Ravencry by Ed McDonald


Ed McDonald

In the second book in the Raven's Mark series, a bounty hunter finds himself in the midst of new and darker forces that are rising against the republic.

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In the second gritty installment of the Raven's Mark series, a bounty hunter faces down the darkest evil.

Ryhalt Galharrow is a blackwing--a bounty hunter who seeks out and turns over any man, woman, or child who has been compromised by the immortals known as the Deep Kings. Four years have passed since he helped drive the Deep Kings back across the Misery. But new and darker forces are rising against the republic...

Advance Galley Reviews

First of all, if you haven't read Blackwing yet, you should do that. NOW. You can check out my review of it HERE. I will try not too put too many spoilers from book 1 in this review. Book 1 really could have been a standalone, but I am glad the author kept going with this story. This book was awesome! It has a different storyline than the first, but with the same (and some new) characters, and of course, new magic and monsters. I loved the ending, but hated it at the same time. It was a great, epic ending, but I wasn't happy with where it left some of the characters. I want to go into more detail and rant, but I don't want to give away any spoilers. I was a little upset that there wasn't more Nenn and Tnota in this book. They were my favorites from the first book. I fell in love with Amaira and Maldon in this book, though. Ed McDonald exceeded my expectations again! The only issue I have is that I have to wait until next June to read the 3rd book in the series, Crowfall! I received a copy of this book from the publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

Now that I've read both books, I can definitely say this one was such a good follow up. It's well written and entertaining with interesting characters. I'd definitely like to read more by Ed McDonald in the future if he keeps writing this well. 4.5/5 stars. Definitely worth reading.

I need to get my hands on the first book from this series! I would love to read the backstory. This was not hard to follow without having read the previous book. This is not the type of book that I normally read, but I sure am glad I received this advanced copy. It is very well written. I’m looking forward to reading more from Ed McDonald.

Oh, Misery, you are a wily temptress! The second book in this grim dark fantasy series, Ravencry opens four years after the siege that closed the first book. Ravencry opens slowly, but it builds exponentially. The world-building is impressive, the character development well done, and the writing so, so compelling. Blackwing Captain Ryhalt Galharrow's humor slays me, even as he avoids being slain. That's most of the book -- Galharrow escaping torturous, unspeakably horrible slayings, never sleeping. "Fuck sleeping. ... How the hell could I sleep when there was this much darkness in the world?" I recently read the first book in the series, so I feel up to date with the happenings referenced in this second book. That said, I think Ravencry stands strongly enough on its own that those who have not read Blackwing will follow the events in this book without difficulty. Though I receommend reading both.

Four years have passed since the first book Blackwing where some major sacrifices were made to activate Nall’s Engine and drive the Deep Kings back across the Misery. Now new players are amassing power and causing trouble in Valengrad. With fire raining from the sky and dark forces plotting against the city, Valengrad is reaching its breaking point. Galharrow and his group of Blackwings dont have much time to uncover to forces working against them before the city takes a hit they wont be able to recover from. Their investigations will lead them to a darker, more twisted place than any they’ve walked before, the very heart of the Misery. Our main character Galharrow is a drunk with nightmares that just wont let him sleep. He also happens to be the captain of the Blackwings and Crowfoots henchman. Crowfoot is one of the four beings with enough power to keep the Deep Kings from destroying their land. With the four Nameless occupied elsewhere a new enemy takes the opportunity to steal a powerful item from Crowfoots vault and Galharrow must track down the stolen item before its used against them. Galharrows grief has led him to ignore the growing religious cult gathering in Valengrad and with the chaos that ensues finding the stolen item has just gotten a lot harder. We also get some compelling side characters. Tnota is Galharrows close friend and navigator when they venture into the Misery where the land is constantly moving and always trying to kill you. He also happens to be a black gay man who lost his arm. Galharrow even mentions experiementing with men at university. I liked how it was normalized. Galharrows awesome best friend Nenn is an unapologetic fierce female soldier. It did seem out of character for Nenn to start thinking about having children. In contrast to Nenn, we get a different type of strong female character in Valiya. She runs the business side of the Blackwings and shes the person to go to if you want some intel or political strategizing. I also liked Amaira and Maldon. The world was wonderfully dark and gritty, but not all of it is explained yet. I liked the Misery and all the creatures. Theres also some great unique touches like the cracks in the sky and the three moons. The different kinds of magic were interesting if a little vague. I thought the foul language added to the whole atmosphere. The pace was a lot slower than the first book and it really took away from my excitement for what was happening with the plot. There were some good lines, but some of the writing was a little repetitive. For example, being told that Galharrows horse Falcon is a biter multiple times in a way that made it seem like it was suppose to be my first time hearing it. (Will share on Blog, Amazon, and Goodreads)

