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Black Feathers (Black Dawn series) by [D'Lacey, Joseph]
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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 Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,496 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This parallel world/story fantasy drew me right in. In one world, a young girl is apprenticed to a "Keeper", a storyteller/healer in her village. She lives in simple times, without cars or electricity. The other side of the story is about a young boy who lives in a time where the elite are taking over the world with a police/military presence. This boy has a destiny to fulfill & his story is epic. Of course, the stories intertwine. The boy looks for the Crowman, a symbol of hope & freedom to the resistance against the New World Order. The girl walks "The Black Feathered Path", where she must go on a type of vision quest to retrieve the boys story.

I really liked the characters & the way they were portrayed. They both start off as very young & are forced to take adult roles as preteens. The way the stories weave together is quite enjoyable & entertaining. I imagine, though, that much was cut out of this book, as there are some gaps & I would really love to see an uncut addition with all of the things left out. It does work "as is", but there could be so much more.

I immediately purchased the sequel upon finishing this book. I had to know how the story ended. A good sign, of a good book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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. In the far future, a girl named Megan Maurice finds herself chosen to learn the Crowman's story. Is the Crowman the world's savior or its destroyer? And what is the connection between Gordon and the Crowman?

Wow. If I knew how great this book was going to be when I bought it, I wouldn't have let it linger on my to-read pile for so long.

Black Feathers tells two stories, one featuring Gordon Black in a world that's quickly going to hell in a hand basket because economic and environmental collapse and another featuring Megan Maurice in a world that's almost medieval in tech level, centuries after the events in Gordon's tale. There's a lot going on so I don't want to give too much away.

Gordon is on the run from The Ward, a bunch of heavies that have risen up and taken over when things started going south. The Ward are slowly gaining power and fear Gordon for reasons he is initially unaware of. Megan has been selected to be a Keeper, someone who learns and tells the Crowman's tale and has special nature-priest abilities.

Gordon and Megan are both compelling characters. Gordon's loss drives him toward a destiny he isn't very sure of and Megan's role as the next Keeper helps fill in some of the gaps in Gordon's tale and hint at things to come.

The two settings are well developed. The Black Dawn, the near future of Gordon's time, is all too believable with food shortages and martial law. Megan's time, the Bright Day, is a simpler time of people living in harmony with nature in the ruins of the past.
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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: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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 Black's past tense to reflect his story happening well before the second, Megan Maurice's present tense. The plot moves slowly but with finely crafted detail, and the variants of Green Earth stewardship are strong throughout. Mr. D'Lacey does a wonderful job of setting a solid spiritual foundation for his post apocalyptic Isle by borrowing various religious elements and motifs from the Celtic mythos of the Green Man. Overall, I found it to be an intriguing read and do recommend it for the mature dark spec/ horror reader.

At first I thought that it felt akin to a modern Tolkien-esque milieu, with the details of setting and action so carefully rendered, almost to a fault. But it was soon obvious that what D'Lacey has done is captured a hybrid essence of two famous series: the raw expanse of Stephen King's Dark Tower combined with Tolkien's hand-carved Middle Earth. The wordcraft is remarkable to say the least, D'Lacey prose flowing to the point of near-Shakespearian at times. His vocabulary is not something normally found in this genre and adds flair of dark sophistication that serves to slow the read down so that you are forced to take in the scenery as intended. On the flip side, it is done so well that momentum is sometimes sacrificed.

For horror fans, I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. While the dark arts are not as prevalent in corpus, the ambience of the Crowman's presence hangs heavy over every page. And on that same note, there are a handful of scenes that I can say have topped even Stephen King's description of splatter. It is in the wording.
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