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Blackdog Paperback – September 20, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 547 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616145218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616145217
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"... Johansen's characters project believability, and her world is full of rich and vivid detail... High fantasy for lovers of mythology and of powerful beings in human form, this adult fantasy debut should appeal to fans of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series." - Library Journal, Aug. 2011

"...intelligently written and allows the reader to become a sympathetic co-traveller ... I like large books when the story is well told. The better the story, the longer I want the book to be. Blackdog was almost 600 pages long. It was much too short."
- View from Valhalla, Nov. 2011

"This is a fantasy with a similar density to Steven Erikson's Malazan books, though with many fewer POVs ... It has that epic feel without bearing the cross of a million recycled tropes. Anyone who enjoyed the Malazan epic series will most likely enjoy this one as well ..."
-Bookspotcentral.com, Nov. 2011

"The book is so thoroughly developed, its mythology so complete, that it often gives the impression of being a single chapter of a much larger story, a window into an actual living breathing world. A must read book for those who love high fantasy." - Elizabeth Goss, Portland Book Review

"I’m hooked. The mix of magic, Tibetan-style religion, and Harold-Lamb-style adventure is pretty addicting."
JAMES ENGE, World Fantasy Award nominated author of Blood of Ambrose and The Wolf Age

"Interesting and absorbing; Blackdog takes as its heart, and its strength, a subject that most fantasy writers shy away from—the Gods themselves."
TOM LLOYD, Author of The Twilight Reign series

About the Author

K.V. Johansen is a successful author, editor, freelance journalist, and illustrator.

Customer Reviews

Great read for fans of serious fantasy.
JP
For years now I have been looking for a fantasy book that is set in a non European setting and is as satisfying as the classics of the Fantasy genre.
Debra Terry
There are a couple of time lapses but I found they did not detract much from the story if at all.
LettersfromUndertheRock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debra Terry on May 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For years now I have been looking for a fantasy book that is set in a non European setting and is as satisfying as the classics of the Fantasy genre. I have at last found this in "Blackdog". The setting is a mix of Tibetan and Mongolian settings, the plot is intriguing right from the first page; grabbing a hold of you and keeping you glued to the page until the plot come to a most satisfying ending. I would recommend this book to anyone but especially those who have some interest in Tibet and other oriental regions. It's simply fantastic! I do hope the author decided to give a us another book from this world!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elemental Warp on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Blackdog, on the whole, is a solid fantasy with great concepts slightly spoiled simulatneously by insufficient explanation and bloat.
How can it be both?
The book is 546 pages long (my edition, anyway) and there are precious few books over 350 pages that couldn't benefit from some cutting. At the same time, there are a lot of things going on - gods and goddesses manifest in natural features, various cultures and tribes, scattered priestesses, devils, wizards - and it's hard to keep it all straight.
That being said, the storyline is quite interesting and engaging. A too-human-yet-too-divine avatar of a goddess is torn from her land and forced to flee for her life from an evil wizard. While a fugitive, she both finds her humanity and her godhead, while her journey is criss-crossed by others divine and demonic beings.
Magic and divinity pervades the story but doens't overwhelm it. Spirits possess people ad become a hybrid of both, skinchangers walk with immortal assassins, wizards use their offspring for their own corrupt purposes.

It's all very interesting, but unless you can read in more or less one stretch (I've been trying to read it during NaNoWriMo and that doesn't really work), it would have a lot more emotional impact. If you break up your reading sessions, or if it takes too long to finish it, you'll lose some of the punch and have to be reminded of "who is this again?" and "what are they doing here?" time and time again. The wide cast isn't necessarily a problem, but there is no appendix or list of them, and many of them are largely interchangeable, especially when it comes to the caravaneers.

But, all in all I really liked the story and was pleased with the conclusion which felt natural and unforced.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
In Lissavakail located in the Pillars of the Sky near a red coppery looking lake of the same name, blood flows as a massacre occurs. Caravan guard Holla Sayan starts to sneak out of the town, but stops when he sees a little girl and her obviously dying dog. He rescues the child while her dog, no longer needing to keep her safe, dies.

