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I chose this book after an Amazon recommendation, which I don't usually do, but I thought I'd take a punt on a new author.
This book was great! Gripping story, characters that develop more and more as the story goes on - Galharrow, the narrator, unfurls into a really memorable lead character, who you want to spend more time with.
I've previously tried other novels described to be as 'Grimdark' - which seems to mean that the main character is a bit of a nasty git.
I read Paul Hoffman's trilogy, but thought it peaked with Left Hand of God. I enjoyed it though.
I wanted to like Mark Lawrence. The plot kept me turning pages to the end of each book, but I found the lead character two dimensional and tiresome by the end.
This was everything I wanted those books to be! It blew them out of the water.
The premise reminded me of Chronicles of the Black Company, but with more vivid storytelling.
I also really loved that, while there's lots of potential for more books in the series, the narrative of this one finished its ark with the book. I'll be waiting eagerly to read the next one, but it's great not to always need that to finish the story.
The narrator was really good. A very convincing Galharrow who can carry off everyone else's voice too.
I didn't realise Nen was an Aussie though...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Blackwing, for me, was utterly fantastic. Everything from the writing style to the narrator ticked all the right boxes in my opinion. The story is told in first person narrative through the less than prim and proper mouth of Galharrow, captain of the Blackwing. His gritty way of speaking and telling his tale lends itself perfectly to the way Colin Mace narrated the novel.
It has a good array of new creatures not found in other fantasy series. My personal favourite being the gillings. Little horrors with twin rows of sharp teeth that numb anything they touch. I’ve often heard people say they wouldn’t mind dying in their sleep. It still counts if a gilling is eating you alive whilst you sleep and your body is too numb to feel pain and wake you up, right?
Unlike some books, the protagonist isn’t a perfect killing machine. Sure, he’s pretty damn good at things, but he has his drawbacks and weaknesses. He is an interesting character to have as the eyes and mouth of a story. At first you feel he’s an uncaring brute of a man, but you slowly learn there’s a lot more to him.
There’s a good cast of supporting characters ranging from friends, allies, enemies, unwanted yet impossible to refuse masters and just the regular run of the mill people encountered throughout. Everyone feels as though they have a character and purpose rather than just another background character to pad out a town or city. It makes me feel like a lot of time and work went into the world building which, in turn, makes the whole thing more enjoyable to read/listen to.
My review hasn’t gone into a great amount of detail but, if I did, I’d essentially be re-writing the blurb or a synopsis. There is so much going on in this piece with so many interesting characters and settings, as you can no doubt gleam from the blurb.
As you can imagine, when the enemies are, essentially, god-like beings, there are some epic moments. Judging how this one ended and how there is so much more left to explore in the world created by McDonald, I can’t wait until the sequel(s) are released. I think I may have to stick with the audiobooks rather than written books, however. Once you’ve heard Colin Mace speak as Galharrow, you can’t just go and have the voice in your head play the part.
The narrator has been matched perfectly with this gutsy debut novel. There is a fantastic use of language that draws the reader in. The audio needs to be edited a little better as there are some repeats throughout, but in all thoroughly enjoyable. I would highly recommend anyone interested in a post apocalyptic/ fantasy novel who isn’t scared of a bit of bad language. 😄
This is a great new series that I can't recommend enough!
The voice acting is quite good (except for the female ones), but the story is phenomenal.
I'd really recommend giving this a go.