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Black Feathers (Black Dawn series) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Length: 496 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep
"The Elemental Assassins Series"
Book fourteen in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls unbeatable entertainment!. Learn more | See series page

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Known for such bloody good fun as Garbage Man (2011) and Snake Eyes (2012), D’Lacey strays from the horror genre in this ambitious dark fantasy, with mixed results. This first volume of a planned duology splits the narrative into two stories. The first takes place in the near future, when ecological damage results in not only global calamaties but also a military crackdown by the nefarious Ward. Prophecy decrees that everyday kid Gordon, 14, must find the enigmatic Crowman, a black-winged “dark messiah” who may lead the world into destruction—and, perhaps, rebirth. Gordon flees would-be captors through an apocalyptic world, and, though additional plot signposts would have been appreciated, it remains fast-paced, violent (so many gooey eye injuries!), and intriguing. The second story is more problematic. Set in “the Bright Day,” a simple but peaceful future, it follows young Megan as she undergoes a wandering, protracted tutelage to become the final Keeper of the Crowman’s story. Overall, this is fascinating but uneven. Let’s see what D’Lacey can do in next year’s The Book of the Crowman. --Daniel Kraus


"D'Lacey's passages are rife with urgency, and... its message on environmental issues, meticulous setting of scene, and successful intertwining of the characters' narratives makes for an engaging read."
-Publishers Weekly

“A bold beginning to a new duology from the brilliant D’Lacey – where two children embark on a search for meaning that is riddled with ambiguity about the nature of the saviour they seek and which, ultimately, provides a siren call to live in harmony with the land.”
- Alison Littlewood, author of A Cold Season

I highly recommend this to any fans of horror, post-apocalyptic type books. Loved it, loved it - I want the next one already.
-Thoughts of a Scot

"...full of powerful and beautiful passages that while written for this fictional Earth, are also very strongly advocating for us as a people to take better care of the Earth we live on."
-Wilder's Book Review

“Spectacular is the word I’d use to describe the novel. Nothing else can capture the reading experience.” 
-The Founding Fields

"It's dark and it's grim, but it's also magical...wondrous, even."
-Beauty in Ruins

Product Details

  • File Size: 1220 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (March 26, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 26, 2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009MYA3OS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,378 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer, D'Lacey is best known for his shocking eco-horror novel MEAT. The book has been widely translated and prompted Stephen King to say "Joseph D'Lacey rocks!".

When not realising his fantasies on paper, he dabbles in Yoga and continues a quest for the ultimate vegetarian burger recipe.

He lives in Northamptonshire with his wife and daughter.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Angry Robot Books have a knack of finding some of the most different and bizarre fantasy books, and with Black Feathers by Joseph D'Lacey, they continue to push the boundaries of what we expect fantasy to be. Described by some as an eco-horror story with mythological and fantasy elements, Black Feathers is a pre and post apocalyptic story that is dark, brooding, and fascinating to read.

The thing that stands out for me with this story is the atmosphere of darkness, mystery and intrigue that permeates through the whole book. This is a bleak story, it is very heavy going, but it allows the small glimpses of positivity to stand out in contrast to all the ruin around it. The mystery and intrigue surrounding the the Crowman and the associate lore kept me glued to each page. I wanted to know more about the Crowman, the Keepers, the Ward, the Green Men, and D'Lacey just kept stringing me along all the way to end.

There were times during the book that I felt the author was a little heavy handed with some environmentalism messages (corporations and government = bad), and the the ending I think could have aimed a little higher and had some more impact, but these are pretty minor complaints when I compare them to much I enjoyed reading this story. There are also some reasonably graphic scenes - they aren't overly violent but they are vivid and visceral. I thought they were brilliant scenes, but I can definitely understand if they make others a bit uncomfortable.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Black Feathers was a very thought-provoking dark fantasy that I had a hard time putting down. Part dystopian, part fantasy, 100% engrossing.

I had so much going on in my life at the time I finished this book that I didn't have time to sit down and write a proper review for it, but suffice to say, it's the kind of story that stuck with me long after I finished reading it, and I found myself going back to it in my mind again and again, reflecting on many of its twists and turns.

It's one I'd definitely like to read again and perhaps the second time around, I can write a more detailed review while all the characters and events are still fresh in my mind. It was really just that good!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story focuses on two characters, Gordon Black and Megan Maurice, who live in different eras and cultures.

Gordon lives in a world that we, at first, understand; it is our world, with its electricity and cars and skyscrapers and cellphones and internet. But Gordon’s birth is an event that echoes up and outwards, into the future in which Megan lives. Megan is chosen to take the first steps on a path that might lead her to being a Keeper, the history- and memory-keepers of the land and its people. Connecting them is a force (perhaps of good, perhaps of evil) called The Crowman, and in the world of the Bright Day (an era of peace after the terrible, destroying events of the Black Dawn), Megan feels the call to find The Crowman. As does Gordon. How they do this is the story of Black Feathers.

From the get-go Joseph layered the story in mystery – we are introduced to Gordon’s father, sisters and mother, who each have their own role to play in Gordon’s story; we witness the strange circumstances of his birth (leading to his father’s reactions and, much later, an important event in Megan’s life), and we begin to understand that Gordon’s world, our world, is changing. Perhaps not for the better.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The birth of Gordon Black signifies the end of the world. Year after year following his birth, the world slides into more and more poverty and destruction. People call it the Black Dawn and the Crowman becomes its symbol. Whether the Crowman is a harbinger of the final end or the saviour of the world, no one is certain, but when the Ward goes after a teenaged Gordon, they are certain that the Crowman must be stopped by any means and that Gordon, tasked by his family to find the Crowman, must be captured. Meanwhile, in the post-apocalyptic future where life has reverted back to a time before technology with remnants of the old world buried, a young girl named Megan is summoned to take her place as the first ever female Keeper. Her task? To write the Crowman's story.

This book is a cautionary tale (that occasionally gets a bit too preachy in its warnings against our reliance on technology and modern comforts and convenience, etc) and is told in a very unique way with very interesting characters. Gordon's journey is intriguing, and I liked the way Megan's role is worked in, with her seeing the events of the past in order to record the dark and painful tale of the Crowman.

The Crowman himself is a fascinating character. Is he a creature of good? Is he evil? Throughout the book, we get glimpses of his development and his influences on the world, but we're never quite sure of his purpose and how he will decide the world's fate. Is the world's fate a decision for him to make? Or is the Crowman simply just doing his part in an incomprehensible cycle?

I was not overly fond of the Ward. The Ward represents the ruling party who wish to maintain control throughout the chaos and the Crowman is a threat to their hold on everything.
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