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.
A cracking read - hugely entertaining, brutal but with real heart too.
Tom Lloyd, author of the Twilight Reign series.
A thoroughly engrossing read, I could barely put it down, I loved it and I want more.
I SHOULD READ THAT
A very impressive debut, with complex characters and an imaginative setting that does much to impress the reader.
This is dark, gritty fantasy, and it's been executed perfectly.
THE BOOK BUNDLE
I heartily recommend this.
Adrian Selby, author of Snakewood
Dark, twisty and excellent... Grimdark with heart.
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
Ed McDonald is an author to watch out for. I don't say things like this lightly. I read a lot of fantasy, and I don't hesitate to say that this will be one of the biggest fantasy debuts of the year. McDonald has given us the first instalment of what looks to be a very interesting series.
THE BOOK BAG
Blackwing is a book that surprised me more than any other has so far this year. It's the debut of Ed McDonald and boy what a way to make an entrance.
Guaranteed already, this will be one of the best books I will read this year.
FANTASY BOOK REVIEW
Their story moves at an (ahem) spellbinding pace.
An impressive work of fantasy, and one I think we'll be hearing more about. Highly recommended.
SF AND F REVIEWS
A new author who, in my opinion, with this one book is going to blast onto the fantasy scene and prove that there is new talent out there.
RAPTURE IN BOOKS
Fabulously inventive and at times horrifyingly funny and action packed.
The reader takes an action-filled rampage through defense to attack, from injury to sorcery, faith to naivety and reality in what truly is a phenomenal start to a unique new series.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY
Ed McDonald has taken something old and made it new... it's epic.
Fantasy Book Critic
Blackwing is 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. Cast aside whatever you're reading and start Blackwing instead.
I was completely hooked. It was viscerally real and the adventure kept coming.
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
Gritty and immersive, Blackwing is a hugely enjoyable tale
Edward Cox, author of The Relic Guild
Overall, Blackwing is a fast paced novel that is likely to become a classic within the genre. It can be read as a self-contained story, but with a clear opening for the series to continue. This is the best debut novel in the genre this year. A joy to read.
If you like fantasy at all, then you simply must read Blackwing.
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