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Publisher's Summary

The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer's legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard's paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some 80 years ago thanks to Nall's Engine, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the engine created the Misery - a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a no-man's-land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the engine fails to launch.

Galharrow escapes only because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic's defences. Far across the Misery, a vast army is on the move, as the empire prepares to call the republic's bluff.

Blackwing is a gritty epic fantasy for fans of Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and Daniel Polansky.

Read by Colin Mace.

©2017 Ed McDonald (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

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  • Luke Beckett
  • 08-24-17

It turns out I like grimdark fantasy after all

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

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  • A. G. Carter
  • 02-15-18

Gripping

I wondered st first if it would just be the same as many but was swept up after a couple of brief chapters and carried right through to the end. Listen and enjoy.

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  • Asbjørn
  • 02-07-18

Excellent new fantasy saga

Highly recommended fantasy saga with a great mix of grit, realism and magic. Not ostentatious - only great thrills and fast paced narrative.

Excellent narration!

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  • I. Morgan
  • 01-30-18

amazing audio version of a book

this narrator is fantastic it was truly like the main character was telling the the story in his own words

As for the story wow this is as dark and nasty as you can get you did not ast any point want to step for in this world

that alone made you back the main characters rooted for them for just a second of happiness

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  • Dan
  • 01-05-18

Excellent grimdark

Mark Lawrence better up his game or this lad will be king of grimdark. Can't wait for more - hope they keep the same narrator too

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  • Oz Austwick
  • 11-30-17

It's like Gemmell grew up.

A really enjoyable dark fantasy tale. Complex characters, a few nice twists, and a nicely original fantasy world. Looking forward to the second one. The reader was a brilliant piece of casting. His voice fits perfectly.

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  • Richard Brewster
  • 11-27-17

Gripping tale, highly recommend

A great story, interesting characters, gripping events and intriguing metaphysics.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A gripping story with interesting characters that felt consistent with the setting and their history helped keep things relevant to current events. The book has diverse characters, skills and flaws that promote interesting interactions.

History was appropriately revealed, as opposed to the info-dumping approaches some authors take. It is great to read a book with different magical systems, something I am obsessed with, because I believe it adds more depth and leads to interesting questions about how things might tie together. For me the world felt believable, somewhat familiar but enough differences to hook me, interested to know more and for me to piece the setting together. The tale brings up metaphysics without making it too complicated or info-dumping.

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  • J. Hunter
  • 11-12-17

Excellent

Loved it, great story, engaging characters excellent narration (although I speeded it up a bit, but that's usual for me).

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  • JPA
  • 10-28-17

Excellent story. Excellent narration.

Single, 1st person POV aren't always my favourite reads, but there's been a few. This is one.

Dystopian feel to this flintlock, grimdark fantasy. Mutants and monsters play a background roll, despite making several appearances. The main focus, I would say, is on the small group of characters, their relationships and emotional battles, and a mystery around a doomsday weapon that they *want* to work.

Narration was intense and atmospheric, although there seemed to be several formatting issues ie large gaps between chapters and repeated sentences. But it wasn't many and it didn't take from the experience.

If you like your main characters gritty and tough and your enemies twisted, your magic powerful and your world war torn, scorched and blistered, you'll like this!

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  • Trekkie Monster
  • 09-13-17

A very good first fantasy novel with a slight indu

A very good first fantasy novel with a slight industrial period tweak to it.

Left me wanting more and with questions I hope will get answered in any sequels. The book was very well read by Colin Mace especially considering the whole tale is written in first person so Colin is performing with a gruff voice for the vast majority of the narration, something far different to his usual gentle voice. He must have had some sore throats by the end of the days spent recording.

Great work Ed! Roll on book two!

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  • Sharron
  • 01-15-18

Entertaining and gritty

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. 😄

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  • Anders Haywood
  • 08-13-17

A definite purchase!

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.