Back into the roulette of Goodreads firstreads, I scored an ARC of Ed McDonald’s dark-fantasy novel Blackwing.
Overall, I’d say that it was a strong story.
The characters all had lives of their own. Each character had his or her own quirks and idiosyncrasies which made them wholly unique. Galharrow, our bounty-hunting main character had a level of sarcasm and sass that I simply could not not-enjoy. Nenn balanced between outright anarchy and her love for the carnal arts of fighting. Tnota, in all his mysticism, reminded me a bit of my own character, Gnochi.
The setting was both unique, but also hard to point. It was fantastical, but steampunk-ish. There were guns, yet a reliance on medieval weaponry, all while a level of magic existed. I think I would’ve been more satisfied as a reader if I had a bit more foundation as to the logistics of how these elements play together. Perhaps over the series these will all become clearer.
The conflict was relatively standard, though the resolution (while not revolutionary) did take me by surprise. I had my own theories for how things would unfold, and they did not even remotely compare with what actually happened. And this is good. I was more pleased with the actual resolution than I would have been with my theorized version.
One thing which doesn’t necessarily deduct enjoyment from this book but does limit the likelihood that I will look for any sequels is the resolution. I know that publishers like the first books in a series to be able to stand alone (in case it doesn’t sell enough to warrant a series publication/continuation. This book stands on its own. I don’t know how/what a book two will bring into the hold. Yes, there will be more drudge and fighting off those drudge. That alone is not enough to convince me to pick up book two. I wish there was something more. A cliffhanger just slight enough to whet my appetite for book two without hitting me over the head with the lack of closure.
Overall, this is a solid dark fantasy novel and it comes recommended.
4/5 creepy children bearing re-animated/decapitated heads.
I received this book for free through Goodreads Firstreads.
Photo credit: Pixabay user stronytwoichmarzen