"Ravencry" is the second book in a grim dark fantasy series featuring Ryhalt Galharrow, a Blackwing captain, and picks up about four years after the end of "Blackwing". Although "Blackwing" is recapped at the beginning of this book, I recommend reading the books in order. My favorite part of these books is the world building. The war between the Nameless and the Deep Kings continues. Each side is assisted by its own brand of sorcerer. The factions are separated (most of the time) by a desolate territory called the Misery that is full of dangerous creatures, magical objects and death. Galharrow is bound to one of the Nameless, who summons him in a unique and painful way. He spends most of his time in the city of Valengrad, which in this book is under bombardment by the Deep Kings, overrun by fanatics and being manipulated by an ambitious and power-hungry being. I also like the characters in these books, they are resourceful and colorful, but not invincible. The books have a very high body count, so the survival of favorite characters is not guaranteed. What I don't like about the books is that they start well and then get slow and a little boring before picking up the action again at the end. Each book ends with an exciting battle and there isn't a cliffhanger. I will definitely continue with the series. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Ravencry by Ed McDonald is a great read. This is the second in the series and it was as good as the first one. Not too much time spent rehashing the first book, but with enough small reminders and summaries to refresh the memories and introduce new readers. I don't read in this genre very often but found this book and the first in the series to be well written with fully developed characters and story lines. If I had one complaint it is that in the action leading up to the finale the situation seemed so hopeless that the actual climax seemed a little simplistic and forced, but this did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the read. I would recommend this book to all readers who enjoy a good action/adventure story and don't mind a dark edge to it.

I received an advance digital copy from First to Read in exchange for my candid review. I would give this four out of five stars after my initial reading of this great continuation of the Raven's Mark series. The events in this novel are 4 years in the future of the first book in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The writing, character development, and story progression were a joy to read. I definitely recommend this book.

Let me start by saying that I have not read the first book in this series. I usually skip opportunities to pick up a book later in a series when I haven't read the earlier volumes, but Ravencry sounded so interesting I couldn't pass it up. It reminded me of The Black Company in some ways, which might be part of why I liked it so much. Ryhalt Galharrow is the captain of a small pseudo police force employed by an extremely powerful sorcerer to help keep the peace in the borderlands. The story takes a bit to get going as Galharrow uncovers a series of strange, seemingly unrelated events. There is the emergence of a new religion centered around his dead girlfriend, a theft, and a man who returned from the dead. All of this culminates in the appearance of someone who could potentially rival Galharrow's benefactor. I like McDonald's writing. It captured my attention pretty early, which is good because that helped keep me interested until the story picked up some more. The setting is wonderful. As a first time reader I could pick out the power hierarchy among the wielders of magic and I was able to get a sense of the world pretty easily. This is mostly urban fantasy, but the few times the characters venture out into the world bring a nice contrast. The characters are written really well. Galharrow is defined by his relationships, or lack thereof. I enjoyed reading about how he connected with the people around him and seeing how that has changed. Even Galharrow is changed dramatically over the course of the book. The story might move slowly at times, but it does a lot of things right with the characters which makes that forgivable. There are references to events that I can only imagine were covered in the first book. I never felt lost for not having read it, although it is clear that this book only touches on some of that. Having finished this book I am definitely interested in going back to read the first volume.

I liked this book a lot. The only complaint I have is that I have to wait for the third one! Character development went a bit differently than I thought it would, but it's all good. A few plot twists that I wasn't expecting but it fits that world very well. I'd recommend it to fantasy lovers.

Captain Ryhalt Galharrow is now in charge of the Blackwings who keep the Range and Valengrad safe from the drudge. They also patrol the Misery, a toxic wasteland that was formed when the Nameless fought the Deep Kings. Now it seems that a number of events are happening at once. A religious group called the Bright Ones are descending on Valengrad because of sightings of the Bright Lady, who is to come. Governor Thierro is building a Grandspire, a mill that turns light into energy. An artifact is stolen from Crowfoot's vault and the wizard, Saravor, seems to be back and accumulating power. Galharrow, with his Blackwings, needs to put together what all of these different events mean and try and save his people and his city. An exciting magical fantasy tale with fully fleshed out characters and situations that keep the story moving along at a swift pace. Thank you First-to-Read for this free e-copy of "Ravencry".

Good writen,a good plot and interesting story.The characters are vivid and colourfull.Recomend it.

