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.
Vivid characters, visceral combat and a twist of an ending that I really should have seen coming and didn't (wizards are bastards and here's the proof). Brilliant use of magic as technology, too, like lightbulbs and water heaters. Excellent gender representation . . . Suffice to say, I bloody loved it and I am officially an Ed McDonald fan. He deserves to go far. - Elspeth Cooper, author of THE SONGS OF THE EARTH
One of the best books of the year - Fantasy Book Review
Gritty and immersive, Blackwing is a hugely enjoyable tale - Edward Cox, author of The Relic Guild
Blackwing walks the line between post-apocalyptic fiction and fantasy, but still manages to inject a sense of wonder amongst all the grit. I hope Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch aren't resting on their laurels because there's a new blade in town - Gavin Smith, author of The Age of Scorpio
Blackwing by Ed McDonald The Deep Kings were defeated once by Nalls engine. A weapon that blasted the land and created the vast wasteland called the Misery. The Misery is populated by all manner of twisted beings, monsters and animals. They raid out of the Misery and abduct humans so they can be twisted into creatures of nightmare as well. Now the evil Deep Kings are on the move again by Nall is gone. The Blackwing are a small organisation under the eye of one of the Nameless, ironically with the name Crowfoot. They patrol the Misery killing the monsters that inhabit the Misery and try to keep the evil at bay. Captain Galharrow is head of a Blackwing patrol, he has a hidden history and he is one of the most experienced of the Blackwing. This story follows his journey to try and save the city Valengrad from the advancing hordes of the Deep Kings. The magic in this world is controlled by Spinners. They spin moonlight into Phos which then powers machines and lights the city. They also can use Phos as a weapon to destroy their enemies. The Misery warps humans and animals into other evil creatures who then turn on their own and fight for the Deep Kings. There is a race to see if the humans can get Nalls engine working again but behind the sieged walls there is intrigue and betrayal. Galharrow and his ragtag crew are fighting a losing battle internally and externally but his own stubbornness and pure will could turn the battle in the end. This was an enjoyable rip roaring yarn, plenty of battles, lots of intrigue, bizarre monsters and even a love interest. Who are the nameless, can they save humankind? If you want to know you will need to read Blackwing.