Holla was unaware that he recued the powerless Goddess Attalissa. As they flee the devastated town, Holla struggles with his sanity due to the Blackdog guardian spirit who was once a devil residing inside of him. Still he guides her onto the road heading to the Red Desert while mad Gods, traitors and necromancers pursue.

Blackdog is a fun fantasy due to the Johansen's fantasy realm coming across as real even with some powerful and other powerless Gods walking amongst the commoners. The story line is complex as treachery threatens the lands while the lead protagonists are fully developed with the Goddess being a child without power and the warrior being possessed. Readers will enjoy this strong tale.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By nickkkk t on November 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
a good fantasy read, i really liked the main characters and how gods and demons appear in this book quite easily compared to other fantasy novels
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very entertaining book. One thing I really liked was how it had the feel and the scope of some of the epic fantasy series, but it stayed focused and precise and was able to get a really good story in only one book. I like longer series, but sometimes they just drag on. This was a nice fresh change of pace because it got a good, compelling story finished in one book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Auntie Pedantic on November 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great characters and intriguing plot! I loved the new twists and turns in this novel - after reading so many in this genre, it's refreshing to find new ideas and story lines. Just read those Editorial Book Reviews posted on Amazon - they explain it perfectly. "is full of rich and vivid detail" and "its mythology so complete, that it often gives the impression of being a single chapter of a much larger story, a window into an actual living breathing world. A must read book for those who love high fantasy."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caleb Indenbaum on July 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Couldn't get into this one. I really liked the ideas she was working with and I appreciate any fantasy novel that goes with a feel that is not European medieval/ all white people, as so many fantasy novels are, but this novel lost steam for me about mid-way through it.

May try it again at a later date.
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Format: Paperback
Black Dog is a fantasy story that I was not sure about a few times. Parts of it were a bit tough to follow, as there was so much going on. At one point there is a description that read something like this. “As confused as a dog in a room with too many smells to smell.” There was so much going on, I related to that phrase. I was torn. I wanted to put it down to digest it, yet didn’t want to put it down. Thankfully I pressed on.

The beginning paints a vivid image as to the surroundings and to what is happening. Then mass hysteria slowly envelopes the whole area as safety becomes a thing of the past. This keeps going from there on out, until the end, with several surprises along the way. The total amount of characters is what surprised me, and to which I found to be the stories core value. Each person had their own individuality, and their own voice. If you are looking for a simple, put down, and go several days without reading book, this is not it. To keep up on what is going, this has to be read every day, and it has to be the only story you are reading. My personal favorite parts were when there was Gods questioning their next move. It gave them a human element I have never seen anywhere else. On a down side, there are a few places where the story jumps years of time. I thought the time jumps caused the story to lose momentum, and then it took several pages to get back to the speed it was at. The description’s made up for that. Every conversation is well thought out from every angle, all the way down to the most private thoughts, in some case not even spoken. Overall, a fantasy lover’s book.
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More About the Author

K. V. Johansen was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where she developed her lifelong fascination with fantasy literature after reading The Lord of the Rings at the age of eight. Her interest in the history and languages of the Middle Ages led her to take a Master's Degree in Medieval Studies at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and a second M.A. in English Literature at McMaster University, where she wrote her thesis on Layamon's Brut, an Early Middle English epic poem. While spending most of her time writing, she retains her interest in medieval history and languages and is a member of the Tolkien Society and the Early English Text Society, as well as the SFWA and the Writers' Union of Canada. Her previous works for adults include the Sunburst-nominated Blackdog and the short story collection The Storyteller. She is also the author of two works on the history of children's fantasy literature and a number of books for children and teens, including the award-winning Warlocks of Talverdin and Torrie series. Various of her books have been translated into French, Macedonian, and Danish. Visit her online at www.kvj.ca

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