I really enjoyed reading Ravencry! I did not read the first book in this series and found that the author did a great job in that it could be a standalone but I can't wait to go back and read Blackwing and I look forward to the next book in The Raven's Mark Series. There is a great cast of characters that are very unique and I am looking forward to see all that will happen in their changing lives and what will happen with Ryhalt and what the Misery has wrought in him. Thanks First to Read, now I have another author to add to my list of 'Must Reads' that I would have otherwise never have read.

I hadn't read the other books in this series and didn't pay close enough attention to the description that this was a science fiction book. I had a really hard time getting into it but hate to leave a book unread once I start. It was an okay read, just not one I would have picked. Well written. Thanks First to Read for my advance copy!

I am kind of in the middle with this one. I didn't exactly love it, I didn't exactly hate it. The story flowed well though and would look forward to reading more in this series as it is released.

This is a dark one, even grimmer than the first. If you were on the fence about Blackwing because of the violence and suffering, this one is not for you. It has much in common with book one--good friends lost, bright shining hopes revealed to be deadly rot, and people dying for little reason. Angst, pain, and struggle abound. There's very little light to be found, and so much danger. And deadlier still, people who will do whatever it takes to achieve their idea of good. Galharrow is still caught between the Deep Kings and the First like Crowfoot, who all are perfectly willing to kill humans in their war with each other. Any sacrifices are fine to win a bit of power against the enemy. He's tormented by his losses from Blackwing, and dreams of a mysterious woman of light. Clinging to hope, Galharrow sinks in despair when it seems his hope will go unrewarded, and wades through problem after problem, trying to save a world full of ungrateful people. There's clearly going to be another book, and I hope this one has a few more gleams of light. I very much want someone to get something good from this poison world.

Spoiler free "Ravencry" by Ed McDonald is set four years after the siege that happened in "Blackwing". I won’t beat around the bush and just outright say that this sequel was fantastic and had everything I wanted and could wish for. The world building, which I considered pretty solid in the first installment, was further developed and we are offered more interesting tidbits about the misery. The writing continues to be engaging and humorous. You can’t help but love Ryhalt’s cynical voice. His monologues are quite distinctive and always manage to make me grin no matter the topics portrayed. Speaking about characters, you won’t be disappointed by them. They are as fully fleshed and compelling as they were in book one. Each has their own individual voice and individual flaws, and though the cast may seem overall gritty and violent, Ed McDonald somehow manages to make readers emphasize with these characters who must perform dubious acts in order to survive. Regarding the plot, there was a nice mystery that kept building until the last chapters where everything came to satisfying conclusion. The story starts slow, but once the mystery starts unfolding you’ll find it hard to put the book down. My only gripe regarding the plot is that it was not as compelling as the one in “Blackwing”. The stakes weren’t as high and the revelations weren’t as mind-blowing as those that were revealed in the previous installment. On the plus side, this book answered various loose ends left in “Blackwing”. Furthermore, the story has a definite closure, meaning it doesn’t end with an awful cliffhanger that will eat your mind. Summarizing, would I recommend "Ravencry"? Absolutely. Is it a worthy sequel? Definitely. If you enjoyed “Blackwing”, this one won’t disappoint you.

I fell in love with this series after reading Blackwing. Ryhalt stole my heart from the beginning with his sarcastic wit and charm. I was excited to read the second book and it was great to be back in that world again with Ryhalt. RavenCry definitely didn't disappoint and I am looking forward to the next book.

I wished that I could've read the first book. But I really thought the book was actually good. I enjoyed it very much. Something that you could say for any fantasy book. There are parts that I did get lost in because I never read the first book. I don't think I will mistake again by not reading the first book.

Blackwing, book 1 in the series, was one of my favourite books I read last year. I was eager to hear more about the world, and what might have happened following the events at the end of book one. I really enjoyed Ravencry. Ed McDonald has produced another fantasy novel packed with action, foul-mouthed characters and enough twists and turns to keep you constantly on your toes. I'll definitely be recommending it to other fantasy fans, particularly if you enjoyed book one in the series, and I'm now anxiously waiting for the next book in the series.

Glad the second book was available, I enjoyed the further adventures of Ryhalt Galharrow and his Blackwing crew. Slower leading to the action, but still an exciting ending. A lot going on for the stalwart captain, another dreaded foray into the misery and loss and change to deal with in the realm and promises to the woman he loves. Looking forward to the next instalment. Recommend for a fantasy worth your time..

Ravencry is a definite must read. I can't wait till the next book comes out. Ryhalt will have you going through different emotions from the first page to the last.


More to Explore

  • Blackwing
  • Crowfall

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