The Book of the Crowman (Black Dawn #2)
The world has been condemned. Only Gordon Black and The Crowman can redeem it.The search for the shadowy figure known only as the Crowman continues, as the Green Men prepare to rise up against the forces of the Ward.It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.File Under: Fantasy

The Book of the Crowman (Black Dawn #2) Details

TitleThe Book of the Crowman (Black Dawn #2)
Author
ReleaseFeb 25th, 2014
PublisherAngry Robot
ISBN-139780857663481
Rating
GenreFantasy, Horror, Apocalyptic, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Dystopia

The Book of the Crowman (Black Dawn #2) Review

  • Dan Schwent
    January 1, 1970
    As Gordon Black draws ever closer to the Crowman, Megan Maurice walks the Black Feathered Path and chronicles the Crowman's tale for the good of the world. How are Gordon and the Crowman linked? And is the Crowman the world's destroyer or its salvation?I got this from the fine folks at Angry Robot and Netgalley.All good things must come to an end and here we are, the end of the Black Dawn Duology. Gordon Black's and Megan Maurice's tales progress and intersect in dramatic fashion. Megan continue As Gordon Black draws ever closer to the Crowman, Megan Maurice walks the Black Feathered Path and chronicles the Crowman's tale for the good of the world. How are Gordon and the Crowman linked? And is the Crowman the world's destroyer or its salvation?I got this from the fine folks at Angry Robot and Netgalley.All good things must come to an end and here we are, the end of the Black Dawn Duology. Gordon Black's and Megan Maurice's tales progress and intersect in dramatic fashion. Megan continues learning how to be a Keeper, walking the Weave and experiencing the story of Gordon Black and his quest to find the Crowman. Gordon leaves a trail of dead Wardsmen in his wake, trying to sniff out the Crowman at any cost.In The Book of the Crowman, the Black Dawn speeds toward its inevitable conclusion. I had a pretty good idea what Gordon Black's final fate was going to be before I opened the book but Joseph D'Lacey made me work for it and it still cut me deep when it happened. I loved reading about Gordon's conflicted relationship with Denise and his neverending battle against the Ward and was sad when he met his final fate.Megan's story, that of her chronicling Gordon Black's quest and learning to be a Keeper, was interesting in different ways. I loved that her and Gordon's paths intersected a couple times due to the Weave and some timey wimey stuff.As with Black Feathers, the book had a strong ecological message. It was also very pro-women, what with only a woman being able to cleave the Keepers to the land once and for all. While I had an inkling that Gordon would wind up being The Crowman from the start, I had no idea how far things would go. I sure didn't see him going the Jesus/Braveheart route at the end.There's a lot more I have to say but it's hard to put it into words. The Book of the Crowman reminds me of harsher versions of the kind of books Neil Gaiman and Charles DeLint write, exploring what it means to be a symbol for the people. There's also a Native American feel at times. It's a pretty powerful book. While I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Black Feathers, it's still definitely worth your time and a great ending to the story of Gordon Black and the Crowman. If you're a fan of dystopias, environmentally conscious fiction, Neil Gaiman, or Charles DeLint, you'll want to pick this up. Four out of five stars.
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  • Bob Milne
    January 1, 1970
    It's taken me a little while to decide how I feel about The Book of the Crowman. I'll be honest. I am somebody who reads for story, for plot, for characters, and for the strength of the narrative. I read to be entertained. I am not somebody who looks for messages, for themes, for morals, or for hidden meanings. I don't read to be preached at.While there is no doubt that Joseph D'Lacey is a preacher, he at least couches his message in an entertaining framework. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed Black It's taken me a little while to decide how I feel about The Book of the Crowman. I'll be honest. I am somebody who reads for story, for plot, for characters, and for the strength of the narrative. I read to be entertained. I am not somebody who looks for messages, for themes, for morals, or for hidden meanings. I don't read to be preached at.While there is no doubt that Joseph D'Lacey is a preacher, he at least couches his message in an entertaining framework. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed Black Feathers, and had no trouble absorbing the environmental message contained therein. With that ecological message getting mixed up with some deeply religious symbolism and allegory here, however, I found myself drifting away towards the end.Before we get to that, let's talk about what entertained me. The intersection of Gordon and Megan's narratives was both interesting and complex, with greater significance given to the narrative junctions after the fact. There were some incredibly powerful scenes here, both of a brutally violent and a breathtakingly intimate nature. Take, for instance, the scene where Gordon slips into strange campsite and discovers the cannibalism taking place. The young bodies trussed up, with heads and genitals removed, blooded but not yet skinned, make for an arresting image, and the eye-for-an-eye revenge that Gordon enacts is as cathartic as it is savage. Consider also the scenes with young Flora, the sickly, crippled, extraordinarily bright young toddler with a connection to the Crowman. She reminds Gordon of his humanity, and grants him the hope and the faith that he needs to continue, even as her plight breaks the reader's heart.The twists, turns, and revelations entertained me as well. There's a point at which we discover the truth about the letters from Jude, Gordon's sister, which just about floored me, leaving me stunned and deeply impressed. There's a change in our understanding of Mr. Keeper that was as entertaining as it was surprising. There is a significant betrayal in the latter stages of the book that probably should have seen coming, but I still found myself surprised by its power. Finally, the character of Rag Man honestly shocked me, with the revelation that he's a character we already know and hate, and never expected to make a return appearance.Unfortunately, a lot of that overshadowed by the heavy-handedness of the message. Black Feathers made it clear we were dealing with an ecological message warning of our impending doom, but The Book of the Crowman keeps pushing it, throwing it in our faces, and demanding that we listen. Something I didn't notice in the first book, but which severely tainted my enjoyment here was the Christian allegory. (view spoiler)[The healing powers, the profound faith, the prostitute disciple, the tragic betrayal, the moment of doubt, even the freakin' crucifixion and the whole holy trinity thing - Gordon may as well trade in his black-feathered hat for a halo! (hide spoiler)] It's not just that the religious allegory holds zero appeal for me, or that it does nothing to make me believe in the struggle, it's that it completely telegraphs the end of the story. Goodbye suspense.As for the end, I found it completely unsatisfying, and not just for the reasons above. It felt flat to me, anti-climatic, and unfinished. It's full of hints and suggestions, but it offers nothing in the way of a concrete resolution. (view spoiler)[We're told that Gordon's sacrifice makes the difference in the war between the Green Men and the Ward, but we have to take that on faith, since we neither get to see how the war turns out, nor do we get to see what follows. (hide spoiler)] In case you haven't guessed by now, faith and I don't get along so well.I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm dumping on it, because it was an interesting story, well-written, with a really unique protagonist. It's just that The Book of the Crowman strayed too far from what I expected, and went too deep into waters I had no interest in being baptized by. From a thematic and mythological standpoint, it's probably a fitting end to the story, but from an entertainment standpoint, I found it personally lacking.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins
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  • Judah
    January 1, 1970
    Well written, fun premise.... so why only one star?Quite simply, I'm tired of the villainous lisping homosexual trope. (tripe) In the first book, most of the major events centered around gay rape or something similar, and it was revealed that the two main antagonists are gay. I stuck it out anyways, as I enjoyed the story. I couldn't do so with the second book.We get it. Homosexuals are the representation/embodiment of the culture of corruption that is humanities downfall. One star. Simple as th Well written, fun premise.... so why only one star?Quite simply, I'm tired of the villainous lisping homosexual trope. (tripe) In the first book, most of the major events centered around gay rape or something similar, and it was revealed that the two main antagonists are gay. I stuck it out anyways, as I enjoyed the story. I couldn't do so with the second book.We get it. Homosexuals are the representation/embodiment of the culture of corruption that is humanities downfall. One star. Simple as that.
