The Raven's Mark Book One
You think you know Misery? You've not seen anything yet . . .
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 eighty 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 Mans 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 only escapes 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.
Readers can't get enough of Blackwing:
'A splendid debut that is brilliantly written and I found it amazingly difficult to put down. It superbly presents a completely original, complex and epic fantasy world with incredible and believable characters' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'Blackwing is, simply put, awesome. It's gritty, edgy, suspenseful, and often poignant' Nicholas Eames
'One of the greatest fantasy books I've read in my life. Perfect in every possible way. Ed McDonald is on a par with Joe Abercrombie and Brandon Sanderson' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'Quickly gained the rare distinction of being one of those books that felt as if it had been written especially for me . . . A remarkably assured fantasy debut that mixes of the inventiveness of China Mieville with the fast pace heroics of David Gemmell' Anthony Ryan
'Blackwing is a new entry into the Grim Dark Fantasy realm, and a well written one . . . Venture in if you dare' Robin Hobb
'From start to finish I was excited to read this book! . . . The story is continuously in motion and there is so much magic! All kinds even! . . . Read this epic debut!' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'This thing is just magnificent . . . an astonishingly accomplished debut' Peter McLean
'Ed McDonald is a great story-teller and as such its 360 odd pages fly by . . . well paced with incredible characters and a refreshing and original world and magic' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'Blackwing is a truly unique vision of a world, set with an eclectic mix of weaponry, technology and science and a brilliant magic system' Anna Stephens
'Like if Joe Abercrombie told a story in the voice of The Warden from Low Town . . . Will definitely be following up with the series' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
McDonald's debut novel is gritty and fascinating, set in a world blasted by a war between the mysterious, powerful Deep Kings and the Nameless. Ryhalt Galharrow is a Blackwing, a servant of the Nameless entity known as Crowfoot; once a military officer of high birth, he has been ruined by mistakes and personal tragedy and now drinks heavily and hunts bounties in the terrifying wasteland called the Misery. A mission from Crowfoot reunites him with a lost love from his adolescence, powerful magic-wielder Ezabeth Tanza. Her research into the Nameless weapon that could defeat the Deep Kings' army of zombies puts her and Ryhalt afoul of powerful people in the city of Valengrad, and soon leads them to a far-reaching conspiracy with dire consequences. McDonald's postapocalyptic fantasy world, full of memorably creepy details, could have been unrelentingly, unpleasantly grim; however, its dark trappings conceal a surprising tender side, much as its embittered and scarred protagonist has never truly lost his own heroic instinct and his love for and loyalty to his friends. Tight pacing and strong writing make for a diverting debut.)
A fine tale well written with a grate story line.
One of mu favourites that year
Dark, but with a sense of humour, and a tight story.
Loved it from start to finish