Mark Lawrence's Reviews > Blackwing

Blackwing by Ed McDonald
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it was amazing

Blackwing has a very strong start. It gave me shades of Peter Newman's The Vagrant in that reality has been broken and corrupted by godlike creatures and much of humanity is being twisted into creatures to serve them. I also got some BioShock vibes with things monstrosities like the Darlings (Little Sisters!) and the Brides. And finally it reminded me of Priest of Bones (published this summer) in the band of mercenary types with a hard as nails female second in command...

After a highly intriguing and exciting start the momentum fades somewhat as we return from the warped reality of the Misery to the city and start to get involved in politics and a plot that's both confusing (deliberately) and wandering. I stalled a bit in these sections. Our protagonist is an alcoholic with an unrequited love and tragic backstory, all laid out well. The unrequited love reenters his life and our man spends a lot of time manfully mooning over her (not that sort of mooning) and thinking dark nihilistic thoughts while heroically putting himself out there for her (sometime under orders and sometimes just because).

Fortunately the baddies (or badder guys) are coming and as the screws tighten the plot resolves itself, mysteries unfold, and we get a big old fight.

Since I started this review being reminded of this, that, and the other, I will say that in retrospect the resolving of the mysteries put me in mind of the Diana Wynne Jones books I've read, not so much in that it didn't make a lick of sense (in retrospect it did all seem to fit together) but in the sense that the reader (me at least) not only says "well I didn't see that coming" but that there really was no reasonable way to have seen those things coming.

Never the less this didn't stop the resolutions being fun.

The magic in the book is interesting, exciting, and imaginative. It's certainly not what you would call a system though. Think Tolkien rather than Sanderson ... at least if Tolkien had magic going off left right and centre.

The writing is very good. Always clear and to the point, and with the occasional well executed flourish.

"Life was cruel to pour our youth into such bitter moulds, but we are what we are. There is no summer for us. Not anymore. The end is coming and we both know how this will finish. With terror and death"

I can see why Blackwing has been one of the more successful fantasy debuts of 2017.


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Reading Progress

February 13, 2018 – Started Reading
February 13, 2018 – Shelved
February 14, 2018 –
page 62
17.22% "A very strong start.

+sips story+

...I'm getting shades of The Vagrant in the broken/corrupted reality driven by alien godlike creatures ... and notes of Bio Shock in the Darlings and Brides ... and hints of Priest of Bones (published this summer) in the band of mercenary types with a hard as nails female second in command..."
March 12, 2018 –
page 282
78.33% ""Life was cruel to pour our youth into such bitter moulds, but we are what we are. There is no summer for us. Not anymore. The end is coming and we both know how this will finish. With terror and death"

Dark stuff!

Still good."
March 16, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Victoria Limbert This was a great book! Just finished it :)


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