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The world has been condemned Only Gordon Black and The Crowman can redeem itThe search for the shadowy figure known only as the Crowman continues as the Green Men prepare to rise up against the forces of the WardIt is the Bright Day a time long generations hence when a peace has descended across the worldIt is the Black Dawn a time of environmental apocalypse the earth wracked and dyingFile Under Fantasy

10 thoughts on “The Book of the Crowman Black Dawn #2

  1. says:

    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 NetgalleyAll 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 uest to find the Crowman Gordon leaves a trail of dead Wardsmen in his wake trying to sniff out the Crowman at any costIn 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 fateMegan's story that of her chronicling Gordon Black's uest 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 stuffAs 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 JesusBraveheart route at the endThere's a lot 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 uite 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

  2. says:

    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 atWhile 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 endBefore 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 heartThe 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 appearanceUnfortunately 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 spoilerThe 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

  3. says:

    Well written fun premise so why only one star?uite 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 bookWe get it Homosexuals are the representationembodiment of the culture of corruption that is humanities downfall One star Simple as that

  4. says:

    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 corkerWhenever 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 developmentchange 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 adeuately 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 changeMegan 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 depthI 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 uickly that it was the case here Fiction that challenges established ideas and prompts thought is always worth revisiting again and againThe 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 lessWith 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 uestions 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 changeThere 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

  5. says:

    The Book of the Crowman is the seuel 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 particularD'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 himThe 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 finishThis 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 downThe only negative thing a have to say about this book is that the ending left me a little unsatisfied and wanting 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 8510 which is the highest rating I have given so far It is an amazing book and I highly recommend itI received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review Review originally found at

  6. says:

    When there was no law when nothing beyond survival seemed to matter any there was a savage logic in violence and ruination He half understood their feelingsIf this is the end then bring it onBut 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 universeI really enjoyed the first book of this duology the whole idea of Mother Earth getting fed up and wreaking havoc was uniue in my reading experience While I liked the endingaltough 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 Gordonpast and Meganfuture 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 MeganYou 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 GordonExcept for the one of the final scenes the majority of the spiritual ideas in the book take on of a pantheist outlookOverall an interesting take on the dystopian tale but for me came up a bit short in it's execution

  7. says:

    Probably 35 stars couldn't decide which way to roundFull review is here 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 readingI 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 heavy handed than Black Feathers I wish it had been subtle To see better explanations of my complaints as well as what I enjoyed you can go to my full review

  8. says:

    This review originally appeared on Books Bones BuffyThe 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 uest 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 uite 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 isGordon’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 controlMegan 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 adventuresBoth 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 victorJust 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 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 reuest to search for the CrowmanInterspersed 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 FeathersMegan’s story however was much 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 secretsWhat 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 gratuitousThe other thing that didn’t uite 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 endAlthough 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 readBig thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy

  9. says:

    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 uestions that never get answered and that's okay Because sometimes uestions don't get answered And that is life

  10. says:

    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 NetgalleyWhat 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 visceralThe 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 MauriceWhere 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 sanctimoniousLike 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 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 often than not is surprisingly simplistic in his judgment of othersThe 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 uasi 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 uite the contrary Gordon takes an unflattering satisfaction in his inability to give Denise anything than the means of survival Too bad Megan doesn’t see it that wayWhere 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 acolyteBoth 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 seriesThere 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 acuire 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 taleI want to believe in the Crowman and I hope the next book in the Black Dawn series will give me a reason to