The Black Hawks Paperback – Oct. 22 2019
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- Publisher : HarperVoyager (Oct. 22 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0008331413
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008331412
- Item Weight : 240 g
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #245,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
‘Reminds me of Abercrombie’s THE BLADE ITSELF’
Nicholas Eames, author of KINGS OF THE WYLD
‘Refreshing and entertaining, like a cross between Nicholas Eames and Joe Abercrombie; THE BLACK HAWKS is simply a joy to read’
Peter McLean, author of PRIEST OF BONES
‘Wragg captures the classic fantasy spirit of adventure and exploration, wraps it with stabbed backs and cannibals and gifts it to you on a bed of action’
Ed McDonald, author of BLACKWING
‘Everyone loves a good mercenary tale, but THE BLACK HAWKS offers more besides: a protagonist who's refreshingly rubbish at fighting, a supporting cast who'd be fascinating if they were just standing around in a supermarket, and an author who knows when to dodge cliches, and when to jump in and splash like a kid in a puddle’
Nate Crowley, author of 100 BEST VIDEO GAMES (THAT NEVER EXISTED)
‘Check out THE BLACK HAWKS – it’s full of fun characters, mercenary antics, twists, turns, and contains my favourite fantasy lemon’
Peter Newman, Gemmell Award-winning author of THE VAGRANT and THE DEATHLESS
‘A remarkably assured debut…I can’t wait to see what happens next’
Anna Stephens, author of GODBLIND
About the Author
Dave Wragg really got into writing stories just as he finished English GCSE, then took about twenty years to get back to it. In the meantime, he studied software engineering, worked in global shipping and technical consultancy, and once spent a year in the Foreign Office ‘hiding in the basement’.
He currently does Software Odd Jobs around central London. In his vanishingly rare free time (when not working, writing, or enjoying the fruits of parenthood), he tries to consume as much digital entertainment as possible, as well as reading genre fiction and enjoying the odd board game. Some of them are very odd indeed.
Dave lives in Hertfordshire with his wife, two small daughters and two smaller cats.
Top reviews from other countries
The protagonist is Chel the sworn swordsman to his cousin bored and under-utilised he longs to go home when the city comes under attack he inadvertently rescues Tarafel the younger prince and finds himself pulled into ever deeper political waters and events beyond his control eventually circumstances bring them into the company of the black hawks a band of mercenaries with a agenda of there own.
The best part of the story is the band of brothers ,misfit buddy interactions between Chel and the Blackhawks, his naivety and general lack of fighting ability contrasting agaisnt the black hawks world weary competence.
this is the first book of a series and the story ends in a Cliffhanger and a bit abruptly , that and a twist that was a bit too cherographed was why it didn’t get 5 stars. On the other hand it is filled with likeable characters a coherent and well paced storyline and well written action scenes and makes me interested for book 2.
The black Hawks is not one of those purchases sadly, rather the opposite.
It starts off introducing the protagonist Chel who serves a lord he doesn't really like much. That is the extent of his personality, he never grows, gets any back story or becomes interesting at any point for the entire book, if anything I think he regresses as time goes on. (Probably my biggest gripe about the book is the complete lack of exposition generally but I digress). Blandy Mcblandy face Chel through a sequence of rushed feeling events ends up pledging himself to Prince Rafel to save his own bacon. The Prince himself, also being a generally two dimensional whiny weakling of little interest. They in turn are rescued by a group of mercenaries that have a name and a personality trait with it and little more than that.
I'm sure you see the pattern.
It's a real shame because a couple of the cast like Loveless, Foss and Whisper from the Black Hawks seem like they could be really genuinely interesting characters but they aren't fleshed out even slightly and the world development gets the same superficial skimming over as the cast just making the read feel shallow and boring.
I did managed to slog through it to the end and to my surprise the ending actually does get quite good but then just stops rather abruptly, practically mid chapter at a story point that makes no sense. At 99p it was probably worth it but gives no enticement to continue on the series and even at that price there are just far better offerings around.
Two stars just because I didn't hate it enough to stop reading it. Not recommended.
+ Ending is a highlight moment in the novel.
- Ends at a weird place.
- Chel is incredibly dull with no character development or back story...
- ....though the world and rest of the cast are equally bereft of depth.
- Kind of boring to read.
While I have read Abercrombie's The First Law series, I've not been in a rush to read any of his other work as I'm not big on the whole grimdark sub genre. However, the book was a great read, fast paced and funny. Lots of action. I'd say the tone was more inline with Nicholas Eames' The Band series or perhaps the Lynch comparison is better.
It is the first book in the series and quite short in fantasy novel terms (which I see as a positive!), it does a good job of world building without being too heavy and sets up for the next book in the series which I am looking forward to.
I would not have classified this as a full on fantasy novel, more of an alternative Holy Roman Empire type medieval world story, until near the end when something inexplicable happens and it's none the worse, maybe better, for its lack of magic.
I look forward to the next installment and will happily pay more than 99p for it although not a ridiculous "hardback" Kindle price.