Monday, May 23, 2022

Ed McDonald - The Raven's Mark 1 - Blackwing

Review.

Although this is the first book in a series, it's also a perfect standalone. It's a dark fantasy, medieval when it comes to technology, where the main character is a down-on-his-luck, bad-mouthing 'black captain'. Which means he's doing the dirty jobs that nobody else wants to do, like hunting deserters in the no-men's land called 'The Misery'.


Doom and gloom

Rough and tough, with a dash of machoism, the main character is a serious motherfucker who drinks and curses and all that, because he lost the love of his life, lost his wife, his kids, and ten thousand men during a failed expedition.

The world is ripped apart by an invasion from dark and evil forces bla bla and good forces bla bla oppose them. Except that the good forces are just as nasty as the evil ones, and all the characters in the book are simply pawns to be moved.

There's some serious magic going on, but in general one has to rely on the blade whilst the creme does the fancy stuff. Yeah, it's gritty.


Flos

The 'technology' in this universe is the flos, a kind of magical energy, retrieved from the light of the three moons. Very interesting.


Narration

Spot on. Perfectly matching tone and setting.


Verdict

Nice, a rough and tough read that handles the bad language well. It's perhaps a little too manly, but never let modern day sensitivities stand in the way of a good story.

Yep. A good read with a bittersweet ending. I haven't read the sequels, but as it is, it stands firm and steadfast by itself.



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