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The Shadow of Black Wings Paperback – July 13, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
--Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt
"This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight ... a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Calbraith weaves a story that is wholly original while following the traditional fantasy tropes."
An intriguing and impressive series."
"What a book! (...) the writing just flows and sweeps you away."
From the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The characters are equally layered. It was so refreshing to read a main character with the correct balance of adolescent cockiness and normal, developmental self-doubt. These days so many books make their teenage main character either too mature and insightful for their age or the character is so whiny I almost can't take it. Bran is ready to be out on his own and shows that independence while also admitting to himself (and occasionally others) that he may not be as grown-up as he'd like everyone to think. He battles with self-doubt but it's not cloying. Sato and Nagomi are a well-balanced pair.Read more ›
The world-building here is phenomenal. The magic systems are interesting but not so complex that you don't understand what's happening. There are languages here that sound just familiar enough that you know where they are "supposed"to be from. The settings are familiar but distinct. There are versions of England, Rome, China, Japan and others. They are familiar enough to make the reader comfortable in the geography but original enough to keep you interested in learning more about them.
There were a couple of things that I did not like so much. First, the point of view never technically changes but the character focus changes throughout the book without warning. I'd be reading pages of Bran and then all of the sudden Dylan was the main focus. I found it jarring and even confusing in a couple of parts. I had to go back an re-read paragraphs on more than one occasion. I don't mind changing focus but I prefer it if there is a clear delineation - either a chapter change or a "split" in the chapter (a **** between sections)
I also found the plot a little bit weak. I enjoyed reading about each of the characters and about Bran's journey but I never really knew where the book was going. I didn't know if the book was about Bran's journey, about the political climate, about the magic and dragons, or about something else entirely. I didn't feel like it was building to any real climax.Read more ›
Otherwise, start reading at the start of Chapter 12, and skip the first 3/4 of the book. This is the place where the story actually starts. Any important details you missed are covered again in the last 6 chapters. This book is aptly named, as the antagonist doesn't actually make a move or do anything until the very last chapter of the book.
The rest of the book the characters are receiving very vague portents of doom, and we learn almost every nation is fighting with almost every other nation. The world in the novel is the same state as the world in about 1890s, except there is some steampunk technology, magic, oh - and dragons, of course.
The pace of the novel never gets above 'slow' until the very last chapter.
However, now that author got all that worldbuilding and omens of doom out of the way, maybe something of interest will actually happen in book 2?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a strange book, it keeps jumping back & forth between people & events. Toward the end it starts to come together to get you to the next book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carolyn V. Schmitt
Very interesting read. However, it was rather difficult to engage with the story. The language was very distracting. Liked the characters.Published 5 months ago by Jjw
Over all goes read. Hard to follow, jumps from one culture to another and back. But if you expect a complete book for your money your in the wrong place. Read morePublished 8 months ago by R Gaus
Slow as molasses....very little action, and a muddled plot. Had promise but it became a chore to read. Skip itPublished 14 months ago by Guillermo
I couldn't get into it. I tried, read almost half, thinking it would pick up, but it didn't. The story just didn't catch me.Published 15 months ago by Kimberly Marshall
Liked the story but hard to get into with unfamiliar words from East Asian storyline. Won't be reading second in series. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kindle Customer