Cover Image: A Blight of Blackwings

A Blight of Blackwings

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Member Reviews

This is the second book in the seven kennings series following A Plague of of Giants. We find ourselves learning more of events taking place with the help of Fintan. The bard Fintan plays a central role in the narrative of events taking place in a unique way by manifesting the persona of the characters involved in his tales. All these characters are people he has interacted with in various parts of the world. His ability enhances his narrative even though not an easy thing for him to do as violent and intense events affect him greatly and need to be released in the telling.
His ability is one of six kennings. The kennings are powers granted to people who opt to become seekers of different abilities but they come at a price and death if the seeker is not accepted. Now there is a possibility of a seventh kenning however it’s potential is not known. No spoilers here just a recommendation to read this yourself.  
 We have giants and users of elemental magic of fire, wind and earth, beast talkers and strange animals.  Warring factions, magic, intrigue and a host of well formed diverse characters and excellent world building. Rather a lot going on in this and I for one are looking forward to more of the same.
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Following straight on from A Plague of Giants, this book throws the reader right back into the story. This is somewhat problematic if, like me, you read the first book some time ago and can't recall the details. It meant that initially I struggled to connect with, or even remember, some of the characters. Perhaps I should have read the first again, but honestly, I just didn't want to. 

There's a lot to like here, especially the very real diversity of this world, and above all the imaginative and appealing magical system of the Seven Kennings. I'm not sure I have what it takes to be blessed with the Sixth Kenning, or even to try to get it, but do I ever want it. Those that DO have it are the best of what this book has to offer, they light up the page with their every interaction. I'm not sure I can put this series aside without finding out how it all turns out for them... 

However, the fact that we only get to see each POV in short bursts, told via a bard's tale, means there's limited depth to any character. I can't help but think that the structural format that appealed so much to me in the first book has revealed itself to be too limiting here. It all feels too light, too simplistic, too similar. Things that happen in the now tend to be rather tedious, Dervan's breakfasts for one, and the piecemeal presentation of stories which have already happened serves to blunt their intensity. Despite the author telling us repeatedly that the bard's audience is on tenterhooks for the next instalment, there's no tension for the reader. Also, I don't remember quite as many infantile jokes in the first book. Some of the 'quality' content included fart jokes, a commander who writes cock poems, and comments about vegetables up bottoms. The cringe is real.

ARC via Netgalley
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I love everything Kevin Hearne wrote and this book was no exception.
It's full of humour, well crafted plot and an amazing world building.
It can't be read as a standalone but this is a great series and I advise to read it.
Strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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There are times when I wonder what Kevin Hearne is not way. Way, WAY more famous. 
His writing is clever, imaginative, and filled with wry humour. His Iron Druid series was a favourite, which made me a little unsure about something so different. I shouldn’t have fussed. While book one had a slightly slow start, mostly due to the in-depth world building. black wings flowed much, much easier.
I want to tell everyone exactly why they should start reading ALL the Kevin Fearne books.
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This second instalment in the Seven Kennings trilogy was a really great read, which I enjoyed more than A Plague of Giants. Continuing the story of the Giant Invasion and war, we follow some new characters and some old favourites as we piece together exactly what has been happening in each location.

The Positives: Structurally, these are very interesting books. Told over a series of nights by the Bard, Fintan, we follow bits of the story by living through the experiences of the characters. This does mean that the narrative is a little bit disjointed, but I felt like Kevin Hearne did a much better job in this book of keeping the overall plot cohesive, which was impressive. I also think that Hearne's usual wry tone was much more in evidence in this book, which was very welcome as I did find A Plague of Giants a little dry in places. It was fabulous to be back with some of my favourite characters and I loved the addition of some others. The world has really expanded in this instalment and we have much more explanation and exploration of the Kennings, which was fascinating.

The Negatives: The book starts immediately where book one ended - consequently, you are given little time to re-acclimate to the environment and characters, which was a little jarring and I was grateful that I had only recently finished A Plague of Giants. Also, because the structure revolves around the telling of a tale, there are times when the tension or suspense is a little lacking, because we already know, to some extent, that certain people will be ok.

Overall, I really enjoyed this second instalment and think that this is a really fascinating world with a fabulous magic system. I will now commence waiting impatiently for A Curse of Krakens!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I actually really liked this book, despite the fact that I DNF it at 30%. The one thing I didn’t like was that I hadn’t read the first book.

I’m a little bit sad that I can’t give the review I want to, but I really can’t wait to pick the first book up and try again. Hopefully things will make more sense, and I’ve got a feeling it will be a really good read.
Was this review helpful? MUST read the first book before attempting this one. It begins immediately after the end of book 1 and it is perfect for fans of epic fantasy.
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I love this series and this sequel was one of my most anticipating fantasy releases. Kevin Hearne has created an amazing and epic world and characters. It was fast paced and full of action. I can't wait to read the third book. Highly recommended.
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