Monday, 25 March 2013

Early Review: Black Feathers

Black Feathers
Jospeh D’Lancey

Publisher: Angry Robot – Released 4th April

Black Feathers is a modern fantasy set in two epochs: the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, and generations into the future in its aftermath, the Bright Day.
In each era, a child undertakes a perilous journey to find a dark messiah known as The Crowman. In their hands lies the fate of the planet as they attempt to discover whether The Crowman is our saviour… or the final incarnation of evil.

This is a story of two parts woven together like a piece of rope, strengthening and complementing each other. One element focused on a young boy, Gordon Black set in the recognisable future where everything is breaking down as the world seems to be coming to an end. Certainly the world as we know it! The other thread is on a young girl, Megan in the distant future, where humanity lives much simpler lives, close to the land. They are both on a journey to find the Crowman, but whether he is real or not, good or evil no-one is quite sure...

Gordon’s story is the more disturbing and compelling one for me. The breakdown of society, the Ward’s rise to power and one small boy’s attempt to come to terms with the world has a wonderful mix of secrets, revelations, action and thought provoking conundrums. Not to mention destiny and magic! It was tense, intriguing and involving – I really wanted to give Gordon a hand at times! Megan’s story is also interesting, but much more sedate following a traditional apprentice learning about her powers story. She is a gentle character at heart, if a little impatient and I did like her. However, the story in the future didn’t have the same intensity or urgency that the current day scenes had.

While both stories focus on young people coming into their powers, this is definitely NOT a YA book. There is a lot of extreme violence and the end of the known world does not occur without a fight. The writing was involving and descriptive painting two very different worlds without overloading the background. This was very much a case of the author showing us the world rather than telling us – and that slower exploration of the world builds into a wonderful panorama of humanity. This worked as an apocalyptic novel, a fantasy novel and one that I want to read the sequel too as soon as possible!

Recommended for fans of Peter V Brett and Jennifer Fallon. 8.5 out of 10


  1. I seem to have too many review commitments over the next month, but still hoping I can make time for a read soon. I've heard good things, and the storyline itself really catches my interest.

  2. I am really unsure whether this book would fit me or not

  3. Oh this sounds so good! I love a good world building. It also sounds really dark. Oh will have to put this on my wishlist! Also, I do like that cover. So simple yet eye catching.