Title: Ravencry | Series: The Raven’s Mark #2 | Author: Ed McDonald | Publisher: Gollancz | Publication date: June 28th 2018 | Num. Pages: 414| Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark
5 stars – Easily one of the best second books in a series EVER
My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Four years have passed since Nall’s Engine drove the Deep Kings back across the Misery, but as they hurl fire from the sky, darker forces plots against the republic.
A new power is rising: a ghost in the light known only as the Bright Lady manifests in visions across the city, and the cult that worship her grasp for power even as the city burns around them.
When Crowfoot’s arcane vault is breached, an object of terrible power is stolen, and Galharrow and his Blackwings must once find out which of Valengrad’s enemies is responsible before they have a chance to use it.
To save Valengrad, Galharrow, Nenn and Tnota must venture to a darker, more twisted and more dangerous place than any they’ve walked before: the very heart of the Misery.
RAVENCRY is the second book in the Raven’s Mark series, continuing the story that began with the award winning epic fantasy BLACKWING.
Whooowheeee. What a story!
Last year when Blackwing was released I said that Ed McDonald was going to crash onto the fantasy scene and show that there’s new blood out there. He exploded onto the fantasy scene along with many other debut authors – all of whom released great debut novels.
Ravencry has solidified this in my mind even more. Ed crashed onto the scene, proved he is the man to watch out for and shoved a gritty sequel out into the open.
Ravencry opens four years after the events of Blackwing – things have changed as to be expected but not in the ways you’d think.
Ryhalt Galharrow is running an efficient arm of Blackwing in the city of Valengrad, he’s running as tight a ship as physically possible when you consider the people he has behind him.
They drink, they smoke, they swear. They’re fabulous. Numerous old characters return in Ravencry which is great but as in any good series new characters abound.
Our story opens with death and drama and an efficient beginning to a gritty and dark tale of murder, mayhem and Misery. The story progresses in what is now Ed’s signature way – grim, dark and full of steampunk. That’s another thing that I loved about Blackwing and Ravencry – the steampunk elements to the story.
In Ravencry those steampunk elements are vital and the story is full of weapons. Not just your standard swords and shields but phos powered guns that malfunction and blow shit up. People we thought were one thing in Blackwing show us a totally different side to them in this book and this sudden shocking change of character does throw you off but Ed’s writing style drags you right back in.
I was reading Ravencry at the bus stop on my way home and I can neither confirm nor deny that I missed the bus. The tale and the writing style keep you engrossed and it’s a book I struggled to put down – damn you sleep! Why?! Whilst reading it time passed and I didn’t realise it.
In my reviews I try not to give a glorified synopsis and try to avoid letting any spoilers out. I’d rather talk about the writing and how it’s not just words on a page; it’s people you develop feelings for whether they’re good or bad, it’s places you want to see and visit even though they’re not real anywhere else except in your head. It’s those kinds of stories I love, Ravencry is a book that sucks you under and immerses you in The Misery right there alongside Galharrow and Tnota and Nenn.
I know that the next book is going to throw all kinds of things at me. This book threw loads of spanners in the works and has closed off some parts but opened up so many more avenues of creativity that I just know Ed is going to take and run with.
If you’re looking for a book that is filled with people getting gracked and so much darkness you’ll never see the light of day again – Ravencry is the book for you!