I'm currently behind on reviews, so don't be surprised if the recent reviews are a bit sparse.


Cover of Blackwing.

Blackwing by Ed McDonald is classed as grimdark fantasy. I’m usually careful about those โ€“ much of the genre strikes me as ~edgy~ woe-is-me drivel that just delights in being as cynical as possible. Looking at the facts, Blackwing seems similar: middle-aged first-person character with a hard, depressing life, competent but always in difficulties, drinks too much, brutality all around, now the world (which is already gruesome) seems to be ending. Add in higher beings using humans as playthings in their ineffable games, and โ€ฆ yeah.

But Blackwing works against this setting: The protagonist is a cynical hardass, but also unreliable, and still cares about humanity (and specific humans). Having positive motivations, and emotions, in a story like this made all the difference. It was a good read, and I’m looking forward to tackling the second volume (third one is scheduled to be published this summer).