The Black Hawks


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Dark, thrilling, and hilarious, The Black Hawks is an epic adventure perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch. Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory - he dreams of going home. When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath. All he has to do is drag ...

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Oct 19, 2019

Great characters, poor plot & world building

When Chel is tasked with escorting a Prince to safety, he meets the rag tag band of mercenaries - The Black Hawks. But who can he really trust?

The Black Hawks is a fun fantasy with a streak of sarcasm and humour woven into its writing style (although there are no real laugh at loud moments that I was expecting from the hype). This makes for a fun read which flows well and keeps you engaged. However, as far as the fantasy genre goes it isn't exactly earth shattering. The plot is quite basic, there's some nice moments but the arch is a little generic and ends on a complete stop-dead cliff hanger which I never really enjoy too much. It took quite a while to get going and seemed to slow down towards the end as well. There's also nothing really new in the worldbuilding of the piece - no interesting political structure or combat system, no very different cities or animals or class systems put in place. It all just feels a little generic and a little too unimaginative.

What makes up for The Black Hawks lack of solid plot and worldbuilding though is its characters - all of which are very strong. There are some great female characters in The Black Hawk team - Lemon, Loveless and Whisper, all of which pull their weight and are pretty badass but also with some flaws as well. The other characters such as the creepy Spider and Rennic are also interesting and there's some great moments where they are all together which make for a fun read. One character I didn't find as interesting was unfortunately the main character Chel. He seems to lack personality - perhaps particularly when compared to the others. He also seems to change half-way through the book - from being what I had assumed was a confident fighter to a bit of a pacifist and whining almost as much as the Prince when it came to danger.

Overall The Black Hawks is a fun read but it's unimaginative plot and basic world building has to be propped up by its interesting characters. Thank you to HarperCollins UK - HarperVoyager for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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