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of the Crowman is the sequel to Black Feathers. Together these two books make up The Black Dawn, a story that D'Lacey originally intended to take up one volume. As these two books are a part of the same story, neither are stand alone novels, so this review will rate the Black Dawn as a whole with the emphasis on Volume II in particular.D'Lacey has created a beautifully written book that is in part an apocalyptic tale, and also a story with fantasy elements. Whether you love Sci-Fi or Fa The Book of the Crowman is the sequel to Black Feathers. Together these two books make up The Black Dawn, a story that D'Lacey originally intended to take up one volume. As these two books are a part of the same story, neither are stand alone novels, so this review will rate the Black Dawn as a whole with the emphasis on Volume II in particular.D'Lacey has created a beautifully written book that is in part an apocalyptic tale, and also a story with fantasy elements. Whether you love Sci-Fi or Fantasy, this is a book that lovers of all types of speculative fiction will enjoy. The tale follows a young boy and a young girl in a journey to adulthood. Their tales are told simultaneously even though they lived hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of years apart. The boy is Gordon Black. He lives in England during the apocalypse and is prophesied to find the Crowman. The Crowman is a spirit of the earth, and he represents all the human race needs in order to save themselves. The earth is dying from human abuse, and Gordon knows the only way to save the world is to help the Green Men, those a that have a bond with the earth. But the fight won't be easy as he has to battle members of the Ward, which is comprised of men who want to continue to dominate the earth. Because of the prophecies they are hunting Gordon, and they will stop at nothing to get their hands on him.The young girl is Megan Maurice, and she lives in a time long after the apocalypse, when the only people left are those that live entirely off the land. Her society is completely environmentally conscious, and works hard to stay that way lest they cause another Black Dawn. Megan is chosen as the last keeper: it is up to her to tell the story of Gordon Black and the apocalypse, and to make sure that everyone heeds the story of the Crowman. Megan and her teacher are both imbued with a kind of magic that let's them see visions and travel to other times. If Megan can't become a keeper, then Gordon will have gone through numerous hardships for nothing. But the Black Feathered path to becoming a Keeper is far from easy, and Megan does not know whether she has the strength to finish.This book is an environmental novel at its heart, and its message is one that is extremely important. It is one of those stories that I wish everyone would read because D'Lacey writes in a way that brings real issues of how humans treat the earth to the forefront of his plot. But even if the message of the book does not move you, the writing certainly will. The author is brutal and honest, and writes in a way that makes his story come alive to the reader. His writing is flawless, and he can make even the darkest scene feel beautiful. The plot can be a bit slow in part I, but in part II it really picks up, and it becomes hard to put the book down.The only negative thing a have to say about this book is that the ending left me a little unsatisfied, and wanting more of an explanation. In a way though, the ending fit the story well, and left the reader open to her own interpretation. Overall I would give this book an 8.5/10, which is the highest rating I have given so far! It is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it.I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review Review originally found at http://avidfantasyreviews.files.wordp...
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  • Ctgt
    January 1, 1970
    When there was no law, when nothing beyond survival seemed to matter any more, there was a savage logic in violence and ruination. He half understood their feelings:If this is the end, then bring it on....But what if , as Gordon still believed, it wasn't the end? Wasn't it worth trying to keep the world alive, to maintain the simple trust that one person would neither harm another nor take from them just because there was no one to punish their actions. Surely, such trust was a Natural law, part When there was no law, when nothing beyond survival seemed to matter any more, there was a savage logic in violence and ruination. He half understood their feelings:If this is the end, then bring it on....But what if , as Gordon still believed, it wasn't the end? Wasn't it worth trying to keep the world alive, to maintain the simple trust that one person would neither harm another nor take from them just because there was no one to punish their actions. Surely, such trust was a Natural law, part of the order of the universe.I really enjoyed the first book of this duology, the whole idea of Mother Earth getting fed up and wreaking havoc was unique in my reading experience. While I liked the ending(altough it was pretty obvious how it would end) the first half of this book seemed to flounder. Just like the first book, the story jumps between Gordon(past) and Megan(future-through the weave) and there are some moments in the first half where their characters become linked which did move the story forward but these were just too few and far between for my taste. As I think back, if this had been condensed to one volume this would have been a great story. There are many spiritual and religious overtones concerning faith and belief throughout the story, You must learn to have faith in me. For that to happen, I need to go away for a while. Remove myself from your sight. You must find me in other ways, in the whisper of the wind when it makes tongues of the branches, in the darting of the wren after she catches your eye, in the way the light shatters when it touches the river. You must watch for me a while and listen for me a while and I must not be there except in spirit. Do you see? (Crowman speaking to Megan)You had to come this way; do the things you've done. And you had to come to the end of your faith. You did stop believing, Gordon. That's why you're hiding in here, crying to yourself like you've never cried before. The search had to lead you nowhere and the burden of it had to break you before I could appear. Do you understand?(Crowman to Gordon)Except for the one of the final scenes, the majority of the spiritual ideas in the book take on more of a pantheist outlook.Overall an interesting take on the dystopian tale, but for me came up a bit short in it's execution.
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  • Colin Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    The Book Of The Crowman is Joseph D'Laceys follow up to Black Feathers but this is no mere sequel, these books were always intended to be read as a whole, a single piece, The Black Dawn. While splitting the book in two was largely a decision based on publishing practicalities it has in no way harmed the impact of the story, both books are excellent but together they become something very special indeed.The Book Of The Crowman picks up seamlessly from the action in Black Feathers and we are reuni The Book Of The Crowman is Joseph D'Laceys follow up to Black Feathers but this is no mere sequel, these books were always intended to be read as a whole, a single piece, The Black Dawn. While splitting the book in two was largely a decision based on publishing practicalities it has in no way harmed the impact of the story, both books are excellent but together they become something very special indeed.The Book Of The Crowman picks up seamlessly from the action in Black Feathers and we are reunited with Gordon Black and Megan Maurice as they continue their parallel quest for the mythical Crowman. They are thrust into a world where technology and nature are at war, where the totalitarian Ward fight the Green Men, where danger and tragedy lurk round every corner. Both characters have matured as their lengthy quest has gone on allowing the author even greater exploration of their relationships and interactions with the fascinating characters they meet, both good and evil. Joseph D'Lacey manages to maintain a vigorous pace while allowing plenty of space to explore the books themes such as technology versus nature, religion, sacrifice and power. Now, this may make it sound like it could become pretentious, holier than thou but nothing could be further from the truth, this book simply makes you think.It is imbued with a deep spirituality drawing inspiration from folk tales, mythology and religion all of which permeate and colour the writing but it is also a book full of raw emotion, suspense, action, sex and some genuinely shocking scenes.This is no cold preachy tome, this book is alive with magic, symbolism and deep thoughtful prose, you will get caught up with the pace but every now and then you will stop and think about the underlying messages and how they reflect on our modern society.I have always admired Joseph D'Lacey's writing from the early novels like Meat and Garbage Man to his excellent novellas Kill Crew and Snake Eyes but this is his finest work to date. A magnificent, touching and deeply thought provoking story, literary horror at its finest.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Probably 3.5 stars, couldn't decide which way to round.Full review is here: http://tenaciousreader.wordpress.com/...The Book of the Crowman is the grim and haunting unfolding of folklore with an honest and powerful conclusion. Fans of the first book should definitely give it a shot, if they find the first half slow, hang in there, because the story as a whole is certainly worth reading.I enjoyed the evolution of Gordan's Black character as well as the pieces of Megan's story falling in with Gord Probably 3.5 stars, couldn't decide which way to round.Full review is here: http://tenaciousreader.wordpress.com/...The Book of the Crowman is the grim and haunting unfolding of folklore with an honest and powerful conclusion. Fans of the first book should definitely give it a shot, if they find the first half slow, hang in there, because the story as a whole is certainly worth reading.I enjoyed the evolution of Gordan's Black character as well as the pieces of Megan's story falling in with Gordan's tale. But on the down side, there was an odd change in tense in part of it, I also felt the message in this one was much more heavy handed than Black Feathers, I wish it had been more subtle. To see better explanations of my complaints (as well as what I enjoyed), you can go to my full review.