Review - Blackwing by Ed McDonald

Blackwing by Ed McDonald
Series: Raven's Mark #1
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group - Ace
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Date Read: May 13, 2019
Length: 368 pages
Source: NetGalley
Set on a postapocalyptic 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 twenty 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…
My Review

I really enjoyed this story!  I have had a copy of this book for quite some time and cannot believe that I waited so long to actually read it.  It took me a while to read this book but I that really had to do with my life more than the book. Since I took the book at a slower pace, I was really able to savor the story which was wonderful.  I really just had a great time with this book.

This was a really dark story.  And I think that was one of the things that I liked about the story.  The book was violent, bloody, and somewhat hopeless much of the time.  It was a dangerous world where safety was never a given.  Let's just say that this wasn't a world that I would want to live in but it was a lot of fun to read about.

Ryhalt Galharrow leads us through this adventure.  He is a pretty capable man and leads a group of mercenaries.  The people in his group are all very different but they seem to work well together and are loyal to each other.  Galharrow has a tattoo that connects him to Crowfoot when it is torn from his body on certain occasions.  He finds himself and his crew in the middle of a much bigger problem than he ever imagined and he works hard to get to the bottom of things.

This book kept me guessing.  I was never quite sure how things would work out and who would survive.  I thought that the world building was very well done.  The author was able to create a completely different world seamlessly through the events of the story.  The characters shouldn't have been likable but I liked them anyway.

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought that this was a really well-done fantasy that told an exciting and dark story.  I am really looking forward to reading more of this series very soon.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
About the Author

Ed McDonald studied Ancient History at the University of Birmingham and holds an MA in Medieval History from the University of London. He is a keen martial artist and specializes in the Italian longsword.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. I just bought this book on holiday last week so I like the sound of it from your review!

  2. That's great to have a good fantasy like that and I didn't know about it so I'm curious

  3. For some reason I thought this said Ed McBaine so reading the blurb was a bit unexpected! This isn't a genre I usually read but it does sound really good!

  4. Oh wow! I must have this one. It sounds fab.

  5. Ooh this does sound good. And I haven't heard of it! Looks like a really good post apocalyptic though.

  6. Yes it was dark and gritty. I've read the second one and am just ready for the 3rd. I like them but they are not fluffy at all.

    Anne - Books of My Heart


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