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Black Feathers (Black Dawn) [Kindle Edition]

Joseph D'Lacey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $1.99
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Book Description

Black Feathers is a modern fantasy set in two epochs: the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, and generations into the future in its aftermath, the Bright Day.

In each era, a child undertakes a perilous journey to find a dark messiah known as The Crowman. In their hands lies the fate of the planet as they attempt to discover whether The Crowman is our saviour… or the final incarnation of evil.


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

Review

"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: 610 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (March 26, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009MYA3OS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,163 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For a book in which very little actually happens in terms of plot development, Black Feathers was a fantastic read. It's the story of twin journeys, separated by untold years, and intersecting at the moment of the apocalypse which lies between them. What Joseph D'Lacey has crafted here is a story that's equal parts Stephen King and Robert McCammon, but with an environmental message at its heart, as opposed to a spiritual one. It's dark and it's grim, but it's also magical . . . wondrous, even.

The plot, as I mentioned, is deceptively simple. On the one hand you have a young boy by the name of Gordon Black, feeling from the martial law brutality of The Ward, and searching for a mysterious, messianic figure known only as The Crowman. On the other hand you have a young woman by the name of Megan Maurice, apprenticing herself to the village Keeper, and searching for the young boy from her dreams . . . who may just be The Crowman. Gordon's is a tale of apocalyptic horror, a struggle for survival in a world that is rapidly approaching its end. Megan's is a tale of almost epic fantasy, a coming of age story marked by dreams, prophecies, and magic.

Similarly, the world-building is just as simple, enough to set the stage and ground our expectations, but not to overwhelm the characters at its heart. We see a world dying around Gordon, marked by food shortages, civil wars, and environmental catastrophes - all of which takes place off the page. We see a world reborn around Megan, marked by medieval like struggles for survival, with only the barest glimpses of the world left behind. It's a smart move, with the subtlety of the landscape making the ruined city of the story's final set-piece work so well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Apocalyptic Read March 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the first book in a series (of two, at the time of this review) and I received a free copy through Netgalley.com of the second book. In order to be fair, I had to read the first one. Besides, I hate jumping in on a series in the middle.

The description doesn't share much, so possible spoilers may appear in my rambling. This is the start of an apocalyptic story that takes place in two different times. The more future side brings us to the way of the Keepers, their job being to bring the people to share in the Earth, and other environmental idealisms, as well as protect/share the knowledge of the Crowman, who happens to be basically the messiah of the times. In being a Keeper, they are to train the next one, in this case a female, seeming the first. In becoming one with the essence of the Crowman, this girl is charged with writing His story, which takes us back to a period of time similar to 50 years prior to our current time (a guess from what I recall reading).

The majority of the tale is of Gordon Black, a young man that was born into the world with seemingly bad omens. At a young age, the world has had some sort of major change, and a group called the Ward, have basically taken over the world, not being more in-tune with nature, and seemingly Nazi-like in how they run things. Gordon's family is taken, he luckily is able to elude capture, and in order to save his family, he seeks out the Crowman.

Interspersed in the telling of his story, there are bits of Megan (the female Keeper in training) and how she is coming in the ways of the Keepers, and revealing that there may be more to her than what any expected.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!! February 26, 2014
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Crowman is Coming April 15, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I hadn't really paid attention to Joseph D'Lacey's Black Feathers until Angry Robot revealed its cover and it intrigued me enough to check out the synopsis again. At which point it really grabbed my attention and I was pleased to get my hands on an ARC. Black Feathers is both an apocalyptic tale and a post-apocalyptic narrative, due to the two temporal strands that are woven together. I found myself equally caught up in both of them and I couldn't tell you which my favourite story arc was.

The apocalyptic strand of the story tells us of the life of Gordon Black. He is born in troubled times, as the earth is breaking down and global society is slowly being taken over by a totalitarian party called the Ward, that has shades of the Nazi party and takes corporate greed and consumerism as its lead ideologies. From the start there is something special about Gordon, who is seemingly always watched over by crows, rooks and other corvids. A sensitive child given to night terrors, he grows into manhood in a world that is slowly turning evermore nightmarish. What makes it even more disturbing is that Gordon is born in the year 2000 and some of the tale plays out in our current day. And while a lot of the elements enabling the complete break-down of society aren't as far along in truth as they are in the book, many of the things D'Lacey uses as indicators of the coming end are reflected in our world. The fact that as I write this we've just had the coldest Easter since 1964, doesn't really help to optimistically dismiss D'Lacey's vision as complete fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book! I can't begin to explain the magic ...
This is a wonderful book! I can't begin to explain the magic that it is Black Feathers. It is a in depth tale of endings and new beginnings of the world. Read more
Published 5 months ago by michelle lowe
3.0 out of 5 stars Shop worn story line
Man destroys planet. Young idealist saves it. I will say this this. It did keep my attention until the end but it was pretty slow in places. Read more
Published 7 months ago by David J. Severance
5.0 out of 5 stars Pre- and Post Apocalyptic Excellence
The story focuses on two characters, Gordon Black and Megan Maurice, who live in different eras and cultures. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars tough read for seeing movtivations
I guess I enjoyed this book, but found it a tough read when trying to understand the motivations of the 2 main characters. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Carol M. Fish
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark, cautionary tale
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. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Wendy B
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Story that Hits with a Moral Hammer
This book follows two narrative paths, one is in near-modern times as Earth and life as we know it goes through an amazing metamorphasis from technology filled pollution to the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by N. Bilmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply fantastic!
In a time much like ours, the world is falling apart and Gordon Black is on the run for reasons he doesn't completely understand. Read more
Published 17 months ago by D. Schwent
4.0 out of 5 stars No solid ending, but definitely one to read
If one is into the horror genre, Black Feathers by D'Lacey is a book well worth reading. His prose is sophisticated and the message worth contemplating by us all: to consciously... Read more
Published 19 months ago by A_TiffyFit
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome, to a very dark place
Joseph D'Lacey's BLACK FEATHERS parallel story line places it in a league of its own. It is written in separate third-person POV styles for each of the two protagonists, Gordon... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Christopher S. Nelson
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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.

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