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy.The nitty-gritty: Violent but compelling, heartbreaking yet hopeful, the harrowing journey of two characters finally comes to an end.There had once been industrial parks and truck stops on both sides of the road. Over the years people had dumped rubbish alongside the verges and the black refuse sacks were caught forever in the barbed grip of the hedgerows. Shredded by thorns, the ribbons of black plastic fluttered and shivered in the co This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy.The nitty-gritty: Violent but compelling, heartbreaking yet hopeful, the harrowing journey of two characters finally comes to an end.There had once been industrial parks and truck stops on both sides of the road. Over the years people had dumped rubbish alongside the verges and the black refuse sacks were caught forever in the barbed grip of the hedgerows. Shredded by thorns, the ribbons of black plastic fluttered and shivered in the constant wind. They made a sound like prayer flags, though what the words of the prayer might be, Gordon couldn’t imagine. The bags would still be caught there, dancing to the touch of the wind in a thousand years, whether the people of this land survived or not.The Book of the Crowman is the second book of D’Lacey’s duology, The Black Dawn. Last year I read and really enjoyed Black Feathers, and I was looking forward to finding out the fates of the characters. Crowman is constructed in much the same way as Black Feathers, with two main characters alternating chapters, as the reader sees what’s happening through their very different points of view. Gordon is still on his quest for the elusive Crowman, a bird-like man who may possibly be able to save the world from destruction. Megan’s story runs parallel to Gordon’s, but she exists in a different place and time. The tension from the last book mostly came from the knowledge that their two paths would eventually cross, and in this final book, that does happen, but not in quite the way I expected. D’Lacey once again brings so much skill to his story: gorgeous prose, Gordon’s dangerous and exciting survival story, and the drawn-out mystery of who the Crowman really is.Gordon’s story takes place in a sort of dystopian future London, where a group called the Ward are trying to take control of the population and eradicate the peaceful Green Men who want to live in harmony with the land. Gordon is on the run from the Ward, who want to stop him from uniting the people against them. Gordon has been told that he must find the Crowman, a possibly mythic creature who is the key to a future free from the Ward’s control.Megan is studying with Mr. Keeper and learning to walk “the black feathered path.” She has been chosen by the Crowman to be the chronicler of Gordon’s life. By going into the “weave,” she can cross time and space and observe Gordon and write about his adventures.Both narratives move inexorably toward a final showdown between the Green Men and the Ward, but it’s uncertain up until the end who will emerge the victor.Just as I did in Black Feathers, I preferred Gordon’s story over Megan’s. Most of the action takes place while Gordon is trying to stay one step ahead of the Ward, and I loved the sense of desperation as Gordon and his friends are forced to run for their lives. Along the way, he meets a girl named Denise and her precocious daughter Flora, and for a while, they team up to try to stay alive. I adored Flora, a girl who is more than meets the eye and who has an interesting connection to Megan. Gordon is a very complex character, and even though I didn’t like all his decisions, I loved his sense of duty and justice. He’s driven by his love for his family, who have been taken by the Ward (and may even be dead), and he feels a need to follow through with his mother’s request to search for the Crowman.Interspersed throughout the story are letters written by Gordon’s little sister Jude, who is in fact still alive but has been captured and is being treated horribly. These passages were so heartbreaking, especially since Jude is never sure whether or not Gordon is actually getting her letters. I thought this was an excellent way for the author to refer back to the events that happened in Black Feathers.Megan’s story, however, was much more slow and dreamy, and seemed completely removed from what was happening to Gordon. Megan is on an emotional journey, rather than one of action, so her chapters had a completely different feel to them. I did love her relationship with Mr. Keeper, especially when she discovers one of his secrets.What shocked me the most in this book was some over-the-top violence that I wasn’t expecting. Gordon had a dual personality that just didn’t seem to fit his character. On one hand he’s trying to defeat the enemy and bring peace back to the land. But then he turns on his enemies and gruesomely eviscerates them, and does so with a smile on his face. D’Lacey clinically describes each thrust of the sword, exactly how long a man’s intestines are and how they look draped at his feet. Now don’t get me wrong: I love horror and I rarely shy away from the gory bits. But for me, graphic violence works best when tempered with humor. I happen to like some comedy along with my beheadings! The Book of the Crowman has very little humor, and so for me the violence was sometimes gratuitous.The other thing that didn’t quite work was the heavy-handed religious allegory. I don’t want to spoil things by explaining it, but as the story goes along, it becomes clear that Gordon is a messiah figure, and his actions become almost predictable by the end.Although D’Lacey clearly has some messages to impart to the reader—that technology might be destroying us and that humans are not taking care of the land as we should be—they mostly take a backseat to an exciting adventure tale. If you enjoy a well-told story that makes you ponder the possible fate of the human race, The Book of the Crowman is a must read.Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    A coming of age tale the likes of which I've never read and am unlikely to encounter again. D'Laceys duo is a complex and interesting weaving of horror, fantasy, and apocalyptic demise with underlying feeling that really makes you think. It's like peeling back never ending layers, with questions that never get answered, and that's okay. Because sometimes questions don't get answered. And that is life.
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Black Feathers was a bit of a revelatory moment for me. I’ve read most of Joseph D’Lacey’s existing back catalogue but wasn’t sure how I was going to get on with a novel that didn’t fit neatly into the horror genre. I needn’t have worried, I was utterly engrossed by his first foray into fantasy. Since then, I’ve been waiting patiently for book two and now that it’s finally here I can confirm it’s a corker.Whenever I read a novel, I’m always on the look of for evolution in a character. I want to Black Feathers was a bit of a revelatory moment for me. I’ve read most of Joseph D’Lacey’s existing back catalogue but wasn’t sure how I was going to get on with a novel that didn’t fit neatly into the horror genre. I needn’t have worried, I was utterly engrossed by his first foray into fantasy. Since then, I’ve been waiting patiently for book two and now that it’s finally here I can confirm it’s a corker.Whenever I read a novel, I’m always on the look of for evolution in a character. I want to see evidence that events within the narrative have left their mark. I’m looking for a realistic development/change in the protagonist that makes logical sense and helps to drive the plot forward. This is where The Book of the Crowman excels. Hell, evolution doesn’t seem a strong enough word, it doesn’t adequately convey the depth of transformation that Gordon Black experiences. The reader gets to follow a metamorphosis, a re-invention, as Gordon grows from boy to man. As the countryside and society collapses and evolves, Gordon’s role transforms and evolves with it. He changes at the most fundamental level and this story chronicles that, often harrowing, change.Megan Maurice also returns. In the future of the Bright Day, she continues to learn the story of the Crowman and how he is connected to Gordon. The moments of duality that exist between Gordon and Megan’s respective journeys continue to be explored in-depth.I think the thing I like most about this novel is the enigmatic nature of the title character. D’Lacey drops lots of subtle hints, suggesting many things, but never fully commits entirely to a single interpretation of who and what the Crowman actually is. I suspect this will drive some readers absolutely nuts but I felt that this sense of ambiguity was exactly right, the author is inviting users to draw their own conclusions. It’s rare that I come across fiction that I immediately know I’m going to read again in the future, but I knew very quickly that it was the case here. Fiction that challenges established ideas and prompts thought is always worth revisiting again and again.The Book of the Crowman, and its predecessor, successfully blend together elements from a host of genres. Urban fantasy, traditional folklore and myth, post-apocalyptic science fiction and horror are all represented. A single word of warning – the climax of book two contains some particularly graphic imagery. It’s warranted though, as it fits perfectly into the confines of the plot, still shocking none the less.With the conclusion of this novel D’Lacey has crafted a duology that feels both topical and timeless in the same breath. Hidden just beneath the surface of this engaging story there are many questions the author is asking the reader to ponder. He’s casting a light on the important issues that everyone needs to be considering as modern society develops. It’s lofty stuff. There are many perceptive ideas covering everything from politics, religion and philosophy. D’Lacey’s writing is not just a clarion call for environmentalism, but also a manifesto for change.There is an exceptionally short list of genre books that have had a profound effect on my way of thinking. One day I may even tell you what some of the others are. Currently however, all you need to know is that Black Feathers and The Book of the Crowman have just been added to that list. Smart insightful fiction that challenges preconceived notions and makes a reader properly think is a truly wonderful thing. This is flawlessly executed fantasy that I can’t recommend highly enough. I’ve said it before, and I hope I get the opportunity to say it again, Joseph D’Lacey is an author who everyone should be reading.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Black Feathers was a favorite of mine amongst the 2013 new releases and so I jumped at the opportunity to read the second half of the Black Dawn series, The Book of the Crowman, when I received the ARC courtesy of Netgalley.What grabbed me in the first book was the combination of D’Lacey’s character development and the balance he found in the vision of a future shaped by environmental apocalypse and the prose which was simultaneously visual and visceral.The Book of the Crowman picks up exactly w Black Feathers was a favorite of mine amongst the 2013 new releases and so I jumped at the opportunity to read the second half of the Black Dawn series, The Book of the Crowman, when I received the ARC courtesy of Netgalley.What grabbed me in the first book was the combination of D’Lacey’s character development and the balance he found in the vision of a future shaped by environmental apocalypse and the prose which was simultaneously visual and visceral.The Book of the Crowman picks up exactly where we left off in Black Feathers and D’Lacey continues to use the same powerful prose to continue the tales of Gordon Black and Megan Maurice.Where Black Feathers was compelling in the balance of metaphor and the hero’s journey, The Book of the Crowman turns overly heavy-handed on being a treatise on humanity’s impact on nature through the use of technology and D’Lacey fails to contextualize the behavior of our protagonists which is often selfish and sanctimonious.Like the feathers the corvidae, Megan views the world in stark terms of black and white – a view which as a reader, I found frustrating and fundamentalist. Gordon isn’t much more appealing than Megan. Sure he has his personal and real demons to battle but he too views the world in terms of black and white and more often than not, is surprisingly simplistic in his judgment of others.The character I found myself bonding with was Denise – who is perhaps the only purely grey character in this tale. For every mistake or bad choice Denise makes, she offsets it with an act of kindness and she is at heart, a true survivor – conferring on her a quasi-personification of humanity as a whole. Unlike Megan, I cannot condemn Denise for anything she has done because she is also capable of delivering great consideration for others; such as when she insisted that Gordon try to save the little girl from the cannibals. Even though Denise knew that the attempt could cost both she and Gordon their lives, she still insisted that the attempt be made… an attempt Gordon would never have made had she not asked it. Gordon never hesitates to take physical love from Denise but what does he offer her in return besides food and shelter? He refuses her any level of true intimacy or friendship. Quite the contrary, Gordon takes an unflattering satisfaction in his inability to give Denise anything more than the means of survival. Too bad, Megan doesn’t see it that way.Where is the redemption in this tale? Where is the mercy? Most of all, where is the love for humanity that is supposed to save it from the Ward? Gordon doesn’t offer it and Megan is a sanctimonious acolyte.Both Gordon and Megan fail to complete their hero’s journey, which is the heart of the Black Dawn. This shortfall, combined with D’Lacey’s talent with prose, has me hoping there will be another installment in this series.There are too may loose ends in The Book of the Crowman for the story to end there – how did Denise come to be separated from the crow spar? What happened to Denise’s child? Does Megan ever acquire any of the magic that Mr. Keeper uses? I might not have liked the protagonists in this installment, but I cannot deny D’Lacey’s talent as an author to make me react as strongly as I have to his tale.I want to believe in the Crowman, and I hope the next book in the Black Dawn series will give me a reason to.
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  • Koeur
    January 1, 1970
    http://koeur.wordpress.com/2014/01/27...Publisher: Angry Robot Publishing Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9780857663498 Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4.6/5.0Publisher Description: The world has been condemned. Only Gordon Black and The Crowman can redeem it. The search for the shadowy figure known only as the Crowman continues, as the Green Men prepare to rise up against the forces of the Ward. It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world. It is the Black D http://koeur.wordpress.com/2014/01/27...Publisher: Angry Robot Publishing Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9780857663498 Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4.6/5.0Publisher Description: The world has been condemned. Only Gordon Black and The Crowman can redeem it. The search for the shadowy figure known only as the Crowman continues, as the Green Men prepare to rise up against the forces of the Ward. It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world. It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.Review: The cover art is really good. Fits the modus of the novel perfectly.Holy shjtsnacks this was a good novel. It is a dance between worlds of existence that overlap in surprising ways. There are moments within the novel that send clear messages about living in our current state of unawareness or choosing awareness for the sake of diminished ego by sacrificing our desires. The author weaves this message into the good vs. evil idiom on the macro scale while elevating the inner diametric towards enlightenment. The world impacted is relevant to the author’s premise that unaware actions pursued to their ends, manifest in not only a degraded ecosystem but are a reflection of maligned intent. This message of the grand diametric is carried within as a constant message of striving for “balance” (as the inner goes so goes the outer etc.). There is also this interesting and fluid Coptic movement throughout the novel that is reminiscent of Christianity, mainly the iteration and intent of Jesus and his relationship to god. There is definitely a Gordon Black/Crowman paradigm of the same lineal bent. There is no reading this novel with literal intent. The imagery that the scenes evoke adds to the message crafted within a wending story-line. “The end of the world as we know it” in this instance, strays from what would actually occur, IMHO. There is this desultory penchant for misanthropic guile that pervades the tenure of the novel. While agreeable, this subtle and overt negativity would be rampant, overt and cloistered. The author touches on what I think would be all pervasive so shortly after a collapse when Gordon comes upon a group that is hunting/eating humans in order to survive. I also think there would have been a quicker expansion out of city centers into the countryside. The author’s manifest intent is to create a story within a broader context (message) and the vehicle for this is a designed apocalypse.Without being too pedantic (oops, too late) you will enjoy this novel at any one level. I think there will be a people whom either really like the process and those that will detest the novels cogent and fugue state allegorical prose.
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  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    The Black Dawn duology closes with THE BOOK OF THE CROWMAN; the fantastical eco war mixed with a religious like mythology and spiced with the otherworldly spun around young man, Gordon Black and his quest along the black feathered path. Accompanying Gordon, on a parallel path, is Megan, a Keeper in training who evolves into something much more powerful than a designated scribe of the Crowman’s legend, as initially introduced.Author Joseph D’Lacey fortifies his characters giving them unique power The Black Dawn duology closes with THE BOOK OF THE CROWMAN; the fantastical eco war mixed with a religious like mythology and spiced with the otherworldly spun around young man, Gordon Black and his quest along the black feathered path. Accompanying Gordon, on a parallel path, is Megan, a Keeper in training who evolves into something much more powerful than a designated scribe of the Crowman’s legend, as initially introduced.Author Joseph D’Lacey fortifies his characters giving them unique powers such as the ability to heal/revive the dead/near dead, morph into animal form, and transpose through time in a mystical ‘weave’ which creates a ghost like apparition of the traveller seen by few and feared by more. The Ward and the Green Men return but with more purpose than the search of the seemingly elusive Crowman, rather, the two groups engage in fierce battle for the land – one to maintain and nurture mother nature, the other to build and deface (hence the earlier reference to eco war). Gordon, still being chased by the Ward and haunted by his family’s earlier abduction is faced with a choice few could stand to make. The ultimate result is the gratification of a legend, a validation of belief and a sacrifice beyond measure. Twists and turns aplenty in the later stages of THE BOOK OF THE CROWNMAN really turn the story on its head, making this reader question what was considered to be actual story or a retelling lent more towards fiction than historical fact (re: Megan’s account). I thought this was a nice way to end it all but could see how some readers would want more closure – personally, the openness and individual interpretation of the revelation at books’ end is a real highlight.Overall, an enjoyable read that introduces some interesting concepts and other that don’t quite hit the mark. Well worth a look in as a form of escapism.This review also appears on my blog: http://justaguythatlikes2read.blogspo...
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  • Zaz
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. A satisfying sequel with a good atmosphere and plenty of love for Earth, but which dragged a little and was crowded with hormones and blood.Gordon is now several years older, bloody handed and still searching for the Crowman. While the Ward continues to hunt him, without much success, the young man meets for the first time several important persons. On her side, Megan continues to follow the black path, learning more about the Crowman, defending her land, and using words to describe t 4.5 stars. A satisfying sequel with a good atmosphere and plenty of love for Earth, but which dragged a little and was crowded with hormones and blood.Gordon is now several years older, bloody handed and still searching for the Crowman. While the Ward continues to hunt him, without much success, the young man meets for the first time several important persons. On her side, Megan continues to follow the black path, learning more about the Crowman, defending her land, and using words to describe the days before the final war.It was really pleasant to return to Gordon and to journey once again with him and Megan. I enjoyed the love for the Earth that was the roots of this novel and the writing that flew easily. The story dragged a little at some points and I wasn't sold on Gordon's hormonal adventures, even if I understand that they were necessary in a way, fulfilling his destiny, etc. I enjoyed how Denise was depicted, her actions often felt discutable but the writing never conveyed a moral judgement, something I really appreciated because it's rare. Jude's letters gave weight to what happened to her and were at the same time moving and difficult to stomach. The outcome was obvious, but still the last part kept me on edge with its pace, its atmosphere, its dark clouds and the involvement of many characters. Overall, it was a duology (or a big book) I loved, combining very well apocalyptic events, faith, paranormal journeys and coming of age stories.
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  • Daniel Ruffolo
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of the Crowman is the continuation of the post-apocalyptic series The Black Dawn by British author Joseph D’Lacey, which was begun in Black Feathers. The Book of the Crowman is a fascinating and engaging story that continues the seamless integration of multiple genres and styles that so interested me in the first volume. I was really looking forward to the release of this book, and was not at all disappointed.Read the full review at Strange Currencieshttps://strangecurrencies.org/2016/0 The Book of the Crowman is the continuation of the post-apocalyptic series The Black Dawn by British author Joseph D’Lacey, which was begun in Black Feathers. The Book of the Crowman is a fascinating and engaging story that continues the seamless integration of multiple genres and styles that so interested me in the first volume. I was really looking forward to the release of this book, and was not at all disappointed.Read the full review at Strange Currencieshttps://strangecurrencies.org/2016/08...
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  • Mieneke
    January 1, 1970
    Last year I was very pleasantly surprised, to put it mildly, by Joseph D'Lacey's Black Feathers , the first in The Black Dawn duology. I loved the mixture of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic storylines and found D'Lacey's writing to be compelling and at times poetic in its descriptions. I became very much invested in Gordon and Megan's stories and I couldn't wait to find out how they would end in The Book of the Crowman. I got a stunning conclusion to their narrative, but one which struck out i Last year I was very pleasantly surprised, to put it mildly, by Joseph D'Lacey's Black Feathers , the first in The Black Dawn duology. I loved the mixture of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic storylines and found D'Lacey's writing to be compelling and at times poetic in its descriptions. I became very much invested in Gordon and Megan's stories and I couldn't wait to find out how they would end in The Book of the Crowman. I got a stunning conclusion to their narrative, but one which struck out in a different direction than I'd anticipated. While I'll be keeping them to a minimum there might be some things in the review that could be considered spoilers, so be forewarned: there be mild spoilers ahead!As in Black Feathers, the story is told through to alternating timelines, that of Gordon and that of Megan. Both stories are again compelling, though their structure is far more defined and linked than last time; Megan's walking of the Black-Feathered Path is clearly begun by retelling Gordon's story in her own Book of the Crowman and there are even moments when they seem to touch. They are also quite different. Where Gordon's narrative is very much action-based – he fights, he searches, he rescues, and kills – Megan's story, though not lacking in action, is far more philosophical and a journey of the mind and spirit.Black Feathers had heavy environmental themes and was very much about the breakdown of society and the way it was later rebuilt. The Book of the Crowman on the other hand carried far more themes of redemption and comparative religion. There is a scene in which Megan discovers that not all Crowman stories are alike, they follow the same general points, but the details vary, sometimes widely. These made me think strongly of how three of the largest religions seemingly have their roots in the same soil, but differ in the way the way they've grown to fruition. Or how early mythology from different areas of the Earth show surprisingly many common elements. The Black Dawn ended up far more of a Messiah story than I'd thought from the previous book, but the Crowman is the Earth's champion, not humanity's. The novel furnishes fodder for some interesting philosophical discussions. Such as what is the nature of religion? How strong is the power of suggestion, i.e. if someone tells people something is a fact with enough conviction, will they believe them regardless of a lack of tangible evidence? When does doing everything to survive turn into doing evil to survive?Beyond the characters of the last book we have only few new additions with real impact. Most important are Denise and Flora, a mother-daughter pair Gordon encounters and who renew his hopes to find the Crowman. While Denise's actions are never judged in the text – I say in the text, because I certainly judged her, even if I shouldn't have – she's an utter pragmatist doing whatever she can to stay alive and she does seem to carry a lot of censure, even if most of it is her own. I liked little Flora and the suggestion that is raised about reincarnation of her spirit in the future. It makes me wonder whether out there Gordon (or a reincarnation of him) is waiting for Megan to find him. Another important figure in the book is Carissa, a seer who helps Megan on her journey down the Black-Feathered Path. I found her an interesting character and I'd love to know when and where she and Megan would meet up again.The book is pretty graphic with a lot of violence. The climactic scene where the Crowman finally emerges was completely epic and at points brought tears to my eyes. This violence is not just part of Gordon's actions; it is even more intrinsic to the workings of the Ward. The Ward becomes even more sinister and Pike and Skelton are clearly portrayed as insane. I found their (working) relationship ambiguous and unsettling, based as it was not on love or friendship or even similar ideals, but on a predilection for violence. Yet the violence serves a purpose and never goes over the top, though Gordon's skill with a penknife is nothing short of astounding and sometimes a bit too polished.This conclusion of The Black Dawn duology blew me away and I found the story and the characters of Megan and Gordon utterly compelling. A series with strong environmental, sociological, and religious themes, The Black Dawn is a stunning feat by a talented word-smith. The Book of the Crowman is a fantastic ending, which couldn't have been more emotionally engaging or rewarding if it tried. The Black Dawn is a series that shouldn't be missed.This book was provided for review by the publisher.
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  • Lynn Williams
    January 1, 1970
    http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/...The Book of the Crowman is the concluding part of the Black Dawn story told by Joseph D'Lacey. The story started with Black Feathers (my review here). BotC picks up immediately where Black Dawn ended and we continue Gordon's journey to find the Crowman and Megan's story to become a keeper. Just a quick recap. This story is set in two timeframes with two different voices. Gordon is pre apocalypse. In his story the world is starting to rebel against the cons http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/...The Book of the Crowman is the concluding part of the Black Dawn story told by Joseph D'Lacey. The story started with Black Feathers (my review here). BotC picks up immediately where Black Dawn ended and we continue Gordon's journey to find the Crowman and Megan's story to become a keeper. Just a quick recap. This story is set in two timeframes with two different voices. Gordon is pre apocalypse. In his story the world is starting to rebel against the constant misuse foisted upon it by humans, strong weather, earthquakes, starvation, disease, are the beginning of the end. Enforcers called the Ward keep the populace in control using the harshest methods. The Ward fear a prophecy which has been told about the Crowman and are determined to find him and eliminate him. Gordon, on the run from the Ward similarly wants to find the Crowman. Set many years in the future in a much more simplified, post apocalyptic time is Megan. The Crowman appears to Megan one day thereby determining her future as a keeper. Megan will be responsible for keeping the legend of the Crowman alive for the next generation.Book No.2 continues with Gordon's trek across the country, desperately in search of the Crowman and apparently always just behind him. He meets and sees many strange things along the way, some of which are horrendous and unrepeatable. Unbeknown to himself he is also gathering something of a reputation. Meting out justice in fast and ruthless fashion and continually evading the clutches of the Ward. At the same time a good proportion of the population, tired of their life and disillusioned by the Ward are starting their own resistance movement, a green army, spurred on by the myth of the Crowman who they see ultimately as their champion of hope.Back to the future and Megan has her own problems to overcome. she will receive a taste of what being a keeper will actually involve and it's somewhat bitter. Her life will be so far removed from everything she ever knew before and she needs to come to terms with not only that and her new found duties but also a couple of other revelations.I enjoyed the fact that both characters had developed for the conclusion. Gordon more so than Megan really. Gordon is now a man. He's confident and feels like the earth gives him power. He has become a formidable opponent for the Ward and one that you can't help feeling will succeed against all odds.The whole story is heading in one direction. Conflict. The outcome of which will determine the future. Although, call me foolish but given that Megan is writing the story from the future does give you an idea of how certain things will go.Apart from a bit of a slow start I thought the conclusion of the story was really gripping and in spite of the fact that I already had an idea of what was going to happen, I did race forward at breakneck speed.In terms of criticisms, I understand that this was originally intended as a one book story that developed into two. I think it could have benefitted from maybe a little extra cutting and being kept as one book. There is a definite message to the story and in parts it can become a little bit repetitive but I didn't particularly feel it was done in a preachy kind of way. Yes, the author is making a point but he's found a great story as a vehicle to promote this message. The only other point I would make is that I felt like the ending was a tiny bit flat - which is perhaps the wrong phrase. I do think it was an appropriate ending, I also think it's the ending I was expecting but somehow I just wanted something a little bit more.I mentioned in my review of No.1 that this is dark fantasy and this definitely remains the case here. There are certainly a few scenes that people may be uncomfortable with - personally I thought they fit well with the story and context but there is definitely a bit of blood and gore going on not to mention torture, cannibalism, conflict. These are definitely dark days for sure.Overall a very satisfying read with only a few niggles.I received a copy of this from Netgalley in return for my honest opinion.
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  • Grace Troxel
    January 1, 1970
    This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:http://bookswithoutanypictures.com/20...The Book of the Crowman is the second book in Joseph D’Lacey’s Black Dawn series, an ecological post-apocalyptic horror story about what happens when mankind stops respecting the Earth and the land itself begins to fight back.The story is told from the perspectives of two different characters, representing both the future and the past. Megan is a young girl (around the age of puberty) w This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:http://bookswithoutanypictures.com/20...The Book of the Crowman is the second book in Joseph D’Lacey’s Black Dawn series, an ecological post-apocalyptic horror story about what happens when mankind stops respecting the Earth and the land itself begins to fight back.The story is told from the perspectives of two different characters, representing both the future and the past. Megan is a young girl (around the age of puberty) who is training to be a Keeper. Keepers are responsible for protecting the balance between the people and the land, and for remembering the forces that almost destroyed the world. Megan’s journeys are mostly spiritual as she learns through various dreamlike experiences what happened to Gordon Black. Gordon lived during the time of the environmental apocalypse, and he’s on a mission to find the Crowman, a creature of legend who represents both death and new beginnings. During his travels, Gordon must fight the Ward, an organization that’s become machine-like in its efficiency and represents the destructive forces of totalitarianism. The Ward are inherently unsustainable, because they don’t have enough of a relationship with the land to even grow their own food, but they have grown powerful because they took all the guns/machinery/technology when the apocalypse occurred. Even though we know that the Ward won’t be able to last, the question remains whether there will be anything else left of humanity by the time that they fall apart. Fighting the Ward are the Green Men, who remind me a bit of Robin Hood. The Green Men live off the land and engage in small acts of guerrilla warfare, but they don’t have the kind of weapons or organization that they’d need to be able to confront the Ward head on and survive. They’re a remnant of humanity, and if Gordon finds the Crowman, he knows that he can give the Green Men a chance at a future.The Book of the Crowman is much more allegorical than the first book in the series. Gordon Black emerges as a Christ figure whose journey and sacrifices give mankind the hope of a better future. I could go on about the parallels, but that would veer into serious spoilers. Suffice to say that Gordon is clearly a Jesus figure, but less passive. Gordon fights the Ward and isn’t afraid to kill for what he believes in. There are occasions where he’ll risk his own life to try to save someone from harm, and he will give bad people what they deserve. There’s also less of a hangup about sex. On a deeper level, the Crowman’s message is to be aware of both the light and dark sides of humanity and to maintain a balance with the world. You can’t pretend that the darker parts of human nature don’t exist, but you can acknowledge them and channel them in ways that are less destructive. Even though the book has a very clear message, it doesn’t come off as preachy or patronizing. You know what the author wants you to get out of the story, but the story itself is compelling.Many of the scenes in The Book of the Crowman are quite brutal. There are scenes involving disease, cannibalism, and disembowelment, all in graphic detail (you might not want to read The Book of the Crowman while or immediately before eating). These scenes serve as a reminder of just how bad the Ward is and what mankind is capable of in times of desperation. These scenes are contrasted with Megan’s own time, where for the most part, life is relatively peaceful. Megan lives in a small village in an agrarian society that remains in touch with nature. By contrasting Megan’s world with Gordon’s, we can see both the good and the bad that mankind is capable of and the importance of maintaining a relationship with nature.Overall, I was quite pleased with this duology. It’s a harsh depiction of what can happen if mankind goes too far, and yet it’s also filled with hope for a brighter day. It’s worth a read.
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  • The Speculative Post
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a much bigger fan of a multiple book series when it is split up after the fact for length, and not designed that way from the outset. That way you never feel like there’s any stretching of content, any filler there just to justify the trilogy, etc. The Black Dawn was conceived and mostly executed as one single volume, and it was only split when it was clear just how much story there was here. If you have yet to read Black Feathers, I’d absolutely suggest that the benefit of reading them back I’m a much bigger fan of a multiple book series when it is split up after the fact for length, and not designed that way from the outset. That way you never feel like there’s any stretching of content, any filler there just to justify the trilogy, etc. The Black Dawn was conceived and mostly executed as one single volume, and it was only split when it was clear just how much story there was here. If you have yet to read Black Feathers, I’d absolutely suggest that the benefit of reading them back-to-back outweighs the potential risk of buying both and then not liking them. Because how could you not like them? I linked to my review of the first book of this larger volume up at the top, and all of my positive claims about the story and the writing style continue to apply. This is more of the same of a great thing.But of course, simply saying “Same as above” makes for a pretty crappy review. I can do better than that! One of the things that really struck me about this story, which I think adds to the universality of it, and the thing that I feel will keep it interesting and relevant a long time from now, is the iconic level of the imagery. In the portion of the story dealing with Gordon and the apocalypse which leads to the post-apocalyptic world Megan inhabits, the factions involved in this struggle are ‘The Ward’ and ‘The Green Men.’ Leaving aside the references to existing mythology inherent in ‘The Green Man’, both of these groups are identified almost entirely by ideology, and not anything particular to them inside the narrative. ‘Peace through Control’ and ‘Peace through Freedom’ is a dichotomy that has never really -not- existed, and I’m not sure it will ever be resolved in a final way. I consider it a mandatory requirement of anything dystopian for me to call it ‘good’ that the issues at hand avoid being too dated or specific to an era in which it was written. You should be able to read a novel like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in virtually any era and still find it chilling and cautionary, and The Book of the Crowman definitely dodged that bullet as well. The forces represented by ‘The Ward’ are pretty nearly primal.Throughout the entirely of The Black Dawn but much more prevalent in The Book of the Crowman, since the story closes out in this volume, is the question of history, myth and legend. The story of Gordon is the search for the Crowman. He is sure that the Crowman exists, but has never met him in a way that confirms it. As he travels, he meets people who believe that the Crowman is real, that he is a metaphor, that he is an invention, even that he was created by the enemy just to be defeated and crush the spirits of ‘The Green Men’. When you move to the future with Megan, the same is true. She is not nearly the first to be experiencing the life of Gordon and the search for the Crowman, and each previous ‘Keeper’ has told the tale in a different way. This calls into doubt whether even the story we’re seeing from Gordon’s perspective is fact or if it is just a legend being told and retold. It actually makes the story more powerful, that it has endured for so long, yet we don’t as readers get to just know ahead of time ‘yeah, totally real.’The development of the story through the finish here makes this feel less like a coming-of-age story than the first volume did, but I will still go ahead and keep pushing the Urban Fantasy of Charles De Lint as a good choice if you enjoy this sort of setting. Dan received a review copy of this book courtesy of Angry Robot Books via NetGalley.You can read this review, an interview with Joseph D'Lacey, articles, and more at our website The Speculative Post.
