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Fade to Black (A Rojan Dizon Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Francis Knight
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.74
You Save: $5.25 (35%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description

From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala

It's a city built upwards, not across - where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.

Rojan Dizon doesn't mind staying in the shadows, because he's got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But he can't hide for ever.

Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic. And unlucky for Rojan - this is going to hurt.

Editorial Reviews


A savage stab at organised religion and social control ... emotionally powerful SUN Brilliantly explored and a great metaphor for urban corruption DAILY MAIL Full of fierce energy, fast-paced and inventive Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt series The world building is crazy interesting, the characters are very noir, and the plot was enough to keep me on my toes ... I'm very excited to read the second in the series! Felicia Day A very strong debut from a novelist of vision who has built an intriguing sandbox to play in, with plenty of twists, turns and surprising moments FANTASY FACTION A great fantasy debut ... The beginning of something really quite brilliant ... very highly recommended CIVILIAN READER Knight's debut recalls the vibrant, urban-based fantasies of China Mieville Library Journal Full of witty quips, strong emotion, broken yet charming characters, and jam packed with astonishing revelations and fantastic ideas, Fade to Black is a must-read for 2013 WILDER'S BOOK REVIEW Top notch prose alongside a cast that really adds flavour all round makes this a cracking debut Falcata Times A thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of twists and turns, and darkness enough to make the title perfectly apt. Highly recommended

About the Author

Francis Knight was born and lives in Sussex, UK. She has held a variety of jobs from being a groom in the Balearics, where she punched a policeman and got away with it, to an IT administrator. When not living in her own head, she enjoys SFF geekery, WWE geekery, teaching her children Monty Python quotes and boldly going and seeking out new civilisations.

Product Details

  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316217689
  • Publisher: Orbit (February 26, 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089EHPJI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,379 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed Good Debut February 26, 2013
By Books31
Fade to Black is Francis Knight’s debut novel, and I have to say, it kept me glued to my seat.

It starts off with Rojan, the protagonist, trying to catch a runaway girl, who tries to electrocute him and set him on fire when he goes after her, and keeps at that level of action until the last page of the book.

Rojan, while a little ruff around the edges at first is a likable protagonist who over the course of the next few books in the series has the potential to really grow into a fantastic protagonist. Now, the character I really would have liked to have read more about was Dendal. Everything I read about Dendal I really enjoyed and in my opinion he has the potential to offer the story some Yoda style wisdom to help explain some of the happenings of the events as well as some comedic relief. I’m not saying the other characters were bad, in fact I really liked most of the characters, I just really liked Dendal and would like to read more of him.

One of my only problems with the book was the way that the author, Knight, kept repeating herself. I understand that she was trying to make the points that; that Rojan was scared of his magic and didn’t like to use it, that he was a womanizer, and that the synthtox, the predecessor of the glow, killed loads of people including Rojan’s mother. But the number of times I read and re-read these points was ridiculous and began getting a bit annoying as it takes the reader out the story and detracts from the overall level of enjoyment in the book.

That said, this was Knight’s first book, and I really enjoyed it overall.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great world and premise but poor execution May 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Fade to Black has several great ideas: A city that is layer upon layer, a magic system in which magic is based upon pain (either of the mage or someone else), a fantasy story that unfolds more like a classic noir novel rather than a Tolkien clone. Unfortunately neither the plot nor the characterization is enough to raise this story to the heights of its premise.

Starting with the premise, the author really does nail the world. The city's backstory is intriguing, the strata and what they say about Rojan's (and our) society is meaningful, and it really does spark the sense of awe that makes fantasy special. The technology is all over the place, at times feeling almost modern (car like carriages) yet in other ways (guns were just invented and swords are still in use) closer to early 16th century but even this works when you consider the strange effect magic would have on the development of technology and society. The magic system, while a little too loose for my standards since the limits or uses of pain magic are a little unclear, is intriguing and offers an interesting twist on the corrupting power of magic.

