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Fade to Black (A Rojan Dizon Novel) Paperback – February 26, 2013
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"The persistent sense of lurking danger along with Rojan's inner conflict between apathy and authentic emotion contribute to an absorbing read."―RT Book Reviews
"Knight's debut recalls the vibrant, urban-based fantasies of China Miéville, Jay Lake, and Glen Cook. Combining traces of steampunk with urban noir fantasy, this story should appeal to fans of most fantasy variants."―Library Journal
"A brilliant adventure/mystery which totally lived up to the cover... A thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of twists and turns, and darkness enough to make the title perfectly apt. Highly recommended."―thebookbag.co.uk
"Fade to Black is superb, and raises the benchmark quite high indeed for 2013's other debut fantasies. Very highly recommended."―Civilian Reader
"A savage stab at organised religion and social control... emotionally powerful."―Sun (UK) on Fade to Black
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
This is really a great debut novel. There is a lot to like about it and there is a bit even to detest. It's written in a stylish Noir that reminds me of the old black and white mysteries with the gumshoes. Sort of a Mystic Maltese Falcon. The main character is Rojan Dizon a pain Mage who really isn't all that fond of pain so he's tried not to do too much magic. There's more to it than that though because too much pain magic can lead to a very dark place that often is impossible for the Mage to find his way out of. Rojan has lived in a dark world in a black existence trying to avoid another darkness that makes everything around him seem pale in comparison. He uses his magic to locate people and that's how the reader is introduced to him when an unsavory client hires him to find and bring back his teen age daughter Lise who has run away. Lise has some tricks up her sleeve that have made his job particularly difficult and he's had to resort to a device manufactured by a dwarf colleague. The device amplifies his magic which mean he has to still endure pain but a bit less of it to get good result. Rojan is not a particularly likeable character but what he does in his interaction with Lise tells us that there is someone with just a bit more heart behind the veneer that covers him in the first part of the book.
As the story unfolds we begin to find the reason that Rojan lives on the edge using his magic illegally and defying the Ministry. There was a golden age when Pain Mages controlled things and were powerful. They were trained to properly use the magic. Then the Ministry stepped in and began to ban the use of pain magic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oh man, this book and I didn't get along. There were bits I appreciated, the dark, gritty, almost post-apocalyptic atmosphere, the idea behind the pain mage, the fact that the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sadie Forsythe
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Forbidden magic, missing kids, what is really happening in Mahala? Read more
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 morePublished 16 months ago by Kriti Godey
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 morePublished 16 months ago by N. Albert
Started good but really died towards the end. Interesting concepts that didn't play well over the long haul.Published 20 months ago by Aaron Freeberg
I can't give it five stars because within the first six pages, there are grammatical errors...as in the misspelling of the word "too" -the most basic of all grammar skills,... Read morePublished 24 months ago by M. Allen
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 morePublished on April 10, 2014 by Phazedout
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
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 morePublished on November 23, 2013 by Jeryn Coldfire