cover image Black Feathers: The Black Dawn Volume One

Black Feathers: The Black Dawn Volume One

Joseph D'Lacey. Angry Robot, $7.99 mass market (464p) ISBN 978-0-85766-344-3

This post-apocalyptic fantasy duology from D'Lacey (Meat) is narrated by characters destined to relay the tale of The Crowman, the dark creature who arrives in the Earth's final days of the earth. His role's beneficence is left ambiguous but it is clear that his story must be told and preserved, for "without this tale, there can be no world." Gordon Black is born on a frozen winter day amid his mother's screams and the "fleeting impression of black wings beating their way into the night." As the world around him falls into ruin and English society becomes overrun by a corrupt, militant organization called The Ward, Gordon's only hope for survival is to find the elusive Crowman. Meanwhile, Megan, in the years far after the Black Dawn, dreams of a man dressed in black feathers with eyes like "storm clouds". Chosen to undergo training as a Keeper, time will tell if she is one of the selected few allowed to keep the story of the Crowman alive. D'Lacey's passages are rife with urgency, and aside from some pacing hiccups, its message on environmental issues, meticulous setting of scene, and successful intertwining of the characters' narratives makes for an engaging read. (Apr.)