Friday, 4 August 2017

Review: Blackwing

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: BUY! 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

What a debut you! Blackwing drew me in more and more until I reached a point when I looked up, blinking back in to the real world with no idea what day or time it was, I became so engrossed in the book! I'd read most of the book in one go and completely forgotten about everything else. All I could think about was getting back to the book until I could finally sit back down and finish it. It was completely brilliant. 

The opening of the book intrigued me, I was instantly curious about the world and eager to learn more about it and our main character Ryhalt Galharrow. Ryhalt is a great narrator, I love the narrative voice he had, he didn't take any shit from anyone and he told it like it was. He was such a realistic and believable character, and you couldn't help but root for him. I was so intrigued by his backstory and his history that we learned through tidbits throughout the book. I was completely hooked within in a couple of chapters. 

Ryhalt is just one of a brilliant cast, there's his crew made of a group misfits and interesting people. Tnota who I for one, feel didn't get enough page time! I wanted to see more of him and learn more of his past, he cracked me up. And then there was Nenn. Nenn was my second favourite character after Ryhalt, and at the beginning of the book I was screaming "Noooooo! Why Ed whyyyy!?". But it was all good. I just loved her, she was a badass, she didn't put up with any crap and she owned it. I'm so curious about her, we learn a little about her and how she came to know Ryhalt but it wasn't enough. I need for Nenn to have a book of her own! She had some brilliant banter with Ryhalt too, and I loved their friendship and bond. 

The Tanza siblings where an intriguing duo. Ezabeth was intriguing, I wanted to know more about her and what she could do and who she was and what went down between her and Ryhalt. She's powerful, and she's been through the wringer and she kept on fighting. She was the only one fighting to get out what she knew, and she wouldn't give up no matter how bad things got, I respected the hell out of her. She's a badass in her own way, not the same as Nenn, but a badass all the same. She also provided some very low key romance with Ryhalt. Very low key, don't worry guys. 

As for her brother Dantry, I was all set to dislike him for being useless and whatnot, but I ended up really liking him by the end. Sure I rolled my eyes at a him a couple of times, but by the end of the book he'd changed and grown up a lot and I felt for the poor guy. I'm intrigued to see where his story will go. 

These brilliantly intriguing and memorable characters populate a world that's so vivid I could picture it clearly. It was like the book was a movie playing inside my head, it was atmospheric, one of the things that helped to pull me right in to the book. You could feel the tension in the air, feel the uncomfortable atmosphere of the Misery. I was fascinated by the world and how it worked. I wanted to know everything about it. The Darlings provided a suitably creepy enemy, and I'll never be able to look at a small child without shuddering again. The Nameless provided plenty more intrigue too, who are they? What do they look like? What's their story? I'm going to need a separate book on the history of the world and the Nameless I'm not going to lie.

There's plenty of action throughout the book right from the start, and the battles and fights have you right on the edge of your seat, you're as tense as the characters are and completely with them in the moment. One particular battle actually reminded me vaguely of Helm's Deep. The world was just so different, post apocalyptic with a dash of Western. 

Ed McDonald's writing was superb. He wove a picture with his words and I loved the phrases and descriptions he used. They fit with the world he created and the characters and everything in this book came together so well. It was fast paced, vivid, cinematic, atmospheric, humourous at parts and heartbreaking at others. I cheered with the characters, I was on the edge of my seat, and I was frantically trying to work out all of the intrigues and put pieces together. He kept me guessing until the end, and he's going to be an interesting voice in fantasy. One to watch for sure, and I'm excited to read more of his writing, to see what he does next! 

Blackwing is an absolute blinder of a debut, it hooks you and draws you in until you've lost all track of time. Who even are you anymore? You're so invested in Ryhalt and his group it's like you're one of them. I'd heard all of the hype about this book, and I always take it with a pinch of salt but Blackwing deserves every single bit of hype. Ed McDonald provides a refreshing voice in fantasy, and the world he's created is one that I'm excited to explore. I need more please! 

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