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  • Captain Doomsday
    January 1, 1970
    Please note that this review is a modified version from my blog After The Last Day.It’s three years after the events of Black Feathers and Gordon Black is older and a lot more ferocious. Roving between Green Men patrols as they take on the Ward, he is still searching for the Crowman. Stopping for shelter in the city, he meets Denise and Flora, the latter of whom gives him the first lead on the Crowman that Gordon has had in a long time. What follows is Gordon’s desperate attempt to find the Crow Please note that this review is a modified version from my blog After The Last Day.It’s three years after the events of Black Feathers and Gordon Black is older and a lot more ferocious. Roving between Green Men patrols as they take on the Ward, he is still searching for the Crowman. Stopping for shelter in the city, he meets Denise and Flora, the latter of whom gives him the first lead on the Crowman that Gordon has had in a long time. What follows is Gordon’s desperate attempt to find the Crowman before the Green Men and Ward armies clash.And meanwhile, in the Bright Day, Megan Maurice continues her Keeper training, chronicling Gordon’s story and learning the price she must pay to keep the Bright Day shining – and the truth behind being a Keeper.What’s So Great About It?Just about everything, to be honest. The Book Of The Crowman builds upon its predecessor and then some. It opens with a bang and while it has its slow points, the pressure is always on for both Gordon and Megan in their separate epochs. The escalating stakes and the sense of building pressure compel the reader to consume this work in as few sittings as possible. Some of the confronting scenes did require a bit of reflection and a short break from the story but were at the same time utterly absorbing.The characters that live and breath in the world the author has created are complex and not always clear in their loyalties or their motives. The interplay between them feels real and doesn’t bog down in melodrama as much as a story about the Earth rebelling against its poor treatment could. Happily, the story never gets preachy either – this might be an eco-apocalypse but the plot comes first here. Sermons don’t get a look-in.The ending will stay with you for a long time, with horrific scenes of battle and death in the Black Dawn era, countered by truths that Megan discovers in the Bright Day. The ultimate ending is a very satisfying close to the duology and bought to mind the ending of Stephen King’s The Gunslinger saga, although not in the way you might think. What’s Not Great About It?The only thing I didn’t really like about The Book Of The Crowman was the addition of a couple of extra POV’s. Having finished the book, I know why they’re in there and they’re very well written – I just prefer the intimacy of having only Gordon and Megan’s views. It’s a minor niggle and only here because I’ve got to have something to counter the gushiness.Recommended By Captain DoomsdayThe author, as in the previous book, once again excels at painting a believable and followable sense of not just impending doom but the breakdown of the Earth itself. He can set a scene with minimal waste and satisfying freshness and bring it to life in a way that only the best storytellers can.While that alone would justify my recommendation, the well-drawn characters, masterful action, and genuinely dreadful scenes of horror that wrap themselves into this well-paced plot are selling points with just as much weight. Add in a memorable ending and this is one of those books that I just can’t recommend enough.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally posted at: http://andthenireadabook.blogspot.co....The Book of the Crowman concludes The Black Dawn story begun in Black Feathers. If you haven't yet read Black Feathers I urge you to stop reading this and get your hands on a copy right away. It's a beautiful, disturbing dystopian paean to the earth and one of my favourite books of 2013 (my review can be found here). The Book of the Crowman picks up the story and follows Gordon and Megan as they move relentlessly towards their Review originally posted at: http://andthenireadabook.blogspot.co....The Book of the Crowman concludes The Black Dawn story begun in Black Feathers. If you haven't yet read Black Feathers I urge you to stop reading this and get your hands on a copy right away. It's a beautiful, disturbing dystopian paean to the earth and one of my favourite books of 2013 (my review can be found here). The Book of the Crowman picks up the story and follows Gordon and Megan as they move relentlessly towards their destinies.In a life surrounded by violence Gordon Black has become more than himself. Armed with only his father's penknife he moves as one with the landscape delivering death to the hated Wardsmen. He is attuned to the world, at one with it, moving 'like a ripple on dark water.' He feels the surge of the healing Black Light now too. His power is awesome but with it comes responsibility, pain and difficult ethical choices. Driving him is the knowledge that he alone must find the Crowman before the world ends.Megan too is growing in strength and power. She is actually my favourite character in this book; her spirit shines out. As she treads her own path in the Weave the bond between her and Gordon deepens. They have this amazing love story that transcends time and physical space, but exists just as surely. Megan merges with the land and nature, becoming a 'human wild-thing' like Gordon. For him, 'she was a true woman of the land, the human female to his human male.' The utter rightness of their connection is beyond beautiful and my heart is aching a little as I think about it now.Another relationship provokes some rather different feelings. The two Wardsmen most determined to destroy Gordon, Pike and Skelton, are united in their loathing and fear of the Crowman, and their sadism. Their closeness would be a union of monsters but for the tiny chink of light in Skelton's armour - he craves, needs, love. It's enough to allow for the faintest flicker of hope that redemption is still possible.Relationships are much more important in this book than in Black Feathers. In part, I think, this reflects the coming of age of Gordon and Megan, but they also provide points of strength and vulnerability. D'Lacey writes about these locations of duality so well. The Crowman is less trickster this time around but he is still darkness and light, beginnings and endings. Gordon carefully buries his dead aware that the dead nourish the earth allowing for new life. Nothing (or everything) is wasted (except life itself). Destroy to create.The line between myth and reality is continually challenged creating stories within stories. The tales both shape and are shaped by us, we live with and by them. D’Lacey's stories access terror and beauty, combining to produce something exquisite. It’s poetry and it’s in my soul.
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  • Ralph
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ebook copy from the author/publisher through NetGalley.com in exchange for a review.This is the second and final (I think) book of THE BLACK DAWN. The first novel, BLACK FEATHERS I reviewed in a previous post. Since I was given the chance to read this one for free, I had to start from the beginning, so I would know what is going on. I may repeat some details from my review of the first novel, then again, I may just add stuff. This is the continuation of the early years of Gordon Bl I received an ebook copy from the author/publisher through NetGalley.com in exchange for a review.This is the second and final (I think) book of THE BLACK DAWN. The first novel, BLACK FEATHERS I reviewed in a previous post. Since I was given the chance to read this one for free, I had to start from the beginning, so I would know what is going on. I may repeat some details from my review of the first novel, then again, I may just add stuff. This is the continuation of the early years of Gordon Black. He lives in a seemingly equal time frame of our current times, that has been struck by a sort of technological destruction. Two factions come out of this change: The Green Men, and The Ward. Gordon is searching for the Crowman, a symbolic, mythological person that is centered on man returning to nature. The Green Men support nature, The Ward are more for domination and technology. The typical Good vs Bad.Megan is a girl seemingly about the same age as Gordon, who is in a future time of main story, learning to walk the "black feathered path", or in short, the way of the Crowman. Her duty is to chronicle the life of Gordon Black as shown to her via 'visions' from the Crowman. Most of this novel is of the climaxing and growth of Gordon Black, as he discovers the Crowman. It also brings the final confrontation of the Ward and the Green Men in a big battle. D'Lacey has written an interesting post-apocalyptic story, bringing in religious tones, as well as folk-lore, and of two young people coming of age. I felt it was a different version of a dystopian future compared to what other novels I have read. There were a few things I felt weren't cleared up completely, or at least, I felt I would have liked to known more of what happened, though they probably were not important to the main story line. Overall, I felt it was well written, and worded so that even younger readers would be able to enjoy.
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  • Julie-anne
    January 1, 1970
    Gordon Black is still seeking the Crowman so he can help the Green Men overthrow the Ward. Megan progresses with her training to being the Keeper, although she knows her journey is coming to an end. The Black Dawn still rages on and the Ward are even worse than they were at the beginning.This is the sequel to Black Feathers, which I really enjoyed and this book is no different. I absolutely love the story behind Gordon Black and how the earth herself has turned against everyone for mistreating h Gordon Black is still seeking the Crowman so he can help the Green Men overthrow the Ward. Megan progresses with her training to being the Keeper, although she knows her journey is coming to an end. The Black Dawn still rages on and the Ward are even worse than they were at the beginning.This is the sequel to Black Feathers, which I really enjoyed and this book is no different. I absolutely love the story behind Gordon Black and how the earth herself has turned against everyone for mistreating her for so long.Gordon has grown so much and faced so much, he's basically alone in his search for the Crowman. Others believe in him and other even look for him but not in the same way as Gordon.Megan has also grown into her role as trainee Keeper, she seems much more comfortable with her teaching and more confident in her new role.One thing that disappointed me was reading that this is the last book - for some reason I thought it was a trilogy and I'm quite disappointed with the fact that it won't continue. Not for any particular reason, because D'Lacey really closed the story well. I really enjoyed the ending ... as much as I could anyway, and you'll know what I mean when you read it - which I highly recommend you all to do.D'Lacey has a good way of world building and has some horrible characters in here which are all well written. Loved this series, loved the world and the characters and I love D'Lacey's mind.
