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Publisher's Summary

Set on a post-apocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man's desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny....

Hope, reason, humanity: the Misery breaks them all.

Under its cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, the arcane remnant of a devastating war with the immortals known as the Deep Kings. The war ended nearly a century ago, and the enemy is kept at bay only by the existence of the Engine, a terrible weapon that protects the Misery's border. Across the corrupted no-man's-land teeming with twisted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies bide their time. Watching. Waiting.

Bounty hunter Ryhalt Galharrow has breathed Misery dust for 20 bitter years. When he's ordered to locate a masked noblewoman at a frontier outpost, he finds himself caught in the middle of an attack by the Deep Kings, one that signifies they may no longer fear the Engine. Only a formidable show of power from the very woman he is seeking, Lady Ezabeth Tanza, repels the assault.

Ezabeth is a shadow from Galharrow's grim past, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he's spilled or the gods he's supposed to serve....

©2017 Ed McDonald (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A remarkably assured fantasy debut that mixes of the inventiveness of China Miéville with the fast paced heroics of David Gemmell." (Anthony Ryan, New York Times best-selling author of The Legion of Flame)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

A very strong start to a promising series

If you like dark fantasy that caters to Adults featuring likeable anti-heroes (think Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Martin etc..) you'll probably like this. The world building is decent, character development is good enough (a little thin on supporting characters), narration is very good, and the writing is gritty. Its a bleak world starring flawed characters and the writing makes no apologies for it. There is a magic system but its minimalistic in impact which I prefer (no Harry Potters in here). This is definitely a strong start from an unknown author.

My two critiques would be to enhance the characters a bit in the future and spend just a bit more time world building. I like whats being created but feel its a bit shallow like I missed an important prologue. Point of fact this book can easily do with a prequel to better describe how the world came to its current state and better expand on whats driving the supposed "enemy". On the up side instead of frustrating me I'm left desiring to know more. This is definitely worth a credit and deserves much greater popularity and I'm sure I wont be alone in hoping to see a book 2 sooner rather than later.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Quick pace action packed

This story makes time fly by. It has great details BUT it seems like parts are missing. I wont doing the story for a technical. The world is quickly built and the protagonist is a real awesome BRUtE.

I want to listen more.

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interesting take on magic and magic based society

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, the story was well written and was great to listen to.

What did you like best about this story?

the way the author looks at how a magic based society would work is very unique.

Any additional comments?

Maybe Minor Spoilers: in almost every other fantasy book I have read, you get the feeling that magic is essential and an integral part of the society, and is an equal resource, where everyone could access to it, would never be denied some benefits from it. Every intelligent being could boot-strap themselves with a little bit of know-how or more curiosity or daring. Not so in this book. The author looks at magic like a manipulated resource, used to fund the rich and already powerful into becoming more so. The magic used in this world will chew and spit out the average joe and crush the spirits of the idealistic. Magic power is hoarded by great ancient and evil magicians and sorcerers, who view the people they rule over as nothing more than an annoyance or expendable resource. I think, looking at a realistic magic world would look something like this world and less like the optimistic and hopeful world that you would normally see in a fantasy novel.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful