for Vedren Chel. That is until the kingdom is thrown into chaos, and Vedren finds an out: escorting the stranded prince who promises his oath would be dissolved. But dragging a prince while being hunted by enemies on all sides isn't easy and when they find themselves in the ...more
Galley provided by publisher
To be honest, the prevailing feeling I have about this book is a big old sense of “eeehhh”. Not in a bad way, I should add. I did like this book, to an extent. But it wasn’t to a huge extent.
The Black Hawks is your generic kind of fantasy. There’s a land, split into factions. There’s a King, there’s a Church, there are lords, and so on and so forth. In this world, we meet Chel, a boy who has reluctantly sworn an oath as a knight to his step-uncle. When ...more
I have very mixed feelings about this book. The blurb really draw me in but unfortunately I just feel pretty meh about it. The main character Chel has been forced in to making an oath to protect the youngest Prince and slightly clueless Prince of the realm which leads to both of them being captured by the Black Hawk Company, a group of mercenaries. I did really like the characters in ...more
The title of the book really gives you a clue about what is the best about the story; it really shines when Chel, prince Tarfel and the Black Hawks mercenary group interact and go ...more
Second of all, this is literally the English Adapation of the Wild West and Django Unchained, only its literally a Monthy Python sketch with a lot of swearing and blood and gore. This is like Django Unchained in so many aspects.
Third of all, finally a character with intelligence and doesn’t go, my Queen, all the time. He’s loyal to a default, good, but damn is he intelligent. Chel is one of the best characters I’ve ...more