The Shadow of Black Wings (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/7/13
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
""Fast paced and full of energy""
-Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the "Shadows of the Apt"
""This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight ... a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read.""
- Publishers Weekly
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012 semi-finalist.
"An ancient empire stands on the brink of a civil war.
His arrival may push it over the edge."
It is the sixteenth year of Queen Victoria's enlightened rule and the world trembles before the might of her ironclad navy and the dreaded Dragon Corps. The largest ship ever built sails from the Brigstow Harbour on a journey to the mysterious lands of Orient. Its load - a regiment of the Royal Marines and one Bran ap Dylan - freshly graduate in Dracology at the Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.
In the empire of Yamato, sealed from the rest of the world for the last two centuries, a wizard's daughter Sato witnesses her father joining an anti-government conspiracy. Her friend Nagomi, training to be a priestess, is haunted by dark visions that she must keep secret. Neither of them is aware that a change is coming to Yamato... on the wings of a dragon.
A detailed and fast-paced historical fantasy based around the turbulent opening of Japan to the West in the middle of the 19th century, ""The Shadow of the Black Wings"" is the first volume in "The Year of the Dragon" saga. The second volume, ""The Warrior's Soul,"" is expected in August.
James Calbraith is a 34 year old Poland-born writer, foodie and traveller, currently residing in South London. Growing up in communist Poland on a diet of powdered milk, Lord of the Rings and soviet science-fiction, he had his first story published at the ripe age of eight. After years of bouncing around university faculties, he moved to London in 2007, found a decent IT job and started writing in English. His debut historical fantasy novel, "The Shadow of Black Wings," has reached ABNA semi-finals and was published in July 2012. His volume of short stories, "Transmission," published on Amazon Kindle in June 2012, has reached the tops of Kindle bestseller lists in USA, UK, France, Germany and Italy.
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
In addition, while the political intrigue was interesting, as well as the historical throwbacks, I really wasn't impressed with the magic system(s?). I cannot honestly tell you how magic works in this book, just that apparently there is magic and there are different traditions of magic that only work well in some places.
And (this isn't too much of a spoiler since you pick up on it within the first chapter) why is Bran so loyal to Emrys? I really saw nothing that would lead me into a greater understanding of this dynamic--not to mention it wasn't made clear immediately why that is so abnormal. I honestly thought at first he was ridiculously loyal to Emrys because that was the dragon he'd been stuck with and the only dragon he'd ever have, so they needed to back each other up.
Overall, I was a bit dissatisfied with this book and likely will not read the second, unless I find it for free.
Bran is pretty cool as main for he is a DRAGON RIDER! He seems like he is a slacker in other things except this. And due to that slacking, or rebellion, whatever you wanna shoot for, he finds out a seriously big whammy of a secret! You know where those people in your family happen to "be" with other people who are not part of your family. LOL So, he's decided he is going to indulge in his curiosity.
Bran's dad also plays a pretty big role here, and I thought it was cool to learn not only more about his dad, but about his granddad, and it's also a bonding moment. And we also have some speaking time with Sato and Nagomi. These girls are the coolest, as you usually think of protectors and warriors being men, but these two take it to a whole new level!
There are some really interesting story plots and I like the way things unfold. It's such a unique way of doing things. And it's so different, but of course, it's a historical type fantasy, so it's a different time with different outlooks. There's a background romance, I know that's kinda cryptic but if I come out and say it, I will spoil some things. Plus there is more to the journey for the next book and I am going to predict a little more romance to come.
It's a very cool read, especially if historical fantasy is your cup of tea. It's unique and it's different which makes it a plus for me, AND there's dragons! LOL I love that! Very Cool! I look forward to reading book 2. 4 DRAGON LOVING PAWS!
Calbraith has researched and incorporated actual historical detail, integrating it so neatly into the narration and story that it is a near seamless transition between familiar, actual and fantastical. This daunting yet necessary task could detract from the well-crafted world we are immersed in, yet the details only serve to further the story and character development. Multi-layered characters, with Bran particularly well balanced: cockiness and brashness of youth counterbalanced with his realization that he doesn't have all the answers, and perhaps is not invincible. When he moves forward, despite his doubts, readers are left with the understanding that his decisions are well thought through, mostly.
The book is a terrific start for a series, giving us plenty of untouched upon elements early in the first that are not addressed again, and a bit of an open end for Bran. It has the flavor of other high-fantasy books that I have read, engaging and unique with characters that you can find likable and interesting, and just enough of a mysterious twist to keep you wondering what next. I'm curious (and excited) to see the next in the series.
I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review for Full Moon Bites tours. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
My biggest fault with the book is the lack of any real endings by the time the book ends - most books at least give some of the plot twists some sort of closure, with others left open for the next installment. In this book, virtually everything is left hanging, with absolutely nothing resolved - very frustrating if you don't have the next volume in hand.