Unfortunately, as the story progresses and moves to the lowest layer of the city things metaphorically bottom out as well. The central characters Rojan meets are one dimensional and the choices they make unbelievable and end up disrupting the good characterization of the dark and dangerous world. He meets a group of freedom fighters, fighting against a twisted and evil group of slavers, yet these freedom fighters refuse to kill anyone. When they finally have the chance to bring down the villain they've dedicated their life to stopping they allow a lover's quarrel to complicate things.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The world building is promising May 1, 2013
Fade to Black by Francis Knight (@Knight_Francis) is the first in a series set in a world where pain can power magic, and technology is still fairly new and strange. The city of Mahala is built in the typical `rich on top, poor down below' arrangement that shoves the unlucky, or simply `undesirable' people into what is literally the pit of this place. The Ministry, Mahala's ruling class is supposed to look after its citizens, but in reality they are just as much a threat at the gangs and other criminals.

Into all this comes Rojan Dizon, a man who is happiest when womanizing and bounty hunting people who don't run too far. Of course, even hitting on any woman with a pulse can't go on forever, and Rojan finds out that his brother has been attacked, and the niece he's never met was kidnapped. The tricky part is, Rojan's brother has a few more secrets than expected, and the girl was taken below the city, to the places nobody wants to go and fewer return from.

The tone of Fade to Black is dark, fantasy, steampunk, with a dash of noir. Of course Rojan is going to have to venture into the underbelly of Mahala, and given his issues with using his ability to harness magic with pain - dislocation of a finger is a favorite method, even if Rojan favors using a little blood, minimal effort is his trademark early on in the book, that also has to be confronted.

The mistreatment of the poor factors largely in this book, and the use of women and girls as prostitutes, and tools in other forms is a tired plot device that is as apt to inspire disgust as it is exhaustion. Yes, the audience knows how vulnerable women can be, but it would be nice to see more of a comeuppance for the oppressors, rather than always having a male protagonist step in to save the day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun world and characters, looking forward to the next book
Rojan Dizon is a bounty hunter in the city-state of Mahala living a quiet life in the shadows and trying to stay out of trouble as much as possible. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Kriti Godey
4.0 out of 5 stars She is in the worst of all places
A very gritty dystopia fantasy fiction story following a main character who is flawed. He is a ladies man and never seems to keep a woman long. Read more
Published 25 days ago by N. Albert
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Started good but really died towards the end. Interesting concepts that didn't play well over the long haul.
Published 4 months ago by Aaron Freeberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Grammar.....
I can't give it five stars because within the first six pages, there are grammatical in the misspelling of the word "too" -the most basic of all grammar skills,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir fantasy with magic that exacts a terrible price-great debut novel
Fade to Black by Francis Knight

This is really a great debut novel. There is a lot to like about it and there is a bit even to detest. Read more
Published 9 months ago by J.L. D.
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping mix of noir and magick
I came across this book as an excerpt in the 2014 John w. Campbell nominee collection. It intruiged me enough to want to read more so, after checking the kindle price I took the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Phazedout
4.0 out of 5 stars Different!
For starters, it's fantasy from 1st Person POV, which we don't get to see that often.

I liked the character of Rojan Dizon, even if he did have a bad habit of repeating... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong world-building, secondary characters
FADE TO BLACK was a strong debut novel for Francis Knight, relying on strong world-building, brisk plotting and a strong supporting cast of secondary characters to overcome my... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jeryn Coldfire
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but predictable and with too many silly twist endings
The city of Mahala is located in an enclosed pass, the city built up the sides of the mountains over hundreds of years. Read more
Published 17 months ago by A. Whitehead
3.0 out of 5 stars A KindleObsessed Review
**2.8 Review - As posted on KindleObsessed blog**

Today's review is brought to you by the letter D, as in...defining a genre. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Misty Baker
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More About the Author

Francis Knight was born and lives in Sussex, England. When not living in her own head, she enjoys SF&F geekery, WWE geekery, teaching her children Monty Python quotes, and boldly going and seeking out new civilizations.

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