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  • Searska GreyRaven
    January 1, 1970
    First, I'm going to say it was fantastically well-written.Second, the story was riveting and held me all the way to the end. The descriptions, the symbolism, the mythology and the emotions of the piece were all top notch. The message and Christ symbolism seemed a bit heavy-handed, though. (I believe TVTropes calls this Anvilicious.) That being said...damn, it pains me to say it, I didn't like it. I got the message, and I can even see that such a message would be important. Humanity has done unsp First, I'm going to say it was fantastically well-written.Second, the story was riveting and held me all the way to the end. The descriptions, the symbolism, the mythology and the emotions of the piece were all top notch. The message and Christ symbolism seemed a bit heavy-handed, though. (I believe TVTropes calls this Anvilicious.) That being said...damn, it pains me to say it, I didn't like it. I got the message, and I can even see that such a message would be important. Humanity has done unspeakable things to the place we call home. But the message that all technology is abhorrent and evil? I can't swallow it. I just can't. I've had too many friends and family members saved by the very tech the novel tries to demonize. Yes, modern advances cause destruction and death, but so do natural disasters. They *both* suck. But nature gives us the sources of our medicines, inspiration for ways to make our new advances work *with* the natural world rather than rape it. Rampant technology isn't the answer, but neither is destroying everything we've worked to achieve. Even if we went back to living like our ancient ancestors, this planet won't be around forever. The only way to preserve ourselves--and all life on this pale blue dot of a world--is through technology. And the only way we'll last long enough to achieve it is through mindful advancement of that technology. Balance, in all things.Even if I didn't agree with the message, the book made me think, and I can give a story no higher praise than that. And I'll be on the lookout for more books by this author!
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  • Darlene Cruz
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! Excellent read. "Without the teller there's no tale" Telling and retelling, The Crowman existence. The keepers in charge of documenting the tales. Gordon Black fiercely moving through the story believing The Crowman does exist and will stand with him and the people of the land to fight for their future. Megan walks the black feathered path, she has the skills to retell the story of The Crowman right, and it's up to her how the future turns out, is it up to her? You won't know until you read Wow! Excellent read. "Without the teller there's no tale" Telling and retelling, The Crowman existence. The keepers in charge of documenting the tales. Gordon Black fiercely moving through the story believing The Crowman does exist and will stand with him and the people of the land to fight for their future. Megan walks the black feathered path, she has the skills to retell the story of The Crowman right, and it's up to her how the future turns out, is it up to her? You won't know until you read it for yourself. Gordon Black at the age of seventeen years young but a spirit of someone much older, skilled in survival. Fighting the Wardsmen, a group taking the world by storm via technology advances. Gordon Black searches for The Crowman takes you on that journey whether fighting, killing, mean cruel and gruesome fighting. What I notice if the gruesomeness of it all wasn't present in this story you just cannot feel what the author was trying to convey or feel. A while back I read a series by Brian S. Pratt, The Morcyth Saga." I haven't read another book that captured the same excitement until I read this book. I read many great books but the genre of this particular one is excellent. I got caught from the beginning to the end, all the thrills, the sadness, the horror, the madness, the lost, the action, the fighting and the tender moments and survival. This book made me feel all of it. Oh, one more thing the end was classic, perfect. No telling, read the book:) Great Book!!!!!! Won this on Goodreads, First Read Giveaway, thank you, Darlene Cruz
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  • Rob
    January 1, 1970
    There are only a handful of books that I would say had a profound effect on me once I had completed it - books like The Good Medicine Book by Adolph Hungry Wolf, The General's President by John Dalmas, and David's Sling by Marc Stiegler. Having just completed the second volume of D'Lacey's "Black Dawn" duology, I can easily say that this series just joined that list. I stayed up an extra hour last night just so I could finish it; ended up wide awake afterwards because I was just awestruck from i There are only a handful of books that I would say had a profound effect on me once I had completed it - books like The Good Medicine Book by Adolph Hungry Wolf, The General's President by John Dalmas, and David's Sling by Marc Stiegler. Having just completed the second volume of D'Lacey's "Black Dawn" duology, I can easily say that this series just joined that list. I stayed up an extra hour last night just so I could finish it; ended up wide awake afterwards because I was just awestruck from its, yes, profound ecological message of love and sacrifice. Unless something truly outstanding appears before the end of the year, this series is a shoe-in as my Outstanding (& Very Highly Recommended) Reads from 2014.
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  • J
    January 1, 1970
    "this is where she came from; out of the very meat of this woman, out of her bliss and agony from chaos into form, from the perfect nothingness of the beyond into the imperfect beauty of this world " loved this book so much, it's just as good, if not slightly better than the first! it's rare for a second volume to finish with the same strength and conviction of the first, but this book surely does it. a true epic that deserves a place right next to the stand, in my opinion. there was a point whe "this is where she came from; out of the very meat of this woman, out of her bliss and agony from chaos into form, from the perfect nothingness of the beyond into the imperfect beauty of this world " loved this book so much, it's just as good, if not slightly better than the first! it's rare for a second volume to finish with the same strength and conviction of the first, but this book surely does it. a true epic that deserves a place right next to the stand, in my opinion. there was a point where something so unexpected happened (I won't spoil it) that a actually said 'oh!' out loud and my other half was like, what? what happened?! not for the faint of heart, but if you like your fantasy dark and powerful this is the book, or duo of books for you!
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  • PopcornReads
    January 1, 1970
    We’re participating in a book tour for The Book of the Crowman, Book #2 in the Black Dawn dystopian duology by award-winning author Joseph D’Lacey. The Black Dawn duology is a post-apocalyptic environmental morality tale with strong roots in folklore and mythology, with the Crowman as the central mythological figure. Joseph D’Lacey is known for his horror novels, so don’t expect light and fluffy from this duology. The Black Dawn’s premise is based on Earth’s history of healing itself of destruct We’re participating in a book tour for The Book of the Crowman, Book #2 in the Black Dawn dystopian duology by award-winning author Joseph D’Lacey. The Black Dawn duology is a post-apocalyptic environmental morality tale with strong roots in folklore and mythology, with the Crowman as the central mythological figure. Joseph D’Lacey is known for his horror novels, so don’t expect light and fluffy from this duology. The Black Dawn’s premise is based on Earth’s history of healing itself of destructive/invasive species, and mankind definitely fits that species definition. Think about the consequences for having been so disrespectful of the world we live in and you’re thinking in the right direction. Sound interesting? Read the rest of my review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=7187.
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  • Brandy
    January 1, 1970
    Just finished this book last night. It is the sequel to "Black Feathers" & continues the story of a young boy, on a quest to find his destiny in a time of war. Then there is a girl, who must write the boys story through visions she has of him, while she lives in a more idyllic time, in a peaceful village. The contrast between the stories works quite well & it was one of those books where you promise yourself that's you'll put it down after, "just one more chapter". I want more! Yes, the Just finished this book last night. It is the sequel to "Black Feathers" & continues the story of a young boy, on a quest to find his destiny in a time of war. Then there is a girl, who must write the boys story through visions she has of him, while she lives in a more idyllic time, in a peaceful village. The contrast between the stories works quite well & it was one of those books where you promise yourself that's you'll put it down after, "just one more chapter". I want more! Yes, the story ended, but there is so much that could still be told. Some questions were left unanswered, some details could be fleshed out. Not that it was a bad ending, it's just that I want more of the story. Perhaps another sequel? This writer knows his craft & I highly recommend these books!
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  • Chris Berko
    January 1, 1970
    This was easily one of the best books I've read in years. The second part of the Black Dawn story which began with the equally superb Black Feathers concludes the tale with a fascinating and completely satisfying ending. I know it sounds cheesy and clichéd but I was constantly rereading sections and paragraphs for their beauty and power. I highly recommend this for any fiction lover.
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